Am I SALT?
Your Bible Boost, Matthew 5:13
I am indebted to two men in my life who have shaped most of my thinking on loving others from whatever sect you may have come. Also for helping me recognize that we are not the only passengers on the “gospel ship” with our particular brand or label of Christianity. God has children in all groups of which many I do not know but would love to meet.
The two men of whom I speak are W. Carl Ketcherside and Boyce Mouton plus throw in a sounding board in Tom Tucker and “whalla” – my views. The following article is adapted from a conversation I had with and printed article given by W. Carl Ketcherside. I am praying that it helps to get us “out of the salt shaker” of which an entire book has been written.
YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH
Salt is not something which you try to become in Jesus Christ. It is what your ARE in Jesus Christ. Here are a few characteristics of salt which should provide some insights into the nature of discipleship and followship for each of us who claim to be believers and followers of Jesus Christ.
1. Salt was so very precious during the days of Jesus. It was so valuable that Roman soldiers received salt as a portion of their wages. Hence, our word “salary” literally means, “payment in salt”. To this day we say of someone who does not rise to the mark or measure up as one who “is not worth their salt”. The fact that Jesus referred to His disciples as “salt” is a strong indication of how precious and valuable they were to Him and to influencing the world.
2. Salt was the best preservative known during the time of Jesus Christ. Sometimes when a corpse was transported a long distance, it was packed in salt, not ice. When a covenant or contract was to be implemented between two parties, they ate salt together to seal the contract. The covenant God made with Israel in the Old Testament required that salt accompany every cereal offering. (See Lev. 2:13)
3. Salt was a purifying agent in the days of Jesus. It was believed to possess antiseptic qualities and when a soldier was wounded, the hole in the flesh was often stuffed full of salt to prevent infection. It was used by Elisha to purify a spring of water (II Kings 2:22). This make it very eye opening for us to consider our influence as Christians in this society which is infected by sin.
4. Salt increases the taste or the flavor of food. All of us have eaten attractively prepared food in which the cook forgot to add the salt. The “gourmet” meal taste flat and uninspired. So we feel compassion on the folks who have to be on a “salt free” diet. We could also say that life without the Christian influence is flat.
It sure does bother me a great deal to see that those who called themselves, believers or Christians, seem to have so little influence upon the world in general. It seems that we are more excited about our labels and buildings than impacting and influencing our society. There is no simple answer, but it must not be forgotten that salt will do NO GOOD huddling in the shaker. And, it seems to me that a great many believers are trapped inside religious structures or as some have called them, “holy huddles”. All we seem to do is huddle, call plays, but never get on the field to execute the plays. In our holy huddles we hold services rather than rendering them. We seem more intent on carrying on religious exercises while the world is tracking more and more to evil and souls are dying without Jesus Christ right at our doorstep.
In his book, “New Light for the Gospels”, Clifford A. Wilson says it was a Jewish tradition that when salt became unfit for use on sacrifices, it was sprinkled on the temple steps so that priest would not slip during rainy weather. Barclay makes mention of that unfit salt was thrown on the roadways.
Jesus does not say, “if the salt has lost its strength, I shall have to try something else”. We are it. There is NOTHING ELSE. It is you and me or nothing. If we fail, Jesus questions, “with what shall the earth be salted”? The answer is that it will not be. We are the last divine thrust into the world to influence, purify, and preserve our world. Jesus was the Son of God made flesh, we are flesh made children of God.
“you are the salt of the earth”
There is no plan “B”.
Again I am thankful to W. Carl Ketcherside for shaping my thoughts on this text from Matthew 5:13. Your Bible Boost for today.
I am praying for you