Luke 14:35

ESV It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
NIV It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear."
NASB It is useless either for the soil or the manure pile, so it is thrown out. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear.'
CSB It isn’t fit for the soil or for the manure pile; they throw it out. Let anyone who has ears to hear listen."
NLT Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!'
KJV It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
NKJV It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

What does Luke 14:35 mean?

Jesus finishes this lesson on the kingdom of God with a warning against living as a useless disciple. Being His disciple requires humility, generosity, attentiveness, and loyalty (Luke 14:1–33). Anything less is like salt that provides no flavor and no preservation: it's pointless and defeats its own purposes.

People in Jesus' time were not able to fully purify salt. They took it from dried pools near the Dead Sea where the water had evaporated and left mineral deposits. The salt always included some of those minerals. Sometimes, the mixture got wet and the salt washed out, leaving useless dirt and sand.

Jesus-followers are supposed to be distinct, as salt is. They are supposed to be humble, giving, ready to obey God, and willing to sacrifice everything for Him. If they do not maintain these qualities, they prove that they are not useful. They are like minerals from which all the salt has rinsed away; they are worthless for their intended purpose (Luke 14:34).

Even if a Jesus-follower "loses their salt," that doesn't mean they have lost their salvation. Jesus is talking about a faithful life of service, and salt can always be replenished. The Holy Spirit guides us into truth (John 16:13), especially the truth about Jesus (John 15:26). He is our helper who will be with us forever (John 14:16). He can replace our "salt."

In Luke 14, Jesus describes what people need to do to inherit the blessings of the kingdom of God: they need to value the things that God values and live their lives accordingly. In Luke 15, Jesus explains His part. Like a shepherd with a lost sheep or a woman with a lost coin, He will search energetically for the lost souls who need Him. Like the father of a son who has rejected him, Jesus will wait until we repent and return to Him, humbler and better able to accept His gifts.
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: