You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.Matthew 5:13 ASV
Regarding the question of salt’s losing its savor, Elmer W. Maurer, research chemist with the United States Department of Agriculture and a brilliant contemporary scientist, made this interesting reference to this portion of the Saviour’s teachings:
Salt was accepted and collected as taxes by the Romans from the people of the Holy Land. One of the main sources of salt for Palestinians, of course, was the Dead Sea, or Salt Sea.
The government purified the salt by spreading it in big vats or tanks, filling them with water and drawing off the concentrated salt solution or brine. All that remained was the earthy, insoluble material.
Indeed, the salt had lost its savor because it was no longer salt. It was fit to be trodden underfoot.
And this was not the only way that salt could lose its savor.
The surface waters of the Dead Sea, on evaporation, have a chemical salts content of about 31 percent sodium chloride, 13 percent calcium chloride, and 48 percent magnesium chloride, together with other impurities. The calcium and magnesium chlorides are hygroscopic (take water out of the air) and will thus literally dissolve the sodium chloride.
A bitter tasting composition results. It was the custom to store vast amounts of this salt in houses that had earthen floors. In time, the salt next to the ground spoiled because of the dampness. Since it would be harmful to fertile land because of its salt content, no man would allow it to be thrown on his field.
The only place left was the street, where it was trodden under foot of man. Thus the Bible was proved scientifically accurate, even in its many small details – for this was just a lone example.
We might observe that accurate, scientific investigation of any of the so-called scientific errors in the teachings of Christ will always have the same result as that discovered by Maurer.
A little more salt (true followers of God) would have preserved Sodom and Gomorrah from destruction (Genesis 18:32).
The world at large little realizes the debt of gratitude that is owed by the whole race to that relatively small percentage who truly walk in the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.
Good for nothing … What a truly worthless state is that of the apostate Christian! The Saviour’s estimate of him is that he is “good for nothing”! Another pertinent observation regarding salt is that it must come in contact with that which is to be benefited by it.
So are Christians. Some people pity believers; some have a patronizing air in their attitude; a few would abolish Christians; but, in this passage, Christ shows that Christians are truly indispensable to this world. THEY ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH!