“Have Salt in Yourselves”

Odd command.

Really. When was the last time you heard someone tell you to “have salt” in you?

I asked my four-year-old if that meant she needed to eat a bunch of salt. Wisely, she shook her heard, though her face betrayed a lack of clarity on the issue.

What in the world does that mean?

“Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.” (Mark 9:50b, ESV)

The second part gives the hint. Whatever that salt is, the result is peace among the disciples.

And they needed it.

This passage concludes Christ’s instruction to the disciples following a discussion among them. A discussion they were not willing to verbally disclose to their Master. Shamefully, the content involved positions of greatness in the anticipated kingdom. But, Jesus knew that and he addressed the issue. Very simply, Christ’s disciples are servants, not power mongers. And, discipleship is not an exclusive club. If people are genuinely seeking to follow Christ, they need to freedom to do that without being pounced on. (Note: That does not mean withdrawing further instruction. Think Apollos and Priscilla and Aquilla in Acts 18:23ff.)

Ultimately, discipleship is about selflessness and that cuts to the heart of our default desires. As a result, there must be an external agent enabling such following of Christ. So, Christ says, “Have salt in yourselves.”

Without going into great technical detail, salt equals a combination of the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Simply stated, the result of the statement, “be at peace with one another,” makes that clear. Where do I learn what peace among believers looks like and how to maintain that peace?

The Bible.

Where do I get the ability to do what God requires to maintain peace?

The Holy Spirit.

In this first “one another” passage of the NT, our Lord nails the heart issues of selfishness and provides the antidote.

Salt. The Bible. The Holy Spirit.

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About the Author
Nathaniel Pringle serves as the pastor of Eastside Community Bible Church, Milford, Ohio. His goal is to fulfill the commission in Titus 2:1, "But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine." (ESV)

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