At least the disciples were consistent; every one of them reacted the same way. We are in good company. They just acted like human beings who do not believe the truth.
There is a difference between the desire to believe and actually believing so that it becomes a part of one's life. The Jews have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge (Romans 10:2). Paul implies it is not according to truth.
Human beings operate from a mind that has a natural bent away from God. It is something that is inherent within us - we have been pre-programmed away from God by the time God begins to work His miracle in us. We consistently want to go our own way in disbelief. One can imagine where this leads. We have to recognize that there exists within us a sincere desire to do what is right, yet we must make conscious effort to choose the right. That is what builds character.
God works us into a position where we are free to make the choice in a way that others, who do not have the truth revealed to them, are not free. He has removed the scales from our eyes, but it is not a one-time thing or done all at once. Rather, it is something that progresses - each one of us at a different rate, at the rate we are capable of using it. However, He always puts us in a position where we have to make a conscious choice. Otherwise, we are not living by faith, and character will not be built.
We can see that God leads us to a point where the mind is open or receptive to the truth, but we have to use the truth to ensure that we move in the direction He wants us to go in.
John W. Ritenbaugh
We Are Unique!
Some today claim Jesus did not eat meat, including fish. But notice this account. After Christ's resurrection, He appears in human form to the disciples (Luke 24:36). The disciples and others had gathered in a secure room, and He appears right in their midst, an act that shook them. They believe they are seeing a ghost, a spirit, but He assures them that He is indeed Christ. He lets them examine His hands and feet.
Still, they do not seem quite convinced, so He asks, “'Have you any food here?' So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb” (verses 41-42). Fish and sweets made from the labor of bees? Oh, the horror of it all!
Then what happened? “And He took it and ate it in their presence” (verse 43; emphasis added). This concise statement is a tough one to get around. The Greek word translated “broiled” here means simply “cooked.” Most translations use “broiled,” “baked,” or “cooked.” If anything, this verse might be a good argument against sushi! But there is no getting around what verse 43 states: The resurrected Christ ate the fish and the honeycomb right there in front of them. He put it in His mouth, chewed it, and swallowed it.
This would have been a good time for Him to say, “Fellows, we're going to give up eating fish and anything made with honey.” But He did not. Despite Luke writing in verse 45 that “He opened their understanding,” Jesus neglected to cover vegetarianism.
A little later, Christ appeared to the disciples again (John 21:1-14). Peter and six other disciples decide to go fishing. Apparently, they had still not gotten the word that fishing was unethical. They fished all night and caught nothing. The next morning, Jesus, standing on the shore, asks if they have any food, and they reply in the negative. He tells them to cast the net on the right side of the boat, which they do, hauling in a net full of 153 “large” fish—so many that, by all rights, the net should have broken.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), of course, is against commercial fishing and says Christ would be too. Yet, is not what Peter and the other disciples did “commercial fishing”? By all accounts, they were returning to their pre-calling jobs. Instead of working against their catching any fish, Jesus helps them out!
Notice that Christ has a fire going before they have even made it to shore, and fish and bread are cooking (verse 9). He tells the disciples in verse 12, “Come and eat breakfast,” one comprised of fish and toast made by the Creator God Himself! John writes in verse 15, “So when they had eaten breakfast,” verifying that the disciples—and probably Jesus too—ate what He had provided (leaving the 153 they had caught for crass money-making, no doubt). He misses another excellent opportunity to announce that Christians should be vegetarian.
These people pose additional spurious arguments, such as saying Christ was an Essene, who were vegetarians. Neither of these assertions is true. They also claim that Jesus' teachings, especially His love for those whom society has marginalized, would make Him a vegan, a stricter regimen than vegetarianism. Somehow, in their minds, animals are “marginalized” but not unborn humans!
The Bible supplies so much more evidence that Christ was not a vegetarian and certainly not a vegan, but the proof offered here should be enough. We may have gone down the rabbit hole as a society, but that does not mean we have to be taken in by these obvious deceits.
Mike Ford (1955-2021)
Was Jesus a Vegetarian?
Consider the context and the time. He is resurrected, composed of Spirit. He is God. Does He indicate at all that being in the body is only a part-time experience for God? No, instead He teaches them that a spirit being's body is not vaporous like a ghost and that it is not composed of earthly flesh and bone.
The implications are important in relation to other parts of the Bible. In this case, what He does not say is important because He wants them to answer in their own minds just the opposite of what they originally thought, "This is a ghost. It has no form or shape."
Yes, He did have form and shape, and it was solid to the touch. They felt Him, and their hands did not pass through Him. He is saying that He has flesh and bones, but they are not physical. They are spirit flesh and bones.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Image and Likeness of God (Part One)
This passage makes it very plain that God in composition is spirit, that He does have form, that He is solid, and He has skin and bones. The description even includes scars in His hands and feet!
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit and the Trinity (Part One)
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Luke 24:36: