Question: "Was Jesus a vegetarian? Should a Christian be a vegetarian (or vegan)?"Recommended Resource:
Jesus was not a vegetarian. The Bible records Jesus eating fish (Luke 24:42-43) and lamb (Luke 22:8-15). Jesus miraculously fed the crowds fish and bread, a strange thing for Him to do if He was a vegetarian (Matthew 14:17-21). In a vision to the apostle Peter, Jesus declared all foods to be clean, including animals (Acts 10:10-15). After the flood in Noah’s time, God gave humanity permission to eat meat (Genesis 9:2-3). God has never rescinded this permission.
With that said, there is nothing wrong with a Christian being a vegetarian. The Bible does not command us to eat meat. There is nothing wrong with abstaining from eating meat. What the Bible does say is that we should not force our convictions about this issue on other people or judge them by what they eat or do not eat. Romans 14:2-3 tells us, “One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.”
Again, God gave humanity permission to eat meat after the flood (Genesis 9:3). In the Old Testament law, the nation of Israel was commanded not to eat certain foods (Leviticus 11:1-47), but there was never a command against eating meat. Jesus declared all foods, including all kinds of meat, to be clean (Mark 7:19). As with anything, each Christian should pray for guidance as to what God would have him/her eat. Whatever we decide to eat is acceptable to God as long as we thank Him for providing it (1 Thessalonians 5:18). “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Should a Christian be a vegetarian?
Eat This and Live by Don Colbert, M.D.
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