God’s Salty Soldier.
Standing on the Mount of Beatitudes, Jesus had just finished His Sermon on the Mount where He preached eight concise statements of the faith: Blessed are the poor, mourning, meek, hungering and thirsting, merciful, pure, peacemakers, and the persecuted. Then, Jesus said something a little odd and has been discussed by theologians and scholars since, He said, “You are the salt of the earth” (Mt. 5:13a, ESV). Over the next six days, we will discuss aspects of this powerful statement as we look at the purpose of salt, the power in salt, and the problem of salt.
Before we dig into what salt does, let’s unpack the first word Jesus used in His declaration, “You,” which is both emphatic and plural. What do I mean by emphatic? Jesus is putting emphasis on this word to highlight and elevate it more than the others. So, what He is saying is that being the salt is not a choice you have. When you surrender to the cross and become a follower of Jesus Christ, you ARE the salt. The Christian, the true believer, does not just “do” or “give out” love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. When one surrenders to Christ and is named a Child of the King, they BECOME love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness! Don’t miss this. “You are the salt of the earth,” not you can be or should be but ARE. It is not something you do, something you give, or something you show; it is who you are, who you have been transformed to BE the salt.
And, this word is plural. If Jesus preached this in the south, He would say, “Y’all are the salt!” It is plural, meaning when we come together in unity can we accomplish the seemingly impossible task of changing the world. We can’t do this on our own any more than a grain of salt applied to a 50-gallon drum of water can be tasted. This text alone shatters the concept that a Christian does not need the church but can somehow manage through this life alone; staying at home, watching a television evangelist, and live a victorious, Christ-honoring life. Oh, friend, the word “you” is plural because Jesus designed us to need each other.
As a society, we have become quite proficient in the art of classification, lumping individuals and groups into rooms built with bricks of our preconceived notions and walls of our biases. We tend to gravitate to those as much “like” us as possible and distance ourselves from those we find less commonality. If you look to your neighbor or co-worker, and after evaluation, determine there is nothing they can offer you, you have missed the mark. We must get beyond the superficial, breakthrough our biased, judgmental walls, and get to know them so that we can love them and get to the point where we submit to needing them (Prov. 27:17). Until this happens, you will never realize your full gospel potential.
Lastly, what was salt to the folks in Jesus’ day? It was precious. In fact, in certain times and instances, Roman soldiers were paid in salt. They would work, labor, sweat, bleed, and even fight to risk their very lives and then be paid their wages in salt. It was that precious; even traded for gold-ounce for ounce-during certain times in history. We get our English word salary from the Latin word for salt. What does this mean? Jesus is calling us His salt. We are precious to our Father! Don’t you dare buy into the lie of the devil that you are worthless, defined by your past scares, hurts, decisions, and sins. You may be a nobody, Moses was, he spent 40 years in Egypt learning he was a somebody, 40 years on the backside of the wilderness believing he was a nobody then the next forty years following a God that showed him He could use that nobody. You may be a nobody but consider this: God specializes in taking a nobody, making them a somebody to show everybody that He can do THAT with anybody! You are precious in the eyes of God. You are His Salty Soldier!
Scripture: “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” -Matthew 5:13-14, ESV
Question: Have you ever considered your value in the eyes of God?
Prayer: Father, please remind me that I am precious in your sight; created for a purpose. Please help me be open to your Word and that over the next few days, may you reveal to me what your purpose is for my life. Thank you for considering me precious, and may your opinion of me encourage me to live my best for you today. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.