Mark 9:49 “For everyone will be seasoned with fire,and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”
What is it about salt that is so enticing?
I have a co-worker that never ceases to amaze me, I call her the “salt queen”. She does not open a meal without first sprinkling salt on it. Just when you thought she placed too much salt on her food, the shaking begins again. I can’t imagine placing that much salt on a meal, and even though we work in healthcare, I guess she feels the reward is worth the risk.
When Jesus spoke about salt it was in reference to His people. Notice this detail that the seasoning came about through the fire.
Being salt and light in a world that is gripped by the stench of sin while it dwells in darkness is a stark contrast that is bound to cause a commotion.
Luke 11:33-36 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”
Whether Jesus was talking about salt or light, He was quick to point out the importance of purity. If salt loses its saltiness or allowing some form of darkness to reside, both of these are unacceptable in God’s Kingdom. Neither condition allows the saint to be effective. In each case, the effective believer must be completely salt and full of light.
*Salt enhances flavor.
It can take something that is bland and makes it more savory. Within the old ceremonial law, God encouraged the use of salt.
Leviticus 2:13 “And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.“
Ellicott recognized salts historical value;
“From its antiseptic and savoury qualities, salt became the symbol of hospitality, friendship, durability, fidelity. “To eat bread and salt together” is, in the East, an expression for a league of mutual amity.(Russell, Aleppo, i. 232)
Benson also recognized the value of spiritual salt —
“To signify that incorruption of mind, and sincerity of grace, which in Scripture is signified by salt”Benson
Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
The picture God presents for the attributes of people who are made salty can be analogous to : Grace, Purity, Savor, Friendship, and Fidelity.
These qualities are not found inherent within an individual but are given by the Spirit. We cannot be salt or light on our own, we are made so by our affiliation with Jesus.
*Salt is used in healing.
2 Kings 2:21 “Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.”
As we focus on salts spiritual properties, we witness a correlation of salt to the Spirit of God. Wherever God is, there is healing, an enrichment to life, a preservation of His promises, and what was dead becomes life.
The Lord knows how difficult it is for us to understand the magnitude of His nature so He has introduced elements we are familiar with to parallel His relationship in us.
Hunters use it to cure meat. It has also been used in tanning, dyeing and bleaching, and the production of pottery, soap, and chlorine.
After the Lord directed Lot and his family out of Sodom and Gomorrah, God instructed them to not look back, but to continue out of the region: Genesis 19:26 “But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
Not only does God preserve His people, He reserves the wicked as a memorial for the consequences of rejecting His love.
The more we witness the uses for salt, the more we can see a better picture of why God told us to be salt in this world.
When we live by the Spirit, we represent Christ to the world. The purity of faith, the healing through His blood, the preservation of our souls to eternity, the death of our old self in the likeness of Christ’s death, the grace of God, the savor God’s goodness brings to a bland world, and the restoration of our relationship with God are all aspects of the glory God exhibits in us.
*With all that salt represents in us, why was light then characterized as an element we should have emanate in our lives? It seems to me that many of the good aspects we see in salt also shows forth in light…..except maybe one… Light illumines the darkness!
I’ve heard physicists describe darkness as a non-entity. By itself, it means nothing, but it is defined in detail as the absence of light. Without the light, darkness ceases to be.
When I think what this means for the world spiritually, I consider Jesus as a description of the embodiment of light.
John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
What is darkness? As defined: skotía (a feminine noun) – darkness, a brand of moral, spiritual obscurity(i.e. which blocks the light of God when faith is lacking).
In layman terms, it is the condition a person is under when they lack the illumination of the Spirit of God.
The separation of mankind from God, because of sin, creates a condition where they are unable to understand or discern the things of God. The state of spiritual darkness is revealed in a person by the characteristics of the prince of darkness exhibited in their lives.
Galatians 5:19-21 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and sorcery; hatred, discord, jealousy, and rage; rivalries, divisions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
I’ve looked at this list in the past and thought, “good grief, I represent most of these!” It was an eye opening moment when I realized my life needed to make a drastic change. If I want my life to reflect the fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, I have to submit to the work and direction of the Spirit of God in my life.
You know what else is light in God’s world??
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”
If I want to let light shine through my life, I have to not only allow the Spirit of God to manifest in my life, I also have to be enriched with the Word of God.
I need to think according to the Word, speak the Word, live the Word and be obedient to the Word of God in my life. The only way to allow this godliness to be ingrained is to spend time in the Word of God. I want my life to be so enriched with Gods light, that those who walk in darkness will be drawn to Christ in me.
As I examine my life again, I realize I have a long ways to go before I perfect this. I am challenged by the conviction of the Spirit to press on. I am continually falling back into the gracious arms of God’s patience and love as I strive to be better at this.
Remember Jesus’ teaching….”everyone will be seasoned with fire and every sacrifice seasoned with salt”. The fire reveals, if what is revealed is pure then it will be presented before God as good. Every act of a believer must be seasoned with the salt of God’s Spirit, we do nothing on our own but live and act according to His Word in our lives.
I encourage you, if you see yourself falling short of these ideals of Salt and Light, don’t give up. The journey of growing into these attributes is gratifying in knowing God is simply pleased with your effort.
God can always use a willing heart!!