How Thirsty Are They?
13 “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. Matthew 5:13 English Standard Version (ESV)
My journey in the Christian life has had many joys, sorrow, hard times, easy times, good times and bad one too and the above verse was read to me just yesterday and I realized a few things that I have not realized in the past 26 years of being a believer.
The first thing that I want to do for us is give us the context of this passage. This is part of the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus is the speaker. He is telling those who are listening the ways of the kingdom and of kingdom people. This verse in particular is really speaking about our identity as kingdom people and how who we are influences the world around us.
In my early days as a Christian, I got involved in everything that I could get involved in. I remember one time being involved in a training at my church that had to do with evangelism. I learned the techniques of sharing the gospel with those who did not know the gospel. Now, if you know me at all, you know that I am not a salesman and I do not have the personality of someone who can just go up to someone and start talking to them about spiritual things. This was even truer in my earlier days that it is now, although I still am not one who would just start a conversation with someone I do not know.
So, as I heard this verse read yesterday, I noticed something that I never noticed before. It shows up in the first few words of the verse, “You are the salt of the earth”. Notice that it does not say, you are becoming, you will be, it states, “you are…”. This speaks of my identity as a kingdom person and as a kingdom person, I have a responsibility to act like the person I am. If I act contrary to my identity, that is what Jesus calls hypocrisy, which he also addresses in the Sermon on the Mount.
I would like to take a minute or two more of your time to think about the benefits of salt. Do you know any benefits? Think about that for a minute, because it is significant that Jesus uses the word, salt for our identity. Salt has a preservative factor in it. Look at the verse again, You Are the Salt of the Earth. As a kingdom person, we are to live our life in a way that preserves those around us. How are you doing with preserving those around you?
Salt is also a flavor enhancer. This is an interesting thought to me because I am not one who puts salt on his food but recognizes when something has been enhanced with salt. I like unsalted peanuts, but I like even more those peanuts that have salt all over them. I do not care for a pretzel without the salt, I think that if you are going to make a pretzel you should have salt on it. Those are two examples of enhancement of flavor that I go with. This is an area of my life that I need to work on because when it comes to enhancing flavor, I may have lost my saltiness. When I write that, immediately the Holy Spirit just said to me, “what are you going to do about that?” Repent. Now, repentance is a whole other topic that I can not go into now, but you know where I just went there.
The last thing that I want to say about this whole idea of being salt is that salt makes one thirsty. Let me asked you one thing those that you are living life with, are you leaving them thirsty for the things of the kingdom? This is really the heart of what Jesus was talking about. He says, You are the salt? We are it…. He also says that we should be concerned about the condition of our saltiness. If we lose our preserving, flavor enhancing, and thirst making abilities we are putting ourselves in a horrible situation. Jesus says, we would not be any good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled upon. Doesn’t sound real good to me. If you have, then repent and follow Jesus. He has already forgiving you of your sin, repent and get on with living out who you already are. You are the salt of the earth. Have a great week. Doug Barger is the Director of Men’s Ministries at Bethesda Mission in Harrisburg, PA. You can write to Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: I still find my corrupt heart longing for tomorrow’s bread. I can make a good argument to the Lord about how effective I can be if He would supply me with enough advance funds. It’s a little frightening to pray for TODAY’s bread. That means I must pray again for tomorrow and believe again for tomorrow. My greedy heart is willing to be corrupted by a little bit of riches so that I see my warehouse full of loaves. I can make a good argument about how God won’t have to be bothered with me every day if He would only advance me about ten years worth of bread. Gayle D. Erwin
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left … Joshua 23:6