Jesus makes a remark to Thomas to show Thomas that it is truly Him

“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 ‭24:39‬ ‭

Jesus says that He has flesh and bones but in contrast makes the point that spirits do not.

Jesus asks Thomas to touch and see, which appears to insinuate that a spirit cannot be touched. Or can spirits be touched (or they can touch a person) but their touch is not flesh and bones?

How is this passage to be understood with respect to spirits. Can or can they not be touched?

  • See my answer to your next question - I think this and your next question are really the same question.
    – Dottard
    Commented Dec 20, 2020 at 11:34
  • They are not one and the same in that, just as humans are natural but not all that is natural is human, so also angels are spiritual but not all that is spiritual are angels. Spirits are spiritual but not all that is spiritual is a spirit, case and point Jesus has a spiritual body but said he isn’t a spirit Commented Dec 20, 2020 at 16:39

3 Answers 3


Things to Consider:

Jesus is implying Spirits neither have Flesh or Bones but are alive. The mechanism through which they are alive is not elaborated.

For flesh to remain alive it needs blood. The verse "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" explains this.

So it is in error for some to suggest that since Jesus did not mention blood, His body had no life. It is also in error to think that a spirit needs blood to be alive. For that is not stated once in scripture.

Flesh and bones without life (blood) would be a corpse.


I view this verse as spirits can be seen and "touched". Jesus is suggesting once you touch me you will realize I have flesh and bones, thus I am not a spirit.

If Thomas were to touch Jesus and maybe his hand went through His body or felt some unknown sensation (electric shock, vibration, jelly like), that would prove Jesus was a spirit.

Jesus is showing that until Thomas touched Him and confirmed "hey this feels like a body", he would not have definitive proof that Jesus was in a human body.

I think this suggests that Spirits can be seen and touch/be touched but it won't resemble us touching another human.

  • Jesus was NOT in a human body after resurrection. “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:44‬ thank you for your answer though. +1 Commented Dec 20, 2020 at 5:16
  • You are correct. But is the difference observable on a physical level? In Luke 24:30 Jesus broke bread with those from along the roadside, and He appeared as any other man to them. The disciples assumed He was a spirit because they did not have faith that He was risen yet.
    – Serpent
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 18:36
  • A spiritual BODY is spiritual but is not a spirit(lacking a body). You seem to be equating spiritual body with a spirit. 1John 4:2 says Jesus IS come in the flesh. That would suggest a spiritual body is fleshly. Jesus Himself said a spirit does not have flesh and bone, implying He had a flesh body. Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 20:54
  • @NihilSineDeo - could you please explain why you think 1 Cor 15:44 is talking about the resurrected body of Jesus? The context that Paul is addressing is when the dead are raised (v35). It also seems funny that you would not treat Jesus as an exception to this general principle, when v27 calls him an exception to another generality. Your claim that "Jesus was NOT in a human body..." smacks me as false and/or illogical. Maybe a definition is in order? Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 15:59
  • @TheChaz2.0 there are only two types of bodies. You know of a third? Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 16:52

You are dealing in two different ‘dimensions’ (not quite the right word, but it conveys the idea). A physical ‘dimension’ and a spiritual ‘dimension’.

To do anything in this world, in this ‘earthly’ world, you need a body, an ‘earthly’ body. That’s why man (a spirit, created in Genesis 1) was given a body (Genesis chapter 2), formed out of ‘earth’ (aka dust).

Without a body, neither you, nor any other entity, (at all) can do anything in this earth - nothing. Angels need a body, Jesus needed a body (for this, but also for other [crucial] reasons.)

So for your question, for a physical person (Thomas) to touch Jesus, both needed a ‘body’ - because a ‘spirit’ can not be touched.

Angles have ‘spiritual bodies’, because they ‘operate’ in the spiritual world. Man’s body has flesh and blood, as man’s [bodies] ‘life’ is ‘in the blood’. Jesus’s resurrected body [only] had flesh and bone. The important point being that they all needed a ‘body’ to interact with this world.

That’s why the unclean spirits can’t rest until they can ‘operate’ through a body. [someone else’s]. Without this, they can’t do anything - at all.

MAT 12:43 *”When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. *

44 *Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ *[snip]

The analogy of a ‘body’ being a ‘house’ for its owner is that the body is where man’s spirit resides while on this earth. Without your body, you really won’t be able to do much here on earth. :-)

  • I am surprised that the first response is this one. I agree thoroughly with you. Commented Dec 20, 2020 at 4:01
  • If 'Jesus's resurrected body had only flesh and bone' [sic] then there was no life in it, for the life is in the blood. I think you are mistaken there.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Dec 20, 2020 at 4:17
  • @NigelJ “There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:40, 45‬ Commented Dec 20, 2020 at 4:36
  • 1
    @NihilSineDeo If Jesus (upon resurrection) had no blood in his veins, why on earth would he eat fish and honeycomb, Luke 24:42, and how would the nutrient get to his extremities ? ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented Dec 20, 2020 at 5:10
  • I don’t know @NigelJ about the nutrients but I asked this question already also hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/49533/… Commented Dec 20, 2020 at 5:14

The Body of Jesus after the resurrection as described Luke 24:36-49. Clearly Jesus said He had a human body but it was no ordinary human body that could pass through walls and locked doors. Just how this worked we are not told.

Some things are not revealed and the details of spirit bodies is one of those things. In 1 Cor 15 we read:

  • V40 - There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. But the splendor of the heavenly bodies is of one degree, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is of another.
  • V44, 45 - It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being;” the last Adam a life-giving spirit.

Note that in this text Jesus is said to be "a life giving spirit" - but one that has flesh and blood as recorded in Luke.

I cannot explain any of this and so I look forward to finding out at the resurrection of the dead.

For more information on this see my answer in Angels touching humans in the Bible

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.