Scripture: Mark 9:30-50
Observation: Jesus predicts his own death (which the disciples don’t understand), he explains what it looks like to be the greatest in his kingdom, he warns of the dangers of sin, and he focuses on the importance of being salt in the world.
Application: I love being in the kitchen. There’s something so relaxing about cooking after a long day – finding a few recipes I can use as inspiration and then systematically chopping vegetables, mincing garlic, and boiling water, watching all a variety of ingredients come together to create a warm, comforting dish. And no matter what I’m cooking (or baking), there’s always one ingredient I add: salt.
I love the flavor salt adds to dishes – from pink Himalayan salt over sautéed vegetables to coarse sea salt over roasted Brussels sprouts to a pinch of table salt into a homemade banana bread. Salt helps take any dish from bland to “BAM!” (as Emeril Lagasse would say).
In the last half of this chapter, Jesus talks about salt too (although it’s a little different from the salt we’re used to cooking with). He talks about his followers being salt – the peaceful flavor – of this earth. After warning about the dangers of sin, Jesus goes on to say that everyone will be tested with fire at some point in their lives.
And guess what happens to salt in fire?
Jesus calls his followers to be salt in the world – to give the whole world flavor in the form of hope and the life-giving message of Jesus. He doesn’t sugarcoat the truth – he tells us that we’ll all be tested. But it’s through the fires, the trials, the struggles of life that we are purified and our character is refined.
The salt is made in the struggle. Every fight gives us more flavor. Every trial gives us more taste. We simply have to push through. And when we do, we learn to season every environment with the hope, the peace, and the joy of a true follower of Jesus.
Prayer: God, make me salt. I pray I can season any environment with your love, grace, and hope. I pray that I’d see that salt is made in the struggles themselves. Amen.