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For we are to God a sweet savour of Christ, in those being saved, and in those being lost;  

2Corinthians 2:15
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When she pushed the door open, the aroma of yam porridge wafted to her, invaded her nose and rearranged her tired face into a smiling one. Naema forgot she was carrying her travelling bag and entered the kitchen. Her mother turned, pushed a bowl at her and withdrew it. “Go put your bag down and come right back here. 

“Yes, mammy, she responded and added, “I am starving!”.

When the first spoonful landed on her tongue, her taste buds transformed into a thousand conductors of beautiful memories. Naema raised her head only when her bowl was empty. Her tongue longed for more. Without looking at her, mother whispered, “I know. Go take only 2 ladles, you hear? “Thank you, mammy! Naema shouted and darted towards the kitchen. Naema’s tongue did a good job, like many other tongues. It was created to do just that. 

The tongue can mainly handle 5 senses of taste[1]. Children have approximately 10,000 taste buds located primarily on the tongue, but by adulthood, they have reduced to between 2,000 and 8,000[2]. These buds help us identify the taste of whatever we put in our mouths. In other words, our tongues can decipher 5 different types of taste. They are – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami – all expertly handled. They each simply activate our senses. But our perception of taste depends largely on our background and how we trained our tongues.

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The tongue can perceive taste from virtually every part of its surface. Our saliva is the transport system to take food to the receptor cells[3]. It works with the sense of smell to influence memory and emotions. In our story above, the scent of the yam porridge got Naema salivating. The memory of her mother’s savoury yam porridge rearranged her feelings, so she began smiling. Finally, her memory of yam porridge experiences made her to forget to carry her bag into her room. What is the taste of your current favourite meal, and who prepares it best?

Hot and spicy food perception is actually that of pain. The tongue and mouth experience pain and send those signals to our brain. Researchers are trying to identify how we perceive more tastes like metal, water, and alkaline[4]. Our taste buds can, however, identify fat in foods.

Our taste buds weaken with age, sickness, smoking, cold, medications, dental problems, etc[5]. But without them, we cannot taste anything. The loss of the sense of taste can cause one to lose appetite and grow lean.

Taste in the bible refers to experiencing something through the taste or taste buds. Let us just suppose that, as our key text says, we a savour of Jesus Christ, who is the Father’s beloved Son. The Father has announced at least twice that He is well pleased with His Son (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark1:11; 9:7). We are a sweet savour, a taste of His Son to Him. As a Christian, God looks at you and perceives the fun times He has had with His only begotten Son. This is priceless. Whenever you are on the road, and you are about to yell at a reckless driver, remember you are a savour of Jesus to God Himself. Remember that you are a savour whenever you are ready to show someone how to mean you can be. When you have the opportunity to share the gospel, remember you are the sweet savour. Give it your best shot. And the Father, who gave Jesus His throne, will make you king also.

Parents who endeavour to be pleasant tastes to their children will bring up versatile adults. Spouses will create spouses who look like Jesus. Can anything compare? Children will develop kind-hearted siblings and cooperative parents. Workers will find a peace that only the Prince of Peace can give. 

So what do you taste like?


[1] How does our sense of taste work? – InformedHealth.org – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov); How the Sense of Taste Works (verywellhealth.com)

[2] Taste Buds: Anatomy, Function, and Treatment (verywellhealth.com)

[3] How the Sense of Taste Works (verywellhealth.com)

[4] How does our sense of taste work? – InformedHealth.org – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)

[5] What Causes Loss of Taste (verywellhealth.com); Change in Sense of Taste: 5 Possible Reasons Things Taste Differently (webmd.com)