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You're salty


Mark 9:50- 

            “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."

    At the time this was spoken, salt was the most valuable resource on earth next to water. I realize that statement may astound you but please hear me out. For millennia prior to the first advent of Jesus, rulers were conquerors in battle. Meaning that in order to rule, one had to obtain lands and power by military force. However, the vast armies cutting swaths across the land required sustenance or they would fail to be effective- of course. Therefore along with these massive numbers of warriors there was livestock. The armies required protein to maintain life and strength and the only way to consume protein was to take herds of cattle along the path of war. As you can imagine, this was very problematic. Cattle can be stubborn and sickly so just getting a large enough herd far enough was a challenge. Then when you reached your target you either had to procure more live protein or hope you had enough to make it back home! What has all of this to do with salt and the study verse? Everything. 

    In the east and near orient, there were discovered miles of salt deposits. Salt had already been use as a preservative but there was not nearly enough  of it in supply for these massive armies. Therefore the discovery of salt in the orient and near east was worth more than gold! Now, armies could prepare their meat prior to marching off to war and carry it with them post mortem {sorry for being a bit morbid}. The shear freedom that the large quantities of salt provided was possibly the largest impactor of civilization since fire. As with any terrestrial yield, salt is subject to the curse and therefore doesn’t always form fully so that when harvested it has no capacity to preserve nor season anything. When this type of salt was harvested, it was still utilized however for a lesser purpose. In such situations, the salt would be sprinkled about on the marble steps of the temple during rain or moisture to add traction for the worshipers. {Incidentally, this is what Jesus was referring to when he spoke of salt that had lost its flavor being good for nothing but to be trampled underfoot.} 

   Owing to our brief lesson in world military history, we can certainly comprehend that Mark 9:50 is simply pregnant with revelation that is manifold beyond the scope of this particular discussion. Be that as it may, I would like to extract just one application of the directive of our savior.

If we know that salt was the most valuable commodity on earth then it can be reasonably understood that we, as believers who are the salt of the world are the most valuable commodity in the world. Further, this value comes not from anything we do or have done-even as salt cannot make itself flavorful or effective - but is created this way. According to Ephesians we have been saved by grace through faith- the faith that God gave us at salvation {Romans 12:3}. It was not our will or our accomplishment. Therefore, even as we recognize our own value, we must recognize that this value was initiated and brought to maturity by God. Finally, since we know that God is not a respecter of persons, then it is accurate that each believer in Christ has this type of unwarranted value and thus we can have peace with one another since we are all special but equal. This notion should provoke us to see the value in our fellow believes as well as in ourselves and teach us more clearly what it is to love our neighbor as our self.

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