Salt is used as a preservative, as a seasoning, and was highly valuable in the ancient world- it was even used as currency for trade. Jesus encouraged us to be the “salt of the earth.” But what does this look like?
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”- Mark 9:50
“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
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”- James 3:9-12
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:5-6
As salt stops corruption and preserves the integrity of food, so followers of Christ in preserving the Word of Truth strive toward lessing the corruption of the world.
Having salt in one’s speech was termed by the Greeks as attic salt, or “having refined, delicate wit.” The apostle Paul was surely familiar with this as evidenced by some his instruction: “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but only what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).
Tidbits on Salt
The word salary is derived from the Latin word salārium which was the salt ration given as payment to Roman soldiers.
Mary Magdalene was from the city of Magdala which was known for its salt trade.
The Chinese were pioneers in salt production; they would sink deep bamboo shafts into the ground to extract brine and boil it, leaving behind salt crystals… nearly 4,000 years ago!
Salt that has been exposed to the sun or rain, or has been cast upon the ground, will lose its flavor and preserving quality.
The exchange of salt for slaves in ancient Greece gave rise to the expression, “not worth his salt.” This could bring fresh insight concerning one being worth their salt as a slave of righteousness, “For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise, he who is called while free is Christ’s slave” (Rom. 6:18; 1 Cor. 7:22).