49 “Because everyone will be salted with this fire. 50 Salt is good; but if salt has become saltless, what can you season it with? Have salt among yourselves, and live at peace with one another.”
fire, salt, and peace
Jesus’ words to his disciples here seem a bit confusing. It helps to clear up the confusion if we remember the context in which these words are found. The disciples had pointed out to Jesus that other disciples were also doing ministry in Jesus’ name, and they wanted to restrain them from doing so. Jesus nixed that idea, because he wanted his disciples not to put a stumbling block in the way of those other disciples and their ministry.
Then Jesus warned his own disciples that they should not allow anyone or anything to put a stumbling block in the way of their own faith and ministry either. Even if that idea or relationship was an essential as a hand, a foot or an eye, they must remove it if it is serving as a stumbling stone for them.
For their faith and ministry to work, they must remain fully dedicated to Christ. They had to consider themselves like a grain offering, or an altar, seasoned with salt – completely dedicated to God. Nothing should be allowed to desalinate them. But, they also should not allow their complete dedication to Christ and his kingdom to destroy their peace with one another.
LORD, give us the courage to remove every obstacle to our commitment to you, and the wisdom to do this without harming those who serve together with us.