Jesus calls the believer “sheep”, “light”, a “city” and in Matthew 5, “salt”. Salt has healing properties, cleaning out the wound that it is applied to. It also adds flavor to that which is bland, giving it a good taste. Jesus calls this usage of salt, “savour”. Without the “savour” or the flavoring, Jesus says that the salt is “good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men”.
Jesus is not threatening to cast out His people, for we know that if any man comes to Jesus he, “will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). He is, however, saying that the believer that has no flavoring is of no use to the world. His descriptions of us are in context of how much we affect the world. In verse 14, we are the light, “of the world”. In verse 15 we are a candlestick that “gives light unto all that are in the house”. In verse 16 we are to let our light shine in a way so that the world may glorify God. All of these descriptions are told to show how we are to make a difference to those around us.
One of the chief characteristics of flavorful salt is the effect that it has on those who consume it. When you eat something salty, you need something to drink in order to remove the taste from your mouth. The saltier that a food is, the more that your body demands something to drink. If believers are to be salt with lots of savour, then we are to be a great force in the lives of those whom we meet.
Our passion for life, our joy during adversity and our love against all odds should make the world around us thirsty for a taste of what we have. Believers should live in such a way that it makes sinners want to be near them, for their infectious spirit. Too often, many Christians look so sour and miserable that people of the world would not only never want to live like them, they don’t even want to be around them. Some Christians think that this is holy and a sign that they are doing something right, but Jesus basically says, “If you aren’t making a sinner thirsty once in a while, what good are you?”
Perhaps many believers feel that they are being trampled under the foot of men because they really are. If you are not causing them to want the Jesus that you have then you are probably turning them off to the Jesus that you have. Their attacks will come quick and steady and much of our Christianity then gets reduced to “attack and defend”. We go after all of those who sin and rebel and who we disagree with doctrinally, and then we hedge up our spiritual defenses and fast and pray all of the “demons of opposition” away.
Believer, you have the greatest gift inside of you that the world could ever want. Let the Jesus of the Bible show up in your every word and deed. Minister grace to the ears of your co-workers. Let your family see Christ’s love and mercy in action. You will marvel as you see those around you turn interested in this same Jesus, and when they find themselves thirsty, give them the water of life freely.
Go be salty, saint!