WHEN FLESH IS GOOD
“Jesus is the Word with which God has broken His silence,” wrote Joachim Jeremias (1900-1979).
The Word speaks and silence is over. The quiet and mysterious God becomes known. “The Word became flesh, he lived among us” (John 1:14). The term flesh (Greek: sarx) means the totality of all that is essential to be a human being (i.e., spirit, soul and body). This is the word that is used to describe how completely Jesus ‘became flesh.’ Not that it makes it one bit easier to digest and understand but that is what the text implies.
What is confusing is that the word flesh (sarx), meaning a human being, is often mistaken for the word carnal (Greek: sarkikos), which signifies sensual, controlled by animal appetites, governed by human nature, instead of the Spirit of God (see 1 Corinthians 1:1,3,4, which speaks of living by natural inclinations). As a result of this our humanness is ignored, and even abused, with a theology of thinking ‘flesh is evil.’ Many have been taught to reject, subject, and ignore the flesh. What is really supposed to be avoided is carnality, not our humanity. The loss of humanity has caused us to seek to love God without loving ourselves or our fellow humans. This produces a religious heart but not a spiritual heart.
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” Jesus