“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. (Matthew 5:13)
After the Beatitudes, the next words of Christ define the role of his followers in the world. We are the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and a city on a hill. In this first word, Jesus is referring to salt that was used as fertilizer to enable plants to retain water and produce more fruit. The fruit represents righteousness, which is the favor of God. If our lives produce righteousness, God is honored and then uses us to bring blessing to others. Conversely, if we neglect our faith, we will lose our usefulness to God and risk being discarded.
Here then is a pattern of Jesus’ teaching. He will lay out the blessing but also be honest about the consequences of our failure to put his teachings into practice. We cannot have one without the other. But at least Jesus is honest with us and will not hide either the blessing or the consequence, the reward or the punishment. We should thank him for that.
Lord, let my life be fruitful for you. Let me not become negligent in matters of faith but diligent to put your teachings into practice. Let me be like the salt of the earth that retains its saltiness and is useful to bring about the fruit of righteousness.