Jesus told parables or stories to illustrate important truths, and since I’ve always loved stories, here’s one I would like to share:
A baby camel asked his mother why he had two wide, funny-looking toes and she responded that they were given by God to help him walk through the desert sand without sinking. He then asked her why he had such long bushy eyebrows, and she told him God gave them to him to keep the desert wind from blowing the harsh sand into his eyes and blinding him.
“Well then, what are these funny-looking humps on our backs for?” he asked.
“Those are our food supply, so we can travel for days and miles across the barren desert without dying of hunger,” she replied.
“But Mom, may I ask you one more question?”
“Sure son, what is it?”
“What are we doing in the zoo?”
Believers Are Salt and Light
The Bible says, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Matthew 5:13
When Jesus shared this illustration, it was obvious to His disciples what He was referring to by mentioning salt. They knew salt was a preservative and that without it, much of humanity would not have survived. As fishermen, several of His disciples had used salt to preserve their catch, keeping the fish from spoiling before they got them to market. They would take the salt, hand rub it onto the fish, then cover the entire catch with salt as much as possible.
However, Jesus goes on to say that if salt loses its preserving power, it is good for nothing, and will be thrown out and trampled under the foot of men. I believe it’s safe to say that Jesus was telling them, “It is you and all the true, future, salty Christians that will help preserve the earth. All of you will be rubbed into and poured upon this world as salt and light, and you will become known as those who are willing to take a stand against evil. Without you—the preserving salt of the earth—the world will become corrupt and decay.”
Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15.
Sadly, salty Christians can lose their savor if they turn the public-social gospel into a self-centered gospel, and use the church like a zoo! They gather in holy huddles and ask the pastor to salt them down so they can make it through the week—inaccessible to the world. At that point, the gospel that should be shared with the world becomes isolated, the salt loses its savor, the light in them no longer shines, and the world will no longer be drawn to Jesus. The Great Commission becomes the great omission!
It’s okay to love the zoo, enjoy the zoo, attend the zoo, and fellowship in the huddle. However, Jesus didn’t call us to live there. And come to think of it, He never commissioned the world to go to the zoo, but commissioned the zoo to go to the world, instead!
So, can I ask a question? What are so many Christians doing huddling at the zoo?