“This salt is fit
For the soil,
Nor for the manure pile.
Throw it away!
οὔτε εἰς γῆν οὔτε εἰς κοπρίαν εὔθετόν ἐστιν· ἔξω βάλλουσιν αὐτό. ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω
Luke indicated that Jesus said that this salt was fit (εὔθετόν ἐστιν) neither for the soil (οὔτε εἰς γῆν), nor for the manure pile (οὔτε εἰς κοπρίαν). It should be thrown away (ἔξω βάλλουσιν αὐτό). Let anyone with ears to hear (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν), listen (ἀκουέτω)! This saying of Jesus can be found somewhat similar in Matthew, chapter 5:13, and Mark, chapter 9:50. Matthew indicated that Jesus said that tasteless salt was now useless, impotent, and not good for anything (εἰς οὐδὲν ἰσχύει ἔτι). The end result of this insipid salt was that it should either be thrown away (εἰ μὴ βληθὲν ἔξω) or have people trample it down (καταπατεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων). Mark indicated that Jesus then turned to his followers. He told them that they should have salt within themselves (ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα), not exactly the salt of the earth, but close enough. They should be at peace with one another (καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις). There was no indication here about throwing salt away because it had become useless, as in Matthew and Luke. Salt would bring about brotherly peace or love. Only Luke had the admonition to listen to what Jesus was saying. How much salt do you use?
“Salt is good.
But if salt
Has lost its taste,
How can its saltiness
Καλὸν οὖν τὸ ἅλας· ἐὰν δὲ καὶ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ, ἐν τίνι ἀρτυθήσεται;
Luke indicated that Jesus said that salt was good (Καλὸν οὖν τὸ ἅλας). But if the salt has lost its taste (ἐὰν δὲ καὶ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ), how can its saltiness be restored or re-seasoned (ἐν τίνι ἀρτυθήσεται)? This saying of Jesus can be found in Mark, chapter 9:50, and Matthew, chapter 5:13. Salt was important not just as a spice and preservative, but it represented wisdom and purity in the ancient world and Judaism. Matthew had Jesus turn to his disciples to remind them that they were the salt of the earth or the land (Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ ἅλας τῆς γῆς). The other two gospel writers just had statements about salt, rather than speaking explicitly to the disciples. Matthew switched to the 3rd person from the 2nd person, when he explained about salt losing its taste (ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ). How can that taste be restored to the salt (ἐν τίνι ἁλισθήσεται)? Mark indicated that Jesus said that salt was good (καλὸν τὸ ἅλας). However, if the salt has lost its taste or saltiness (ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας ἄναλον γένηται), if it is insipid, how can the taste be restored to the salt (ἐν τίνι αὐτὸ ἀρτύσετε)? How can you season the salt?
“Salt is good.
But if salt
How can you
Be at peace
With one another!”
καλὸν τὸ ἅλας· ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας ἄναλον γένηται, ἐν τίνι αὐτὸ ἀρτύσετε; ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις.
This saying of Jesus can be found in Matthew, chapter 5:13, and Luke, chapter 14:34. Salt was important not just as a spice and preservative but it represented wisdom and purity in the ancient world and Judaism. Mark indicated that Jesus said that salt was good (καλὸν τὸ ἅλας). However, if the salt has lost its taste or saltiness (ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας ἄναλον γένηται), if it is insipid, how can the taste be restored to the salt (ἐν τίνι αὐτὸ ἀρτύσετε)? How can you season the salt? Jesus then turned to his followers. He told them that they should have salt within themselves (ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα), not exactly salt of the earth but close enough. They should be at peace with one another (καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις). There was no indication here about throwing salt away because it had become useless as in Matthew and Luke. Salt would bring about brotherly peace or love.
This second narrative centered around the Sermon on the Mount and the famous so-called Beatitudes. The first beatitude was about poverty, while the second beatitude was about mourning. The third beatitude was about the meek or the humble. The fourth beatitude was about righteousness. The fifth beatitude was on mercy, while the sixth beatitude was about the pure of heart. The seventh beatitude was on peacemakers, while the eighth beatitude was on persecution. There was a grand blessing for the persecuted Christians, who were the salt of the earth and the light of the world. They had to value and become the lighted lamp.
Next came the law and the prophets. The law with all its commandments remained. The righteous ones would not murder, nor would they get angry with insults. They would offer their gifts at the Temple. They would pay their debts and not commit adultery. Jesus warned against the sinning eye and the sinning right hand. He favored the traditional divorce stance, but warned about marrying a divorced woman. They should not bear false witness, nor swear at all, since they should have a simple speech. No longer was it an eye for an eye, but rather turn the other cheek with unusual kindness. They were to love their enemies and their heavenly Father with a perfect love.
The followers of Jesus should fast and pray. We should have piety with almsgiving. Our charity and prayer should be secret with short prayers. Thus, there was the famous “Our Father” prayer. The first part of the Lord’s prayer was about God the Father. The second part of the Lord’s prayer was about our human problems. We should seek forgiveness and fast in secret. We should not want earthly treasures, but heavenly treasures. We need to have a healthy eye because we cannot serve two masters.
We should trust in Providence. We do not need to worry. Just look at the birds who do not worry. The lilies of the field have more beauty than Solomon in all his glory. Seek the kingdom of heaven first and you will not have to worry about tomorrow.
As far as judgment was concerned, do not judge the speck in the eye of your neighbor. Be careful with your holy treasures. Be seekers and give to your sons. Pray to your heavenly Father and follow the golden rule. The gate was narrow and there were many false prophets. Know them by their fruits. The sound tree has good fruits. Cut down the bad tree. Seek the kingdom of heaven. Stay away from evildoers. Wise men build on a rock foundation, while the foolish ones build on a sand foundation. The crowds were astonished at the authority of Jesus.
Of the world!
A city built
On a hill
Cannot be hid.”
Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου. οὐ δύναται πόλις κρυβῆναι ἐπάνω ὄρους κειμένη·
This saying of Jesus can be found in John, chapter 8:12. The main difference is that here Matthew has Jesus say that his disciples are the light of the world (Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου), “you are” (Ὑμεῖς ἐστε). However, in John, Jesus said that he was the light of the world (Ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου), “I am” (Ἐγώ εἰμι). That is quite a difference. Are the disciples the light of the world or is only Jesus who is the light of the world? Or are they both lights to the world. I assume that they both can be. The disciples of Jesus were both the salt of the earth and the light of the world, so that they were very important people. Matthew then added a unique phrase about a city set on or built on a hill that could not hide itself (οὐ δύναται πόλις κρυβῆναι ἐπάνω ὄρους κειμένη), as if to say that the disciples were like a city on a hill that could not be hidden. These are powerful words about the disciples of Jesus.