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You Are the Salt of the Earth, Part 2.

We are continuing our meditation from yesterday. Jesus told His followers that they were like salt. “You are the salt of the earth.” What did Jesus mean by His words? Here’s the text:


“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet (Matthew 5:13).


Today, the English expression “salt of the earth” refers to a noble characteristic and a basic. trustworthiness found in human nature in certain individuals. It is a positive endorsement of character. In Jesus’ day, the metaphor would have carried great significance due to the vital role that salt played in daily life.


Salt was a preservative. When there were no freezers and refrigerators, salt was the only way to slow down putrefaction.It was a two or three-day journey to bring fish from the Sea of Galilee to Jerusalem, so to slow down the decomposition, the fish or meat was salted to remain fresh. In the same way, believers in Christ, by the way they live their lives through an example of holy living, will slow down the decay of any society in which they live. However, there need to be several grains together for salt to be effective and produce an effect on a community, i.e., slowing the decomposition of the culture.


3). Salt lends flavor to food. Some foods are so bland that food can be made more palatable with added salt. I often eat two eggs for breakfast, but I find eggs tasteless without any salt (and a bit of pepper). Any cooking recipe will almost always have salt added. The Lord adds flavor to our lives. The first time I came across a person or group of people who loved Jesus and lived their salty lives before me, I wanted what they had. Salt creates thirst, and what they had, I needed. I had to drink deeply of the Lord Jesus. All around us are thirsty people, they just don’t know what will quench their thirst. If we don’t tell them, they’ll remain thirsty.


When we hear sermons on this passage of Scripture, it is often separated from the text before it, where Jesus spoke about persecution. The Lord was saying that if we hold to the beatitudes, we will face persecution because of the values we uphold. If we buckle under the pressure and compromise our commitment, we lose our ability to influence others around us. There are always others around us who secretly wonder if there is any value to walking with Christ. You never know who around you may be inwardly seeking the truth. You are the expression of Christ to the world. If someone seeks light, peace, and hope in this world, will they see it in you? Will they be drawn to Jesus through you? I once heard someone remark that they never heard the Gospel when they were young, stating that if there were any Christians around him at the time, none of them “blew their cover!” Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones once said: “The glory of the Gospel is that when the church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though they may hate it at first.”


I organize and lead tours of the land of Israel, and every time I go, I always take people to one of the hotels down in the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea, and Jordan River Valley. Many enjoy the relaxing and healthful float on the Dead Sea. They plaster the mud on themselves before showering and enjoying the spa and massage services that most hotels in the area offer. The evening before we leave for the Dead Sea, I have to warn people not to shave due to the high salt levels in the water in which they float. If they ignore my advice, their floating experience in the Dead Sea can be painful, even though the waters have healing properties.


The pain is not often received well, but the salt and other minerals in the Dead Sea water can heal the skin. One feels cleansed and invigorated after bathing in the water. As the cleansing of the salty water is to the body, our salty values bring an antiseptic cleansing power to the world. The light and salt we carry can bring healing to a decaying society.


If those who do not believe in Christ see no difference in our Christian lives, there is no challenge to their worldview. There will be no hope to hold out to them. Therefore, the “saltiness” of our values is then thrown away and trodden underfoot (v. 13). The Church, the lifeboat, should be in the sea. But when the sea gets in the lifeboat our culture is in trouble.


Prayer: Father, please help us prevent the world system’s values from creeping into our lives. Help us be effective preservers of those around us. Amen! Keith Thomas.


This meditation is from a more complete study found at the following link:

The YouTube video teaching is at the following link:



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