5th SUN ORD Time – “Salt of the Earth”
What the heck does “salt of the earth” mean? Can salt lose it’s taste? Don’t think so, but it can become insipid. And that’s a tad closer to the meaning than what the NAB gave on Sunday. Too colloquial.
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
Better translation: “… but if salt has become foolish (!!!)..” Yep. The verb functions within the wisdom writings along with moros, “foolish.”
To be (made) foolish = moraino
Matthew 5:13 (NRSV) — 13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
2 Samuel 24:10 (NRSV) — 10 But afterward, David was stricken to the heart because he had numbered the people. David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, I pray you, take away the guilt of your servant; for I have done very foolishly.”
Jeremiah 10:14 (NRSV) — 14 Everyone is stupid and without knowledge; goldsmiths are all put to shame by their idols; for their images are false, and there is no breath in them.
Foolish = moros
Matthew 5:22 (NRSV) — 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.
Matthew 7:26 (NRSV) — 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
Matthew 25:2f (NRSV) — 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them;
Matthew 25:8 (NRSV) — 8 The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
Jeremiah 5:21 (NRSV) — 21 Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but do not see, who have ears, but do not hear.
The wise listen and are taught by Jesus’ words. Fools reject them – like the house-builders and the virgins.
“Salt of the earth” has to do, not so much with taste, as willingness to be taught… by Jesus… throughout the Sermon on the Mount… and Beyond!!!