Luke 14:34

ESV “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?
NIV Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
NASB Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?
CSB "Now, salt is good, but if salt should lose its taste, how will it be made salty?
NLT Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again?
KJV Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

What does Luke 14:34 mean?

To teach about the kingdom of God, Jesus started by applying the situation to spiritual truths through parables. When invited to a banquet, you should never presume honor but wait for the host to bestow it (Luke 14:7–11). If you give a banquet, do not invite those who can return to favor; invite those who can't and let God repay you (Luke 14:12–14). Know that God will invite many to His feast at the resurrection, but only those who accept His invitation will enjoy it (Luke 14:15–24).

Jesus then warns the crowd that if they wish to follow Him, they must carefully consider what it will cost them. They must be willing to give up everything they hold dear if those things and people do not fit into God's plan (Luke 14:25–33).

The idea of salt losing its saltiness is foreign for most of us now. In Jesus' time, people got salt from dried pools at the Dead Sea. The salt was not purified; "salt" included gypsum and other minerals from the surface of the ground. Sometimes, the mixture got wet and the salt washed away, leaving the dirt and sand behind. At that point, the mixture was useless and thrown away. Another way to think of this is that salt is only useful because it is "salty:" it's not pretty, or valuable, or useful other than its chemical properties. If the distinctive quality of the salt is gone, it's devoid of any value.

Jesus isn't talking about salvation; salvation can't be "washed away." He's encouraging the crowds to seriously consider whether they want to be His disciple: whether they are ready for a potential lifetime of sacrifice and hardship. They mustn't follow Him because He heals and provides food. The discipleship life isn't about what they can get out of it, but what they will give. If they can't remain faithful, sacrificial, and generous, their title as Jesus' disciple will be useless.

Of course, we all experience times where we are discouraged, tired, and unmotivated. That is when we most rely on the Holy Spirit to provide us with the "salt" we need.
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