Q. My question is, do we have any record of Jesus ever eating meat? Recently I heard on the Radio that Jesus was a vegetarian and that the only diet acceptable to God is the vegetarian diet. Is this true? What do the Scriptures Say?
Believe it or not this is not a new concept.
1 Tim. 4:1-5
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
This passage is very clear. “Everything created by God is good” for food, including red meat. This is the inescapable conclusion of the proper interpretation of this passage. The question involving Jesus and meat must be considered from the record going back to the Old Testament.
3 “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. 4 ‘Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. 5 ‘Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 ‘You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. 7 ‘Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 ‘They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 ‘Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. 10 ‘And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire. 11 ‘Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste–it is the LORD’S Passover. 12 ‘For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments–I am the LORD. 13 ‘The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
This is the record of the institution of the Passover observance. The Israelites were commanded by God to offer a sacrifice and eat of the sacrifice. This was an annual observance for all Israel. Jesus was a Jew so he was commanded to keep the Passover as one who would fulfill all righteousness. In Matthew we read:
19 The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover. 20 Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 21 As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.”
This is on the occasion of the establishment of the Lord’s Supper. We have here the unmistakable inference that Jesus was a meat eater. We also have a clear statement from Jesus in Mark:
18 And He *said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.)
This verse alone should settle the argument once and for all. Some people may choose to abstain from certain foods for health reasons, but the Scriptures are clear. It is not wrong to eat bacon, or eggs, or steak or any red meat. It is purely a personal preference. It is SINFUL to bind your personal preferences on others and legislate what a person can and cannot eat, and it approaches BLASPHEME to state that the Scriptures forbid the eating of meat.