"...Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another." (Mark 9:50b)
At the heavenly banquet, the wedding feast of the Lamb of God, we may still hear something like,
"Hey Peter, would you please pass the salt?"
Salt has persevered as a seasoning and as a preservative down through the ages. While sharing meals with friends, guests or loved ones, innumerable conversations have taken place around the salt containers on our tables. The ancients valued it as a flavoring and for its preserving properties and it is still used today for the same purposes. (Job 6:6)
The ratification of a "Salt Covenant" in the Old Testament denotes the preserving or "enduring" nature of the covenant. A friendship would be strengthened and promised to be honored, or a pact was joined and sealed by sharing salted food between two parties, signifying an enduring agreement. King David received his kingdom by way of a covenant of salt. (2 Chronicles 13:5) We know Christ to be the Root and Offspring of David, and He shall reign on David's throne as a perpetual Monarch. The Davidian Kingdom is an eternal or "enduring" dynasty.
Salt has been used as currency in various parts of the world, and it holds medicinal properties. We get our English word, salary from the French "Salarie", descended from the Latin "Salarium". Soldiers would receive a salt allowance or salarie, which was like a stipend to purchase salt. Sometimes they were paid in salt itself.
It is easy to see Jesus' meaning in Mark 10:50. Speaking of the qualities and benefits of this crystaline substance, He says we are to have salt in us. This is not a reference to the saline levels in our blood. Rather, we are the ambassadors of truth to a dark and sin cursed world. Through the body of Christ (the true church), the Holy Spirit preserves and disperses truth. The Gospel message of light, love and truth, is perpetuated through men and women who are joined to Christ. It is a huge responsibility.
Preaching and teaching the good news of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is having salt in us. Witnessing, and loving a person with Jesus' mighty love is "passing the salt" that is in us. It is our love for one another, along with the productive nature of our unity in Christ that is the saltiness of which our Lord speaks. We accomplish much more by being united in peace. When Christians come together to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, erect an orphanage, or teach a class, we are being salty and passing the salt.
Whether we are called to build a church or mission, or just to share the love of Jesus at the supermarket, we are being productive or salty. "Have salt in you" is yet another way to say,
"Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)" And, "...Love your neighbor as you love yourself". (Matthew 19:19) And, "...Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel..." (Mark 16:15)
The preserving and flavor enhancing attributes of salt are beautiful to behold in God's children, and well pleasing to the Lord.
Heavenly Father, may we all be encouraged today to pass the salt on to the next generation, flavoring the world with your goodness, Amen.
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