INNER CIRCLE: Which Came First: The Spirit or The Flesh?

INNER CIRCLE: Which Came First: The Spirit or The Flesh? November 10, 2022

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Saying 29 Jesus said: “If the flesh came into existence because of the spirit, it is a marvel. But if the spirit (came into existence) because of the body, it is a marvel of marvels. But as for me, I wonder at this, how this great wealth made its home in this poverty.”

Here we have a saying that is less of a parable and more of an observation of the relationship between spirit and flesh.

The implications that spirit is “a great wealth” and the flesh is “poverty” clues us in to a hierarchy of implied worth, but I personally caution against taking such statements too far. To acknowledge the value of our consciousness as our connection to God and one another, is not to say that our flesh or our bodies are worthless. What’s necessary is to emphasize the greater value of our consciousness in comparison to the merely physical reality, which seems all the more “real” to us by virtue of our senses.

It takes somewhat more energy and patience for one to quiet themselves and experience rest in such a way that the material world begins to fade into the background so that the greater spiritual reality can become manifest. But, once we begin to experience this higher self, we can see how the physical realm pales in comparison to our spiritual reality.

What Jesus marvels at here is that our spirit – our consciousness – has come to rest within our flesh. Like a genie within a bottle, our spiritual self is contained by a material vessel. At least, for the time being.

Still, the saying here is more about asking us to consider whether our spirit came into being because of the body, or if the body came into existence for the sake of the spirit.

It’s a riddle that has no clear answer.

One could surmise that the greater wealth must exist for the sake of the lesser, but why? Why should one necessarily require the other?

Do our bodies require a spirit? Does our spirit require a body?

All we can say is that we have both a body and a spirit. Or that we are a spirit that currently resides within a body.

The body is temporary. The spirit is divine and eternal and at one with Everything.

Thus, Jesus simply marvels that “this great wealth” of eternal, divine Oneness with all things in the Universe has found itself contained in millions and billions of separate physical expressions for this brief moment in time.

Why? What will happen when all the bodies perish and all that remains is the One consciousness?

Or will that time never come? Will the Divine Spirit always inhabit the physical universe in some form or another?

This is a question that we may never find the answer to, but it is a question that we cannot help ourselves but ask.


Keith Giles is the best-selling author of the Jesus Un series. He has appeared on CNN, USA Today, BuzzFeed, and John Fugelsang’s “Tell Me Everything.” His latest book, SOLA MYSTERIUM: Celebrating the Beautiful Uncertainty of Everything is available now on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.



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