Salt Of The Earth Meaning

October 25, 2021

salt of the earth meaning

Have you ever eaten just one potato chip when you’re craving salt? Not usually. The hard part is not eating the whole bag. 

On the other hand, have you ever eaten something you thought was supposed to taste salty and found out it bland? You probably didn't want to eat any more. 

Salt isn’t just something we enjoy. It’s something we need! 

Did you know people who restrict their salt intake too much can have just as catastrophic health issues as the ones they are trying to prevent?

Seizures and death can come from a deficiency in sodium by impacting the way the body uses insulin.

Similarly, our spirits can wither without some “salt” sprinkled in.

That’s where being the “salt of the earth” to each other comes in.


I’m glad you asked!

Today you’ll learn the origin of the phrase “salt of the earth,” (which is the Bible,) what it means, and how we can season our lives in such a way that will not only bless us, but those around us.

Salt, like other foods in the Bible diet, has many wonderful properties.

Grab the shaker and let’s learn.

Salt Of The Earth In The Bible

The phrase, salt of the earth, was first spoken by Jesus in the gospel of Matthew.

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again?

Matthew 5:13

Matthew 5 is part of the Sermon on the Mount, quite possibly Jesus’ most famous sermon. In the verse above, he’s talking to His disciples.

Jesus doesn’t elaborate on this statement here, but we can imagine the disciples understood context we don’t. 

However, as we shake through Scripture for other references to salt, we learn the seasoning.

Shake The Salt

Salt is mentioned over 40 times in the Bible. Let’s look at a few:

Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it  salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another. Mark 9:50

Your speech must always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6 

Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, bear olives, or a vine bear figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh. James 3:12

All the references to salt in the New Testament refer to our speech. Christ is telling His disciples, and therefore us, that they are to go out and be the salt (voice) for Him.

This is still our commandment today, but we need to choose our words wisely. (And our salts)

Remember the examples of the salty chips and saltless food above?

The right salts in the correct amounts bring the best flavor and the same is true with our speech. 

We are to speak in such a way that people crave more of what we share. 

When our speech and character are no longer adding flavor to those around us, it also becomes flat and flavorless to their ears.

And often offensive and abrasive!

In addition to your voice, being salt of the earth can have many other implications.

What Does It Mean When You Are The Salt Of The Earth?

Being the salt of the Earth means we add a better flavor to the lives of those around us. We can bring healing to the hurting people in our family and community. 

Salt can enhance flavors in just about any meal when used correctly, and so can the salt sprinkled on our circumstances and relationships.

The verses referring to salt can help in these areas. When our lives are seasoned with grace, our speech will bring peace to those to whom we are speaking. (Mark 9:50)

This, in turn, will benefit our family and friends. Our fellowship will be sweet, and we’ll have peace with one another.

Salt has been around since the Earth was formed, and even today it’s known for its own unique flavor that can change a bland recipe into a pleasing favorite. 

Yet salt is used for so much more.

Today, we’re talking about the top 3 qualities of salt, but there’s so much more there’s not space for here! If you’re mouth is watering for more, check out The Treasures of Health Nutrition Manual.

Now, for those qualities and how they relate to us as salt of the Earth.

How We Are The Salt Of The Earth

how we are the salt of the earth

Salt has at least three unique qualities:

1. A Little Salt Sets The Flavor In Food

Likewise, we add a better flavor to the lives around us. People are always amazed when I take a salt shaker and sprinkle a smidgen in a cup of coffee. 

“I’ve never seen that before,” they exclaim. “Why do you do that?” 

I answer, “It takes the bitterness and the bite out of the coffee.”

When we season our speech with the right amount of salt, we help take the bitterness out of life.

When a friend is hurting sometimes they need comfort and other times they just need a hug. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can be salt by either the words of encouragement or a hug. That is salt.

Then there are times when our friends are living outside the blessing of God’s Word. At that time, again under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we can share the truth of God’s Word and let them see they are walking into a tragedy. 

This is salt.

2. Salt Preserves

salt preserves

Our grandparents used salt to cure food to be used later. Ham, beef jerky, and salted fish were staples of their diets. 

Similarly, as Christians, we preserve the good of God’s creation. Sharing the Gospel is definitely seasoning our speech with the right kind of salt!

The more often we share the Gospel the greater the flavor is in our life. 

Salt preserves us.

3. Salt Has Healing Properties

It kills most germs on contact. Salt burns when it hits a raw spot, but is very effective in cleansing a wound so it can heal. 

“Don’t rub salt in my wounds,” is a statement often heard when a person is hurt from good advice. We bring healing to those around us with words of comfort and encouragement.

Scripture says we are to pray in believing for healing.

What Does Salt Of The Earth Mean

what does salt of the earth mean

We took a very quick glance at the tangible properties of salt to help us increase our understanding of Jesus’ meaning when He calls us the salt of the Earth.

Here are three ways we can use these qualities of salt and apply them to being the salt of the Earth.

1. Salt sets relationships.

In both Judaism and Islam, salt seals a bargain because it's immutable. 

When we sprinkle our relationships with salt of blessings and forgiveness, we strengthen those bonds.

2. Salt preserves. 

Salt is known as being a preservative. It sustains life and it signifies faithfulness. 

It was recognized that the Roman soldiers were dying on the battlefield because they didn't have enough salt in their diet, so salt became even more extremely valuable at that time. 

They learned how to salt fish in Egypt. When they got the fish out of the Nile, they learned that, oh wow, if we put salt on it, it preserved the fish. 

And this is where we get the beautiful picture of Christ. He preserves life, He sustains life, and He is faithful to us.

We help preserve others when we share Jesus and encourage and build up others.

3. Salt heals.

Salt helps heal our physical wounds. Jesus is the ultimate healer and calls us to help heal people through kindness, love, and truth.

We are the salt of the world - the flavoring agent that spreads the Gospel to the world so the flavors of God's grace can be experienced. Isn't that beautiful?
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