This morning I tossed dried pumpkin seeds in melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and kosher salt, and those seeds are now fragrantly roasting in the oven. I licked the fork I had used in the mixing process, yum! The flavor that stood out the most? Salt.
” ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.’ ” ~ Matthew 5:13
” ‘Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.’ ” ~ Mark 9:50
Salt. It is the most popular seasoning on earth, used for flavoring and preserving our food. But what if the salt loses its flavor? What if it becomes impure? Then it is good for nothing but de-icing the walkways. Wow.
What does that mean for us? “You are the salt of the earth.” “Have salt in yourselves.”
Matthew Henry explains it this way:
“The doctrine of the gospel is as salt; it is penetrating, quick, and powerful (Heb. 4:12); it reaches the heart (Acts 2:37). It is cleansing, it is relishing, and preserves from putrefaction. We read of the savour of the knowledge of Christ (2 Co. 2:14); for all other learning is insipid without that. An everlasting covenant is called a covenant of salt (Num. 18:19); and the gospel is an everlasting gospel. Salt was required in all the sacrifices (Lev. 2:13), in Ezekiel’s mystical temple (Eze. 43:24). Now Christ’s disciples having themselves learned the doctrine of the gospel, and being employed to teach it to others, were as salt. Note, Christians, and especially ministers, are the salt of the earth.”
As a pinch of salt can season an entire bowl of soup, we are to season the world around us with the salt of the Gospel in our lives.
What happens if we lose our saltiness? What happens if the sweet “savour of the knowledge of Christ”, as Henry words it, fades from our lives? As Christians, we are worse than flavorless should we become unsavoury.
Again, more wisdom from Matthew Henry:
“If you, who should season others, are yourselves unsavoury, void of spiritual life, relish, and vigour; if a Christian be so, especially if a minister be so, his condition is very sad; for, (1.) He is irrecoverable: Wherewith shall it be salted? Salt is a remedy for unsavoury meat, but there is no remedy for unsavoury salt. Christianity will give a man a relish; but if a man can take up and continue the profession of it, and yet remain flat and foolish, and graceless and insipid, no other doctrine, no other means, can be applied, to make him savoury. If Christianity do not do it, nothing will. (2.) He is unprofitable: It is thenceforth good for nothing; what use can it be put to, in which it will not do more hurt than good? As a man without reason, so is a Christian without grace. A wicked man is the worst of creatures; a wicked Christian is the worst of men; and a wicked minister is the worst of Christians.”
Oh my goodness, we must take heed of Jesus’ warning! Let us not become unsavoury. When salt is used as de-icer, it serves as a warning to others (watch your step!), is trampled underfoot, ruins all living things around it, and becomes worthless.
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” ~ 2 Corinthians 2:14-15
God, please help us to be a savoury taste and a fragrant aroma leading those around us to the Gospel, and to salvation in Jesus Christ! 🙂