but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing any more, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot Matthew 5:13
Tasteless – It’s an ironic joke. In the Greek, we discover that Jesus employs a picture quite a bit more offensive than just the thought of some white powder that no longer flavors. He uses the word moraino; a word that comes from the root moros. It’s the basis of our English word “moron”. Jesus is not just saying that this salt doesn’t taste salty. He is saying that this stuff is stupid. It doesn’t do anything it’s supposed to do. It’s nothing but foolish worthlessness.
Actually, there’s a hint at something even more shocking. Not only is this salt uselessly stupid, it is morally reprehensible. That’s the hint in the word moros. It’s not a word just about fools. It’s a word about moral worthlessness. Once we see the context, this statement from Jesus becomes much more serious. You can feel the punch in our English expression about offensive language or art. We say that it is “tasteless” in the same way that Jesus speaks about this “salt”. It’s more than useless. It’s disgusting.
Donald Barnhouse once said, “When religion does not offend, it is not truth, for truth always offends. Mind well, I did not say that the truth has to be offensive, but that it must hurt, it must convict.” That’s the issue Jesus has in mind. Salt is supposed to change things. It’s supposed to make a noticeable difference. If it doesn’t, it’s disgusting. It’s good for nothing at all. Now what Jesus has in mind is a reflection on our lives. If our claim to be followers in the Way makes no noticeable difference between how we act, think and speak and how others act, think and speak, then we are truly uselessly disgusting. We are tasteless in our affront to the name of Jesus. And He will spit us out and trample us under foot. If you claim to have the truth but when I look I can’t see any difference between you and the best example of moral humanism I can find, then I will go away disgusted at your claim. It is stupid and worthless. Don’t complain to me that you have accepted Christ and have guaranteed your eternity. I don’t care. If Jesus doesn’t change my life here and now, I have no need of His help in eternity. And if He can’t make a difference in your life here and now, where I can see how you live, then you have nothing to say to me. In fact, if you really read the gospels, you will discover (quite frighteningly) that Jesus has no use for you either.
Truth hurts. But it is a wound that changes us. If you have not been cut and scarred, you do not know the Jesus of the cross. You have not tasted the salt of death. Your god makes no difference. Give it up and follow the One Who changes everything.