In previous blogs I have covered the top ten teachings according to the frequency with which Christ taught (seen on page 133 of the download ‘What on earth have we done with the teachings of Jesus’). Continuing now with Christ’s additional teachings. The next of which is ‘do not lose your flavour’.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on by people [when the walkways are wet and slippery]. Matt 5:13
What is salt for?
Salt throughout time has had many uses. It is a well-known preservative. Before the invention of fridges, salt-curing was the way food was kept fresh. Bacteria that causes food to rot needs moisture to thrive and salt dries out the food keeping it fresh. It is a flavour-enhancer. Salt is one of the most desired tastes by man. But it additionally enhances other flavours such as sweet and bitter. It counteracts with bitter to improve taste and makes food generally more aromatic. It’s necessary for our survival and essential to good muscle and nerve function in our bodies. It is a binding agent by forming protein gels. When added to certain foods, such as meats, it results in gelatine which holds it all together. And lastly, it is a colour enhancer, preventing food from turning grey. A little salt goes a long way.
Jesus describes us as the ‘salt of the earth’. We are to bring these qualities to the earth. To be a preserver of other people’s lives, to add flavour and colour, to help bind people to His Word and ultimately rescue people from death to life. A blessing to the world. Do not lose your flavour.
The roaring lion
It is heart-breaking to see when one, who started out so fervent for God, slip back into the world with its vices. But we all know too well that the enemy is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour as it says in 1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.
And devour he does if we are not self-disciplined if we are indifferent and drawn into the offerings of the world. I, myself, can attest to this. At the age of 19 I had a phenomenal encounter with God. I was hungry for more. I was passionate to bring others into this knowledge. But as I look back this fervency waned. I settled. But if my own life is a testament, He is merciful and He has brought me back around the mountain and I have that choice again to climb up higher with Him. And there is no better way, there is no better life. Do not lose your flavour
Will we live for Him?
Each day we have a decision to make. As Christians will we live for Him, or live for ourselves? Will we plan our day or let Him plan the day? Will we steal ourselves away from the demands on our time and spend time reading His Word, seeking His presence? For we are promised that if we seek Him with a deep longing then we will find Him. ‘You will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’ Jeremiah 29:13.
And if we find that even our longing has gone, then do not delay – ask of Him to give you that yearning. It’s a prayer I constantly pray. And He is gracious to give it to us.
Henry says – Christ had called His disciples and told them that they should be fishers of men. Here He tells them further what He designed them to be—the salt of the earth, and lights of the world, that they might be indeed what it was expected they should be.
You are the salt of the earth do not lose your flavour
You are the salt of the earth. This would encourage and support them under their sufferings, that, though they should be treated with contempt, yet they should really be blessings to the world.
It was a discouragement to them that they were so few and so weak. What could they do in so large a province as the whole earth? But one handful of that salt would diffuse its flavour far and wide; would go a great way, and work irresistibly as leaven does, (Matt. 13:33 He told them another parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and worked into three measures of flour until all of it was leavened). The doctrine of the gospel is as salt; it is penetrating, quick, and powerful (Heb. 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]). It reaches the heart (Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart [with remorse and anxiety], and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what are we to do?”). It is cleansing, it is relishing, and preserves from putrefaction.
The aroma of the knowledge of Christ
We read of the aroma of the knowledge of Christ (2 Cor. 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us spreads and makes evident everywhere the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him); for all other knowledge is insipid without that. An everlasting covenant is called a covenant of salt (Num. 18:19 [that cannot be dissolved or violated]); and the gospel is an everlasting gospel. Now Christ’s disciples having themselves learned the principles of the gospel, and employed to teach it to others, as salt.
If they be as they should be they are as good salt, white, and small, and broken into many grains, but very useful and necessary. Pliny says, Sine sale, vita humana non potest degere—”Without salt human life cannot be sustained”. Firstly in themselves they are seasoned with the salt of grace. Their thoughts and affections, words and actions, all seasoned with grace, (Col. 4:6 Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you]). They, like we, must have salt in ourselves in order to diffuse it among others.
Blessings to the world
What they are to be to others. They must not serve any secular interest of their own, but that they might transform others into the taste and relish of the gospel. What great blessings they are to the world. Mankind, lying in obliviousness and wickedness, are a vast heap of unsavouriness. But Christ sends forth His disciples, by their lives and doctrines, to season it with knowledge and grace, and so to render it acceptable to God. They must not be laid in a heap but must be scattered as salt upon the earth.
However if that salt that has lost its flavour. If those, who should season others, are void of spiritual life and vigour. Then his condition is very sad for there is no remedy for unsavoury salt. Christianity will give man a pleasure but if that man continues in the profession of it, and yet remains flat, foolish, graceless and insipid, no other means can be applied, to make him savoury. He is unprofitable and good for nothing. As a man is without reason, so is a Christian without grace.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
Salt of the Earth Lord, we bless You And thank You for this hour, For Your beautiful Keeping power. Yes! “kept by the power of God” Is a promise in Your control. It’s an assurance that holds Joy for the believing soul. That keeping means security. Safety is wonderful. There is too The keeping that implies freshness and purity The being ‘kept by You’ ever new. There is the keeping that I ensure To those of whom are as the salt of the earth; Those who march on triumphantly In the joy of My new birth. But if the salt loses its flavour How can it be made salty again? It can only be thrown out And trampled on by men. Only in very close contact with Me is the keeping power realised. Only in the joy of My rest Can the salt be maintained At its freshest and at its best. By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)
Prayer: Father, forgive me where I have lost my lustre. I ask that You refresh me once more that I go and be the salt of this earth and bring many home to You. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.