Bible Study Passage:
- Salt was used for seasoning and preserving food. (as today)
- Salt was found in great abundance on the shore of the dead sea.
- Salt was used as an antiseptic in medicine. (Ezekiel 16:4)
- Salt was used in the offerings of all kinds. Lev 2:13: “Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings. Add Salt to all your offerings.” Every sacrifice was offered with salt as a symbol of preservation. Salt in this context symbolizes external preservation. Numbers 18:19: “It has an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.”
- Sometimes captured city were sowed with Salt to insure utter desolation of the place. (Judge 9:45)
- Covenant of Salt: In Palestine and surrounding countries, salt was used to make covenants. To eat of a person’s salt is regarded as a token of amity and loyalty, and brings one under his protection. The covenant of salt picturizes the everlasting friendship between God and his people.
- NT, salt is used to describe wholesome character and speech. Col 4:6 “Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with Salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Jesus’ use of Salt in Parables
Jesus uses the parable of salt three times in the Gospels. In Matthew, it follows after the beatitudes. In Mark 9:42-50, It follows after the teaching to remove anything that causes you to sin. In Luke 14: 25-34, It follows after the teaching of the cost of discipleship.
Salt of the Earth
Matthew 5:13 – “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 by men.”
There can be many possible implications of “loosing the saltiness”. It can be implied for “falling away from faith”. Jesus in his very early ministry, clearly mentioned the cost of following him. He was not to be taken lightly. He reminded his followers that you can be the “salt of the earth” or the “covenant that God made with men.” But if you lose the very essence of salt, then there is nothing that can be done. There is no middle ground here. Something that appears to be salt but lack the very nature of salt is a useless thing. It is no longer good for anything. In the same way, someone who appears to be the follower of Christ but lacks or looses the very nature and essence of Christ is good for nothing.
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