Under the Old Covenant, God instructed the Israelites about their diets. God declared certain things to be clean and unclean. The Israelites were allowed to eat the things that were clean. But they were not allowed to eat the things that were unclean. If someone were to eat something that God had told them to be unclean, that person was considered to be defiled.
On the surface, this may seem to be extreme. But it was done to protect the health of the Israelites.
Today those who practice Judaism call this diet “Kosher”. Included are foods that meet the requirements of Jewish Law as given under the Old Covenant.
We know that when Jesus came along, he turned everything they knew on it’s ear. Diet was one of them.
In Matthew 15:16-20 we see what Jesus said about diet defiling a person:
“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
I think that we may have misunderstood this passage. And decided that we can eat anything we want. Regardless of whether it’s healthy. This has led to things like heart disease, diabetes, and excessive weight gain. We must understand what Jesus really meant when He spoke those words. And we should make the change to foods that are healthy.
And we also must recognize that it is what we think in our hearts that defiles us. The heart and the tongue are both deceitful and full of sin. To change this we need the power of God. We cannot change this sin nature on our own.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, the Apostle Paul said this regarding sexual immorality. So it’s not exactly in context here. But I think it serves to remind of us of what we are to do to, and with, our bodies: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
So remember that even though foods are not considered clean or unclean, we must take care to honor our bodies. Because our bodies were bought and paid for with the blood of Christ.