“Taste Test”

Taste Test

David Sproule

As Jesus hung in agony on the cross, they offered Him “sour wine mingled with gall to drink.  But when He had tasted it, He would not drink” (Matt. 27:34).  The word “tasted” there is not hard to figure out.  It is the same word found in John 2:9, when the master of the feast “tasted the water that was made wine.”  We understand what it means to “taste” something.  Once something hits our tongue, our “taster” decides whether it likes it or not, and whether it wants to have some more or not.

Interestingly, the Greek word that is used for “taste” in the two passages above is most often used metaphorically.  Those two passages are among the few that speak of literally tasting something with one’s tongue.  When the word is used metaphorically, it means, “to experience something cognitively or emotionally; to come to know something.”

About four times in the New Testament, this word is used of one who would “taste death.”  Jesus used the expression Himself (Matt. 16:28; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27), but then the Hebrews writer used it with reference to Jesus—that He did “taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9).  What a way to describe what Jesus endured.  He did not just die—He experienced death and came to know what it was like.  He did that for us!

But, consider three other uses of the word and how they apply to you.  First, a child of God is one who has “tasted the heavenly gift” (Heb. 6:4).  What is this “heavenly gift”?  Two possibilities seem apparent, but they are actually the same.  Salvation is “the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8), and Christ Himself is God’s “indescribable gift” (2 Cor. 9:15).  Think about the illustrative use of the word “taste.”  Are you saved?  Are you in a deep relationship with Christ?  If so, God says that you have “tasted” (or personally experienced) these blessings!

Second, a child of God has “tasted the good word of God” (Heb. 6:5).  One might think of Ezekiel or John who ate God’s Word.  The New Testament describes God’s Word as both “milk” (1 Pet. 2:2) and “solid food” (Heb. 5:12).  The Bible is not merely something that you read—God beautifully designed it for the child of God to personally experience every day!  How does it taste to you?

Third, a child of God has “tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Pet. 2:3).  God is not just someone we read about in a book.  God is someone to come to know and experience on such a deep and personal level that it’s as if you are tasting your relationship with Him.  How vivid!

When you taste something, you decide if you like it and if you want more.  How does God’s gift, God’s Word and God’s grace taste to you?  Don’t you want all you can get!