Read Part 1.
In the early years of church history, there were men who denied the true humanity of Jesus. They were the Docetists, a significant branch of Gnosticism. They considered it blasphemous to imagine an infinite, holy, transcendent God contaminating Himself by assuming human flesh. This attitude reflected Greek philosophy, which held that matter is evil and that only the mind and spirit are good.
This was a deadly heresy that was confronted head-on by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament Scriptures, especially in the writings of John. Note, for example, this statement: “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God” (1 John 4:2). And, “many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2 John 7).
The creation account in Genesis assures us that every physical, material thing God ever created, including the human body, was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). Moral, ethical evil is found in man’s heart (the center of rational thought, moral choices and self consciousness), not his body: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries…” (Matt. 15:19; cf. 12:34).
The Apostle Paul echoes this thought with regard to those who follow demonic doctrines, such as “commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused” (1 Tim. 4:3, 4).
Doctor Luke, “the beloved physician” (Col. 4:14), Paul’s frequent travel companion and medical helper, was especially fascinated by the physical body that Jesus manifested after His resurrection from the dead. Luke assures us that it was “Jesus Himself [who] stood in the midst of them” having passed through the locked door into their hiding place (Luke 24:36). It was not “a spirit” that looked like Jesus (Luke 24:37-39).
To demonstrate the genuineness of His physical body, the now-glorified Christ said to them: “‘Have you any food here?’ So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence” (Luke 24:41-43). The way He partook of this food immediately reminded them of the many times they had shared meals with Him during the previous three years.
Similarly, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus “knew Him” when “as He sat at the table with them…He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them” (Luke 24:30, 31). Something about His gestures and mannerisms at meal times in His public ministry fully confirmed His identity to them.
There were no fast food restaurants in ancient Israel. Meal times were special occasions to get acquainted with people. It is significant, therefore, that our Lord “presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them [the apostles] during forty days” (Acts 1:3). It is often overlooked that one of these “infallible proofs” of His true identity was the way He “assembled together with them” (Acts 1:4), literally, “shared salt [i.e., ate] with them.”