Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 13th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
We are taking food to Ukrainians still living near the front lines. You can help by getting your church involved.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries
Luke 24

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Search for…
Enter query below:
Additional Authors

Verses 1-53

Chapter 24

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and they found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were very perplexed, behold, two men stood my them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And then they remembered his words, And they returned from the sepulchre, and told all of these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women that were with them, which told these things to the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed not ( Luke 24:1-11 ).

"Oh, hysterical women. Lord, deliver us!" And they just didn't believe.

Then rose Peter, and he ran to the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and he departed, wondering in himself what it all meant, [what's happened]. And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about three score furlongs [or about eight miles]. And as they talked together of all of these things which had happened, it came to pass, that, while they were communing together and reasoning, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him ( Luke 24:12-16 ).

So God sort of put blinders on them and they didn't recognize Him.

And he said unto them, What are you guys talking about as you're walking along here? How is it that you look so sad? And one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered and said unto him, Are you a stranger in Jerusalem, you don't know the things which have come to pass in these days? And Jesus said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and they've crucified him. And we trusted ( Luke 24:17-21 )

It's past tense.

we had trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and besides all this, this is the third day since these things were done ( Luke 24:21 ).

"Hey, man, you must be a stranger; you don't know the things that have happened around here. There was this fellow, Jesus of Nazareth, a great guy! Mighty and power in God, and He went around doing good and He brought us hope. We hoped, we had trusted that He was going to be the One to bring deliverance. But they crucified Him, and this is the third day."

And there were certain women also of our company which made us astonished, they went early to the sepulchre; and when they did not find his body, they came, and said that they had a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it was even as the women had said: but they did not see him. Then he said unto them, O fools, slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken ( Luke 24:22-25 ):

What's He do? He takes them right back to the Word, right back to the prophecies.

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to have entered into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself ( Luke 24:26-27 ).

And I'll never forgive Cleopas for not writing them down. This is one of the messages of Jesus that I would give anything to have! How I would love to have heard Him start with Moses and go through the Old Testament and bring out all of the scriptures that related to Him, three hundred prophecies that He fulfilled by His birth, life, death, resurrection. Oh, what I wouldn't give to have this sermon recorded. Wouldn't it be great if they had cassettes or something and we could just listen to this message? Oh my!

And they drew near to the village, where they were going: and Jesus acted like he would just keep going on further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day's almost over. And so he went in to stay with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and he blessed it, and he broke it, and he gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight ( Luke 24:28-31 ).

It's interesting to me that it was when He handed them the bread that they recognized. Is it possible that they then saw the nail prints? And their eyes were opened... "Wow!" And then He vanishes out of their sight, disappears.

And they said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? ( Luke 24:32 )

Have you ever had a burning heart as you read the Word of God? Has it ever just kindled a fire within your heart? There are a lot of people who look for excitement in their religious experiences. They look for emotional highs. They look to discover some kind of a miracle or phenomena that they can get all excited about; an angel appeared, or some other type of phenomena. These men said, "Did not our hearts burn when He talked to us and opened the scriptures to us?" I think that it is a sign of spiritual health and maturity when a person begins to get that burning heart as he searches the scriptures, as the Holy Spirit begins to open the scriptures to him. I tell you, I get so excited just reading the Word of God. I get so excited, there are times when I just really can hardly contain myself; as God's Spirit begins to open up the scriptures to me just as I'm reading. The Spirit of God just begins to open them up, and I just get so excited. I can't describe to you just how exciting it is to be taught of the Spirit, the truth of God's Word, and suddenly just have the understanding given to you and the scriptures opened up to you. That's healthy. There are some people that get excited when people speak in tongues or when people utter prophecies. I get excited over the Word of God. Some people get excited with visions or dreams. I get excited over the Word of God.

So they rose up in the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem ( Luke 24:33 ),

I'll bet they got back to Jerusalem a lot of faster than they got to Emmaus.

and they found the eleven gathered together, and those that were with them, and they said to them, [Hey,] the Lord is risen indeed, he appeared to Simon ( Luke 24:33-34 ).

Telling these two fellows that came in, "The Lord is risen! He appeared to Simon!" And they said, "Hey, we had an experience."

And they told what things were done as they were on the path, and how he was known to them when he broke the bread. And as they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood in the midst, and he said unto them, Shalom ( Luke 24:35-36 ).

Typical Hebrew greeting.

But they were terrified and frightened, and they thought that they were seeing a ghost. And he said unto them, Why are you troubled? why do these questions arise [in your minds and] in your hearts? Behold my hands, my feet, it is me: handle me, and see; for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see me have ( Luke 24:37-39 ).

Now there are some people that find difficulty here because Jesus is saying, "Handle Me. See if it isn't Me." When earlier in the day He said to Mary, "Touch Me not. I'm not yet ascended to my Father." The words of Jesus to Mary, "Touch Me not," the words "touch Me not" are a poor translation of the Greek. In the Greek, it reads, "Don't cling to Me." Mary was, no doubt, touching Him already. She, no doubt, had a death grip on Him. "You got away from me once, You'll never get away from me again! All right, I'm not going to let You go." And He said, "Don't cling to Me, Mary. Go and tell My disciples that I'm risen." So it wasn't, "Don't touch Me," some mystic thing, but it's just, "Don't cling to Me, Mary. Go tell the disciples I am risen." Here He's saying, "Look, handle Me. See if it isn't Me. Ghosts don't have flesh and bones as you see Me have."

And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy ( Luke 24:40-41 ),

Now it was just too much. "We can't believe it; it's just too much."

and they were wondering, he said unto them, Do you have any meat? And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and some honeycomb. And he ate it before them. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all of the things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, in the prophets, and in the psalms ( Luke 24:41-44 ),

The Psalms are filled with prophecies concerning Jesus Christ. There are entire Psalms that are known as Messianic Psalms; Psalms 22 , graphic description of the crucifixion. Psalm 110 , the priest after the order of Melchizedek. Psalm 118...and just over and over, many Psalms. And so He said, "Didn't I tell you that these scriptures must be fulfilled, Moses and the prophets and the Psalms?"

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures ( Luke 24:45 ).

And that's a glorious gift, when God opens your understanding that you might understand. And that happens when you're born again. If you try and read the scriptures without being born again, they're a mystery to you. "For the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit, neither can he know them, they are spiritually discerned. But he which is spiritual understands, though he is not understood by any" ( 1 Corinthians 2:14-15 ).

And he said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved the Messiah to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are the witnesses of these things ( Luke 24:46-48 ).

So, here He is commissioning them, that they should go out and preach the repentance and the remission of sins to all nations. "And behold, I sent the promise of my Father upon you..." This is the promise, no doubt, made to Joel in the second chapter of the prophecy of Joel when God said, "And in the last days, saith the Lord, when I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh."

I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with this power from on high ( Luke 24:49 ).

The promise of the Holy Spirit. But they were to wait in Jerusalem until the promise was fulfilled.

Now this translation, "Tarry ye in Jerusalem," was picked up by the Pentecostal churches and they had traditional tarrying meetings where people gathered to tarry to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. That's unscriptural. Jesus said, "Tarry in the city of Jerusalem." So to tarry in Santa Ana would not be scriptural.

Jesus was not prescribing the method by which the Holy Spirit should be poured out upon all believers during church history. There was to be that initial day in which the Spirit of God would be poured out upon the church as an abiding gift. They were to wait for that day, they were to wait in Jerusalem for that day. Once the day of Pentecost was fully come and the Holy Spirit was poured out as an abiding gift upon the church, it was never necessary for them to tarry again to receive the Holy Spirit. All that was necessary was for them to by faith receive the gift of God. You don't have to tarry to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It's God's gift. You receive it by just faith. "This gift is unto you and your children and to those that are far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."

And so he led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and he blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven ( Luke 24:50-51 ).

Now notice, He went as far as Bethany, lifted up His hands and blessed them. And as He was doing it, He was lifted up and went on into heaven. This was forty days after His crucifixion. He had been around among them for forty days. When you go to Jerusalem today on the Mount of Olives, I think there are three different sights where great churches have been built over the spot where Jesus ascended. The Russians have the Church of Ascension, the Lutherans have the Church of Ascension, and the Catholics have the Church of Ascension, all on the top of the Mount of Olives. And one of them, they'll even show you the footprints that He left in the rock when He ascended. It's interesting they're all on the top of the Mount of Olives, when the scripture said He went as far as Bethany. I'm glad there's no Church of the Ascension in Bethany. So you can just go to Bethany and think, "Somewhere in here Jesus ascended." But you don't have a spot. Nor do you have a lot of baubles and trinkets and souvenir salesmen. Where He ascended is not so important as the fact that He did ascend there from Bethany.

And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen ( Luke 24:52-53 ).

They were continually in the temple...which means that when the Holy Spirit descended upon the church, they were probably in one of the rooms of the temple. Because it was ten days after this that the Holy Spirit did descend. And the fact that they were continuing daily in the temple praising and blessing God, means that this phenomena probably took place right there in the temple, in one of the rooms of the temple where they had gathered to worship and praise the Lord. We'll get to that when we get to Acts, the second chapter, but we won't get to that until we get to John, which we will start next week--the first two chapters of the gospel according to John.

Father, give us burning hearts by unfolding to us the truth of Your Word. And may we feel that excitement, that rush, that thrill of having Thy Spirit, Lord, just opening up the truths and giving us understanding and helping us to know You, Your love, Your way, Your will. Lord, as we go forth this week, guide us. May this be a week of spiritual growth. May this be a week of deepening relationship. May we draw closer to You, Lord. And may You work in our hearts and lives by Your Holy Spirit, as You would conform us into the image of Christ and make us true and faithful witnesses of our Lord. Bless us, strengthen us, help us, Father. In the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Luke 24". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/luke-24.html. 2014.
Ads FreeProfile