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Friday, July 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 24

The Fourfold GospelFourfold Gospel

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Verses 1-12

P A R T E I G H T H.

(Joseph’s Garden. Sunday, very early.)
aMATT. XXVIII. 1-8; bMARK XVI. 1-8; cLUKE XXIV. 1-8, 12; dJOHN XX. 1-10.

c1 But a1 Now late on the sabbath day, b1 And when the sabbath was past, con the first day of the week, {aas it began to dawn toward the first day of the week,} cat early dawn, dwhile it was yet dark, cometh {acame} dMary Magdalene early aand the other Mary bthe mother of James, and Salome, cunto the tomb, bringing {bbrought} cthe spices which they had prepared. [ Luke 23:56.] ato see the sepulchre. bthat they might come and anoint him. a2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and sat upon it. 3 His appearance was as lightning, and his raiment white as snow: 4 and for fear of him the watchers [the Roman soldiers on guard] did quake, and became as dead men. [The angel sat upon the stone that the Roman guards might make no attempt to reclose the tomb.] b2 And very early on the first day of the week, they come to the tomb when the sun was risen. 3 And they were saying among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the tomb? c2 And they found the stone rolled away from [739] the tomb. b4 and looking up, they see {d [Mary Magdalene] seeth} bthat the stone is rolled back: {dtaken away from the tomb.} for it was exceeding great. c3 And they bentering into the tomb, {centered in,} and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. [John mentions Mary Magdalene alone, though she came with the rest of the women. As she was the one who reported to John and Peter, he describes her actions, and makes no mention of the others.] d2 She runneth therefore, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we know not where they have laid him. [Though Mary came with the other women, she departed at once, while the others tarried, as the sequel shows. The narrative proceeds to tell what happened to the other women after Mary had departed.] c4 And it came to pass, while they were perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel: bthey saw a young man sitting on the right side, arrayed in a white robe; and they were amazed. c5 and as they were affrighted and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, {bhe athe angel} answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye; cBe not amazed: afor I know that ye seek Jesus, bthe Nazarene, who hath been crucified: cWhy seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but {afor} he is risen, even as he said. cremember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. 8 And they remembered his words [For the words referred to, see Matthew 17:22, Matthew 17:23. The angel continues his speech as follows], aCome, bbehold, the place where they laid him! asee the place where the Lord lay. [Here is a double wonder, that men should put the Son of God in a grave, and that he should consent to be put there.] b7 But {a7 And} go quickly, and tell his disciples, [740] band Peter, aHe is risen from the dead; and lo, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: bas he said unto you. alo, I have told you. [The women were told to hasten, for the disciples were not to endure their sorrow a moment longer than was needful. Peter was mentioned by name that he might know that he was not cast off for his denial. The Lord appeared to some chosen few in Judæa, but the large body of his disciples were to see him in Galilee; see Psalms 16:10, Isaiah 53:10, and many other passages set forth the resurrection of our Lord; his own words, too, had plainly foretold it, yet among the disciples it was so much beyond all expectation that the prophecies had no meaning until made clear by the event itself. Yet these are the men whom the Jews accused of inventing the story of a resurrection!]

[FFG 739-742]

Verses 9-11

(Jerusalem. Sunday morning.)
aMATT. XXVIII. 9, 10; bMARK XVI. 9-11; cLUKE XXIV. 9-11; dJOHN XX. 11-18.

[The women, having received the message of the angels, and remembering that the message accorded with the words [742] of Jesus himself, made haste.] c9 and returned from the tomb, b9 Now when he was risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. [Mark here agrees with John that Mary separated from the other women. As to Mary Magdalene, see Luke 24:16), lest the shock of his sudden appearance might be too much for her, as it was for even his male disciples [743] ( Luke 24:37). Conversation with him assured her that he was not a disembodied spirit.] 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou hast borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. [Christ’s first question expressed kindly sympathy; the second suggested that he knew the cause of her grief, and might be able to help her find what she sought. Thus encouraged, Mary at once assumes that the gardener himself had removed the body, probably under instructions from Joseph, and hope lightens her heart. In her effort to remove the body, she doubtless counts upon the help of her fellow-disciples.] 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. [Her eyes and ears were no longer held; she knew him. It was the same way he used to speak, the same name by which he used to call her. The grave had glorified and exalted him, but had not changed his love.] She turneth herself, and saith unto him in Hebrew, Rabboni; which is to say, Teacher. [Seasons of greatest joy are marked by little speech. Jesus and Mary each expressed themselves in a single word.] 17 Jesus saith to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto the Father: but go unto my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God. [This passage is one of well-known difficulty, and Meyer or Ryle may be consulted by those wishing to see how various commentators have interpreted it. We would explain it by the following paraphrase: "Do not lay hold on me and detain yourself and me; I have not yet ascended; this is no brief, passing vision; I am yet in the world, and will be for some time, and there will be other opportunities to see me; the duty of the moment is to go and tell my sorrowing disciples that I have risen, and shall ascend to my Father." Jesus does not say "our Father." Our relation to God is not the same as his. While, however, our Lord’s language recognizes the difference between his divine and our human relationship to the Father, his words are intended to [744] show us our exaltation. We have reason to believe that next to our Lord’s title as Son our title as sons of God by adoption is as high in honor as any in the universe.] 18 Mary Magdalene cometh and telleth {bwent and told} dthe disciples, bthem that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. [The poignancy of the disciples’ grief, even after the intervention of the Sabbath day, explains why the Lord and his angels were so eager to bring them word of the resurrection.] dI have seen the Lord; and that he had said these things unto her. b11 And they, when they heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, disbelieved. [It is likely that Mary brought the first word, for we shall see below that Luke places her first in the catalogue of witnesses. The narrative now turns back to take up the account of the other women.] a9 And behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. [This was a customary salutation. But the old formula took on new significance, for it means "rejoice."] And they came and took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. [This delay, permitted to them, and denied to Mary, probably explains why she became the first messenger, though the other women were first to leave the tomb.] 10 Then saith Jesus unto them, Fear not: go tell my brethren that they depart into Galilee, and there shall they see me. [The repetition may be due to the reticence of the women remarked by Mark in the last section by the key words "and they said nothing to any one." The women may have been hesitating whether they should tell the disciples. Thus Jesus reiterates the instruction already given by the angel. This is the first time the word "brethren" is applied by our Lord to his disciples.] cand [they] told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest. 10 Now they were Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James: and the other women with them told these things unto the apostles. 11 And these words appeared in their sight as idle talk; and they disbelieved them. [Lamar well says that this very incredulity on the part of the apostles "enhances the value of their [745] testimony to the fact of the resurrection. They were not expecting it; they were no visionary enthusiasts, prepared to welcome and credit any story that might be told them; nor would they be satisfied with any proof short of palpable and ocular demonstrations."]

[FFG 742-746]

Verses 13-35

(Sunday afternoon.)
bMARK XVI. 12, 13; cLUKE XXIV. 13-35; eI. COR. XV. 5.

b12 And after these things he was manifested in another form [i. e., another manner] unto two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country. c13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus [Several sites have been suggested, but the village of Emmaus has not yet been identified beyond dispute. Its location is probably marked by the ruins called el Kubeibeh, which lies northwest of Jerusalem], which was threescore furlongs from Jerusalem. [el Kubeibeh is distant seven and thirteen-sixteenths of a mile, or sixty-two and one-half furlongs, from Jerusalem.] 14 And they communed with each other of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, while they communed and questioned together, that Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. [Jesus himself designedly restrained their vision, that, unlike John ( John 20:8, John 20:9), that might see the resurrection of Jesus in the Scriptures before they saw it in reality.] 17 And he said unto them, What communications are these that ye have one with another, as ye walk? And they stood still, looking sad. [Our Lord’s abrupt question brought them to a standstill. We may well imagine that they considered his interruption very unwelcome. But his kindly mien won their confidence and they tell him all.] 18 And one of them, named Cleopas, answering said unto him, Dost thou alone sojourn in Jerusalem and not know the things which are come to pass there in these days? [Of Cleopas nothing further is known. It has been suggested that the other disciple was Luke himself. [748] This is possible, for the other Evangelists mention themselves thus impersonally. The preface to Luke’s Gospel in no way forbids us to think that he had a personal knowledge of parts of Christ’s ministry. Cleopas marveled that there could be a single man in Jerusalem who had not heard concerning the crucifixion, etc.] 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we hoped that it was he who should redeem Israel. [To Cleopas, redeeming Israel meant freeing the nation from the Roman yoke.] Yea and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things came to pass. 22 Moreover certain women of our company amazed us, having been early at the tomb; 23 and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. [Rationalists might see their own reflection in these two disciples, who suppressed the statement of the women that they had seen the Lord as too idle to be repeated, and told the least marvelous part of their story--that about the angels--as too visionary to be credited. Thus the renowned Renan held that the resurrection was a story or fabrication which grew out of the hallucination of Mary Magdalene. But these two men on the way to Emmaus had less use for feminine hallucinations than even M. Renan. But in the end they believed in the resurrection because they themselves had substantial evidence of it.] 24 And certain of them that were with us [Peter and John] went to the tomb, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. [The last clause unconsciously suggests the omitted fact that the women had professed to see Christ.] 25 And he said unto them, O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Behooved it not the Christ to suffer these things, [749] and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. [The counsel of the Father revealed in the Scriptures shows that Jesus should enter into his glory through suffering. The books of Moses foretell Christ largely in types, such, as the passover, the rock in the wilderness, Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, the day of atonement, etc., but the prophets show him forth in clear-cut predictions and descriptions. Jesus evidently applied both these divisions of Scripture to himself, making it plain to these two who were both thoughtless in mind and slow in heart. Those lacking in a knowledge of the Christology of the Old Testament are slow to believe in it. Those who know that Christology, and yet doubt the Old Testament, do so because they lack faith in the Christ therein portrayed.] 28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they were going: and he made as though he would go further. 29 And they constrained him, saying, Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent. [They were loth to part with this delightful stranger who by his wonderful use of the Scriptures revived their failing faith and hope in Jesus.] And he went in to abide with them. 30 And it came to pass, when he had sat down with them to meat, he took the bread and blessed; and breaking it he gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. [While he was breaking the bread to supply their bodies he opened their eyes and revealed to them that it was he also who had just been feeding their hungry hearts with the truth and consolation of the divine word.] 32 And they said one to another, Was not our heart burning within us, while he spake to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures? [Thus they admit to each other that the joy of beholding the risen Lord was but the consummation of a joy already begun through a right understanding of the truth contained in Scripture. The sight of the Lord was sweeter because it was preceded by faith that he ought [750] thus to rise.] 33 And they rose up that very hour, b13 And they went away cand returned to Jerusalem [their news was too precious to keep. They could not sit still till the disciples in Jerusalem knew it], and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them [the women and some of the one hundred and twenty-- Acts 1:15], 34 saying, The Lord is risen indeed [his resurrection is not an hallucination of the women], and hath fappeared to Cephas; {cSimon.} [Paul and Luke both mention this appearance, but we have none of the details of it.] 35 And they rehearsed the things that happened in the way, and how he was known of them in the breaking of the bread. [This does not mean that they knew Jesus because of any peculiar way in which he broke the bread; it means that he was revealed at the time when he broke it.] bneither believed they them. [They now believed that Jesus had risen, but they did not believe that these two had walked and talked with him without recognizing him. *]

* NOTE.--Here again we dissent. So general a statement of unbelief would not be used when there was a mere doubt as to some of the narrated details. We prefer in our original comment to this substitution, and it was this: Mark shows us that little dependence can be placed upon the apparently strong admission which Luke records. Unable to contradict the testimony of Peter, they said, "The Lord is risen indeed;" but their hearts were, nevertheless, full of doubt. Luke himself shows this in the next section, for these professedly believing apostles took Jesus for a spirit when they saw him.

[FFG 748-751]

Verses 36-43

(Jerusalem. Sunday evening)
bMARK XVI. 14; cLUKE XXIV. 36-43; dJOHN XX. 19-25.

b14 And afterward cas they spake these things [while the two from Emmaus were telling their story], bhe was manifested unto the eleven themselves as they sat at [751] meat; d19 When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus chimself dcame and stood in the midst, cof them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they beheld a spirit. [His entrance through a bolted door lent weight to their idea that he had no corporeal body. They knew nothing of the possibilities of a resurrected body.] band he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart [here, as in the previous section, Jesus shows that the heart has much to do with the belief], because they believed not them that had seen him after he was risen. [They had had the testimony of three men and perhaps a half dozen women; they had not lacked evidence.] c38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and wherefore do questionings arise in your heart? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye behold me having. 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. dand his side. [These members not only showed that he was not a disembodied spirit, but they served to identify his body with that which they had seen crucified, and hence the person who now spoke was the Jesus whom they had known and lost.] c41 And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here anything to eat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish. 43 And he took it, and ate before them. [Thus at last satisfying them that he was not a ghost.] dThe disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus therefore said to them again, Peace be unto you: as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit: 23 whose soever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. [Now that the apostles [752] knew their Master, he repeats his blessing, and as the New Testament is now sealed in his blood according to the commission under which he came, he, in turn, commissions the twelve to go forth and proclaim its provisions. Symbolic of the baptism which they were to receive at Pentecost, he breathes upon them, and, having thus symbolically qualified them, he commissions them to forgive or retain sin, for this was the subject-matter of the New Testament.] 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus [see p. 244], was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. [The apostles had undoubtedly seen and talked with someone, but the question was, Who? They said that it was Jesus, and Thomas, holding this to be impossible, thought that it must have been someone else whom they mistook for Jesus. But he would not be deceived; he would thoroughly examine the wounds, for these would identify Jesus beyond all doubt--if it were Jesus.]

[FFG 751-753]

Verses 44-49

cLUKE XXIV. 44-49; eACTS I. 3-8; fI. COR. XV. 7.

f7 then he appeared to James [of this appearance also we have no details]; then to all the apostles; e3 To whom he also showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing unto them by the space of forty days, and speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God [this shows us that Jesus spoke many things at his appearances beside the brief words which are recorded]: 4 and, being assembled together with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, ye heard from me [ John 14:16, John 14:26, John 15:26]: 5 For John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence. [This promised baptism came ten days later, at Pentecost.] c44 And he said unto them, These are my words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me. [That is, these recent events are simply what I told you should come to pass according to the Scriptures, but ye did not understand. The phrase, "while I was yet," etc., shows that in the mind of Jesus, he was already parted from them, and his presence was the exception and not the rule.] 45 Then opened he their mind, that they might [764] understand the scriptures [some think that this illumination was of a miraculous nature, and confound it with what the Lord is said to have done at John 20:22, but the Luke 24:46 suggests that he did it by discourse, just as he had done it already to the two on the way to Emmaus-- Luke 24:27]; 46 and he said unto them, Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day [Both the written prophecy and the unwritten nature of things required that Christ should do as he had done. The saying forms an important credential for the Book of Jonah; where else have we the period of three days fixed as the time between our Lord’s burial and resurrection?-- Matthew 12:38-40]; 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. [See previous section.] 48 Ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I send forth the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city, until ye be clothed with power from on high. e6 They [the apostles] therefore, when they were come together, asked him, saying, Lord, dost thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? [Despite all that they had seen and heard, the apostles were still expecting that Jesus would revive the old Jewish kingdom, and have himself enthroned in Jerusalem as the heir and successor of David.] 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the Father hath set within His own authority. 8 But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. [Jesus enlightens them as to their duty, and not as to the kingdom; Pentecost would make all clear as to the nature of Christ’s rule and dominion.] [765]

[FFG 764-765]

Verses 46-47

(Time and place same as last section.)
aMATT. XXVIII. 18-20; bMARK XVI. 15-18; cLUKE XXIV. 46, 47.

a18 And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. b15 And he said unto them, Go ye atherefore, binto all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. aand make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: b16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. cThus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day; 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. [The verses from Luke are taken from a later conversation, which will be handled in our Psalms 8:6, 1 Corinthians 15:27, 1 Corinthians 15:28, magnifies instead of detracting from their wonderful import, for he deems its necessary to state that the Father himself is not subject to the Son. Surely in connection with this marvelous celestial power, his dominion over out tiny earth would not need to be mentioned if it were not that we, its inhabitants, are very limited in our conception of things, and require exceedingly plain statements. The command calls for the Christianizing of all nations. If we realized better that authority with which Christ prefaces his commission, the conquest of the nations in his name would seem to us a small matter indeed, and we should set about it expecting to witness its speedy accomplishment. The structure of the sentence in the original Greek shows that it is the disciples and not the nations who are to be baptized; according to the commission, therefore, one must be made a disciple before he can be baptized. Baptism brings us into divine relation to God. Being a part of the process of adoption, it is called a birth ( John 3:5). The baptized Christian bears the name into which he is baptized ( Romans 2:24, James 2:7). Luke sums up the whole commission by recording the words of Christ, wherein he states that he suffered that it might be preached to all nations that if men would repent, God could now forgive ( Romans 3:26). From Luke’s record we also learn that the preaching of these glad tidings was to begin at Jerusalem.] b17 And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. [The Book of Acts gives examples of each one of these except the fourth, and though we have no record of a disciple escaping the effects of drinking poison, [763] there is little doubt that in the many persecutions such cases did occur.] aand lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. [This is a promise not of bare companionship, but of full sympathy and support ( Isaiah 43:2, Exodus 33:15, Joshua 1:5). The duration of this promise shows that it is intended for all disciples.]

[FFG 762-764]

Verses 50-53

(Olivet, between Jerusalem and Bethany.)
bMARK XVI. 19, 20; cLUKE XXIV. 50-53; eACTS I. 9-12.

b19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, e9 And when he had said these things, che led them out until they were over against Bethany: and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them [it is significant that our Lord’s gesture, when last seen of men, was one of blessing], and eas they were looking, he was taken {ccarried breceived} cup into heaven. aand a cloud received him out of their sight. band [he] sat down at the right hand of God. c52 And they worshipped him, e10 And while they were looking stedfastly into heaven as he went, behold, two men [angels in human form] stood by them in white apparel; 11 who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? this Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven. [Thus the angels add their testimony to the sureness of our Lord’s promise that he will return.] 12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, cwith great joy; 53 and were continually in the temple, blessing God. b20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.

[FFG 766]

Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 24". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tfg/luke-24.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.
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