“A Spirit Hath Not Flesh and Bones, as Ye See Me Have”

Luke 24:36–43

36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:

“On the Emmaus road Jesus walked, talked, and appeared as a mortal man. Now He comes through the walls or roof of an enclosed room, thus showing another power and capacity of a resurrected body. Standing before His terrified and frightened disciples—and the group included the Apostles, plus others [see Luke 24:33]—He continued His ‘living sermon’ on the Resurrection by demonstrating further what a resurrected body was and how it operated.

“The Apostles and other disciples thought He was ‘a spirit,’ a misconception which, however, reveals what a spirit is. As Jesus stood before them He seemed in every respect to be a man. In other words a spirit is a man, an entity, a personage, not an ineffable nothingness pervading immensity. A spirit is what the Brother of Jared saw on the mountain when the yet unembodied Lord appeared and said: ‘This body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; . . . and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh’ (Ether 3:16).

“Jesus then confirmed the disciples’ belief that a spirit is a personage by showing how a resurrected body differs from a spirit body. He announced that His body was made of ‘flesh and bones’ and invited all present to handle, feel, and learn of its corporeal nature. Then lest any feel later that their senses had been deceived, He asked for food and ate it before them, not to satisfy hunger, but to demonstrate that resurrected beings are tangible and can eat and digest food [see Luke 24:13–35].

“When Paul adds to what is here revealed that the risen Lord is in ‘the express image of his’ Father’s ‘person’ [Hebrews 1:3], we have perfect biblical confirmation of the revealed truth that ‘the Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also’ (D&C 130:22).”

(Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1965–73], 1:852–53.)

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