I suspect if you read the Bible at all you will often see reference to eating “meat.” You might think wow every time they sat down they ate meat.
“Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment” (Matthew 6:25)?
The Greek word used in many of these passages is the word “trophē.” Though the word relates to our English word trophy, it actually comes from a word meaning “nourishment.” King James translated it both meat and food. It includes all types of nourishment and food.
Actually, the Jewish people of Jesus’ time ate very little meat. “The ordinary food of the average Hebrew of Bible times was bread, olives, oil, buttermilk cheese from their flocks; fruits and vegetables from the orchards and gardens; and meat on rare occasions.” Only few more varieties would have to be added to make this a complete list of foods eaten in those days. (Manners and Customs of Bible Lands.)
So when you read “meat” that doesn’t give you an excuse to gorge on meat. Some diets consist mostly of meat and experts generally do not think this is healthy. In fact, most diet experts divide meat into different categories such as red meat, poultry, fish, and exotic meats. Many experts say red meat is something to avoid. For instance Dr. Fuhrman says in regard to stroke risk, “In particular, higher fiber intake is associated with reduced risk, and higher red and processed meat intake is associated with increased risk.”
My goal in this blog isn’t to make a judgment on meat, but simply to point out that when the term “meat” is used in the Bible, it generally does not refer to meat but to food in general. The Jewish people during the time of Jesus did not have access to the meat we have available to us today. “Life is more than food.” Our preoccupation with food is something that has spurred on our tendency to be overweight. It seems as though what you spend your time thinking about is important to your health. Jesus said don’t spend your time thinking about food. It’s the fuel of your body. Thinking about it only makes you hungry.