Luke 24:39 "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."

First some brief points;

  1. Jesus is now immortal - he wasn't before death - now he cannot die again.
  2. He has been raised into a new spirit life.
  3. He now has life as the Father has life within himself! John 5:26
  4. He can also give life to others - raising them. John 17:2
  5. We will be like Jesus when we are raised. 1 John 3:2
  6. Jesus is OF spirit - but not A spirit??

It seems he has a 'body' - that does not need physical things to live - although he can clearly eat etc. This body is not a manifestation but actual, with an ability to move outside of time /space constraints. He said he will drink wine again in the kingdom Luke 22:18.

2 Cor 13:4 For he was crucified in weakness but lives by the power of God

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all... He was put to death in the body but made alive in the spirit, John 20:19-20 Peace be with you.” And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side

The Q centres on this. How can we better define Jesus and the 'spirit life' he has now and has had since being raised from death?

Romans 8:11 and if the Spirit of Him who did raise up Jesus out of the dead doth dwell in you, He who did raise up the Christ out of the dead shall quicken also your dying bodies, through His Spirit dwelling in you. YLT

Jesus was given eternal life at his resurrection. Notice also, Paul is talking to the brethren - who are alive (obviously) yet he says God will give 'life' to their (mortal/dying) bodies.

  • Very interesting question. Also Rom 6:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. This and 1 Peter 3:18 imply that Jesus died and became spirit? yet I would say Luke 24:39 implies that Jesus is not a spirit yet as he eats and confirms that a spirit has no flesh and bone. Matthew 1:18-20 – ‘for the Child who has been conceived in her is **of ** the Holy Spirit…” – not Jesus is the HS. Luke 3:22 and the HS descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven. a) like not a Dove b) Jesus is not HS. Aug 16, 2020 at 14:04
  • 1
    It means that he was not a spirit.
    – user35953
    Aug 18, 2020 at 23:37
  • @Bill go on... yet he was now imperishable. How would YOU describe this state he was now?
    – Steve
    Aug 18, 2020 at 23:43
  • 1
    There is no label for it. It was one of a kind.
    – user35953
    Aug 19, 2020 at 0:48
  • 1
    Firstly please copy me when you respond so I know you have replied. Secondly, being with the Father doesn’t mean being outside of time. Please check your assumptions. And also use o local references to substantiate your claim. But you won’t find any except in secular metaphysical quantum physics/Kabbalist Imagination Jun 21, 2022 at 15:34

5 Answers 5


Admittedly, there isn't much to go on.

What we do have is this;

  1. Jesus had a body after being raised - 'flesh and bones', he said Luke 24:39

  2. This body cannot die

  3. He can eat and drink - though we would assume, based on him now having immortal life that it isn't necessary. Luke 24:42 (22:18 in the kingdom)

  4. He is not a spirit - but he has spirit life, as we will have. People were familiar with 'a spirit', often in the form of being possessed Luke 4:33, 13:11 etc, they had seen such spirits cast out, enter pigs. Jesus is saying he wasn't like this invisible presence which can manifest in something physical.

  5. He is still a man. The following verses can be taken to be referring to Jesus after his ascension. Certainly, there is little evidence for expecting Jesus to be any different from how Paul describes.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

Acts 17:31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.

  1. He still has a body, as will we. The body concept isn't changing, just the form or life of it.

we eagerly wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory Phil 3:21

Also we get the idea that as a 'first-fruit' he represents the other fruit that comes after him - i.e. the same basic fruit. Why would the first-fruit be remarkably different from the following fruit - it makes no sense. We are humans who will follow the first human raised from the dead (asleep).

1Cor 15:20 Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep

  1. He returns in the same way we saw him go Acts 9. Not overly significant regarding a 'body', but is inferring that he will be the same.
  2. It's relevant that the various texts speaking of Jesus 'not being visible', refer not to Jesus looks per se, but to the beholders temporary inability to recognise him. Acts 10:40, Luke 24:16 Emmaus Rd, "But their eyes were kept from recognizing him." Otherwise, we're told he was 'seen' as a gardener and a fellow traveller.

Conclusion (thus far)

There's little support for a 'spirit' Jesus who NOW, somehow has no body.

Nor is there support for a Jesus who changed from what he described himself as to something other, after he wasn't seen anymore. IOW, he is still 'flesh and bones'. If he is not, we're not told; but rather it's insisted thus far that he is.

So, he means what he says - he still has flesh and bones (not flesh and blood) and is alive by the spirit of God and Father who raised him from the dead.

  • 40 days after his resurrection, he enters the heavenly realm. He cannot be human then. You must know this !! ...Earthly realm = Flesh & Blood....Heavenly realm = The Spirit. Both the "fleshly" and the "spiritual" embodiment are in the image of God, and both can experience immortality. In the coming "Millennium" we shall have a "New Heaven" and a "New Earth" - Rev, 21:1-4. The "spiritual" will abide with Christ in Heaven (now including the 144,000), whereas those of "Flesh & Blood" (Great Multitude) will inhabit a newly formed paradise on Earth, with Christ ruling both from above. Aug 24, 2020 at 1:06
  • :) just sticking to the text - I made a specific point about the blood in last para. That's why I asked the Q - it may query many loooong-held traditional views - some deserve querying! If you find a text to prove my answer incorrect I'd be very delighted to consider it! (For some reason, I cannot continue chat till tomorrow - friends +1)
    – Steve
    Aug 24, 2020 at 1:14
  • There are many texts and while I might have the inclination to seek them out, I don't have the time. I'm trying to move house and close up my business. In any case, I gave you one yesterday: "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God...."-1 Co,15:50. The use of "bones", instead of "blood" is just semantics. When it comes to bones, blood is imperative and besides one's "soul" is in the blood, NOT the bones. Jesus' use of the word "bones", instead of "blood" was for his disciples benefit for easier perception - "...as you SEE that I have", Luke 24:39 goes on to say. Aug 24, 2020 at 2:45
  • @user48152 Had to rectify the down-vote someone gave you. Luke 2I 4:36-43 is cross-referenced to 1 Peter 3:18 which says Jesus was "made alive BY the Spirit" yet some other translations say Jesus was made alive IN the spirit. I know some people claim Jesus' body disappeared and what came out of the tomb was a spirit. I take it you understand that Jesus had a bodily resurrection, a body fit for eternity in heaven from whence he first came?
    – Lesley
    Aug 24, 2020 at 14:45
  • 1
    @another theory - I now realise my mistake. I should not have responded to your comment to me - after all, I had simply directed a comment to the asker (user48152), which really has nothing to do with you given you have not answered the question. Indeed,you haven't answered any questions on this site. Having looked at the questions you have asked and your view that Jesus did not die on the cross, all I am going to say is I do not subscribe to your thinking or your theories. Feel free to have the last word since I have nothing further to say to you.
    – Lesley
    Aug 30, 2020 at 16:23

What does the risen Jesus mean 'for a spirit does not have flesh and bones' [Luke 24:29]?

  1. Consider the power of God's Spirit in [Ezekiel 37:14] "I will put My spirit into you, and you shall live".

  2. Reflect on the attributes of spiritless body in [Ezekiel 37:8] "flesh came upon them, and skin covered them from above, but there was still no spirit in them."

  3. Consider the attributes of a Resurrected Body in [Ezekiel 37:12] "So says the Lord God: Lo! I open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves as My people, and bring you home".

In Luke 24:39, we learn that a Resurrected Body of Yeshua (Jesus) has physical & spiritual attributes parallel to the Resurrected bodies in Ezekiel 37:12. As a Resurrected King, Yeshua is not just a spirit but also has flesh & bones fulfilling the prophecy of Ezekiel 37.

  • John 20:27 is the indicator that the Resurrected Body of Yeshua (Jesus) has physical & spiritual attributes.

John 20:27 [NIV]: "Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

John 20:27 helps explain the fully Resurrected Body of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah in [Luke 24:29] has both a spirit and "flesh and bones" which were shown to Thomas.

  • @ctayorgraphics this relates to the nation of Israel being brought back ie David and the Great army 37:10 - probably at the second coming of Jesus - i would not agree with your interpretation related to Luke 24:39. Aug 20, 2020 at 15:54
  • I appreciate your feedback. - Which example of scripture better articulates the attributes of a resurrected body? תּוֹדָה Aug 20, 2020 at 16:05
  • @ctaylorgraphics ty, those references indicate a physical resurrection - they will 'have their own land'? I think it refers to the 2nd resurrection after the 1000 yrs are completed see -lifehopeandtruth.com/life/life-after-death/resurrections/….
    – Steve
    Aug 20, 2020 at 23:56
  • @claylographics i do note the angle you are coming from, i wish i had a clear answer. Luke 20:35-36 - 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 1 Peter 3:18 He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. Aug 21, 2020 at 13:27
  • He appears to the disciples behind shut doors and disappears when meeting Emmaus, yet Jesus clearly wants to show he is body and flesh in Luke and again when he meets Thomas John 20:27 27 Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.” Aug 21, 2020 at 13:28

What does Jesus mean by his description of his risen body in Luke 24:39?

Luke 24:36-39 (NASB)

Other Appearances

36 While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be to you.” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your [a]hearts? 39 See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

Luke 24:37 Humans cannot see spirits so the disciples felt uncomfortable, at this point thinking that this could be Jesus raised from the dead, they evidently thought they were seeing a vision.

Jesus assured them that they were not seeing a spirit: they could see his body of flesh and could touch him, feeling the bones, he also ate in their presence. Similarly, angels in the past materialized in order to be seen by men; they had eaten, and some had even married and fathered children.

Genesis 19:1-3 (NASB)

The Doom of Sodom

19 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and [a]bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” 3 Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

Following his resurrection, Jesus appeared to His apostles in different bodies of flesh and so he was not immediately recognized by them.(John 21:4-7 ,John 20:13-15 ,19-20 NASB) Jesus by appearing to his disciples in different materialized bodies and then saying and doing things which they could identify him strengthened their faith that he had truly been resurrected.

John 21:4-7 (NASB)

4 But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 So Jesus *said to them, “Children, you do not have [a]any fish, do you?” They answered Him, “No.” 6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved *said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea.

The Q centres on this. How can we better define the 'spirit' Jesus is now?

Many years later, Paul referred to the glory of Jesus as being the exact representation of [God's] very essence

Hebrews 1:3 (NET Bible)

3 The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence and he sustains all things by his powerful word, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

1 Timothy 6:16 (NET Bible) Emphasis mine (Jesus)

16 He (Jesus) alone possesses immortality and lives in unapproachable light, whom no human has ever seen or is able to see. To him be honor and eternal power! Amen.

Colossians 1:15 (KJV)

15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

  • the prelude to 1 Tim is ...I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which He (GOD) will bring about at the proper time. In this verse 'he' is God -not Jesus V16 God alone possess immortality.
    – Steve
    Aug 16, 2020 at 20:30
  • user 48152;The first one described in the Bible as rewarded with the gift of immortality is Jesus Christ. That he did not possess immortality before his resurrection by God is seen from the inspired apostle’s words at Romans 6:9: “Christ, now that he has been raised up from the dead, dies no more; death is master over him no more.” (Compare Re 1:17, 18.) Aug 17, 2020 at 6:55
  • 1
    user 48152:For this reason, when describing him as “the King of those who rule as kings and Lord of those who rule as lords,” 1 Timothy 6:15, 16 shows that Jesus is distinct from all such other kings and lords in that he is “the one alone having immortality.” The other kings and lords, because of being mortal, die, even as did also the high priests of Israel. The Jesus, God’s appointed High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, however, has “an indestructible life.”​—Heb 7:15-17, 23-25. Aug 17, 2020 at 6:55
  • 1
    As you understand - there is only one God (the Father) and He alone 'possesses' immortality - EVERYONE else has it given to them. even Jesus!
    – Steve
    Aug 17, 2020 at 7:26
  • Correct; God has always been immortal, Jesus was granted immortality after being raised from the dead, something he did not possess before. Aug 17, 2020 at 7:34

Jesus said, before the crucifixion, to Martha concerning the death of her brother Lazarus "I am the resurrection and the life", so He wasn't "given" eternal life He is Eternal Life. (John 11:25)

  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Jul 29, 2023 at 19:53

What does the risen Jesus mean, "for a spirit does not have flesh and bones..." Luke 24:39


After Jesus' death, in the Spring of 33 AD, he subsequently made several, to all intents and purposes, "fleshly" appearances, to those who had known him, mainly his disciples, as the risen Christ, see - John, chapters 20 and 21 for the details - it wasn't until some 40 days after the resurrection that his "ascension", whereupon he took up his seat at the right hand of God, happened - these appearances struck fear into those who had known him, at least initially, as they were wondering if they were witnessing an apparition, or indeed a spirit. Sometimes he wasn't even recognizable as the man that Jesus was before his death. The "flesh and blood" that Jesus had been, was after all given up as the "Ransom Sacrifice" for all mankind, see - 1 Peter 3:18. The "fleshly" bodies, subsequently witnessed, were manifested in such a way that all could not fail to recognize the now risen Christ, even the doubting Thomas became convinced. So when Jesus says: "for a spirit does not have flesh and bones,..." Luke 24:39, it was to convince all, and even sundry, that he had risen in at least a flesh of sorts and had not yet taken up his true spiritual self. Although, he could suddenly appear and disappear at will and even walk on water.


When Jesus' "ascension" is witnessed by his disciples (no further witnesses evident), Jesus apparently, or is it seemingly, departs the earth in the flesh and get's lost in the clouds, on his way to heaven, whereupon he presumably enters heaven in his true Spiritual form, having been "transfigured" on route. For it is written that "flesh and blood" cannot enter heaven, see - 1 Co, 15:50.


In, 1 Tim, 6:15,16 NASB, it is unfortunate that the translators of the Greek sought to imply that God, himself is/was part of the narrative... "(15)...which HE [God] will bring about at the proper time - He [Jesus] who is the blessed and only sovereign, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; (16) who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see. To Him [Jesus] be honor and eternal dominion! Amen."

When it is Jesus who will manifest, says Paul, the immortality of, himself, as - "...the happy and only potentate...". The actual translation into English, of 1 Tim, 6:15,16, reads: "...which-to appointed times-own-will show-the-happy-and-only-potentate, -the-king-of the (ones)-ruling as kings-and-Lord-of the (ones)-ruling as lords, (16) the-only (one)-having-immortality,.."

There is no mention of God himself in the above. When one puts God himself into the translation, one can be excused for getting confused as to whose immortality is being referred to.

  • ty, two things (so far) He walked on water before 'death'. 2, we need some support for him changing again after appearing and before/at ascension. (going on a limb here - the 'life was in the blood', Jesus said he was flesh and bone, His life is now in the spirit - not blood) WHY does he need to change again? J is STILL the image of the invisible God Col1:15 - He is still human, but glorified
    – Steve
    Aug 23, 2020 at 2:29
  • @48152- sometimes you know you know something and then, if not talked about for a while, there is a tendency to forget. He did walk on water before death. It's in Matt, Mark & John. I stand corrected. As regards being still human, although glorified...I don't see that. The way I see it, he left/forsook his humanity after taking up his position in heaven, spiritual abode ONLY, but that doesn't mean that he can't still be the image of God. As for changing again, all he has surely done is to revert back to his pre earthly existence. Back to you ...... Aug 23, 2020 at 3:40
  • ok, that's the problem.. if he 'had' a pre earthly existence, I see yr point. However, for all that he had to do and be, he could only be human - period. Still is human as the firstborn of many brethren (us) made like us in EVERY way - not most etc... :) we'll have to go to chat soon ty for yr inputs
    – Steve
    Aug 23, 2020 at 3:43
  • He had a lot more to do and be, as the "Word of God", over eons of time. His earthly experience lasted an extremely short time in comparison. He is the firstborn of all creation, not of many brethren. You are really surprising me now, with your humanity persistence. It's over and out for the humanity of Jesus. Even when he comes back, he will be of the spirit. Aug 23, 2020 at 4:10
  • Rom 8:29 re firstborn of many brethren. Perhaps see answer here re logos. Yes I know it seems complicated.hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/47927/… He's still a man 1 Timothy 2:5 according to Paul
    – Steve
    Aug 23, 2020 at 4:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.