Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth” Guest Post by Ben Pocock
When I read the Bible, I sometimes breeze over certain passages. I skim read them if I feel I know what they are saying, and ‘get the jist’ of what they are all about. However, the Bible is so rich in content that if we ignore the temptation to breeze or skim through the passage(s), God can speak so clearly in fresh ways through a verse we have seen many times before.
This happened to me recently when I read Matthew 5, the Sermon on the Mount. I read Jesus’ messages he shared to his disciples. As I read verse 13 again, I was reminded that as followers of Christ we are called ‘the salt of the Earth’. God began to remind and refresh me with some key truths about this.
Salt is a preserving agent. It keeps food fresh, preventing decay and rot. Also, salt is used to bring the flavour out of the food. So what is Jesus telling us to do? Well, in essence, he’s not telling us what to do. He’s telling us who we are. He doesn’t say ‘go and do saltiness’, he doesn’t tell us to ‘go and spread salt around’ (another ‘doing’ question), but instead he tells the disciples (and therefore you as a follower of him today) that ‘you are the salt of the Earth’. This is who we are.
God is far more concerned about who you are rather than what you do. But ‘being’, requires a level of involvement from you. You are needed. You!
When Jesus called us ‘the salt of the Earth’, he wasn’t telling us to do anything, rather he was reminding us who we are in the world. Followers of Christ; culture shapers; new creations in Christ who are being continuously changed into his likeness. We are people who can bring a shift in atmospheres, in decision making, in attitudes. Ultimately, we act upon our identity, whether given by ourselves, or given by others.
As salt, we are called to be amongst others, bringing life, preserving the lives around us, being a healthy influence to the world around us and the individuals we come into contact with. Helping, loving and guiding people down healthy paths. Salt is no use to anyone if it simply sits on a dining table. Just a pinch can change the flavour of a whole meal. And let’s remember, we are not distributing a message that is detached from us. The Gospel and His impact is within us, therefore we are part of the message we are bringing! We are the salt itself, not the distributors.
Let’s be who we have been made to be. The more we embrace our identity in Christ as his beloved children, the more we will naturally be the preserving agents and flavour releasers who Jesus has already named us as.
What impact does salt have on our food? What does this image about salt teach you about who God has created you to be?
How does it make you feel knowing that God has already called you the salt of the Earth?
How can you step into your identity as the salt of the Earth today and in this coming week?
Thanks to Ben Pocock for this guest post.
Ben Pocock is a Site Pastor at Kerith Community Church, leading the Sandhurst congregation since it launched in 2013. In 2010 he launched the Kerith Academy, a yea-long Theology and Leadership development course which he continues to lead today. He lives in Bracknell with his wife Heather, and he enjoys cricket, social media, eating good food and a listening to stories around bonfires. He tweets @Ben_Pocock and blogs at www.benpocock.com.