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This mornings message request in our “You Asked for It Again” series is going to address food. What kinds of foods did those in biblical times eat? Was there a turning point in what God’s people could eat?
Food Transition: Jesus and the Law
The next time we see food mentioned is in Jesus proclamation to His disciples.
Mark 7:17-23, “After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) 20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
It is very clear in this passage that Jesus was making a couple of statements. The first was that all food was acceptable to eat. The second was clear also, in that Jesus was more concerned about the state of a person’s heart much more than what they choose to eat.
Here is Peter’s transition from obeying the Levitical laws concerning food to what was permissible now that Jesus had lived, died on the cross and resurrected.
Acts 10:9-16, “About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” 14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” 15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” 16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.”
Again, just as Jesus said, Peter’s vision clearly helps us see that anything that God has created can be eaten. Peter was still living by Jewish (Levitical) law concerning what he ate, but this vision made it clear that God did not want him to continue doing so.