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.
The job of salt is to be salty. Kind of makes sense, doesn't it. Now we could get into all of the properties and characteristics of salt if we like. It flavors, it preserves, it melts ice and snow. But we could just sum it up and say, salt has a job to do, and that is to be salt-like. If salt is not salty, if it doesn't do its job, then it is not good for anything. You may as well just poor sand on your food. And for salt that is not doing its job, there is no hope. Assuming that it was salty at one point, if it has lost its saltiness, it will not get it back again.
Nice lesson on salt, right? Obviously not. Jesus was trying to convey a truth here in a way that the disciples might understand. He called them salt. They had a job to do. Salt brings the flavor out in food. His disciples were to salt the world with God. They were to show God to a world that either did not have him or misunderstood him.
Ever eat something with salt? Blah. With salt? Um, just right. Too much salt? Yuk! I'm just saying...
Question: What is the difference between the church and the Rotary Club? Well, if you don't know, maybe your church isn't being salty enough. Maybe it has lost its saltiness. Blah! I think of the social gospel here. Now I am all for reaching the lost, I believe that is a responsibility of the church. But we must do that as a seasoning, and not as a responsibility. If we are salt, we want to reach out, and not just to other parts of the world, but to our own world as well. To our neighbors and co-workers.
And that will not happen without the why. How many sermons have been preached over this text? People leaving the building being told they must be salt. Maybe even being handed out little packets of salt on their way out. But now what?
For salt to be effective, it must be salty. It must function in its fundamental purpose. Salt with saltiness on the right food just naturally does its job. So it should be with Christians. It is not being told to go out and be salt that makes us salty, it is naturally possessing the qualities of salt. It is knowing God, and loving Him because we understand and attach his greatness to everything.
I could put some sand in a salt shaker, but that wouldn't make it salt. I could tell it to do the job of salt, but that would not enable it to do the job of salt. As Christians, our responsibility is not to keep the world free from sin, or ask people to come to church. It is to glorify God in our lives. It is to know God and attach that knowledge to all that we do. It is to honor God when all is well with the world. It is to honor him when all is not well too.
Steak, even prime rib, misses something if not seasoned. So does the church and the Christian. Unless we are salty with God, full of an understanding of what His grace means to us, somethings is seriously missing.