Based on Matthew 5:13
MEMORY TEXT: “Ye are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted” (Matthew 5:13)
Salt was a very valuable commodity in the ancient world. So valuable, in fact, that the Roman Legions were often paid their wages in salt. This payment was called the "salarium," the word from which we get salary. How would you like to be paid for your work with a box of salt?
Jesus spoke of salt losing its savor. What did He mean by that? In the days of Christ, it was possible for salt to lose its savor. The salt then was far different from the salt of today. Today’s salt is a chemical compound called chloride of sodium, or sodium chloride. The salt used in the ancient world was either mined from the salt cliffs along the Dead Sea, which were seven miles long and several hundred feet high, or it was evaporated from the waters of the Dead Sea. Either way, it was usually mixed with other mineral or vegetable matter. When this substance was exposed to the elements or when it touched the earth, the salt lost its salty taste. Even the surface salt that was dug from the cliffs could not be kept for long, because exposure to the light rendered it tasteless.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus compared His followers to salt? Why didn't Jesus say:
- Ye are the sugar of the earth? Wouldn't that be better?
- Ye are the honey of the earth?
- Ye are the rice of the earth?
In this spiritual illustration, for us to be compared with salt is better than being compared with rice, because it is salt that gives flavoring to the rice. You may prefer to think of yourself as rice rather than salt, but Jesus said we are salt. In other words, the world will be better or worse because of you!
Salt is also a preservative. Before the days of refrigeration, some foods were dried and preserved with salt. When Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth, He means that His people are to preserve the truth. Not only that, but our influence is to bring a special flavor to those around us.
Today we as His salt have a special work to do in your homes, with our relatives, friends and our neighbors. We are to make a positive difference to everyone.