Spend a few moments soaking in the thought of what Jesus’ imagery of salt in Matthew 5 might have meant.
Today, salt is an everyday mineral found in every kitchen and restaurant. But when Jesus spoke these words, salt was a precious commodity. It was rare and had many uses, three of which we will look at today. Salt enhances the flavors of paired ingredients, it is a natural antiseptic, and it preserves meats, preventing decay before refrigeration.
Salt enhances the flavors of the ingredients with which it’s paired. My daughters love any cooking show on Food Network, especially ones with kids. We once heard a chef, guiding a young inspirational cook to use more salt, explain, “Salt makes things taste more like themselves.” When Jesus calls us salt, he’s calling us to enhance the flavors that exist around us, or as Eugene Peterson puts it in The Message, “You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?”
Salt can be used as a healing salve on wounds. It’s a natural antiseptic and it helps in cleaning and sterilizing open sores. We can use our saltiness to be the hands and feet of Jesus, bringing healing to the hurting hearts around us.
Salt is also used preservative. It prevents decay and rotting. As the salt of the earth we can preserve the God flavors of the earth, letting our love and light point people back to Jesus, preventing the decay and degradation of society.
When we’re living our saltiest lives, we make people more like themselves by showing them Jesus. Because we know when we are near Jesus, we become more like who He created us to be, more like ourselves. Our natural, created flavors are enhanced and they point back to Him. Our loving saltiness has the potential to heal those around us. When we live our saltiest lives we carry the grace and love and light of Jesus, out shining any darkness.
Sit with the thought that Jesus chose a valuable and precious commodity to exemplify who and what we are to this world. What does being salt mean for you?
By Heather Neroy (Holy Yoga Instructor)