Here’s what happened when Rachel and her dad, Robin, read this Bible story together.
Rachel, aged 8, loves horse riding and has some pet fish.
Rachel wanted to know: “Why did Jesus tell his disciples to be like salt and how can salt not be salty?”
Robin explained: “Salt in those days was very important. It was the only way people had to keep food from going bad – they didn’t have fridges, and there was no way to keep food cool. Fresh meat would last for quite a while if it was covered in salt because it stops the bacteria and bugs that make food go off and smell.
“Pure salt was difficult to get and was so important that it was given to Roman soldiers as part of their wages. Pure salt can’t lose its saltiness, but the salt that most of the people used was picked up from the ground and it was mixed with other things – a bit like the grit we put on the roads when it snows. If it wasn’t kept dry, the salt would dissolve out of this mixture and what was left would be useless: no good as salt and no good for growing plants, so it would be thrown out onto the roads and paths.
“What Jesus seems to be saying is that he wants his disciples to be like salt: to stop the world from going bad and keep it healthy, just like salt keeps meat from going bad and keeps it good to eat. You can taste quite a small amount of salt in food or water, so even the small things we do for God can make a difference.
“If Jesus’ followers lose their ‘saltiness’ (like the gritty salt kept in a damp place), they are not living their lives the way God wants them to and not having a good effect on other people. They are becoming no different from the people who don’t know God; and if they are no different, then how can they show and tell others about God? They are not really behaving like his disciples and God cannot continue to use them.”
What would you say?
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