During his time on Earth, Jesus Christ inhabited a mortal body. What did Jesus eat for breakfast?
Jesus likely ate a diet consisting mostly of vegetables, which were the most widely available food during his time. Fruit spoiled quickly in the Middle Eastern climate and meat was too expensive for the majority of people. Stew was a popular dish.
For more on what we believe Jesus might have eaten and what he might have had for breakfast, read on.
Diet of Jesus
There are a number of references in the New Testament to Jesus eating food. Bread is mentioned in tellings of the Last Supper, and Jesus would have had access to bread made using wheat during the time period.
Jesus was raised according to Jewish law and would have been permitted to eat oats, rye, and barley.
There are explicit mentions of Jesus consuming fish. When appearing to his disciples following his resurrection, there is an instance of Jesus eating fish to show that he still had a physical body and was not a spirit.
During his journey to Jerusalem, Jesus stopped to eat figs from a tree before discovering that they were not yet ready for eating. He might also have had olive oil with his food, as he gave Judas a piece of food that had been dipped in a dish during the Last Supper.
Vegetables were grown widely in the region during the time. These included onions, leeks, garlic, peas, radishes, and many more. Watermelon was eaten in ancient Israel but it was difficult to obtain and would have been a rare treat rather than a staple food. Grains were sometimes used to make an ancient variety of porridge.
Fruit and Meat
Jesus’ diet might have included fruit, but probably not as many as vegetables. The climate in the Middle East would have made it difficult to store fruit for any sort of extended period, so it was far less common than vegetables.
Whether or not Jesus ate meat is a divisive issue but, if he did, it is unlikely that he ate much. Under Israeli law, Jesus would have been limited in which meats he could eat and they would have been expensive. If he did, these might have included chicken, lamb, and cows, so long as they were prepared in accordance with Jewish law.
Scholars generally believe that the Last Supper included lamb, as a lamb shank was mentioned in the New Testament. Lamb was included in Passover, so it is likely that it was also part of Christ’s own Passover.
It’s possible that Jesus ate some meat in stews, which were an inventive way of making the most of a limited amount of ingredients. In any case, meat was rare and the average person might have only eaten meat less than five times each year.
The description of the Last Supper also mentions that wine accompanied the meal. Wine is called “yayin” in Hebrew, which has a similar etymology to the Hebrew word for “ferment”. This wine would likely have been brewed from grapes.
Wine was a popular drink at the time in the Middle East, with some historians believing that people drank an average of about a liter of wine each day. However, the strength of wine during the period meant that it was usually watered down before drinking and the New Testament itself warns of the dangers of drinking too much of it.
Beer was known during the period and made in certain parts of the world but there is no historical evidence of it being made in ancient Israel. There is no specific Hebrew word for beer, so it’s safe to assume that Jesus would not have partaken of it.
It is impossible to know everything that Jesus might have eaten throughout the course of his life on Earth. It is easier to know some of the foods that Jesus would not have eaten, due to either his religious background or particular foods not being available in his homeland.
Jesus lived under ancient Israeli law, meaning that he would not have eaten certain foods. These would have included pork, reptiles, shellfish, or any carrion-eaters. Neither coffee nor tea had made their way to the Middle East at the time, and sugar from beets or canes would not yet have been available to Jesus.
Whatever Jesus ate, he lived during a time when food was hard to come by and choices were limited.