This object lesson teaches that it isn’t enough to be Christians in this world. We need to have “saltiness” so that we help to make life better, heal those who are hurting and save those who are lost. It uses a science experiment in which you can make an egg float by adding salt to water.
- Matthew 5:13
- Raw eggs (2)
- Salt (a small bag)
- Water (enough to fill two jars three-quarters full)
- Food coloring (a darker color)
- Vegetable oil (optional)
- 2 clear jars (bigger is better for visibility, but smaller requires less salt)
- Large spoon (1)
- Set out your materials on a table at the front of the room.
- Find the Bible passage, and highlight it or put a bookmark in that spot so that it will be easy to find later.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “We are going to do an experiment with an egg, some salt, water, and food coloring.” (Ask for two volunteers.)
- “I need each of you to fill the jar in front of you three-fourths full with water.” (Help the volunteers if needed.)
- “Now, add some food coloring to each jar, and stir until the water changes color.” (Assist if needed.)
- “Here are two normal eggs. They haven’t been boiled or changed in any way. They are straight from the chickens!” (Hold up the eggs, and let your volunteers hold them so that they can affirm that they are normal.)
- “If I put an egg into the water, will it float or sink?” (Acknowledge responses. Then, let one volunteer carefully place the egg in the water. It will sink.)
- “The water in the jar represents the world (not earth but the sinful world that is not part of God’s Kingdom).”
- “The egg represents God’s children, whom He has called to be part of his Kingdom.”
- “The world can be a dark place, and even a Christian can get lost in it if they act just like the world acts.”
- “The problem with this egg is that it sunk down into the world.”
- “God doesn’t bring us to Him for us to just get lost in the world. He has a bigger plan in mind.”
- “The Bible says we are to be the salt of the earth.” (Hold up the salt, and ask a volunteer to read Matthew 5:13.)
- “Salt does several things. It adds flavor to food. It can heal wounds. It can preserve meat.”
- “God wants us to be like salt to the world.”
- “He wants us to add flavor to life, which means that we should make life interesting and worth living for those around us.”
- “He wants us to heal those who are hurting.”
- “And God wants us to preserve – which means to save. He wants us to help people know about Jesus so that they can be saved.” (Ask your second volunteer to use a spoon to remove the egg from the jar. Then, have him or her pour several cups of salt into the water in his/her jar.)
- “To be any good to the world, we have to mix in with it.”
- “We won’t add flavor or heal or save if our saltiness stays in the bag.”
- “We’ve got to mix with the world so that all the people can experience our saltiness.” (Have volunteer thoroughly stir the salt and the water together.)
- “When we are salty Christians, something interesting happens to us.” (Have volunteer carefully place the egg back in the water. If there is enough salt mixed with the water, the egg will float about half in-half out of the water.)
- “The Bible teaches a principle that we are to be “in” the world but not “of” the world.”
- “This means that God left us in the world after we were saved even though this is not our home or our kingdom.”
- “He left us here so that we could bring more people to His Kingdom, and we do that not by sinking into the world and acting like it does but by being salty Christians, who add flavor, heal and save.”
- “When we are salty Christians, God will lift us up so that others notice our saltiness and will want to know about our God, who made us that way.” (Ask volunteer to read Matthew 5:13 again.)
- “The last part of Matthew 5:13 says that if we lose our saltiness, we aren’t good for anything and might as well just be thrown out.”
- “Like the egg without the salt, we will sink down into the world, and no one will even know that a child of God is there.”
- “But if we are salty, God will lift us up and make sure that people notice.”
For dramatic effect, you can also add vegetable oil. It won’t mix with the water, and it gives the egg the look of being suspended between the two levels (heaven and earth). You can point out that when we accept Christ into our lives, we are anointed (set apart for God’s purposes). In Biblical times, anointings were done with oil.