What does it mean to be the salt of the earth?
Jesus described His followers in Matthew 5: 13-16 as the salt of the earth. In His time salt was used for preserving food and enhancing flavor. This means that He calls us to be both the“preservatives” and the “flavor enhancers” in this world. But maybe there is third meaning to being the salt of the earth. With this easy to do object lesson you can demonstrate to the children, youth or adults in your church that being salt can also mean that we carry each other’s burdens in Jesus’ name.
But you can also use this experiment to illustrate:
- the Bible story of the four friends carrying the paralyzed men and lowering him down to Jesus through a hole in the roof. (Luke 5: 17-39)
- the Bible story of the apostle Paul escaping Damascus in a basket. (Acts 9:23-31)
- the Bible story of Rahab who helps the two spies escape from Jericho. (Joshua 2)
- the Bbile story of the floating axe head. (2 Kings 6: 1-7)
We at Creative Kidswork are real fans of TheDadLab Youtube Channel. Here is another of his great, short video's on easy to do science experiments.
There are some of the themes that you connect with this easy object lesson:
- Carrying each other's burdens
The apostle Paul writes in Galatians 6: 2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.” You take an egg and ask the children to name some of the burdens that we can carry for another. This will a good exercise in itself. It will help the kids to think about what it means to carry each other’s burdens. Write some of these burdens that the children name on the egg.
Drop the egg in a glass of water. It will float. Then teach about Jesus calling us the salt of the earth. Explain the different meanings of what this entails. Then add the salt to the water, stir gently and the egg will start to float. By being the salt of the world we can carry each other’s burdens.
- Jesus Heals a Man Let Down through the Roof of a House
In Luke 5: 17-39 we read about some men carrying a friend who is paralyzed. You’ll need a big jug of water, salt, an egg and a large glass of water to tell this story. The egg is the paralyzed man. You fill a large glass wit a third of water. Let the children add salt to it, so that the egg starts to float. This is an illustration of the friends carrying the paralyzed men. But how do they get him down to where Jesus is? Once there are on the roof they’ll have to lower their friend gently down.
Ask the children if they have any idea how we can lower the egg gently to the bottom of the glass. The answer is very simple. You’ll add more water to the glass of salty water. The water dilutes and the egg starts to gently float to the bottom.
- Saul / Paul Escaping from Damascus in a Basket
In Acts 9:23-31 the apostle Paul has to escape out of Damascus. The only way to do this is through a hole in the wall. "After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall." That must have been quite an exciting adventure. In the dark in a basket being lowered down from a high wall.
Write the name Saul / Paul on an egg. Place this egg in a large glass for 3/4 filled with salty water. The egg floats. Paul is high on the wall. How can we help him to go safely down the wall? We don't have a basket, but we do have more water. Add more water to the glass and let the egg sink. Afterwards explain how the experiment works and let the children experiment with their own eggs, water and salt.
- Rahab Helps Two Spies to Escape out ot Jericho
Tell the story of Rahab helping the two Israelites spies escape to escape from Jericho by lowering them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall. (Joshua 2) Use the same set-up as in the story of Paul escaping from Damascus.
- Elisha and the Floating Ax Head
Tell the story of the prophet Elisha who went with the other prophet's to live near the Jordan River. "As one of them was cutting down a tree, the ax head fell into the water. He cried out, “Oh no, master! It was borrowed!” The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed Elisha the place, Elisha cut off a piece of wood. He threw it into the water at that place and made the ax head float. Elisha said, “Pick it up.” The disciple reached for it and picked it up." (2 Kings 6: 1-7) What would you do when something precious would fall in the water and the water is too dark or deep to see where it fell? Would you panick? One of the prophets with Elisha did panick, because the axe wasn't his property. He had only borrowed it. The amazing thing is that God even carries about these things that seem important to us, but unimportant to other people. Elisha threw a piece of wood in the water and this mad the ax head float.
Show the children a large glass full of black water. You have made the water black by adding inkt or black food coloring. On the bottom of the glass lies an egg, but you cannot it. The water is too black. On the egg you've written 'Axe Head'. You tell the children that you have also lost an Axe Head in this glass of water. But we don't have a piece of wood to make it float. We do have lots of salt and a spoon. Let the children add lots of salt to the water and start to stir gently. After a while you'll see the egg appear. Carefully pick the egg out of the black water and show the words on the egg 'Axe Head'. Afterwards explain how the experiment works and let the children experiment with their own eggs, clean fresh water and salt.