I mentioned in a previous post that I am preaching for several weeks on Jesus’ sermon on the mount from the Gospel of Matthew. Someone commented to recommend to me there that I read Luther’s sermons on those sections. Wow, am I thankful for the suggestion! There’s great stuff there!
Here is a quote from Luther on the first verse of my sermon for next Sunday, Matthew 5:13.
13. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste, how shall its salthess be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown down and trodden underfoot by men.
By the word “salt,” as we have said, He points out what their office is to be. Salt is not salt for itself, it cannot salt itself. But it is used to salt meat and other things in the kitchen so that they keep their taste, stay fresh, and do not rot. “So,” He says, “you are also salt”—not the kind that belongs in the kitchen but the kind for salting this flesh, that is, the whole world. This is indeed a splendid office and a great and glorious honor, that God should call them His salt and should tell them to salt everything on earth. But for this a man must be ready, as He has already taught them, to be poor, miserable, thirsty, and meek, and to suffer all sorts of persecution, shame, and slander. Without this the man will never be the kind of preacher who knows how to salt, but will be only a salt without bite, useless.
Martin Luther (AE 21:54)