Does Jesus have a body, and why is this important?

Jesus had a body (Luke 24:39, John 20:24-26, Matthew 24:30, Acts 1:9) while on earth.  The apostle John wrote that “The Word became flesh”, John 1:14.

This fact established, the question still persists:  does Jesus currently have a body?

In 1 John 4:2, the apostle John wrote “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God”.  The verb “has come” is in the perfect tense, emphasizing the present, ongoing result of Jesus’ fleshly state.

2 John 1:7 says, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh”.  Jesus’ coming in the flesh is an “‘abiding truth’ defining the union between humanity and deity that is present in Jesus’ person.” 1

So currently present in Jesus is both His humanity AND His deity.  One commentator explains:

The incarnation was more than a mere incident, and more than a temporary and partial connection between the Logos and human nature. It was the permanent guarantee of the possibility of fellowship, and the chief means by which it is brought about.”  2

As humans in our own flesh, we don’t look around the cross to find fellowship with God.  We look upon Christ and His cross and find fellowship with God because of Christ’s dual nature.

Μόνο ο Χριστός:  In Christ Alone

We look upon the cross and find an embodied, human God-man. “For God has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  God en-fleshed Himself in Christ so that there would be one human who would not sin (1 Peter 2:22) and thereby communicate that God ought to be God…that He is worth following. Everyone else, through their sin, said otherwise (Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23, Psalm 14:3). Christ then could be the one human that could bring man into fellowship with God.

Because Jesus has a body, you can face tomorrow.  Because Jesus has a body, all fear is gone.  Jesus has made peace with God on your behalf.

 

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Note:

Jehovah’s Witnesses point to 1 Corinthians 15:50 as evidence that Jesus does not currently have a physical body: “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” This verse is informed by verse 53 says, “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” The verbal phrase “put on” is key – the believer’s mortal body will “put on” immortality, resulting in a resurrected body.

 

  1. Glenn W. Barker, “2 John,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews through Revelation, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 12 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981), 364.
  2. Glenn W. Barker, “2 John,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews through Revelation, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 12 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981), 364.

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