Jesus referred to his followers as “the salt of the earth.” They recognized the importance of that analogy because back then salt was valuable.
It was used to cure and store meats, disinfect wounds, make food, pottery and more. It was valued so highly that salt caravans hauling salt from mines to the marketplace were among the very first commercial enterprises. It was so valuable that wars were fought to secure salt in a particular country.
At one point, salt was used as an alternative form of currency. Roman soldiers were often paid their wages in salt, which is where we get the expression, “Not worth his salt.”
So, when Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth,” he was pointing out to his listeners how valuable they were to God.
How often do you think of yourself as being valuable to God? If you are like most people, it is not very often.
But when you sincerely contemplate this, you will come to realize just how valuable you are to God. You will understand he is the one who gave you life; he is the one who offers fulfillment in life; you are a joy and a delight to him; and it is he who invites you to remember this and claim it.
Jesus said that God blesses the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek and the persecuted. He points out that people's value is much greater than even a sparrow for whom God provides.
These are just a couple of reminders. Jesus gave his life on a cross to prove each person's value. And that includes us, our children, our children’s children and all future generations.
As Jesus said, you are the salt of the earth — a person of great value.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview’s pastor.