In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus shows us that we, as believers, are the salt of the earth. This is how we as sons of the kingdom should influence our surroundings.
The relevance of the salt
“You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13a)
As believers in God’s kingdom, we are meant to express the nature of Jesus on this earth. How can we do this? Salt has the property of bringing out the taste of food. Without salt even the best food tastes like nothing. Salt makes it possible to perceive what food tastes like. The same applies to those of us who are born again. We have all received the life of Christ and He lives in us. This life should be expressed in our everyday lives and glorify God. This is why Jesus admonishes us to be salty! This is how the people around us can taste something of God’s nature and His kingdom.
Another aspect of salt is its preserving property – bacteria cannot survive in salt. Likewise, if we are salty, we will be saved from the corruption of this world. Sin and the vanity of this age will then have less and less room in us.
The taste is important
Jesus warns us not to lose our flavor:
“but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” (Matthew 5:13b)
If there is no difference between us Christians and the people in the world, then we have become flavorless and useless for God. We must ask ourselves: Is Christ glorified in our workplace through our speaking and our actions? Do our colleagues see Jesus dwelling in us? How do we behave when people speak badly about others in our presence? Do we remain silent or even participate? Or, are we salty? To be flavorless can also be described as being conformed to this world:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Losing our flavor can also make itself manifest at home. This is the case when we live in ourselves and not through the Spirit. Then we get angry quickly or react without love, ruthlessly or criticize others. If such things are present in us, then we urgently need salt so that the taste of Jesus’ life can be found in us again!
If we have become flavorless as God’s sons, then we can no longer be used for anything – neither for God’s kingdom nor for this world. The world despises us because of our faith and we are useless to God because Jesus is not expressed in our lives. This is a really terrible condition!
Gaining Salt by Experiencing Christ as the Meal Offering
By nature, we are not salty, but flavorless. We are full of malice and discord. That is why we need the humanity of Jesus. He had exactly the right portion of salt so that divine nature could be expressed in His life at all times. Everyone who had anything to do with Him saw the Father (John 14:9). There was no sin and no corruption in Him. How much do we need this nature! We must not allow ourselves to be content with being bland. Rather, Jesus admonishes us:
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
When we realize that we have become flavorless in a certain point, we can claim His life for ourselves. This is how we gain salt. Let us take our speaking, for example. Do we talk about vain and meaningless things or do we even take part in sinful gossip? The word says:
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6)
Whenever we are in a situation where the Spirit reminds us of this word, we can make use of the life of Jesus who Himself fulfilled this word. In this way we can become salty and gain more of His humanity!