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Luke 14:34-35 – Salt

A difficult wise saying to understand.

Jesus speaks of salt losing its saltiness. In this time salt wasn’t like our table salt but rather it was a composite mineral, so it was possible for ‘salt’ to lose its saltiness. If such a thing happened, then obviously its character could not be restored.

Salt is good i.e. Salt represents a forsaking-all taking-up-a-cross discipleship that is good.

If salt loses its taste – literally if salt becomes foolish i.e. ruined, useless – then it is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away.

It seems that in ancient agricultural practices a little bit of salt was used as a fertilizer for the soil. A little bit of salt could kill surface weeds, break up hard ground, help retain water and act as a stimulant. It could also be used on a manure pile to prevent fermentation which would ruin its agriculture use in being carried on to fields. Thus, salt was good in bringing about growth.

But if salt became foolish then it was useless for agricultural growth and simply trodden down into hard paths with no life being produced.

The wise saying is teaching that true discipleship is useful for bringing about the growth of the kingdom while becoming foolish is losing all that is good and life-producing.