Question: Did Jesus eat pork? If He didn’t then Why do Christians eat it?
By Brother Michel Lankford
First, allow me to congratulate you on asking two very worthwhile questions. Any intelligent student of Scripture must confront these questions. I wish that there were short and easy answers to your questions. As you will soon see, your first question is easy to answer. Unfortunately, the answer to your second question is a lot more complicated.
The Short Summary Answers
First: Did Jesus eat pork? No, He did not. God’s Laws and Commandments are exceedingly clear. Leviticus 11 is clear about what God defines as food for believing and covenant people. According to Scripture, pigs and certain other animals are NOT defined to be FOOD. Those animals serve other purposes in God’s design, but they are NOT designed to be FOOD for humans to eat.
IF Jesus ate pork, that would mean that Jesus would have violated Leviticus 11; and Isaiah 66. He would have been guilty of breaking the Commandments of God. That would mean that Jesus would have committed SIN against God. That’s what sin means. It means to break the commandments of God. If Jesus broke God’s Law, that makes Jesus a sinner. IF Jesus WAS a SINNER who broke the Commandments of God, that is the same as saying that Jesus is NOT the Messiah. In that case, Jesus would NEED a Savior Himself. He could not be the sinless atoning sacrifice for our sins, which He indeed is.
The Bible is abundantly clear that Jesus did NOT sin:
As it is written: For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:21–22, ESV)
As it is written: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, ESV)
As it is written: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV)
As it is written: You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.” (1 John 3:5, ESV)
Since Jesus DID NOT SIN, that means that Jesus DID NOT break God’s Laws, and He DID NOT transgress or violate God’s Commandments. That is what it means to sin (Hosea 8:1; Daniel 9:11; Isaiah 5:20-24). That means that Jesus faithfully KEPT and OBEYED Leviticus 11. By default, that also means that Jesus DID NOT eat pork or any other unclean animal, which God said was NOT food for us to eat. Therefore, if you believe the Scriptures (which I do), that means that Jesus did not eat pork (or any other unclean animal).
Second: Since Jesus did not eat pork, why do Christians do it? The second question you ask is much harder to answer. I warn you in advance that the true answer will trigger many people. The truth will OFFEND many people, but it remains the truth regardless of how we feel about it. So the short answer is this. The reason that modern Christians disobey Scripture and they eat pork, and other unclean animals is because they misread and they misinterpret Scripture. They misunderstand certain things that are written in the New Testament. They take certain things that Paul wrote, and they twist things around to say things that Paul was NOT teaching. For example, Paul taught that the Grace of God saves us, and our works of obedience does not save us. Therefore, they (INCORRECTLY) assume that as long as we “believe” Jesus Christ, we are supposedly FREE to DISOBEY God, and we can still expect to go to heaven because we are saved by Grace and not saved by our works. Now, Christians have strung together bits and pieces of various Scriptures to make this FALSE doctrine SEEM PLAUSIBLE. Still, they have drawn a FALSE conclusion by stringing various bits and pieces of Scripture together, while IGNORING what the rest of Scripture teaches. In reality, if you look at Scripture objectively, when Christians eat pork and other unclean animals, they are BREAKING the Commandments of God (Leviticus 11). They are ignoring the teachings of the prophets (e.g., Isaiah 66:17). They are VIOLATING the teachings and examples of Messiah (Matthew 5:17-20; John 12:48-50). They are also IGNORING and VIOLATING the teachings of the apostles in the New Testament ( e.g., 1 John 2:3-6; Revelation 21:8).
For example, even according to the New Testament, practicing abominations will still cause a person to be condemned to the lake of fire:
As it is written: But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”” (Revelation 21:8, NKJV)
Christians conveniently ignore that Revelation 21:8 is also part of the New Testament. John wrote those words almost 60 years AFTER Jesus died and rose again to make atonement for sins. John was “Under Grace” when the Holy Spirit caused him to write those words. Nonetheless, he still wrote that those who practice abominations will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. So committing ABOMINATIONS will still CONDEMN you according to the New Testament. Eating unclean things is an ABOMINATION according to Scripture (Isaiah 66:17). Despite what the New Testament truthfully teaches in context, many Christians incorrectly believe that Grace means we can disobey God and still go to heaven, so long as we claim faith in Jesus Christ. Many modern Christians neglect the fact that part of believing Jesus Christ requires that we OBEY Jesus Christ. From the biblical perspective, if you refuse to OBEY Jesus Christ, that also means that you DO NOT truly BELIEVE Him either. From the biblical point of view, the PROOF of what you truly BELIEVE is what you DO with your life, and NOT what you THINK in your head.
As it is written: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”” (John 3:36, NASB95)
As it is written: and being perfected, he became the source of eternal salvation to all those who obey him,” (Hebrews 5:9, LEB)
As it is written: He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:6, NKJV)
According to the clear instructions of the New Testament we are to walk in every respect the same way that Jesus walked when He was here. That means that since Jesus did not eat pork, we who claim to abide in Jesus should also not eat pork or any other unclean things. We should be walking the same way that Jesus walked. That’s what the New Testament physically SAYS. That means that whether they like it or not, “Christians” who refused to honor this verse are VIOLATING the New Testament.
For the record. I DO strive to keep biblically kosher. I don’t eat pork. I DO strive to keep the Torah, and the testimony of the Messiah, (Revelation 14:12; 1 John 2:1-6; John 12:49-50). I don’t try to obey God to “Get saved.” I strive to obey God’s Instructions because He saved me. There is a difference.
More Detailed Answers
Since Jesus Did Not Eat Pork, Why Do Christians Eat it?
The second half of your question is much more complicated; because emotions run very hot on this issue. However, you asked a solid and fair question, which deserves an answer.
They are VIOLATING what the plain text of Scripture teaches. They are VIOLATING the Old Testament (Leviticus 11). They are ignoring and violating the New Testament too. They are violating the Whole Testament (1 John 2:3-6; 1 Peter 2:21-23; John 12:49-50; Revelation 21:7-8). Please don’t forget that breaking God’s Commandments, and walking outside of God’s Law IS STILL the definition of what it means to sin, even more than 50 years after Jesus died and rose again (see 1 John 3:4). The Bible’s definition of sin HAD NOT CHANGED, even more than 50 years AFTER Jesus died and rose again to make atonement for sin. Do not lose sight of that, as so many Christians conveniently do.
They INCORRECTLY interpret Scripture. They falsely believe that since we are saved by Grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and we are not saved by our works of obedience; this allegedly means we should now DISOBEY God on purpose and DISREGARD God’s Instructions, and do the OPPOSITE of what God says to do so that we can prove that we are putting our faith in Jesus to save us, and we are not relying on our works of obeying Commandments to save us. It’s RIDICULOUS and ANTI-BiBLICAL teaching. Nevertheless, that is how most modern Christians are taught to function today.
They INCORRECTLY believe that Paul the Apostle taught that we should DISOBEY God’s Commandments in order to live in God’s Grace. What Paul was actually teaching was going back to what WRITTEN Scripture taught about salvation. We should NOT follow the rabbinical traditions of men to try to EARN salvation by obeying the rabbinical traditions of MEN. The Rabbis were falsely teaching that obeying a MIXTURE of Scriptures along with Rabbinical teaching tradition is what CAUSES salvation. Jesus Christ. Paul the Apostle and the other Apostles were all AGAINST that FALSE Rabbinical teaching of salvation. First, Rabbinical tradition was ILLEGAL and UNBIBLICAL (Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32). Second, the Rabbinical teaching taught an OPPOSITE method of salvation than what Scripture teaches. In Biblical salvation, people ALWAYS get saved BEFORE obedience happens. Obedience DOES NOT CAUSE salvation. You ALWAYS get saved by Grace through Faith FIRST, and then you learn and practice obeying what God wants you to do AFTER receiving salvation. This is what the WRITTEN Old Testament teaches too (Ezekiel 11:19–20; Ezekiel 36:25–27). Even in the “Old Testament,” the People of Israel received salvation by the blood of the Lamb FIRST, and then 50 days AFTER receiving salvation they were given the Commandments of God (See Exodus 12:1–20:26; 1 Corinthians 10). We don’t obey God to “Get Saved.” FIRST God saves us and transforms us, and then AFTER salvation, we learn and practice obeying what God wants us to do. Even Paul highlights the point that it is IMPOSSIBLE for the UNCONVERTED person to successfully obey God (Romans 8:5–8). First get saved so that you can obey.
There are at least 16 clear Biblical reasons that we can KNOW for CERTAIN that Paul was NOT teaching AGAINST Obeying the Written Old Testament:
16 Reasons We Can KNOW that Paul WAS NOT Teaching to Disobey Torah
Modern Christians DO NOT “FOLLOW” Jesus Christ
Modern Christians are not “FOLLOWING” Jesus Christ. In the original biblical languages to FOLLOW (δεῦτε) literally means, “To come along afterward, and to walk in the SAME steps that your predecessor walked. Therefore, according to Biblical Terminology, to authentically FOLLOW Jesus would mean that you come along after Jesus Christ, and you walk in the SAME steps that Jesus Christ walked before God. Modern Christians are NOT taught to walk that way, (or even to respect that way of walking), which means that they are literally NOT “FOLLOWING” Jesus Christ. They are FOLLOWING something OTHER than Jesus Christ.
How Did Jesus Walk Before YHWH Almighty?
His Attitude: Messiah chose and did what pleased the Father YHWH Almighty God (John 6:38; John 8:29). He loved righteousness and hated iniquity (Hebrews 1:9). His passion was to do Yahweh’s Will. He wanted that more than His food, or even His life (John 4:34; John 5:30; Matthew 26:39). He was zealous for the house of God. He was eager to defend what should be going on there, and He passionately opposed what should not be going on in God’s house (John 2:12-17). He was humble (Matthew 11:28-30; Philippians 2:5-8). He had compassion for the weak and broken (Matthew 9:46; Matthew 14:14). We should do likewise.
His Words: Messiah spoke YHWH Almighty God the Father’s Words (John 12:49-50; cf. John 17:8; Deuteronomy 13:1-5; Matthew 5:17-20; Luke 10:26). So Yeshua the Messiah did not speak His own words, but the words that Yahweh Almighty God gave Him. This too is how WE should walk.
His Deeds: Jesus Kept God’s Commandments: 1st and foremost He abided in YHWH Almighty God’s Love, by OBEYING and KEEPING the Father’s Commandments (John 15:10). That is why the biblically adherent believers define the proof of loving God (and thus fulfilling the Great Commandment –Matthew 22:36-40), as OBEYING and KEEPING Yahweh’s Commandments, because that is how Messiah HIMSELF has already defined what it means to abide in God’s Love. If Messiah has already defined that the proof of abiding in God’s Love is to keep the Father’s Commandments, then if Yeshua the Messiah is truly our Lord, our Master, and our Savior, we cannot redefine what it means to love God into something that contradicts what our Lord and Master has already defined. The proof that we are growing in our love toward God, is to KEEP His Commandments (1 John 5:1-3; cf. John 14:21 cf. John 15:14). Therefore, in reality, we cannot separate loving YHWH Almighty God from keeping His Commandments, because this is how Messiah defined the proof of Loving the Father.
Jesus was a man of prayer (Mark 1:35). He was in constant communion with His Father and often got up early in the morning to talk with God.
He opposed the traditions of men when those traditions violated God’s Law: (Matthew 13:1-9; Mark 7:1-13). He considered disobeying God’s Law in order to keep traditions of men to be VAIN worship.
Messiah was the ultimate sacrifice for sin! He gave His life so that we (sinful beings would be transformed into righteous Saints of YHWH) and we could spend eternity living as citizens of God’s Kingdom with Him. He provided His life – the ultimate sacrifice- to provide forgiveness of and liberation from sins, as a free gift to all who will believe! (1 John 2:2). Therefore our lives also ought to be one of self-denial to uphold the principles of God’s Kingdom.
This is NOT how modern Christians, churches, and Bible Colleges encourage people to live today. Modern Christians are NOT taught that they should OBEY God. They are NOT taught that they should imitate God, as Scripture teaches (Ephesians 5:1). They are NOT taught that they should COPY Jesus Christ, or try to walk the SAME WAY that Jesus walked (1 John 2:3-6).
Trigger warnings: It’s a sad reality, but the truth is that most modern Christians today are taught to do the OPPOSITE of what Scripture teaches people to do because they falsely believe that obeying God is supposedly bondage and that DISOBEYING God allegedly proves that you are walking in the Grace of God.
Today, DISOBEYING God supposedly proves that you are walking in the Grace of God, because disobeying God means that you are not trying to establish your own righteousness by works of obeying what God says to do.
Therefore, they have now established a modern Christian culture that teaches that DISOBEYING God, and living the OPPOSITE of the way that Jesus lived is NOW being called a VIRTUE, because it supposedly means that you are putting your trust in Jesus Christ, and you are not depending upon your own works of obedience for your righteousness and salvation.
Supposedly, you now prove that you are walking in God’s Grace by NOT doing what God says to do, because obeying God supposedly means that you are trying to get saved by works of righteousness instead of being saved by Grace.
Today, NOT COPYING how Jesus lived supposedly proves that your walking in God’s Grace, because your disobedience allegedly proves that you are not trying to get saved by works of obedience.
This doctrine is incredibly popular. It is incredibly widespread, and it is COUNTERFEIT Christianity. Regardless of how popular this approach may be, this is a FALSE doctrine. It is NOT Biblical Christianity at all.
Regardless of popular modern Christian tradition, according to the SCRIPTURE even in the New Testament, living this way DOES NOT make you a, “Christian in the Grace of God.” On the contrary; according to WRITTEN Scripture in the “New Testament,” living in the COUNTERFEIT Christianity described above is what makes you a LIAR, and NOT a Christian. I didn’t say it. It is what SCRIPTURE actually teaches:
As it is written: Now by this, we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:3–6, NKJV)
As it is written: This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.” (2 John 6, NKJV)
The “New Testament” clearly teaches that we should imitate God the Heavenly Father (Ephesians 5:1). There is no way to imitate God the Heavenly Father by DISOBEYING what God teaches you to do. Scripture also tells us that we should COPY Jesus Christ, and walk the SAME way that Jesus walked, (1 John 2:3-6; 1 Peter 2:21-23). According to SCRIPTURE, anyone who claims to know Almighty God, and to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but who refuses to learn and practice walking the same way Jesus walked, is a LIAR, and NOT truly a Christian..
If a person qualifies as a liar by biblical definition, they are NOT saved. They are NOT a Christian. That’s not my personal preference or opinion. That’s what Scripture and even the “New Testament” teaches:
As it is written: He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”” (Revelation 21:7–8, NKJV)
As it is written: Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” (Revelation 22:14–15, NKJV)
Fact: Eating unclean animals is an abomination (Leviticus 11; Isaiah 66:17). God says that He will punish people who eat abominable things when He judges the nations of the world on the Final Day. He will treat them the same way that he treats all other sinners. He will NOT treat them as SAINTS (Isaiah 66:17).
Fact: Claiming to know Jesus Christ but refusing to copy the way that Jesus lived before God when He was here makes you a liar according to the New Testament (1 John 2:3-6).
Fact: BOTH practicing ABOMINATIONS and LYING are behaviors that will CONDEMN a person to the Lake of Fire and to the Second Death, according to the New Testament (Revelation 21:8).
Modern Christians do not like hearing the truth of this, but the truth is that Jesus ate Biblically Kosher. He did not follow rabbinical traditions taught by men, but Jesus DID follow the WRITTEN Commandments of God in Scripture. We should do the same as Jesus did (1 John 2:3-6; 1 Peter 2:21-23; Revelation 14:12). When people who call themselves Christians refuse to copy what Jesus did, they are not only violating Old Testament Biblical Commandments, (Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 18:18-19). They are also BREAKING New Testament teachings as well). They have simply been trained by tradition and convenience to IGNORE what Scripture teaches, in the name of “GRACE.”
Modern Christians follow religious traditions that were taught by Roman Catholic popes, Roman Catholic Church councils, and traditions of religious leaders which are handed down by religious leaders and are being treated as though they are doctrines from God even when they are not.
Modern Christians follow what they have been taught to believe is the Grace of God, even though the definition of grace that they use actually VIOLATES what Paul the apostle taught about Grace (Titus 2:11-15).
Brother Michel Lankford