You may have heard the phrase before, You are what you eat. It’s a common phrase that is often used to promote a healthy diet and healthy eating. If you consume unhealthy foods, you will become unhealthy – likewise if you consume healthy foods, you will become healthy. That is the general idea behind this popular phrase.
Spiritual leaders have sometimes latched onto this phrase as well, saying “You feed your body healthy food, why not your spirit?” (or something similar to this). And it’s true, that many people pay more attention to what they are feeding on physically, than what they are feeding on spiritually; even though the spiritual is far more important.
Today, I would like to share with you about eating healthy, from a spiritual perspective. How to eat healthy… spiritually – and how by seeing this, we can also see how Christ is the best possible spiritual nutrition that you could ever feed on.
As we begin today, it may be that you might have some confusion regarding the use of the term “feed on Christ”. What exactly does it mean to feed on Christ, anyway?
Well, rest assured that we aren’t talking about cannibalism here. And we aren’t even talking about the ritual of Communion either – at least not the ritualistic partaking of it.
To feed on Christ, is actually something more, something spiritual. Jesus said in John 6:53 that unless we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we have no life in us. And again, this isn’t referring to some sort of mass-cannibalism here. Both the body and the blood of Jesus have very specific meaning. As we have studied previously, the body of Jesus represents His suffering for your complete wholeness, health and restoration, while His blood represents your complete cleansing from every sin. And it’s very important that we make this distinction, because why would we only take half of God’s gift? Yet many people are doing exactly that, because they are not being told about the other half.
We see in the text of John 6:53, that Jesus does indeed want us to receive all of His provision, for our complete being; spirit, soul and body. And as we see, the way in which He says to do that, the only way to have life on the inside of us is to eat His flesh and drink His blood. And when Jesus said this here, the Greek word used is φάγω, which means “to consume, or to devour”. Think about this, because as we ponder His statement in the light of what we know about the meaning of His body and His blood, it begins to make sense. Jesus says, that in order to have life in you, you must devour, you must consume His body and His blood. And we can gain some more insight into what Jesus is talking about here as we look at the Greek word used for drink here, which is πίνω, which has a secondary meaning of drinking in a figurative sense… to receive something into your soul, in-other-words.
So what we can see from this, is that Jesus is saying here that the way to have live inside of you, is to consume His body (that is His provision for your complete wholeness) and to drink His blood (that is His cleansing of every single one of your sins) – to receive those things into your soul. To devour them, with the same vigor that you would your favorite meal – and to savor them in the same way.
Jesus Himself goes on to say in verses 55 and 56 that His flesh is meat indeed and His blood is drink indeed. His body and His blood are suitable and fit and good for consumption; these are good things to receive.
And He then continues by saying that whoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood dwells, abides, lives in Christ and Christ lives in Him as well.
You see, these are spiritual processes being spoken of here – it’s not a physical act of eating or drinking, it’s not about your physical diet, or even the physical act of communion, but the spiritual act of receiving the finished work of Christ, and everything included with that.
In verse 58, Jesus concludes His teaching in the synagogue by saying that He is the true living bread that came down from Heaven – not as the manna which the Jewish forefathers ate and even they died. But on the contrary, whoever eats of Jesus will never die, but will live forever.
So this sounds like good food for our spirit, our soul and our body, all the way around.
Why aren’t more people eating this amazing, life-giving food that Jesus offers?
Well, we already touched on the main reason, plain simple ignorance – people aren’t being told anymore. They aren’t really being told about the wonderful provisions that Jesus made for their complete well-being and redemption in every area. Or worse, they have been told that it is not true!
The Gospel has been watered down in many ways. There are some who think that God is not currently active anymore – that His Spirit is dormant, and that you are simply being saved from hell to heaven – a future event, and until then you just continue to suffer and endure on this earth until Jesus returns, or you die.
But again, we must consider not just the blood, but also the body of Christ. This was the warning mentioned in 1st Corinthians 11:26-32. They are eating and drinking communion, participating in the ritual of communion, but they were not actually discerning the body of Christ – they were not actually proclaiming His death, for themselves, and it says in verse 30, for this reason many are sick and weak among you, and many sleep (that is, dead).
You see my friend, it is very dangerous, deadly in-fact to reduce the provision of Jesus, as if we can get by with less, when He Himself knows we need every bit of His provision, and indeed He has given all to us.
Remember, that Jesus passed through His hometown of Jerusalem just the same as He had with other places… and the same mercy was available, the same healing power was there for them as it was for the many others who were healed, but here, the people had a different view of Jesus – a lesser view. Consider Matthew 13:54-58:
“And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, From where has this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brothers, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
And his sisters, are they not all with us? From where then has this man all these things?
And they were offended in him. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.
And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
In every other place, people would eagerly and earnestly approach Jesus for help, for healing, for provision. People would push through crowds, disregard Levitical Laws, and otherwise throng Jesus to receive the help and the miracle that they desperately needed… but not here.
These people here did not see Jesus as a Healer, or a Helper. In-fact they saw Him as just another man… whose relatives they were all familiar with. They actually were offended in Him.
It’s not that Jesus didn’t want to… the scripture doesn’t say that He would not do many mighty works. In-fact in Mark’s account of this same event (in Mark 6:5) it records that He could not do many miracles – because of their unbelief
Why? Because unlike the many other places, they were so offended by Him, many of them did not even bring their sick to Jesus – why would they? Because in their eyes, He was just another man, one in whom they took offense.
This offense takes many forms today – some do not even fully trust in His Grace, they try to mix the Old Covenant with the New Covenant. They try to mix the Law of Moses with the Grace of Christ because they do not believe that Grace alone is enough. Romans 2:3-4 speaks to this, among many other scriptures:
“And think you this, O man, that judge them which do such things, and do the same, that you shall escape the judgment of God?
Or despise you the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”
and Galatians 3:1-3:
“O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ has been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
This only would I learn of you, Received you the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Are you so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?”
The reason why these scriptures are important, is because they teach you how to recognize good spiritual food. They teach you how to discern between the Grace of Christ, the New Covenant, and the Law of Moses. One is man focused and effort-driven, while the other is Jesus focused and Grace-driven.
You can’t have both. You can’t mix two completely different covenants. You can’t intermingle two completely different systems. But again, this comes back mostly to sheer ignorance – people aren’t being taught that this is harmful. In-fact in some places, they are being told that mixing covenants is right!
Yet it is deadly, and they aren’t being told.
In keeping with our food theme… it will poison the stew when the wrong ingredient is added… in-fact there’s even a scripture for that! It comes from 2nd Kings 4:38-40:
“And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a famine in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said to his servant, Set the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.
And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds into his lap, and came and shred them into the pot of stew: though they didn’t know what they were.
So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the stew, that they cried out, and said, O you man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof.”
And this is exactly what is happening in many places today. When someone cooks you a meal, you naturally don’t expect it to be poisonous. When you go to church, you don’t expect to hear a deadly message.
But look at what happened here… someone mixed a wild vine, in with the food. We know from John 15:1, that Jesus is the one true vine… but here, someone thought they could do better, they mixed a wild vine in with the stew not knowing what it was. They were ignorant of the harmful effects… they didn’t realize that it was deadly – exactly like people today who try to mix a little bit of the Law of Moses in with Grace; a little bit of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant – just enough to even it out, and make it better… right?
Nothing could be further from the truth! It is deadly! We see in verse 40 that they cry out O man of God! There is death in the pot! At least they had the good sense to cry out… sadly there are many people today eating poison every week, and they don’t even taste the bitterness of it. They have been fed it all of their lives, and to them it is normal tasting. But praise God that every day people are realizing the wonderful banquet of Christ and His Grace and their spirit is being awakened to see the truth before it is too late.
After these people cried out, look at Elisha’s response in verse 41, it’s very interesting, look at his remedy:
“But he said, Then bring flour. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no evil in the pot.”
This is awesome! Elisha throws flour into the pot. Flour is the very essence of bread; and as we read at the start, Jesus is the true bread of life. This all comes back to Jesus, my friend.
The solution is always Jesus. The solution is to eat of Him, remember His finished work, remember His Grace. Remember that you are a new creation in Him – and that His body has broken for your body and that His blood was spilled to completely cleanse you. Consume His truth – and as we see here in this wonderful picture – there was no evil in the pot. Jesus does not co-exist with evil, He eliminates it… He eradicates it completely.
That is precisely what He has done for you, my friend. Evil thoughts, an evil conscience, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame or condemnation; the very fruits of sin… feed on Christ. Let it be truly said of you, that you are what you eat – by eating the healthiest food possible: the finished work of Christ for you.