Luke 14:34
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his flavor, with which shall it be seasoned?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) Salt is good.—The words are all but identical with those of Matthew 5:13, and resemble those of Mark 9:50. (See Notes on those passages.) They appear now, however, in a very different context, and the train of thought is not at first sight so clear. The common element in all three instances is that salt represents the purifying element in life, the principle of unselfish devotion. Here, the special aspect of that element is self-renunciation. In proportion as that is incomplete, the salt loses its savour. The question, Wherewith shall it be salted? is asked as in the accents of almost hopeless sadness. What other purifying influences can be brought to bear on us when the love of Christ has failed?

Luke 14:34-35. Salt is good — If you are not my disciples indeed, your outward profession will be very insignificant: for, though salt in general is a good thing, and my servants, as I formerly intimated (see on Matthew 5:13,) are the salt of the earth; yet I must again add, if the salt have lost his savour — Or be grown insipid, how can its saltness be restored to it? or what can recover those whom my gospel will not influence and reclaim? It is neither fit for the land, &c. — As insipid salt is such a vile and worthless thing, that it is neither fit to be used of itself, as manure for the land, nor even to be cast upon the dunghill, to be there mixed with other manure; but men cast it out — It is thrown out of doors, and trampled under foot like mire in the streets. So you, my disciples, will be no less useless and contemptible, if, under the advantages and obligations of a Christian profession, you are destitute of a true principle of integrity and piety, of which you will certainly be destitute if you do not thus deny yourselves, and stand disposed to forsake all for my sake and the gospel’s, as far as, and whenever, I shall call you to it. See notes on Mark 9:49-50. 14:25-35 Though the disciples of Christ are not all crucified, yet they all bear their cross, and must bear it in the way of duty. Jesus bids them count upon it, and then consider of it. Our Saviour explains this by two similitudes; the former showing that we must consider the expenses of our religion; the latter, that we must consider the perils of it. Sit down and count the cost; consider it will cost the mortifying of sin, even the most beloved lusts. The proudest and most daring sinner cannot stand against God, for who knows the power of his anger? It is our interest to seek peace with him, and we need not send to ask conditions of peace, they are offered to us, and are highly to our advantage. In some way a disciple of Christ will be put to the trial. May we seek to be disciples indeed, and be careful not to grow slack in our profession, or afraid of the cross; that we may be the good salt of the earth, to season those around us with the savour of Christ.See the Matthew 5:13 note; Mark 9:49-50 notes.

Salt is good - It is useful. It is good to preserve life and health, and to keep from putrefaction.

His savour - Its saltness. It becomes tasteless or insipid.

Be seasoned - Be salted again.

Fit for the land - Rather, it is not fit "for land," that is, it will not bear fruit of itself. You cannot sow or plant on it.

Nor for the dunghill - It is not good for manure. It will not enrich the land,

Cast it out - They throw it away as useless.

He that hath ears ... - See Matthew 11:15. You are to understand that he that has not grace in his heart; who merely makes a profession of religion, and who sustains the same relation to true piety that this insipid and useless mass does to good salt, is useless in the church, and will be rejected. "Real" piety, true religion, is of vast value in the world. It keeps it pure, and saves it from corruption, as salt does meat; but a mere "profession" of religion is fit for nothing. It does no good. It is a mere encumbrance, and all such professors are fit only to be cast out and rejected. All such "must" be rejected by the Son of God, and cast into a world of wretchedness and despair. Compare Matthew 7:22-23; Matthew 8:12; Matthew 23:30; Matthew 25:30; Revelation 3:16; Job 8:13; Job 36:13.

34, 35. Salt, &c.—(See on [1672]Mt 5:13-16; and Mr 9:50). Ver. 34,35. See Poole on "Matthew 5:13". See Poole on "Mark 9:50", where we met with the most of what we have in these verses. By salt in this place our Saviour seemeth to mean a Christian life and profession. It is a good, a noble, a great thing to be a Christian: but one that is so in an outward profession may lose his savour. Though a man cannot fall away from truth, and reality of grace, yet he may fall away from his profession; he may be given up to believe lies, and embrace damnable errors; he may shake off that dread of God which he seemed to have upon him; and then what is he good for? Wherewith shall he be seasoned? He is neither fit for the land nor the dunghill: as some things will spoil dunghills, so debauched professors do but make wicked men worse, by prejudicing and hardening them against the ways and truths of God.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. It is a usual epiphonema, or sentence, by which Christ often shuts up grave and weighty discourses: the sense is; You had therefore need to look about you, and to undertake the profession of my religion upon such weighty grounds and principles as will carry you through the practice of it to the end, against all the oppositions you shall meet with; for if you apostatize from your profession, you will be the worst of men, neither fit for the church nor for the world (for you will make that the worse;) indeed fit for nothing but for the fire of hell. Salt is good,.... See Gill on Matthew 5:13, Mark 10:50. {7} Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

(7) The disciples of Christ must be wise, both for themselves and for others: otherwise they become the most foolish of all.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 14:34-35. Comp. on Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50. Jesus uttered the saying about salt more than once, and with differences in the details. Here He commits to His hearers by ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν, ἀκουέτω, the charge of themselves giving the interpretation according to what has gone before, But this interpretation depends on the fact that τὸ ἅλας must represent the preceding μου εἶναι μαθητής. Comp. Matt. l.c. Hence: It is therefore (οὖν, see the critical remarks) something glorious—to wit, in respect of this all-renouncing decision which is appropriate to it—to be my disciple, and as such to effect the maintenance of the power of spiritual life among men, as salt is the means of maintaining the freshness of life in the region of nature. But if ever my disciple (through turning back to selfish interests) loses this his peculiarity, this spiritual salting power, by what means can he again attain it? Such a μαθητής is then absolutely useless, and he is excluded (at the judgment) from the Messiah’s kingdom.

ἐὰν δὲ καί] (see the critical remarks): if, however, even the salt, etc., which is no longer to be expected from this substance according to its nature.

οὔτε εἰς γῆν κ.τ.λ.] it is fitted neither for land nor for manure (to improve neither the former nor the latter). In respect of the salt that has become insipid, no other use would be conceivable than to be employed as manure, but neither immediately nor mediately is it of use for that; it is perfectly useless! Guard against such interpretations as that of Euthymius Zigabenus: γῆν μὲν λέγει τοὺς μαθητάςκοπρίαν δὲ τοὺς διδασκάλους!

ἔξω] with strong emphasis placed first—out it is cast!Luke 14:34-35. The saying concerning salt (Matthew 5:13, Mark 9:50). This logion may have been repeatedly uttered by Jesus, but it does not seem to be so appropriate here as in its place in Mk. In this place the salt appears to denote disciples and the idea to be: genuine disciples are an excellent thing, valuable as salt to a corrupt world, but spurious disciples are as utterly worthless as salt which has lost its savour.34. Salt is good] The true reading is Salt therefore is good, connecting this verse with what has gone before. This similitude was thrice used by Christ with different applications. “Ye are the salt of the earth,” Matthew 5:13. “Have salt in yourselves,” Mark 9:50. Here the salt is the inward energy of holiness and devotion, and in the fate of salt which has lost its savour we see the peril which ensues from neglect of the previous lessons.Luke 14:34. Ἅλας, salt) Which means the disciples: Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50. Salt is something pungent (sharp): let the Christian be so. See the preceding verse [in which the strong pungency which attends Christian self-renunciation is brought out strikingly.] [We must do sharply what is to be done, and must do it also gravely (seriously).[153]—V. g.]

[153] In the Germ. mit nachdruck, “with energy.” Perhaps therefore ‘graviter’ is a misprint for ‘gnaviter.’—E. and T.Verses 34, 35. - Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned! It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. Here "salt" stands for the spirit of self-sacrifice, self-renunciation. When in a man, or in a nation, or in a Church, that salt is savourless, then that spirit is dead; there is no hope remaining for the man, for the people, or the Church. The lesson was a general one - it was meant to sink into each listener's heart; but the Master's sad gaze was fixed, as he spoke the sombre truth, on the people of Israel whom he loved, and on the temple of Jerusalem where his glory-presence used to dwell. Men cast it out. Jesus could hear the armed tramp of the Roman legions of the year 70 as they east out his people from their holy land.



Have lost its savor

See on Matthew 5:13.

Shall it be seasoned

See on Mark 9:50.

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