NORMAN — Water and salt are essential to life. Our bodies must have both in order to be healthy. Every day we hydrate ourselves with water so that we can enjoy good health. Every day we receive some salt intake so that our metabolism can function properly.
Jesus understands this. He shares our flesh and blood, since he is both God and man. He drank water from a well and ate salt in his food, just like us.
In the Gospel lesson this weekend from Mark 9:41,49,50 he says “For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward…. Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
In order to grasp what Jesus is saying here, it is essential to understand an important reality. Jesus is the head of the church, which is his body. When a person is baptized with water in the name of the Triune God, by faith in Jesus Christ crucified, risen, ascended and returning in glory, that person is incorporated into the body of Christ.
As a result, Jesus is closely connected to the members of his church, his body. When a cup of cold water is given to one of his believers, it is as if it was given personally to Jesus himself. Such is the love of God to be united to his children.
Also as a result, Jesus recognizes that believers in him are called to a life different from the unbelieving world. When Christians are like salt in the world, it means that when there is hate, they bring love. When there is discord, they bring peace. When there is anger, they bring kindness.