You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? (Matt. 5:13)
In the ancient world, salt was one of the most important necessities of life. It was used for many things including in seasoning and preserving foods. In addition, salt was also used as a sign of purification in sacrifices and burnt offerings.
When Jesus tells his hearers that they are to be the salt of the earth, he means for us to add something akin to flavor and purity to a depraved and sinful world. This is a high calling that the world desperately needs from people of faith. Just as salt adds flavor and keeps things from going bad, so Christians are to make society better. Jesus says to us, “Have salt in yourselves” (Mark 9:50).
Recently, our society has been rocked by the news of sexual misbehavior and harassment by many high-powered men. In a way, it is no surprise that this has happened. Christian values have been dismissed as archaic and out-of-step with the times. But if Christians fail in upholding these standards of decency, where will the world ever get these things? The poets of ancient Rome often described their city as “a filthy sewer.” Purity and chastity were unknown. “Into that corrupt world Christianity came,” said biblical scholar William Barclay, “and it was the task of the Christian to bring an antiseptic to the poison of life” (William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible). The same could be said for our task today. —John Koedyker
Prayer: God, give us the strength and courage to be salt in this world. Amen