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Eating Pork: What did Jesus say about Eating Pork

Jesus Himself did not specifically address the issue of eating pork in the recorded Gospels. However, the topic of food laws, including the consumption of pork, is addressed in the New Testament, reflecting on Jesus’ teachings and the early Christian church’s understanding of purity laws.

In the context of the New Testament, the most relevant discussion surrounding dietary laws and their application to Christians, including the consumption of pork, can be found in the teachings of the Apostle Paul and in the Book of Acts, reflecting the early Church’s stance on Jesus’ teachings.

  1. Mark 7:18-19 (ESV): “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.)” This verse is significant because Jesus is explaining that it’s not what goes into the body that defiles a person, but what comes out of their heart. This has been interpreted to mean that Jesus declared all foods, potentially including pork, clean.
  2. Acts 10:9-15 (ESV): This passage describes Peter’s vision in which he sees a sheet lowered from heaven, containing all kinds of animals, reptiles, and birds, including those considered unclean by Jewish dietary laws. A voice tells Peter, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” When Peter objects based on the animals being unclean, the voice responds, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” This passage is often interpreted as God showing Peter that the Gospel is for Gentiles as well as Jews, and by extension, that the dietary laws of the Old Testament are no longer binding on Christians.
  3. Romans 14:14-17 (ESV): “I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.” Here, Paul discusses Christian liberty regarding food. While he asserts that no food is unclean in itself, he also emphasizes the importance of not causing another believer to stumble because of what one eats.

Three Main Takeaways:

  1. Spiritual Purity Over Ritual Purity: Jesus and the New Testament teachings often emphasize that spiritual purity, emanating from one’s heart and actions, is more important than adherence to ritual purity laws, such as dietary restrictions.
  2. Christian Liberty and Love: The New Testament, especially through Paul’s teachings, emphasizes the theme of Christian liberty, including the freedom to eat all kinds of food. However, this liberty is always to be exercised in love, being considerate of other believers’ consciences and not causing them to stumble.
  3. The Universal Nature of the Gospel: Peter’s vision in Acts 10 and the subsequent teaching underscore that the Gospel transcends the Jewish cultural and ceremonial laws, making salvation and the message of Jesus accessible to all peoples, irrespective of their dietary practices. This reflects a movement from exclusion based on purity laws to inclusion based on faith in Christ.


  • Greg Gaines

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