So, It Turns Out the Fall of Man Is Even Worse Than We Thought

After high hopes for a productive day, all seemed lost when the clock read 3:03 PM and Katie and I were already exhausted. It was at that point we realized we had devoted nearly the entire day to food.

Dave McKeague (CC)

Upon waking we acquiesced to the children’s demands for breakfast. Overripe bananas and Peanut Butter Crunch. Then we proceeded to appropriate funds for the month during our monthly budget meeting in which we designated a grotesque sum for groceries and eating out. Shortly thereafter we planned meals for the week, then assembled a grocery list accordingly.

By this time it was the lunch hour, so we dressed and drove to the nearest eatery all six of us could stomach on our way to the supermarket. Never grocery shop on an empty stomach.

At the market we did our worst, traversing the aisles and playing Santa to our list. After paying, we made the trek home and unloaded the groceries. “Just leave those out.” I said to Katie. "I’ll need those things when I cook dinner."

It was disheartening to dedicate such a large part of our day to something so fleeting as food. In a few hours we’d be hungry again, nullifying the two meals we’d already eaten. And in a week, all the groceries would be gone.

Part of this scenario is the reality of four children in the house. But another part is the reality of being human. Food, as pleasing as it can be, is simply a mechanism for survival. If you don’t eat, you die, and your body will make sure you’re aware of the fact. But has it always been this way?

Did Adam and Eve Need to Eat?

In Eden the first people disobeyed God with a bite. God told them not to eat fruit from a specific tree. They ate it. What was the consequence? “When you eat from it you will certainly die" (Gen. 2:17b).

Which begs the question: did Adam and Eve have to eat anything at all? If the consequence for eating the forbidden fruit was death, we can infer that had they not eaten it, they would not have died.

So what if they never ate anything at all? Unlike us, they wouldn’t have wasted away and died, because death came as a result of sin. Food then was offered as a gift from God for purposes of pleasure and delight. It tastes good and floods the brain with endorphins.

If Adam and Eve didn't need to eat, it means the fall of man was so much worse than I imagined. Eve wasn’t hungry, the fruit just looked good (Gen. 3:6). She wasn’t like Esau who was so famished, he gave up his birthright for a bowl of French Onion. She and Adam just found it pleasing to the eye and useful for becoming "like God" (Gen. 3:5).

But as a result, food went from a means of pleasure—like watching a sunset or listening to music—to a means of survival. Now we have to eat. Food binds our flesh to the earth even while our souls might clamor for something more.

How to Never Go Hungry Again

After Jesus fed 5000 people in a miraculous display of provision, the people were astonished, and pursued Jesus across the lake. If He could turn a few loaves into a bounty, we’ll never go hungry again! But their motivations for following him were misguided. As Jesus said to them:

Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. John 6:26-27

Surely by this point the stomachs in the crowd were growling again, so the people sought after more food to fill their bellies. But Jesus told them they were working for the wrong kind of food. Yes, Jesus could have provided them food every day for the rest of their lives, just as God sent manna from heaven to feed Israel.

But Jesus was more concerned with their souls than their bodies.

If your only concern is for the belly, you're missing the point. Jesus came that we might have life to the full, which means life everlasting. Yes, he's concerned with our physical problems, but it's the spiritual ones that should be more pressing.

As flesh and blood, it is difficult to keep this in mind, because our physical needs are so immediate. Every human has this struggle from birth to death—not just with food, but also with shelter, clothing, and remedies for illness. But rather than worry about physical clothing, Paul reminds us to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires" (Rom. 13:14).

How do we do that? No doubt this is a constant battle. One thing that helps is to remind yourself that suffering is temporary for those who believe in Jesus. Heaven awaits God's children. Another thing that can help is fasting.

Fasting serves as a reminder that we are more than dust, more than calories and sinew. At the same time the discipline can draw you closer to God. I've put together a short guide that might help you called, 6 Practical Tips for Those Considering Fasting. It's free, just enter your email address below, and I'll send it your way.

Jesus said He’s the bread of life. Fasting and other disciplines may help us tame the flesh, but only He can satisfy the hunger of our souls.


  1. I never thought about Adam and Eve not requiring food. Thank you for the thoughtful post.

    1. You're welcome! Thanks so much for the comment, Debra.