“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
– John 1:14
In the first century Church, there was a group of believers called Gnostics, who were convinced that everything about the body was bad and everything about the spirit was good. While they affirmed that Jesus was from God, they believed He was only a spirit-being and therefore did not have flesh and blood. Therefore, when the Apostle John began his Gospel with the phrase, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us,” he was directly attacking this sect of contemporary Christianity by asserting that Jesus was not only fully God but also fully man. Traditional Jewish and Christian belief has always held that the body is considered a part of the soul, which holds the spirit, mind, and flesh together.
Interestingly, there are two words frequently translated from Koine Greek to describe flesh. The first one is soma, which means an ideal, beautiful body (think a model, an Olympian, or an actor). The second, however, is sarx, which translates as flesh in the most negative way (think wrinkles, stretch marks, and hair in all the wrong places). If you can imagine, when John wrote the verse above, he didn’t use soma to describe Jesus’ flesh, he used sarx! In essence, he said that the Lord became a dude, and that his body wasn’t without its own annoyances or flaws.
Friend, if God Himself embraced life in a tent of sarx, you should do the same! There is nothing inherently bad or wrong with your body, even if it’s imperfect by the world’s standards. The architect of all of Creation fashioned you from His all-knowing and all-loving mind, which means that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. In fact, you are just like He you wants you to be, and that thought should set you free to love your flesh, flaws and all!
I am grateful, Jesus, that you came to earth as flesh. Help me to love and embrace my body, imperfections and all, just as you did.
How does it impact you knowing that when He walked the earth, Jesus’ body was just like yours, not perfect or glorious?
Thank you so much for this! Jesus ressurected and ascended with all of his nail and spear scars. There is an article about the “disabled Christ” that I read a while back from a link on the Progressive Redneck Preacher blog. I can not find it righ now, but the message was that God came down in an imperfect body. I also recall a radio program on BBC Heart and Soul months ago in which a teen girl who uses a wheelchair imagines the wheels of God’s chariot as similar to a wheelchair.