“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50 NIV)
I love salt!
I know it is probably bad for me, but I eat salt on everything. It goes on my vegetables, my meat and in soups and my precious bowl of grits (which is also laced with salt-packed butter).
I find it in my sodas, and my junk food. And if you give me some nutritious fruit…you guessed it…I start pouring on the salt (especially apples).
When I was a kid, I visited my great-grandmother in Tuscan, Arizona. Her mother used to water Chief Cochise’s horse when he cruised through her farm to the south. We went to a little store in the desert and bought a bag of “saladitos.” I think they were plums cured in salt. Field workers sucked on them to stay hydrated. I sucked them like candy…all of them.
I love salt!
So it makes me sad to think that salt can lose its saltiness. I have heard salt (like table salt) is a very stable substance, and that it doesn’t lose its saltiness easily: unless it is diluted with something like water. Diluted salt would certainly be something people in Jesus’ day would have known about.
In our context, Jesus had been discussing sinful behaviors and how they put us in eternal danger. Then he described hell as the place where the “worm never dies” and the “fire is never quenched.” Finally, He said, “Everyone will be salted with fire.”
Then, I believe, to protect the integrity of the subject of salt, He said “Salt is good – only thing is if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” Once salty properties are washed out by water, it is useless.
And the specific role of salt Jesus addresses in our passage is its “peacemaking” power. People who are filled with peace salt their relationships with the love of Christ and everyone who meets them experience a taste of the cure.
Wouldn’t it be great if people who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior craved their connections with believers as much as I crave salt? If a neighbor said, “I don’t know where to turn, but I know John is a Christian…I’ll call him.” If a co-worker said, “Life must mean more than this. Susan worships at that church down the street. Maybe she can help me.” If a good friend said, “I don’t expect Mark to forgive me. But he really seems to be sincere in his faith, so it is worth a shot.”
I would rather attract people than make them spit me out of their lives like washed out salt. I want to be a “saladito” for Jesus!
Pass the chips.
Dear God, make me salty. In Jesus’ name, Amen.