“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:13, KJV).
I have been so challenged as I have taken a deeper look at this passage. What did Jesus mean when He made the simple statement “Ye are the salt of the earth”?
First, salt is a preservative. In the Bible it is always used as a picture of something enduring. The Israelites had something that they referred to as a “covenant of salt” (Lev. 2:13; Num. 18:19; 2 Chron. 13:5). A salt covenant was one that was intended to last forever! Used properly, good salt makes things last.
I believe salt is an opposite of leaven in the Bible. Leaven typifies sin while salt typifies the preservation of something good. Some of the Old Testament offerings included salt, whereas leaven had to be purged out of their homes regularly.
So how does that apply to us? How should this look in our lives?
Let’s look at an Old Testament example of salt in 2 Kings 2:19-22:
“And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren. And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake” (KJV).
This story helps me understand the implications of Jesus’ statement, “ye are the salt of the earth.”
Elisha takes the salt, throws it into the water and the water is healed. So we see first of all a picture of salt as more than a preservative. We see it brings healing.
Salt is hypertonic and will kill bacteria and other organisms by drawing the water out of them. This is how it cures meat and acts as a healing agent.
We as individual believers are to be the agents of healing that make it possible for our churches to thrive. This will ultimately preserve the church.
Note also where Elisha throws the salt. He throws it into the spring of the waters, into the part from where the whole stream comes. Why? I believe it is an illustration for us. We are to go to the heart of issues as we seek to be agents of healing. We don’t ask people to look fixed on the outside; we are to bring healing to the heart issues.
The nature of this healing will be permanent. The Lord said, “I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.” Spiritual death and barrenness will flee.
It is also interesting to me that a cruse full of salt permanently cured a stream. Had it not been for an act of God—a miracle—the salt’s effect would soon have been overcome and the water would have returned to an unusable state.
While functioning as healing agents in our churches that bring permanent healing to the heart issues, we can rest knowing that healing does not come from us. Ultimately, healing is an act of God, a miracle that only the King of the Universe can bring about.
The preservation of healthy churches is nothing short of an act of God.
Today I challenge you to be salt that is salty. Bring healing into your spheres of influence. Preserve the good, and let the very life be sucked out of any enmity and fighting. Allow God to speak healing through you to people’s heart issues. May all death and barrenness in our churches die! “Ye are the salt of the earth!”