Written by Daniel Chun
I can guarantee that in every household there is salt in your kitchen cabinet. And if you don’t, then it’s definitely on your next grocery list.
Salt is such an important condiment in our daily lives. Especially if you cook, you probably use salt all the time. But how much do you know about this essential condiment?
I was watching a cooking video (you’ll learn that cooking intrigues me) about salt. And I was intrigued by how there are so many different types of salt out there. Examples being sea salt, pink salt, mountain salt, etc." And on top of that, the coarse size of the salt you use matters too. (Ex. Coarse vs. Flaky vs. Powder)
But despite the variety and complexity, we know that the purpose of this essential condiment is to season and give food flavor.
I talk about salt today because, have you ever wondered why Jesus in the book of Matthew (Chapter 5, verse 13) says these famous words:
“Be the salt of the earth.”
Out of all the things we are figuratively called to be, why does Jesus call us to be “salt”? I feel like we have to question, what is so special about salt that Jesus would tell us to be salt?
And so through my limited research, I came upon two purposes of salt that shows us that it’s more meaningful than we may have presumed.
1. "Salt seasons food" - Be like salt that makes the world taste better.
Culinary teaches us that salt is the key condiment that seasons a dish to have flavor. You don’t need to be a cook to know when a dish is lacking salt or has too much salt. And 9 out of 10 times, getting the seasoning right is what makes or breaks the dish. (Go back and remember all those times your mom or dad would ask you to taste their dish to see if the seasoning is right)
When Jesus tells us to be salt, I think Jesus figuratively tells us, season this earth so that this world has flavor. In other words, if this world is like a dish, be people who makes this world a better place to live.
And what makes that unique (I think Jesus is a genius), is that if we do our part in seasoning this world, people will know. People will know, just like how we know if a dish has salt or not, that it’s because of Jesus who works through us, that is making this world a better place. Imagine, all the people coming to Christ because they see how we make this world a better place?
2. "Salt preserves" - Be like salt that preserves the world
In the 1900’s we were blessed with the invention of refrigerators. The 1900’s began a new era of food preservation which also meant the decline of old methods. One method of meat preservation that declined was “curing”. Curing is the process of using salt to suck out all the moisture out a certain meat and exponentially delaying its decay. A famous meat that goes through this “curing” process is bacon. (No wonder, bacon is so salty right?) Bacon, which is pork, you’ll notice has a long life span compared to its other pork counterparts. Salt has power to make things last longer. And back in Jesus’ time when there was no refrigeration yet, curing was a more than common practice. So actually, from the audience’s perspective, the salt analogy is actually very relevant.
Jesus, figuratively calls us to preserve this earth. Do everything in this world to prolong the life of this earth. Again in the same theme of "make this world a better place".
Who would’ve thought that something as simple as salt would have such great meaning? So, the next time you open your kitchen cabinet and take out salt, be reminded of how we ought to be like salt. A call to make this world taste better while also preserving it.