Whose Your Master ?

The Sense of Taste by Jusepe de Ribera

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The Sense of Taste

There is something revolting to me about this painting. I am guessing this man to be working class or poor. His clothes are ill fitting, rumpled and ripped. His hands are not the delicate hands of a gentleman but instead thick, rough and red. His face looks dirty and red on one side perhaps from the sun.

His right hand raises a glass of wine while his left hand holds some kind of implement -- perhaps for cracking that shell? The plate seems full of some kind of worm like creatures -- perhaps some sort of sealife.

The man looks at us almost in a drunken stupor as though he's been "caught in the act of gluttony" -- and indeed he has. In many countries of the world the love of food and the spirit of gluttony is highly prevalent. The love of food keeps men thinking about food until their stomachs become the focus of life.

A glutton wants more and more until their buttons are popping and their eyes are red with intoxication. A glutton can crave more than just food. The craving for "stuff" (or material possessions), for sex, or for anything in excess can set a man or woman down a path that is opposite to God's.

Jesus clearly states that "No man can serve two masters." If we can't get our minds off the things that we crave then those things are clearly our master. We are slaves to those things and that means we are slaves to sin.

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