Matthew 5:13 (ESV)
“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.“
In Matthew 5:13, Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth”, but who are the “You” He is referring to? Who are the salt of the earth?
The previous verses reveal it is those who are poor in spirit, who mourn over sin, who are meek, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who are merciful, who are pure in heart, who are peacemakers and who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
The salt of the earth are those who are living out the kingdom life as expressed in the Beatitudes!
We do not bring salt for the earth. We do not add salt to the earth. Living the Beatitudes in a fallen world preserves the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in us to not only protect us from the corruption of the world but to protect His Gospel from the influence of the world. This allows us to live out the character of Christ to those who have never opened the pages of Scripture or gone to church.
Being the salt of the earth preserves His message for them while protecting it from them.
Jesus said in John 17:14-15, “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.”
I see salt not as individual grains used alone but many that together preserve His Word, His Gospel and His life. What effect does one grain of salt have on anything? What can be preserved by a single grain? Salt implies multiple grains together preserving the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
This is especially significant when we consider the words of Jesus in the previous verses about persecution.
When we live out the Beatitudes, people will hate us and we will face persecution. This persecution can be harsh words from people, the loss of friends and mistreatment. But persecution can also mean we will lose our lives.
If we are martyred for our faith, we are but one grain of many grains of salt who carry on the preserving nature of our Lord’s message to a lost world being corrupted by decay. But if we are martyred, we must realize the effect on others our death would provide.
Many have come to faith when a believer has been martyred. Even those who have killed Christians have been born again at a later time and themselves become the salt of the earth. Remember the Apostle Paul (formerly named Saul), who, before he was born again was present when Stephen was being martyred (Acts 7:58). He himself persecuted Christians before he came to faith in Christ.
When you kill one believer, more are grafted into the body of Christ and the kingdom of God continues to grow.
Just as you can’t eliminate the grains of sand in the sea, no one will ever eliminate the grains of salt that are here to preserve the Gospel of Jesus Christ until His return.
After looking at some of the implications of being the salt of the earth, Jesus turns to a negative aspect of salt – specifically salt that has lost its taste. He asks, “How shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”
What comes to mind as I consider these words is persecution that does not have the ripple effect intended because the salt became contaminated and corrupted by the world.
When salt loses its saltiness, it no longer preserves the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and now, instead of the persecution bringing glory to God through others coming to faith because of the persecution, its only value is to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
Are you the salt of the earth?
Father, thank you for illuminating and guiding my thoughts in a direction that I would have never travelled this morning. It’s astounding to me that my limitations, weaknesses and inabilities never hinder your work in my life or for the ministry I have to others. Thank you for preserving me so that I may preserve you to others. For the sake of your kingdom and your glory I pray, Amen.
Thank you for reading my Daily Bible Journal!
Reading, reflecting and writing from the Bible has so radically impacted my life in Christ, it’s as if I’ve been on auto-pilot when reading the Bible in the past. There’s something about “sitting with the text” and through prayerful reflection, sharing what comes to mind. Because I’m posting online for others to read, I consider my words carefully and try to be clear and accurate.
This daily process enhances my understanding of God’s Word and embeds it into my conscience. It literally gets “hidden in my heart!”
I hope this encourages others to be in God’s Word every day.
For God’s Glory,