Lord's Day Liturgy

Jealousable Salt

The word jealousable may not get past the dictionary gatekeepers but it gets to the point. There are other serviceable words we could use, but we want the punchy ones, the ones that provoke a response. Jesus didn’t use the word, but He had a potent verbal picture that should flavor our thinking.

The second main heading in His sermon on the mount was about salt. “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). This verse is among my top five rants about bad Bible reading. Somehow preachers have been successful at ruining the entire point by saying that salt is a preservative. Sure, salt was used in the first century to cure/preserve meat. But Jesus doesn’t even finish His sentence before explaining what He means by salt. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?”

There’s no denying that when disciples of Christ obey in a pack they keep the level of group morality from downgrading. But again, what Jesus actually says is that disciples are a savor, an appetite maker, a tongue pleaser. What a disciple of Christ should not be is tasteless, forgettable.

So what kind of person is salty? What characterizes a person that provokes interest?

I can’t recall if I’ve ever made this connection before. It also comes from better Bible reading. Salt is the second main heading, right after the first main heading: the blesseds. There are nine blesseds, the so-called beatitudes. The blesseds include those who mourn their sin, who hunger for righteousness, they show mercy, they make peace, they are persecuted and have lies told about them and they rejoice because their reward is great in heaven. More blessed, less bland.

The way to be tasteless is to be like those who have nothing other than what’s on earth, to love your sin, to act entitled, to fight with others, to complain, like every boring person apart from Christ.