“Therefore from no on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.” 2 Corinthians 5:16 (NASB)
The apostle Paul had come to realize that the physical matters, those of the flesh, were temporary. Even Jesus had been know “according to the flesh” for a short time. His disciples had known and related to Him in physical form, but since His return to Heaven the believers no longer related to Him in that way. Still He is real, and our spiritual fellowship with Him is even more significant than was the physical relationship of His disciples with Him.
If that is the case with Christ, then there is a spiritual dimension in all people that we should strive to see, and not relate to them “according to the flesh” only. We need to learn to appreciate that everyone is created in God’s image and seek to relate to one another on that basis.
The eyes of the flesh will notice matters of physical appearance: height, weight, complexion, racial features, hair color and style, clothing, posture, etc. The eyes of the flesh are so quick to notice signs of wealth, education, status, and accomplishment. From those appearances we may draw conclusions that are completely contrary to the discernment of the spirit. We may discover that one who appears comfortable or successful actually has a troubled heart and is in desperate need of the forgiveness and the peace of God. One who appears in need may actually be rich toward God and full of joy. We, as children of God, must train ourselves to see deeper than the surface.
“Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Mark 8:33 (NKJV)