13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
What is Jesus’ meaning by comparing His followers to salt? First, let’s look at the properties of salt. It flavors, it preserves, it creates thirst, if scattered it goes everywhere, and it only takes a little bit to make a plate of food salty. There are probably other characteristics, but that is all I can think about right now. If you have more, feel free to comment with them! But with those characteristics, maybe we can begin to see why Jesus used this example.
Jesus’ followers bring flavor to the world.
We are filled with the Spirit to bring life to others and reveal the fullness of life. How many of us can say we do that? Have we become too bogged down in “ministry” to smile and joyfully converse with others? Do people get excited when you are coming around or do they turn their heads and hope you don’t approach them? Jesus brought flavor to life. Whenever He went somewhere, there was always a flock of people around Him (pun on purpose). People of all walks of life loved being around Him. He was the life of the party. Do we trudge through our religion or enjoy our faith?
Jesus’ followers are full of life.
As believers, we are imparted with the Holy Spirit, which has literally raised people from the dead! Jesus’ disciples preserve life and work to return life back to its original design. We were created to have life and have it abundantly and give it to others. The ways of a disciple of Jesus is to preserve and protect life by fighting against the enemies of life: sickness, treachery, stress, worry, death, and injuries. Take a look at Jesus’ ministry as a whole and also what the original disciples did. They didn’t beat people over the heads with doctrine; they showed them the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Life.
Jesus’ followers make others desire to follow Him.
We just read that blessed are those who have hunger and thirst for righteousness. When one of Jesus’ disciples shares about the Kingdom of God, whether in word or deed, those around them will want more. They will want to know what it is the disciples have and how they can get it. They will see the different lives they live and how it brings them life in abundance and will want more. Jesus is the water of life that satisfies all thirst; disciples should be drawing them nearer to Him. Even those who are already believers, a follower of Christ will stir up a desire to grow closer to God and reside in His Kingdom always.
Jesus’ followers are supposed to go everywhere and make an impact.
Have you ever knocked over a container of salt? Aside from the superstitious custom of having to throw some over your shoulder, have you noticed how it goes everywhere? What about if you have spilled it on the table and later you sit down and put your arms on it. Have you ever had one or two grains of salt trapped under your elbow while putting your arm on a table? It’s amazing how a tiny grain of salt can affect you. Jesus’ disciples have the same property in that because they possess the power of the Holy Spirit, just one or two can have a big impact. As we scatter throughout the world, we find ourselves in the little cracks of society to make a big impact in places we never thought we could. Salt isn’t designed to be kept in a jar; it is made so it can be spread throughout. So, we must shake up our churches and be scattered to impact the world from its little crevices.
Jesus’ followers aren’t supposed to keep to themselves and their church.
So, what about this whole, “losing our flavor and getting thrown out to be trampled,” part of the example? Have you ever used tasteless salt? I have and it surprised me, actually. When you have to keep adding more and more salt to a meal and you recognize that the salt isn’t as salty as it should be, you will notice that salt actually can lose its flavor. IT doesn’t matter how much you pile on your food, it won’t be as salty as you want it to be. How does that relate to us? This isn’t a message of salvation, but of purpose. Jesus is talking about how we can lose our properties as a disciple if we do not continue doing what we are supposed to be doing as salt. If salt sits in a container without being used for a long time, it will lose its flavor. How long have we been sitting in containers (churches) without being sprinkled and scattered about? Jesus is telling us that when we lose our flavor, when we lose our zeal and stop being doers of the word, we become purposeless and might as well be thrown out into the mud because we are just wasting space in the saltshaker.
Are you living up to your purpose as a believer and follower of Christ? Are you flavoring the world or are you wasting time in the shaker? Is Jesus pleased with what you have been doing or will he throw you out for not doing anything? It might be silly to think of salt losing its flavor or even that we are supposed to be like salt for the world, but it is a very serious matter because it is the reason for which you have been saved. What are you going to do about it?