Read Matthew 5:13. When Jesus declared to the gathered crowds, "You are the salt of the earth," it was a shocking statement. He was telling His followers—common people like fishermen and day laborers—that they were of supreme value. You see, Jesus had just finished delivering the beatitudes—eight steps to spiritual blessing (see Matthew 5:3-12). And so, when he started talking about salt, He was talking about people who embodied the beatitudes.
We desperately need men and women who will go out and be salt in every sphere of society.
Though the world could not see it, these people were incredibly valuable. Their greatest asset was their spiritual bankruptcy. Their greatest passion was mourning over their sin. Their greatest accomplishment was their meekness. Their best response to evil was to be merciful and make peace. Their appetite was for righteousness. Their greatest weapon was to come clean with God on a regular basis and remain pure in heart. Their greatest privilege was to be insulted for Jesus' sake. Those who were living out the beatitudes had discovered how to appropriate happiness, no matter the situation, so Jesus called them precious—the salt of the earth. In Jesus' day, salt was traded in much the same way that gold was—it was that valuable!
One of the reasons salt was so highly valued in the ancient world is because it could be used as a powerful preservative. Without it, rot and decay would quickly grow and spread, much like what is happening in our culture. Not enough has been done to preserve goodness and Truth. And that is why today we have a culture that's rotting from the inside. We desperately need men and women who will go out and be salt in every sphere of society.
Another powerful property of salt is that it causes thirst. As the salt of the earth, God has placed you where you are to make those around you thirsty for more of Him. When they see your joy, the way you walk in faith when times get tough, and how you celebrate the blessings the Lord has given you, you'll make them thirst for that same kind of joy, peace, and contentment. So they'll reach out to the one thing that will quench their thirst: the Living Water, the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you are following Jesus Christ, then He has an incredible calling on your life. I urge you to take seriously your responsibility to be the salt of the earth. May you therefore add divine flavor wherever you go!
Prayer: Lord, help me to be salt for You. May I draw others to You as I seek to preserve goodness and Truth in the world around me for Your glory. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot" (Matthew 5:13).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Appropriating the Happiness That Is in You: WATCH NOW