In this article, you will discover some things about salt that you probably didn’t know… You will also have the question of what’s a salty disciple answered as well.
Oh, by the way, this was originally written as a Sunday school lesson before I published it here.
Salty Disciples – Matthew 5:13 Mark 9:50 Colossians 4:6
The Point: To show us what it looks like to be a true disciple of Jesus
Big Idea: We must learn how to walk in love toward one another that the world will know that we are the Lord’s disciples.
Introduction: Of all of the commandments in the Bible there’s one that trumps them all.
Well, really it’s two commandments. And they are the two that the Lord Jesus told us that on them hang all of the law and prophets. Matthew 22:37-40
I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you what they are… But I will anyway.
They are to Love God with all of our heart, soul, strength and with all our mind. And to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Salt For the World.
If we are going to be the salt of the world as the Lord Jesus wants us to be we need a clear understanding of what it looks like.
Here are the three main criteria traits that we must first possess to be the salt of the world.The following is a must have — if we are going to fulfill anything that God has called us to do.
First Things must be First
To be salt we must first be saved and filled with God’s Spirit that we may be and are led of the Spirit.
We must be a friend of the truth. And to do that, we must first recognize that the truth is a person.
The Truth is Jesus.
We must be worshippers of God.
You see Jesus told us that the true worshippers that our God is seeking must worship him (God) in spirit and in truth.
So, how do we worship God in spirit and in truth?
The answer is to simply do what God tells us to do out of an unfeigned heart. It is to do what he says out of a heart of integrity… truth!
We will only do this if we believe his word is true though.
The word of God is God-breathed or to put it as most of your Bible reads…
All scripture is given by inspiration of God… It has been given to men by the Holy Spirit of God and it is the truth.
I really love the way this truth has been given unto us by the Apostle Peter…
1st Peter 1:20-21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Jesus made it plain when he said… If we love him, we would do what he says John 14:15. So, with that said let’s see what he had to say about salt…
In Matthew 5:13 Jesus spoke these words…
“You are the salt of the earth but if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted. It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men.”
Looking Back at Salt
I want us to have a look back at salt in ancient times and get a better idea why our Lord Jesus cleverly used salt as an analogy
This really sheds light on the scripture text in the Gospel according to Mark 9:50 where the Lord said…
“Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness wherewith will you season it? Have salt in yourselves and have peace one with another.”
You see in the days of Jesus’s earthly ministry the people had no way of refining the salt that they gathered.
This made it hard to tell the difference between the salt and the sand.
I supposed this was because in the area or region that they lived in, the salt and the sand looked very much alike.
Listen, not that I wish to digress here but because salt was something to be traded I can’t help but imagine that people were scammed with sand as well.
Here’s what I mean…
So when they gathered salt from the seashores or where ever they would gather the salt, it was mixed with sand.
Sometimes it was more salt than sand and at times it was more sand than salt.
Therefore that which was more sand than salt, it was good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under the foot of men.
Here’s an excerpt from Salt and Christianity by H.R Malott of the Salt Institute.
“If Jesus were to speak today, He might remind us that we have dulled our sense of moral value with the sand of modern apathy and greed; we have mixed our love with the sands of selfishness and we have cast out the golden rule and trodden it under our feet.”
Surely you know the rule that’s being mentioned?
Yes, it’s the rule that commands us to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you…”
So, Why Salt?
Salt played an important role in ancient society.
I also believe it is needful for us to understand just how important it was to society during the days of the Old Testament and New Testament periods.
Salt was a necessity in the lives the people on earth in ancient times just as it is in our society today.
The Bible presents to us many passages referring to salt and salt is used in various contexts throughout the Bible.
We see salt being widely used in a metaphoric fashion to signify permanence, loyalty, usefulness, value, and as a purifier.
Even today salt is still being widely used as a seasoning, as a preservative and a disinfectant.
But here’s the thing that fascinated me when I was studying and doing my research for this lesson. It’s when I discovered…
Salt For the Ceremony
You may be asking yourself, why does that fascinate me?
I’m glad you asked…
The reason that it fascinates me is that I have done a study on the word salt in a previous lesson before.
I discovered thou this time when reading in the book of Numbers and also in 2nd Chronicles that salt was used in a manner that I was not aware of.
You see salt was used as a ceremonial component to establish a covenant between God and his people.
This was known as…
The Covenant Of Salt
Yep, salt was used for ceremonial purposes as well.
The priest was commanded by God to add salt to every grain offering that was offered unto him. Leviticus 2
When the Covenant of Salt was offered to God it was said to cause the sacrifice to come up unto him as a sweet aroma.
What kind of aroma do you think we are sending up before God?
When the word of God instructs us to present our body’s unto God a living sacrifice do you think there’s a sweet and pleasing aroma rising up or a stench?
The covenant of salt also meant that this was a long-lasting or perpetual covenant of preserving love, friendship, hospitality and the giving of oneself for the benefit of others.
Now, who does that remind you of? Yes, Jesus… The one who paid the ultimate price and made the ultimate sacrifice for an everlasting covenant for whosoever will believe on him.
We have been commissioned by the Lord to go into all the world and make disciples.
However, I believe we get caught up in trying to make disciples of ourselves and not of Jesus.
That’s another lesson for another time, and for now, we will stick to the salt.
Let’s Look at Salt as a Preservative
We find it here in 2nd Chronicles 13:5 Don’t you know that the LORD God of Israel assigned the kingship over Israel to David and his descendants forever by a salt covenant? ISV
Jesus is the fulfillment of this covenant. In other words, the covenant of salt that God made between Himself and David is preserved in Christ our Lord.
In ancient times covenants were generally confirmed by sacrificial meals and salt was always present. Since, too, salt is a preservative, it would easily become symbolic of an enduring covenant.
So offerings to GOD were to be by a statute forever, “a covenant of salt forever before GOD” (Numbers 18:19).
Again I say this is how David received his kingdom forever from GOD by a “covenant of salt”.
How Does That Look for Us Today as Salty Disciples?
Now that I’ve had a closer look at salt as a preservative I see it in a different light than before.
You see when the Lord Jesus told us to have salt in us… He was telling us to be keepers of this gospel of love and peace.
The Lord was and is telling us to hold fast to the word of God and share it with our generation and the generations to come.
As salty disciples of the Lord Jesus, our lifestyle has to be so that they are an expression of him living his life through us.
Salt Establishes Friendships and Proves Hospitality
In days of old, it became an easy step to the very close connection between salt and covenant-making. When men ate together they became friends.
I’m afraid we don’t look at food or salt in the same way, these days… ,
Let’s compare the Arabic expression, “There is salt between us”; “He has eaten of my salt,” which means partaking of hospitality which cemented friendship; compare “eat the salt of the palace.” This means to be honored and provided for by the king.
Listen there is no way that I or anyone else can fully do justice to the analogy of salt that Jesus is using… Not in one article or Sunday school lesson.
So, what I want to do here as I conclude this lesson for this time is to leave you with some practical ways that the Bible teaches us how to be salty disciples of Christ.
It’s All About The Fruit
When I say fruit, I mean the fruit of The Spirit and the fruit known as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and temperance.
The word of God goes on to tell us that against these nine attributes of Holy Spirit energized living there are no injunctions or no law against such living.
What I wish to do in this brief time that we have remaining is to take each of these attributes and put them alongside a verse that we can put into action.
I actually wanted to put one of the 59 “ One another” commands that we find in the New Testament alongside each of them.
Yet those that don’t have a verse that specifically says “one another” you will still find that the Holy Spirit gave us something encourage one another with.
Here’s another tidbit about the “one another” verses found in the Bible
The phrase is used 100 times and 94 of them are found in New Testament verses.
47 Of the “one another verses” are given as instructions to the followers of Christ.
The apostle Paul wrote 60% of the ‘one another commands in the New Testament.
I’ll Take some Salt with That Fruit Please
Love – Through love, serve one another. Gal. 5:13
Joy – These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11
Peace – Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another. Mark 9:50
Longsuffering – With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. Eph.4:2
Gentleness – With all gentle and quiet behavior, taking whatever comes, putting up with one another in love. Also from Eph.4:2 BBE
See also 2Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.
Goodness – See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 1Th.5:15
Faithfulness – And the things that thou hast heard among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 2Timothy 2:2
Meekness – Yea all of you be subject one to another and be clothed with humility. 1Peter 5:5
As we Conclude
… we approach temperance or as it’s better understood as self-control. The word temperance is only found in your Bible a few times.
Yet the admonition to be self-controlled is sprinkled throughout the Old and New Testament of God’s word.
So, I asked you what better way is there to end this lesson than with the words of the apostle Peter on the fruit of the spirit?
Temperance – Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things are in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
That’s all I have for now and I hope you gleaned a lot from this.