Summary: Jesus Christ who is the True Vine, the Light, the Way, the bread of life is also the True Salt and as His children, we are called to be the Salt of the Earth.
This statement is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, a summarization of the Beatitudes. Often many Christians have a false notion that if they live out at least one or two qualities listed in the Beatitudes then it is sufficient to live a life pleasing to the Lord. Sadly, this is not true. In fact, all the beatitudes are to be imbibed as part of our Christian walk and following all of them diligently qualifies us as His disciples and they are called as the 'salt of the earth'
When Jesus says that “We are the salt of the earth…”, He meant the following:
(Job 6:6) Salt, a precious commodity, has several properties and the primary one is that it gives a flavor to food. Anything without salt is not fit for consumption. All the ingredients put together can never enhance the taste unless salt is added to any dish. Likewise, in a world that has many talented, skilled and creative people, it is often a Christian who gives a flavor to a conversation, relationship, or community. They could be few in number but are sufficient to add a divine flavor.
The Old Testament explains this truth more vividly. In Numbers 30:2, we find that during the time of Joshua, the land was divided amongst the 12 tribes. The Levites never had a land of their own but were allotted few cities in all the lands of the 12 tribes which explain that they were not restricted to one place but were found in every place. This was God’s way of ensuring that every tribe remained in Him and like the Salt, the Levites were the instruments of God across the Promised Land.
Similarly, believers are never confined to one place but are found everywhere across the world. As the salt of the earth, we could be few but more than enough to make the difference and save those around us from sin and backsliding.
(Ezra 4:12-14)Salt symbolizes faithfulness. To be faithful in everything is the primary attribute of every believer. A godly person’s life stands out in a wicked world only if they can, in every circumstance remain steadfast in faith. Lord in Mat 5:37 says that our yes should be ‘yes’ and no a ‘no’ unwavering and faithful bringing glory and honor to the name of Jesus. Compromises with the world will cause us to lose our savor rendering us to be useless to God and man. As the salt of the earth, our faithfulness is the differentiating factor that glorifies our Father in heaven.
Salt is used for preserving the perishable items from decay. As His children, we are the preservatives of God’ goodness. Which means, that in a world where there is sin, wrong, and wickedness, we protect ourselves, families and community from its influence and bring about His goodness. We will be the instruments to bring change in society. To name a few godly men and women, who by the redeeming power of Jesus in their lives were great contributors to the society and country at large were:
William Carey, a great man of God, fought for the abolishment of “sati sahagamana”.
Pandit Ramabai fought for the rights of girls to pursue their studies.
Mother Teresa showed God’s love through service and care
A truth to follow is that as His followers, it is our responsibility to preserve the good and remain barriers of negativity and wrong actions. (Job 1:4, Job 29:17) explains that Job was respected not because of his wealth but for his upright living and for being a protector of the innocent. It is a sad state of Christian life if the world around sees us as one amongst them and don’t find any traces of uprightness in our conduct. As the salt of the earth, we are called to preserve our families, communities, and nations from sinfulness and deterioration.
(Leviticus 2:13)/ (Number 18:19) In the Old Testament, the ‘covenant of salt’ is mentioned to explain the importance of salt in all the offerings. It is used as a metaphor to explain about an eternal and faithful covenant between us and with an unchanging, unwavering, Almighty God. As His children in this world, salt teaches us a good quality that we have God as our friend and that we are in a long-lasting friendship with Jesus, his church, and fellow believers. Like a ship that can travel miles across oceans and continents, we remain afloat drawing many to Jesus. However, just as a small leak can bring a great liner down. Similarly, small compromises can threaten a great testimony. It is always good that we crosscheck our relationships in the light of God’s standard. As the salt of the earth, we are in a covenant relationship with our Heavenly Father and are called to make honest and long lasting friendships to lead many to Jesus on this earth.