On Monday, February 8, every Chipotle across the country will be closed until 3 PM. Why? After a series of food poisoning mistakes, the restaurant chain is planning to address the employees and focus on improving their food safety procedures. Over the last six months, Chipotle has been responsible for almost 500 food poisoning illnesses, including E. coli, norovirus, and salmonella. Bill Marler, a Seattle lawyer specializing in food poisoning cases said, “I’ve been involved in every food-borne illness outbreak, small and large, since 1993. I can’t think of any chain, restaurant or food manufacturer who’s ever reported that many outbreaks in just six months. Underlying that has to be a lack of controls.” Marler will be representing about 75 lawsuits against Chipotle in the near future (Yahoo).
Until they fix the food handling problems, the idea of eating at Chipotle is stomach-churching. When we go somewhere for food, we expect it to be safe to eat. Sadly, there is one type of food that is almost always tainted, distorted, and poisoned without people even knowing it’s happening. This isn’t physical food, but spiritual food.
In John 6, Jesus is emphasizing the idea of spiritual “bread.” Since He just fed 5,000 people physically, the crowd is focused on having Jesus give them another physical meal. Finally, Jesus makes it very clear that even though He has the power to feed physically, He came to do something much greater, to feed them spiritually because He is “the bread of life” (vs. 33, 35, 48, 51). Later in the discussion, Jesus reveals that He is talking about “eating” His words. Jesus explains, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (vs. 63). His disciples understood this to some degree since Peter responded, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God” (vs. 68-69).
To put it simply, Jesus words are true spiritual food and can bring us eternal life. The problem is, many in our world are mishandling Jesus’ pure spiritual food. Some are exceeding Jesus’ words (1 Corinthians 4:6; Matthew 16:6, 11-12). Some are disturbing and distorting His words (Galatians 1:6-9; Romans 16:17). Those who are doing these things today are responsible for spiritual food poisoning (1 Timothy 4:1-3). People think they are receiving good spiritual food, but in reality, they are being fed by people with unclean hands, unsanitary feeding practices, and with food that is poisoned to the core (2 Peter 2:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Jesus’ words of life are perfect exactly as they are. They don’t need any ingredients added or taken away. The only way to receive life from Jesus is to obey His words (Matthew 7:24-27). As long as our spiritual food is “accurately handled” then it will bring us life (2 Timothy 2:15). Like the Bereans in Acts 17:10-11, let’s search the Scriptures daily to make sure the spiritual food we’re being given is the pure, undefiled, “bread of life” (John 6:35, 63).