Summary: We are to add flavor and spice to a tasteless world; taste and see that the Christian is good.
Don’t Lose Your Saltiness
28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?
29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him,
30 saying, ’This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
31 "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.
33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
34 "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
JESUS HAS SPENT THE NIGHT IN PRAYER. Coming down from the mountain early in the morning, He chooses the 12 and takes them back up into the mountain where He delivers the Sermon on the Mount. From this vantage point, overlooking the Sea of Galilee, He and the disciples have a ringside observation seat.
The fishermen have spent the night fishing. Now they’re docking their boats and crating their fish. Since there is no refrigeration, the fish are packed in layers of salt. On board each ship is a salt barrel. As the disciples glance down at the ships, they see a familiar sight. A husky fisherman plunges his hand into a salt barrel, draws out a heaping handful of salt, and throws it into an empty crate. Then he carefully lays a layer of fish on the salt and continues to alternately lyer and fish until the crate is full.
Perhaps Jesus looks away for an instant to this sight and then turns to His disciples with these words: “You are the salt of the earth” (Matt.5:13).
Out of this verse and the corresponding one in Luke 14 come some powerful spirituals truths.
1. The Timeless Teachings of Christ
❏ The fact that Jesus spoke of salt is an illustration of His timelessness. In the average gallon of sea water, there is 1/4 pound of salt. One statistician figured that all of the world’s oceans would yield enough salt to build a wall 180 miles high and one mile thick which would be long enough to reach around the world at the Equator.
❏ The world changes; the teachings of Jesus are changeless. More scientific discoveries have been made in the last 50 years than in the previous 5,000. But the teachings of Jesus have never vhanged. They are as timeless as salt.
2. A Rotten World
Just as fish need salt to keep them from rotting, this world needs the salty influence of Christians to keep it from rotting.
3. The Christian’s Place of Influence
❏ Salt is salt because it is different. When asked what salt tastes like, one can only answer, “It tastes like salt!” It is unique. The influence of the Christian must remain a unique force in the world.
The story is told of a TV repairman who didn’t like ti think aboout his job when he came home. So he never bothered to properly install the antenna on he top of his house or fix it when one arm broke in a windstorm. One day a new family moved in next door and the owner went up on his roof to install an antenna. Knowing that his neighbor was a TV repairman, he put his up exactly the same way and turned his attena to face in the same direction as his neighbor’s. Then after studying his neighbor’s antenna for a while, he reached up and broke one arm off his new antenna!
❏ Salt is pure...one of the purest elements known to man.
❏ There is no substitute for salt. If it loses its ability to salt, nothing can take its place. No one can take the place of the witnessing Christian whose life always corresponds to his lips.
❏ Salt can be useless. When dirt got mixed with salt, the precious salt was treated like dirt; it was thrown upon the slippery paths around the city.
In Jesus’ time there was a high tax on salt. This led to varying degrees of adulterating salt with sand mixture. If there was too much sand, it was useless and discarded on the streets. The saddest sight on earth is a believer who has lost his influence for Christ. He is like precious salt being treated like common dirt.