You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its salty taste, it cannot be made salty again. It is good for nothing. It must be thrown out for people to walk on.
Some foods stand the test of time well. Salt is one of them. Can salt go bad? The answer is both yes and no. Natural salts without any additives can never go bad. After all, salts have been around for thousands of years, and they were used for food preservation in ancient times. That means salt can actually prevent bacterial and microbial growth in meat and other foods. Foods spoil only when bacterial, fungal, and microbial growth take place.
That was for the ‘no’ answer. What about the ‘yes’ part?
If salt goes bad, how can salt lose its saltiness? Although natural salts can never spoil, table salts with additives can lose their flavor and texture over time. Refined table salts contain iodine to enhance flavor and health properties and anti-caking agents that protect it from clumping.
What would qualify as an ‘additive’ in the spiritual sense?
Inspiration and Intrigue
This verse in Matthew was first spoken by Jesus, long before the periodic table of elements had been developed. The disciples understood what Jesus said, based on their own experience and knowledge. We, however are able to gain deeper meaning from his words, based on the extra 2000 years of scientific study we have at our disposal.
Thus, because creation and science go hand in hand, we look at Jesus’ words from a scientific perspective. His feet walked the paths of ancient Palestine, but His knowledge of biology and chemistry was far more advanced than any of the most brilliant scientists known to us today. He was present when the minerals were hidden under rocks. He stood at His Father’s side when the salty ocean waters were gathered together; held in place by sandy shores.
Therefore, he understood much more about the chemical make-up of Sodium Chloride than the first century believers, but he used it as an object lesson which would inspire them and mystify future generations.
Salt, the Multi-Purpose Mineral
As a Seasoning
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (New International Version)
Your speech should always be gracious and sprinkled with insight so that you may know how to respond to every person. (Common English Bible)
Beginning with the most common use of salt, we examined the basic facts. As a seasoning, it just makes things taste better. It enhances flavors in different, yet distinctive ways. Salt magnifies the unique essence of food. Adding salt to something bland makes it more interesting and enjoyable. Shaking a little salt on certain fruits, such as watermelon, deepens the flavor, while putting it on sour fruits, such as grapefruit or tart apples, causes them to taste sweet.
Salt is quite versatile when it comes to creating tasteful results. It’s not very good by itself, but when it is blended with other flavors, there is a noticeable improvement.
Jesus has called us the salt of the earth. From a food perspective, this means we are the subtle influence which brings out the best in people, groups, or organizations. We are called to enhance, but never overpower.
To Promote Healing
Salt can aid in the healing process for sinus infections and dental procedures when a small amount is dissolved in water. However, salt is never to be used full strength on an open wound.
The water of the word, warm and clear, infused with a dash of salt disinfects, soothes, and restores balance.
To Promote Buoyancy
Why can people float in Great Salt Lake?
There are around 4.5 billion tons of salt in the lake. This gives the water a density that is approximately ten times more than a normal ocean. This density is higher than the mass of a standard human so you become buoyant.
Based on this information, what are we as believers called to do for those around us?
As a Preservative
How does salt preserve food?
Picture what happens when you sprinkle salt on a sliced cucumber; within a few minutes, the salt is dissolved in a pool of cucumber juice. That’s because water flows through food cell walls towards greater concentrations of dissolved particles, proteins, and pigments. When you rub salt on a vegetable or meat, it dissolves in the food’s exterior moisture, creating a concentrated solution that draws more water from the interior to the surface.
This process illustrates salt’s role in preserving meat for jerky, ham, or hard-cured salami. The salted meat is placed in circulating air, which evaporates emerging water so the meat dries out. Because microorganisms need moisture to survive, drying meat makes it inhospitable to molds and bacteria, thereby lengthening the storage life of some sausages and hams for months.
If we are the Salt of the Earth, what are we called to preserve?