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. (Matthew 5:13)
Pastor John’s Notes:
After offering specific blessings in the beatitudes, Jesus began to declare the role his disciples would assume in the world. In calling his disciples the “salt of the earth,” Jesus is referring to salt that was commonly used in agriculture which enabled a plant to absorb nutrients and increased the plant’s yield. But if the salt had lost its potency, it was useless and therefore discarded. In the same way, a believer’s potency is found in his or her righteousness. But if we do not pursue righteousness, we become useless to the kingdom of God.
The disciples of Jesus were common people. Their simple lives of faith were in contrast to the religious puffery of the Pharisees and teachers of the law who excelled in the external appearances of holiness but inside were full of greed and self-interest. Jesus often condemned their hypocrisy. Their years of training did nothing to help them. The righteousness Jesus came to offer is accessible to anyone, with or without religious training or a religious background. All that is needed is to acknowledge the authority of Christ and a sincere desire follow his teachings.
Lord, help me to grow in the kind of righteousness you desire, not the false righteousness of religious pretension, but a common and simple faith expressed in acts of humility before God and kindness toward others. Let the way that I live have a meaningful and beneficial effect on the people around me.