The new and remarkable teaching and authority of Jesus of Nazareth alarmed many who did not understand that he, in fact, did not come to abolish either the Law or the Prophets. Rather, he came to actually fulfill them. Jesus declared that until heaven and earth pass away, not even an iota, not even a dot, would pass from the Law until everything written in it was fully accomplished. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, the Messiah and Ruler promised to come and make an end of sin and death. He comes not to annul the promise but rather to fulfill it.
Salt has many uses, but by far the most common in Jesus’s time was as a preservative. One could pack meat in salt and it would keep it from spoiling. This is at least the most likely meaning of us being the salt of the earth. We are citizens of the Kingdom living in this world to preserve what is good and true and right and godly. We keep it from going completely rotten.
God our Father, may we not lose our saltiness, but preserve what is good and stave off the rot.
“The prescriptions of the Mosaic covenant for ritual cleansing were a sign of the need for purification in a more profound and complete sense. Jesus’ teaching raises a question about where such cleansing might be found. The immediate context provides no answer, though his teaching about the significance of his death ultimately offers a solution to this problem.”
~ David G. Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. p. 114.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Jesus Fulfills the Law, Matthew 5.13-20
Peterson, Engaging with God