Jan Spencer tells a great story about a seminary who invited a famous liberal theologian be a guest lecturer. He spoke for over two hours “proving” that the resurrection of Jesus was false.
The professor quoted notable scholars and theological books. He concluded there was no such thing as the historical resurrection, The religious tradition of the church was groundless, emotional mumbo-jumbo, because it was based on a relationship with a risen Jesus, who, in fact, never rose from the dead. Then he asked if there were any questions.
After about 30 seconds, an old preacher with a head of woolly white hair stood up in the back of the auditorium. “Professor, I got one question”, he said as all eyes turned toward him. He reached into his sack lunch and pulled out an apple and began eating it. CRUNCH, MUNCH, “My question is simple”,….CRUNCH, MUNCH… “Now, I ain’t never read them books you read”…CRUNCH, MUNCH… “and I can’t recite the Scriptures in the original Greek”…CRUNCH, MUNCH… “I don’t know nothin’ about Niebuhr and Heidegger”….CRUNCH, MUNCH…He finished the apple. “All I wanna know is: This apple I just ate——was it bitter or sweet?”
The professor paused then responded condescendingly: “I cannot possibly answer that question, for I haven’t tasted your apple”.
The white-haired preacher dropped the core of his apple into his crumpled sack, looked up at the professor and said calmly, “Neither have you tasted my Jesus.”
The auditorium erupted with applause and cheers. And the professor thanked his audience and promptly left the platform!
This story reminds me of David’s affirmation in Psalm 34:8. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”
What a great metaphor! Food is meant to be tasted. Savored. And enjoyed! So, is our relationship with the Lord.
David speaks of communion with God. A special connection. And divine association. His exposure to God’s goodness was empirical evidence of His existence. David had experienced a relationship with the Lord. And he invites us to relish God’s goodness.
◆“Taste” God’s Goodness through His Word.
When I was a kid growing up my Mom had a rule, “No snacking before supper!” Oh, we could have a light snake after school, but as supper time drew near, if she caught me in the kitchen looking for something to eat, she would say, “Get out of here! You’ll ruin your appetite!”
Indeed her tasty meals were better than junk food! Don’t ruin your divine appetite with “spiritual junk food.” We can ingest mentally and emotionally personal opinions, human philosophy and secular wisdom that neither satisfies the soul or produces spiritual growth.
David was right, “How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Ps 119:103).
◆“Taste” God’s Goodness Through His Protective Refuge. David experienced many difficulties in life . Temptations. Trials. Taunts. He had been doubted by his family. Treated with contempt by his leaders. And chased like a wild animal by his enemies. But he never lost faith in God.
God was his refuge. His hiding place. His place of safety. Security. And solace.
◆“Taste” God’s Goodness in the Beauty of Nature. Too often we rush hastily throughout life without appreciating the budding flower. The colorful rainbow. The resplendent sunset. The chirping bird. The gentle breeze. Take time to drink deeply from God’s creation.
◆“Taste” God’s Goodness in Christian Fellowship. God purposed that we do more than believe. He wants us to belong. To belong to a church family. To belong to a warm fellowship. To belong to a caring community. When Christians take their rightful place in the spiritual family, it brings nourishment to the soul and sustains our spirit
◆“Taste” God’s Goodness in Salvation through Christ. Jesus came not for us to read about Him, but to know Him. To experience a relationship with Him. To “taste” him. Indeed Jesus is “the bread of life”
Yes, “taste, and see the Lord is good!”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman