What Did Jesus Eat? Popular Bible Foods in the Day of Jesus

What did Jesus eat when He lived on the earth?  Was His diet kosher or do we know?  Did it really matter?  What were the foods available in the days where Jesus walked the earth?

Food We Know Jesus Ate

We know for sure that Jesus ate fish because Luke 24:41b-43 He asks, “Have you any food here? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.”  Some manuscripts don’t have the word “honey” but this is something that was not sinful to eat and was available in Jude so He likely ate honey as well.

Foods Jesus Likely Ate

Even if the Bible doesn’t explicitly say that Jesus ate certain foods, we can assume that He did since these were often native to the area in which He lived.

Olives

Figs

Grapes

Lamb

Legumes/Lentils or Beans

Melons

Pomegranates

Dates

Nuts

Raisons

Milk

Cheese

Eggs

Cucumbers

List of Foods Jesus Ate

Fish (even after His resurrection)

Bread (even after His resurrection)

Honey (very likely)

Corn

Wheat

Wine (during Passover, likely though had no or very little alcoholic content)

Jesus Declares All Food Clean

For those who hold to the strict dietary laws that the Jews kept, you have no need of doing so.  I do believe eating ham, bacon, or other foods that the Jews restricted were frequently unhealthy but we cannot judge people by what they eat but what comes out of their mouth is the most important thing.  Listen to what Jesus said in Mark 7:14-23:

And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand:  There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him. And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable.  And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)  And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him.  For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.  All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Truly, what comes out of a person’s mouth reveals what is in their heart and not what goes in.  A person’s words betray what they are really like.  If good, then good comes out and if not, then bad words come out.  Paul reiterates this in Colossians 2:16 writing “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath [so] Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him” (Rom 14:3).

Conclusion

We must follow Jesus’ example in this life but not so much what went into His mouth but what came out it.  Jesus told those who would follow Him to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44).  If you want to talk about clean and unclean, here’s the true cleansing that we all need.  Paul wrote in 2 Cor 5:21 that “For our sake [God] made [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  If you are still in your sins when Christ returns, then you will die in your sins (John 8:24).  There will be no second chance of repentance (Rev 20:11-15). Trust in Christ today for He testifies that “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts

 

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Senior Writer at www.WhatChristiansWantToKnow.com whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design
photo credit: angelocesare via photopin cc

  • Jp

    First off this isnt meant to be negative towards a fellow member of the body of Messiah, so please dont take this the wrong way but that verse isnt referring to kosher eating. Its a common mistake to take that verse out of context if you dont start reading at mark 7:1 and goes through 7:23. Mark 7 begins:

    1 Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were common [κοινός / koinos], that is, unwashed.3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands, holding to the tradition of the elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with common [κοιναῖς / koinais] hands?” [Mark 7:1-5]

    In these first five verses we see that the Pharisees took issue with Yeshua’s disciples because they ate bread (a clean food) with “common” hands – a manmade tradition of the elders that went far beyond what the Law of God required. The Pharisees believed that hands, bowls, plates, utensils, and even dining couches, could become “common” through ordinary use, and thus had to be washed (presumably because it could make a person “common” if he/she ate with them, cf. Acts 10:28). Thus, we can think of “commonness” as a tertiary or higher level of defilement that went beyond what God had instructed in the Law. So in effect, the pharisees were blurring the line between that which God commands, and that which is commanded by men – thus elevating their traditions to the status of God-given commandments, and using those traditions as a basis upon which to judge Yeshua’s disciples.

    Some Bible translations will translate the Greek word koinais as “unclean” or “defiled,” but these are misleading translations of the Greek. The noun form of this word, κοινή (koinē), is the same word used in the phrase “Koine Greek” (Common Greek) – thus the most literal English translation of koinais would be “common.”

    Importantly, the Greek word koinais (common) does not connote the same thing as the Greek word for “unclean,” and misunderstanding these two terms has caused a great deal of confusion amongst interpreters of this verse. There is a completely different Greek word used in both the New Testament as well as the Septuagint (the first-century Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) to refer to “uncleannes” and “defilement,”[9] but Yeshua does not use this word anywhere in Mark 7, nor in its synoptic parallel Matthew 15.[10] In the Septuagint, the word for “unclean” is always ἀκαθαρσία (akatharsia / unclean), not κοιναῖς (koinais / common).

    Continuing in Mark 7, Yeshua leaves little doubt that the “commonness” he is referring to is a manmade concept in his subsequent rebuke:

    6 “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” 9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!” [Mark 7:6-9]

    The Pharisees, by putting manmade traditions on par with the word of God, were sinning according to the scriptures (see Deut. 4:2,12:32). Just imagine for a second how hypocritical it would be for Yeshua to then turn around and nullify God’s commandments regarding clean/unclean animals, in the very same chapter where he condemns the hypocrisy of the Pharisees for nullifying God’s commandments.

    It’s important to point out here that after His rebuke, the narrative does not shift to a new topic or teaching. Rather, Yeshua continueshis teaching on what makes a person “common” in the following verses saying:

    14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can make himcommon [κοινῶσαι / koinōsai], but the things that come out of a person are what make him common. [κοινοῦντα / koinounta]” [Mark 7:14-15]

    Note that the same Greek word that was used in Mark 7:2 and 7:5 (koinos / common) is also used in Mark 7:14-15 (koinōsai /koinounta / to make common). This makes sense because Yeshua is simply continuing the teaching that he had already begun in verses 1-13. This is critical to understand because in verses 1-13 he is dealing with this concept of “commonness,” which was a tradition of the Pharisees, and in verses 14-23 he is dealing with this exact same concept – essentially explaining to the people whatreally makes a person common.

    Most Bible translations do not read this way. Many translations will either insert “defiled” or “unclean” for the bolded terms above. Nevertheless, as mentioned regarding Mark 7:2 and 7:5, these words are poor translations of the Greek word koinos/koinoo, which is closest to our English word “common.”

    So in verses 14-15 Yeshua directly contradicts this particular tradition of the Pharisees, saying that there is nothing outside of a person that can go into him and make him common – after all, “commonness” is not the same thing as unclean, because it is based in human tradition. And Yeshua does not stop here: he actually uses this category of “commonness” in order to make his own ruling on this matter, stating that it is not what goes into a person that makes him common, but what comes out of a person that makes him common:

    21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.23 All these evil things come from within, and they are what make a person common.

    Here is the main point of Yeshua’s teaching: an evil heart brings forth evil: evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting, wickedness, deceit, etc. These are the things that ultimately defile a person – not eating bread (a clean food) with unwashed hands.

    Hope this clears that up and I hope you can see this truth.

    JP, a disciple of YAHshua

    • Jack Wellman

      Well stated. I appreciate your adding much to this article and I believe that your comment may actually be better in the whole than the article itself. May the Lord bless you for your words of kindness my friend.

    • christophorm

      being a fornicator,murder,thief,adulterer,slanderer etc… dose not make one common or uncommon but unclean and causes someone to exit the body and kingdom because of uncleaness (1 john 3- 1cor. 6:9-10- Gal 5-19:21) .Jesus Christ is the END of the law/torah unto righteousness….Romans 10:4

  • Leanne

    What is wine with no alcohol content? Grape juice?


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