In the Flesh


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In the Flesh
Luke 24:36b-48
24:36b While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
24:37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
24:38 He said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
24:39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."
24:40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
24:41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
24:42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
24:43 and he took it and ate in their presence.
24:44 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you--that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled."
24:45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,
24:46 and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,
24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
24:48 You are witnesses of these things.

As Christians we are spiritual people. I believe that. I’ve had people who’ve known me for less than five minutes tell me how spiritual I am, and I thank them, but I have no idea what they mean.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are certain people I know who I would describe as being spiritual, but other than pointing at them and saying “lookee here, this one is spiritual” I don’t know how else I would explain it to you.

Whenever I am described that way, I take it as a compliment, and whenever I describe someone else that way, I mean it as a compliment, but it is sort of a slippery thing.

When people talk about “the Spirit,” it is often in contrast to “the Flesh.” There is a tendency among Christians to think of the Spirit as good and the Flesh as bad. It is easy to do. It is the Flesh that tempts us into so many sins.

We all have our favorite sins. Mine is gluttony, and chicken fried steak is one of my favorite means of satisfying that gluttony. I am planning to do that today over at Big R’s. It is the flesh that tempts me into that. Some of you may know that I’ve been on a diet for about a month now. The doctor gave me some good advice when I told him I wanted to lose weight.
He looked me in the eye and said, “You are going to have to be hungry.”
And he was right. Every day about four o’clock I get hungry. And it hurts, and I want to eat, and I start getting impatient, and sometimes I get short-tempered.

It is my flesh that causes me pain, and my flesh that makes me week, and it would be easy for me to think that my flesh was evil, and that all flesh is evil.
But that this not true.

God created the heavens and the earth. God created all flesh, and He said that it was good.

No, my problem is not that my flesh is evil. Rather my flesh is weak. I might even say that my problem as been that my spirit has failed to discipline my flesh.

A good question to ask about here is why is that dad-blamed preacher making such a big deal about this. This seems pretty heady stuff for this early in the day. Why can’t he just finish up and let us at the coffee and cookies?

Well, one of the reasons I preach is because I think stuff like this is important, so let me explain why.

When we say the Spirit is good and the Flesh is bad, it is easy to take this to an extreme. It has led some folks to believe that it doesn’t matter what they do as long as they are thinking the right thoughts.

I will be the first to say that spiritual matters are important. I know people who are working jobs with good incomes, where everyone in the family is healthy, where they are loved and cared for, but who are not happy. They have a problem with their spirit. These folks need to be led to a better spiritual life. They need to be shown spiritual remedies for their pain.
On the other hand, there are people who are sick or destitute or in bad marriages or who have rotten kids. They’ve got reason’s to be unhappy. It would be easy for us to say to them, “The Flesh is evil. You’ll be better off when you die and go to heaven.” But do you think that is what Christ would want us to do?

I don’t remember a single instance when someone came to Jesus for healing when he said, “The Flesh is evil. You’ll die and be better off.”

No, he healed them. When they had no bread, he fed them. He said, “If someone asks for your coat, give him your cloak too.”

Today’s scripture goes to great lengths to establish that Jesus Christ rose in the flesh. He showed them the wounds in his hands and feet. He ate boiled fish with them.

Jesus Christ rose in the Flesh.

He’s ascended to heaven now, but we have the privilege of being his hands and feet. We can do his will. We can be Christ for those in need. We can heal and feed both body and spirit.

Father, give us willing spirits and flesh strong enough that we may offer your Son to those who need him. We ask this in his name. Amen.
Kindest Regards, Okie!

I noticed you hadn't been around for a little while, I was beginning to get concerned. I hope all is well with you and yours. Welcome back.
I'm still curious as to what comrpises Elephant Soup. :)
Cream of Elephant Soup
1 medium sized elephant 2 rabbits (optional)
Lots of brown gravy Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the elephant into small, bite sized pieces. Add enough brown gravy to cover. Cook over fire for about 4 weeks, until tender. This serves 3800 people. If more are expected, the two rabbits may be added. Do this only in case of emergency, as most people don’t like hare in their soup.
I said:
Oh, lordy, that's awful. :D

You mean you've tried it? And didn't invite the *REST* of us? With 3800 servings, you could have invited us along too, but NOOO... I could have even brought a couple more rabbits to stretch it.

... Bruce