Eating Meat Offered to Idols

Hideyoshi, a Japanese warlord who ruled over Japan in the late 1500s, commissioned a colossal statue of Buddha for a shrine in Kyoto. It took 50,000 men five years to build, but the work had scarcely been completed when the earthquake of 1596 brought the roof of the shrine crashi … More


Paul returns to the subject with which this letter began - the eating of meat offered to idols. In expressing their Christian liberty, some of the Corinthians were living dangerously close to idolatry.  Paul says that it is true that an idol is nothing, but the ones behind every idol are very real (v. 20). It is not possible to be in fellowship with the Lord and demons at the same time.


Paul gives advice in three areas (vv. 14-30):


1. Concerning meat in the temple (vv. 14-22)

2. Concerning meat in the marketplace (vv. 25-26)

3. Concerning meat in the home (vv. 27-30) 


His advice on today’s passage concerning the meat offered to idols in the temple is that even though there is freedom to eat it, they needed to be careful that they didn’t participate with demons. He compares the worship at the Lord’s Supper and the unity of the Christians to their participation in the body and blood of Christ.

Paul’s point in these verses about the Lord’s Supper was like that made earlier (5:6-8). The collective worship of Christians at the Lord’s Supper expressed the unity among the members as they participated (fellowshipped in the blood and body of Christ). The one loaf of bread, of which all partake, pictured their unity as members of the one body of Christ.


Even though I have liberty to eat anything, I need to be careful when I am in other countries not to eat things and do things that will offend the Christians.

I Corinthians 10:14-22 (English Standard Version)

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