The Foolish and Tasteless Salt

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should become-tasteless (mórainó, to be foolish in Greek), with what will it be salted? It no longer has strength for anything except, having been thrown outside, to be trampled-underfoot by people" (Matthew 5:13, DLNT).

When Paul quotes the law in the passage that says, "You shall not muzzle a threshing ox.” He reasons this way: "God is not concerned about the oxen, is He? Or is He surely speaking for our sake? Indeed it was written for our sake" (1 Corinthians 9:9-10).

I think this passage from Matthew is very similar to one mentioned above. The Lord uses various similes, taken from daily life, to clarify hidden spiritual facts. Here, the Lord uses the salt that is used every day at every table in the world.

As we observe the meaning that words have in the original Greek, we see that they are referred, not to salt but to the people whom salt is representing, that is to say to believers. Therefore, although it is not proper to say of salt that it becomes foolish, it is perfectly applicable to believers. Similarly, although the expression "it no longer has strength for anything" can be applied relatively to salt, it has greater application to believers. If we unite these two very significant expressions, we have believers who when they become foolish have no strength at all.

The foolishness of believers consists of losing their flavor. And to lose their flavor is to assimilate to the world, to become vain, to lose what makes them different. Salt is used to season but above all to preserve. Foolish believers cannot stop the corruption in the world. They do not have the strength to withstand the waves of filth that it casts at them; then they no longer serve as salt, they have become denatured.

The clearest sign that a believer has become foolish is the lack of power; it is the weakening, not of the soul (which would be good), but the weakening of the spirit (which is tremendously bad).

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