Confusion With Mark 9:50
A lot of people seem to think that this verse means that we should avoid being trodden under foot of men by, metaphorically speaking, keeping our flavor as salt. This error comes about because of a very similar saying that goes,
But even though these both deal with salt, they are not talking about the same subject. Mark is recording Jesus talking about entrance into eternal life, and how things like arms aren't need for it.(See section preceding Mark 9:49-50.) Matthew is recording Jesus talking about people that are persecuted, likely for being children of God.(See section preceding Matthew 5:13.)
To Be Seen With Luke 14:34 Back to Top ↑
Rather than Mark, a saying from Luke applies with the saying from Matthew perfectly. Jesus says,
Just as every beatitude applies to Lazarus, who was a beggar who had nothing in this life, not even strength to fend off dogs that came to lick his wounds,(Luke 16:20-22.) so too does the statement in Luke apply to him. Lazarus had forsaken all. If we liken Lazarus to salt, he would be worthless for everything, having no flavor, and would be trodden under foot of man and cast out.
Be Good for Nothing Back to Top ↑
Lazarus was carried away by the angels because he had nothing in this world. And what happened to him? He was found to be good for nothing, and was cast out and trodden under foot of men.
This gross neglect of this world is why Jesus says things like,
This makes sense. We are not of this world, but of the kingdom of heaven, a nation that does not belong on this world.(John 18:36.) Just as God directed the nation of Israel to slay several other nations in the Old Testament, so too will these men of the world seek to destroy us.
And that's fine. These men will live once. We will live twice. Let them have their best life now on this awful world, because so long as we do the will of God,(Matthew 7:21.) we have an even better one coming.
The Treasure Hid in a Field and the Pearl of Great Price Back to Top ↑
Consider these two stories from Jesus.
In both of these stories, the man sells everything that he has to buy their treasure. The treasure represents entrance into the kingdom of God and into eternal life. The treasure in these stories were corporal things, land and a pearl. But in real life, the treasure has nothing to do with this world at it, it has everything to do with heaven, which is where Jesus wants us to store treasure.(Matthew 6:19-21.)
But do you think these two men's wives would be happy that everything was sold for so little? What about their friends? Would they be happy to suddenly see these two men absolutely beaming at acquiring some useless goods?
Jesus said to a man who followed all the law,
But Jesus said,
Can you imagine what happens when you leave your family behind? Your children? Your houses and your jobs and become no better than Lazarus, a beggar? Of course the world is going to hate you and cast you out. You're not even salty enough to thaw the roads of ice!
And that is what Jesus means by his saying,