June 7, 2016 (Matt 5:13-16)

We continue with more from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth.” When interpreting this statement, we usually hear things like: salt is an ordinary substance but we can’t live without it; was used in place of money in some places; used to preserve meat; to melt snow; etc. Sociologists who study the Bible have a different take. The word translated “earth” can also stand for the “earthen oven” in the common courtyard of the poor homes. It was operative because of the use of dried dung fired up by a “salt plate” placed on it. As long as the salt plate had its saltiness, the fire, thus oven, would bake things. But once the salt plate lost the saltiness it was good for only trampling underfoot. The sociologists think this is what Jesus had originally in mind. In other words, His disciples were the catalyst to firing up the Kingdom of Heaven just as the salt plate helped fire up the earthen oven.

If that’s true, do you think of yourself as a “catalyst” for good?


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