13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet.
Most of us think of salt casually. It’s that white stuff in a shaker (unless we prefer the gourmet pink types, or even more exotic salts from special places). It’s not terribly expensive. Yet we miss it if it’s not there when we’re ready to dig into a baked potato or some other food when our taste buds expect salt. And, for most of us, it’s just a fact: salt makes most things taste better. But we need to remember that, in Jesus' day, no one went to the market and bought a cheap container of Morton’s salt.
Lord Jesus, in these turbulent times, guide my influence to work to preserve all the good in the world, in people. Help me to make this world “taste better” for all those who know me. Amen.
* John Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1978, p. 60.
As we consider today’s passage, I thought it might be helpful to “visit’ with Mr. Ronald Saff, owner & proprietor of “Spice Guys.”
DL: Mr. Saff, what can you tell us about your operation?
Saff, Ron: Welcome! Or as we like to say around here, “Season’s Greetings!” Please call me Ron. When we started I knew that packaging was the key to successfully selling spices. I figured if I could just put thyme in a bottle, we’d really have a hit. We manufacture & distribute over 102 spices – everything from Almond Extract to Zaatar Spice.
DL: Wow, you could say you are a man for all seasons.
Saff, Ron: Indeed. So, you wanted to know specifically about salt. Well, salt has a fascinating history.
DL: Um. I’m not so sure about that last point. But what’s interesting to me is that Jesus doesn’t tell His audience that you “should strive to be” or “someday you will be” the salt of the earth. Rather, He plainly tells them, “You are the salt of the earth.” What do you think of this passage?
Saff, Ron: Well, this is extremely high praise. Jesus is telling His audience that they represent the best & brightest of their communities. If I were in the audience, I’d probably be shuffling my feet & looking around thinking, “Really? We are the cream of the crop? We are the ones you are counting on to build the Kingdom of God? Uh, Jesus, you do have a back-up plan, right?” I mean His crowds were just average folks, filled with tired Moms & Dads, restless teens, & older people who thought their grandkids were spending way too much time on their papyrus scrolls.
DL: Agreed. But Jesus was confident in His followers then and He’s just as confident in us. Jesus is well aware that any movement toward an earthly Kingdom of God is going to be based on ordinary people demonstrating extraordinary love. We are the best hope to fix our broken world. But, if we are to live up to the title of Salt of the Earth, we have some work to do:
In short, we are going to have to ask ourselves, “Have we earned our salt today?”
Saff, Ron: That’s awesome. Whoa. Look at the time. I have to lead a plant tour for my Junior Achievement group. They are students interested in the history of spices & their applications today.
DL: Thank you for your time. By the way, what is your youth group called?
Saff, Ron: The Salt Teens.
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