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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Luke 24

 

 

Verse 1

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.


Verse 2

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 3

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. See the notes at Matthew 28:1-4; and at Mark 16:1-4.


Verse 4

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout. Mark reports their perplexity, before they reached the tomb, as to who should roll them away the stone that covered the body of their dear Lord; while our Evangelist here, who simply tells us that they found the stone rolled away, records their next and still greater perplexity at finding the sepulchre empty. But as the one vanished as soon as they arrived at the spot, so the other was soon dissipated by the shining ones that appeared to them.

Behold, two men stood by them in shining garments , [ astraptousais (Greek #797)] - garments of dazzling brightness. See the note at Mark 16:5.


Verse 5

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?

And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth (see the note at Luke 1:12), they said, unto them, Why, seek ye the living , [ ton (Greek #3588) zoonta (Greek #2198)] - 'the Living One.'

Among the dead? Astonishing question! It is not, Why seek ye the risen One? but "Why seek ye the Living One among the dead?" See the note at Revelation 1:18. The surprise expressed in the question implies a certain incongruity in His being there at all; as if, though He might submit to it, "it was impossible that He should be holden of it" (Acts 2:24).


Verse 6

He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee - to which these women themselves belonged (Luke 23:55.)


Verse 7

Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

Saying - in those explicit announcements, which He made once and again, of His approaching sufferings, death, and resurrection.

The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. How remarkable it is to hear angels quoting a whole sentence of Christ's to the disciples, mentioning where it was uttered, and wondering it was not fresh on their memory, as doubtless it was in theirs! See 1 Timothy 3:16, "Seen of angels;" and 1 Peter 1:12.


Verse 8

And they remembered his words,

And they remembered his words.


Verse 9

And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.

And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.


Verse 10

It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna (see the notes at Luke 8:1-3), and Mary the mother of James, and other , [ kai (Greek #2532) hai (Greek #3588) loipai (Greek #3062)] - rather, 'and the others.'

That were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. See the note at Mark 16:1.


Verse 11

And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. See the note at Luke 24:41, and at Mark 16:11,


Verse 12

Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

Then arose Peter ... For the details of this, see the note at John 20:1, etc.

For Remarks on this section, see those on the corresponding section of the First Gospel, Matthew 28:1-15.

This most exquisite scene is special to our Evangelist.


Verse 13

And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

And, behold, two of them. For the name of the one, see the note at Luke 24:18. Who the other was is mere conjecture.

Went [or 'were proceeding' eesan (G1510) poreuomenoi (G4198)] that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs - or, about seven and half miles; but the spot has not been satisfactorily determined. Perhaps they were returning home after the Passover.


Verse 14

And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

And they talked together of all these things which had happened.


Verse 15

And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned - as they exchanged views and feelings, weighing afresh all the facts detailed in Luke 24:18-24.

Jesus himself drew near, and went with them - coming up behind them, as from Jerusalem (Luke 24:18).


Verse 16

But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

But their eyes were holden that they should not know him , [ tou (Greek #3588) mee (Greek #3361) epignoonai (Greek #1921)] - or 'did not recognize Him.' Certainly, as they did not believe that He was alive, His company, as a Fellow-traveler, was the last thing they would expect. But the words, "their eyes were holden," and the express intimation, in another Gospel, that "He appeared to them in another form" (Mark 16:12), make it evident that there was a divine operation hindering the recognition of Him until the fitting time.


Verse 17

And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another , [ antiballete (Greek #474)]. The word "have" is too weak. Literally it is, 'that ye cast about' from one to the other, and denotes the earnest discussion that seemed to be going on between them.

As ye walk, and are sad?


Verse 18

And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas (see the note at Matthew 10:3), answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? If he knew not the events of the last few days in Jerusalem he must be a mere sojourner; if he did, how could he suppose they would be talking of anything else? How artless is all this!


Verse 19

And he 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 he 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:


Verse 20

And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

And how the chief priests and oar rulers delivered him to be condemned to death - that is, handed Him over to Pilate, that he might order Him to be put to death.

And have crucified him. As if feeling it a relief to have some one to unburden his thoughts and feelings to, this disciple goes over the main facts, in his own desponding style, and this was just what our Lord wished.


Verse 21

But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel , [ Heemeis (Greek #2249) de (Greek #1161) eelpizomen (Greek #1679) hoti (Greek #3754) autos (Greek #846) estin (Greek #1510) ho (Greek #3588) melloon (Greek #3195) lutrousthai (Greek #3084)] - rather, 'But we were hoping that it was He that was to redeem,' etc. The "we" is emphatic: q.d., 'Others, we know, thought differently; but for our part we,' etc., implying expectations kept up until the recent events so dashed them. They expected, indeed, the promised Deliverance at His hand; but certainly not by His death.

And besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done.


Verse 22

Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;


Verse 23

And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.


Verse 24

And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said; but him they saw not. Not only did His death seem to give the fatal blow to their hopes, but He had been two days dead already, and this was the third. 'It is true,' they add, 'some of our women gave us a surprise, telling us of a vision of angels they had at the empty grave this morning that said He was alive, and some of ourselves who went there confirmed their statement; but then, Himself they saw not.' A doleful tale truly, and told out of the deepest despondency.


Verse 25

Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

Then he said unto them, O fools , [ Oo (Greek #5599) anoeetoi (Greek #453)] - This is too strong a word. Our Lord never calls, His true disciples "fools" [ mooroi (Greek #3474)]. It should be, 'O senseless;' that is, void of discernment.

And slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! - or 'spake' [ elaleesan (Greek #2980)].


Verse 26

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

Ought not Christ [ edei (G1210) pathein (G3958) ton (G3588) Christon (G5547)] to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? - `Behoved it not the Messiah to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory;' that is, Was it not necessary to the fulfillment of the Scriptures that the predicted Messiah should, through the gate of these very sufferings, enter into His glory? It is doubtless to these words that the apostle Peter alludes, when he speaks of the Spirit of Christ who testified in the prophets 'the sufferings that were to light upon Messiah and the following glories' [ promarturomenon (Greek #4303) ta (Greek #3588) eis (Greek #1519) Christon (Greek #5547) patheemata (Greek #3804) kai (Greek #2532) tas (Greek #3588) meta (Greek #3326) tauta (Greek #5023) doxas (Greek #1391)], 1 Peter 1:11. 'Ye have had your eye fixed so exclusively on the "glories" (says our Lord), that ye have overlooked the "sufferings" which the prophets told you were to go before and pave the way for them.'


Verse 27

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself - the great Burden of all the Old Testament Scriptures.


Verse 28

And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

And they drew nigh unto the village where they went - or 'were going' [ eporeuonto (Greek #4198)].

And he made as though he would have gone further - but only "as though;" for He had no intention of going further. So when He walked toward them on the sea of Galilee, "He would have passed by them" - but never meant to do it. So Genesis 32:26. (Compare Genesis 18:3; Genesis 18:5; Genesis 42:7.)


Verse 29

But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. But for this, the whole design of the interview had been lost; but it was not to be lost, because He who only wished to be constrained had kindled a longing in the hearts of His traveling companions which was not to be so easily put off.


Verse 30

And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.


Verse 31

And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

And their eyes were opened, and they knew [or 'recognized' epegnoosan (G1921)] him; and he vanished out of their sight , [ kai (Greek #2532) autos (Greek #846) afantos (Greek #855) egeneto (Greek #1096) ap' (Greek #575) autoon (Greek #846)] - or 'ceased to be seen of them' supernaturally disappearing. The stranger first startles them by taking the place of Master at their own table, but on proceeding to that act which reproduced the whole scene of the last Supper, a rush of associations and recollections disclosed their Guest, and He stood confessed before their astonished gaze-THEIR RISEN LORD! They were going to gaze on Him, perhaps embrace Him, but that moment He is gone! It was enough; the end of the whole interview had been gained.


Verse 32

And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures? The force of the imperfect tenses here [ kaiomenee (Greek #2545) een (Greek #2258) ... elalei (Greek #2980) ... dieenoigen (Greek #1272)], denoting what they felt during the whole time of His walk and talk with them, should if possible be preserved; as thus: 'Was not our heart burning within us while He was talking with us on the way, and while He was opening to us the Scriptures?' 'Ah! this accounts for it: We could not understand the glow of self-evidencing light, love, glory, that ravished our hearts; but now we do.' They cannot rest-how could they?-they must go straight back and tell the news. They cannot think of sleeping over it.


Verse 33

And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together.

This does not show that the two disciples themselves were not of "the Eleven;" for the expression is used here to denote the company or class, not the fact of the whole number of them being present on this occasion.

And them that were with them.


Verse 34

Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. They think they will bring strange tidings-thrilling intelligence-to their downcast brethren. But before they have time to tell their tale, their own ears are saluted with tidings not less thrilling: "The Lord is risen indeed [ ontoos (Greek #3689)], and hath appeared to SIMON." Most touching and precious intelligence this. The only one of the Eleven to whom He appeared alone was he, it seems, who had so shamefully denied Him. What passed at that interview we shall never know here. Probably it was too sacred for disclosure. See the note at Mark 16:7.


Verse 35

And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

The two from Emmaus have now their turn, and relate the marvelous manifestation made to them. While thus comparing notes of their Lord's appearances, lo! Himself stands in the midst of them.


Verse 36

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. See the notes at John 20:19-21.


Verse 37

But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit - the ghost of their dead Lord rather than Himself in the body. (See the note at Acts 12:15; and Matthew 14:26.)


Verse 38

And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

And he said unto them; Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? [ dialogismoi (Greek #1261)] - rather 'reasonings;' that is, whether He were risen or no, and whether this was His very Self.


Verse 39

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see - lovingly offering them both ocular and tangible demonstration of the reality of His resurrection.

For a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have - an important statement regarding 'spirits.' He says not "flesh and blood;" for the blood is the life of the animal and corruptible body (Genesis 9:4) which "cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 15:50); but "flesh and bones" - implying the identity, but with diversity of laws, of the resurrection-body.


Verse 40

And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. See the notes at John 20:24-28.


Verse 41

And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered. They did believe, else, as Bengel beautifully remarks, they had not "joyed." But it seemed too good to be true. Like the captives from Babylon, "they were as men that dreamed" (Psalms 126:1-2).

He said unto them, Have ye here any meat?


Verse 42

And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honey-comb - common, frugal fare, anciently.


Verse 43

And he took it, and did eat before them.

And he took it, and did eat before them - that is, so as to let them see Him eating; not for His own necessity, but their conviction.


Verse 44

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you. Mark this last expression - "while I was yet with you" - that is, in the days of His flesh. Now, He was as good as removed from them; His life being a new one, the atmosphere He breathed no longer that of this lower world, and His proper home, even for their interests, His Father's house. But 'now ye will understand what I said to you, once and again, to your so great surprise and distress, about the Son of man requiring to be put to death and to rise again.

That all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms - the three current Jewish divisions of the Old Testament Scriptures, "concerning me."


Verse 45

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures. A statement of unspeakable value: expressing, on the one hand, Christ's immediate access to the human spirit and absolute power over it, to the adjustment of its vision, and its permanent rectification for spiritual discernment; and, on the other hand, showing that the apostolic manner of interpreting the Old Testament, in the Acts and Epistles, has the direct sanction of Christ Himself.


Verse 46

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ [or 'the Messiah' ton (G3588) Christon (G5547)], to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day - see the note at Luke 24:26.


Verse 47

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem; first, because Jerusalem was the metropolitan center of the then existing kingdom of God (see Romans 1:16 - "to the Jew first;" Acts 13:46; Isaiah 2:3; and see the note at Matthew 10:6); and next, because it was the great laboratory and reservoir of all the sin and all the crime of the nation (Luke 13:33), and by beginning there, it would he proclaimed for all time that there was mercy in Christ for the chief of sinners (see the note at Matthew 23:37).


Verse 48

And ye are witnesses of these things.

And ye are witnesses of these things (see the notes at Acts 1:8; Acts 1:22).


Verse 49

And behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

And, behold, I send , [ apostelloo (Greek #649)] - or, 'I am sending,' in the present tense, to intimate its nearness.

The promise of my Father - that is, what my Father hath promised; or the Holy Spirit, of which Christ is the authoritative Dispenser (John 14:7; Revelation 3:1; Revelation 5:6).

But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued, [ endusasthe (G1746), or 'clothed'] with power from on high - implying (as the parallels show - Romans 13:14; 1 Corinthians 15:53; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 3:9-10) their being so penetrated and acted upon by conscious supernatural "power" as to stamp with divine authority the whole exercise of their apostolic office, including, certainly, their pen as well as their mouth.


Verse 50

And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

And he led them out as far as to Bethany - not to the village itself, which would be no congenial spot; but "as far as to Bethany" - meaning, probably, to that side of the mount of Olives where the road strikes down to Bethany; because there is every reason to concur in the early tradition that from Mount Olivet our Lord took His flight on high. But how came Jesus and the Eleven to be now together at Bethany, having been last together in Galilee? The feast of Pentecost, now within ten days, would bring the disciples to Jerusalem, and no doubt their Lord appointed to meet them in the neighbourhood of it, probably somewhere on the way to Bethany.


Verse 51

And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

Sweet intimation! The Incarnate, Crucified, Risen One, now on the wing for heaven-waiting only for those odorous gales which were to waft Him to the skies-goes away in benedictions, only to continue them, in yet higher style, as the Glorified and Enthroned One, until He come again. And O, if angels were so transported at His birth into this scene of tears and death, what must have been their ecstasy as they welcomed and attended Him up "far above all heavens" into the presence chamber, and conducted Him to the right hand, of the Majesty on High! Thou hast an everlasting right, O my Saviour, to that august place. The Brightness of the Father's glory, enshrined in our nature, hath won it well, because He poured out His soul unto death. Therefore bath He ascended on high, and led captivity captive, receiving gifts for men, yea for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them. 'Thou art the King of glory, O Christ.' Lift up your heads, O ye gates, be lifted up, ye everlasting doors, that the King of glory may come in! Even so wilt thou change these vile bodies of ours, that they may be like unto Thine own glorious body; and then, with gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought, they shall enter into the King's palace! For fuller particulars of the Ascension, by the same Evangelist, see the notes at Acts 1:9-11.

And they worshipped him - beyond all doubt, in the sense of supreme worship. In the whole Gospel of Luke, remarks Stier, we have this word to 'worship' [ proskunein (Greek #4352)] but in one other place - Luke 4:7-8 where it is used of the honour due to God alone; and in the Acts only in the following passages, all in the same sense: Luke 7:43; Luke 8:27; Luke 24:11; Luke 10:25-26. In this last passage, though Cornelius meant only subordinate worship, Peter rejected it-as only a man. And what was the worship of His bright escort on His way upwards, and of His reception above? (Psalms 68:18-19).

And returned to Jerusalem - as instructed to do; but not until, after gazing as if entranced up into the blue vault in which He had disappeared, they were gently checked by two shining ones, who assured them He would come again to them in the like manner as He had gone into heaven. (See the notes at Acts 1:10-11.) This made them return, not with disappointment at His removal, but "with great joy."


Verse 52

And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 53

And were continually in the temple - that is, every day at the regular hours of prayer until the day of Pentecost,

Praising and blessing God - in higher than Jewish strains now, though in the accustomed forms.

Amen. This "Amen" is excluded from the text by Tischendorf and Tregelles, in which they are followed by Alford. But the authorities in its favour are, in our judgment, decisive. Lachmann inserts it. Probably some might less see the import of it here than in the other Gospels. But who that has followed our Evangelist, until he leaves his readers with the Eleven, "praising and blessing God" after their Lord's ascension to the Father, could refrain from adding his own "Amen," even though the Evangelist had not written it? It is as though he had said, 'For such wonders, the record of which is here closed, let every reader join with those Eleven continually in praising and blessing God.'

For Remarks on the Resurrection-scene, see those on the corresponding section of the First Gospel - Matthew 28:1-15. But on the remaining portion of this chapter we add the following -- Remarks:

(1) Were we asked to select from the Four Gospels the six verses which bear the most indubitable marks of exact historic reality, we might be at some loss, from the profusion of such that stud the pages of the Evangelical Narrative. But certainly the doleful tale of the two disciples going to Emmaus-of expectations regarding Jesus of Nazareth, raised only to be crushed to the lowest, with the half-trembling, half-hoping allusion to the reports of His resurrection by "certain women of their company," and all this poured into the ear of the risen Saviour Himself, who had overtaken and made up to them as an unknown fellow-traveler (Luke 24:19-24) - this must be held by every competent and candid judge to pass all the powers of human invention. Some, perhaps, will think that the subsequent manifestation in the breaking of bread is stamped with a selfevidencing glory at least equally great. Perhaps it is. Or that scene in the apartment at Jerusalem, where the disciples were met the same evening, when the two who had hastened back from Emmaus entered it to tell their tale of transport, but were anticipated by one equally thrilling, and while they were all unburdening themselves, breathless with joy, the Redeemer made His own appearance in the midst of them! But the difficulty of deciding which is most life-like arises from the multitude of such scenes, whose reality those photographic Records have printed indelibly on the minds of all unsophisticated readers in every age and all lands.

And what those records do not relate bears higher testimony to them, perhaps, than even their positive statements. Apocryphal gospels would have been ready enough to tell us what passed between the risen Redeemer and the disciple who thrice denied Him, at their first meeting on the resurrection-morn. But while only one of the Four Evangelists notices the fact at all, even from him all the information we have is contained in the thrilling announcement by the company assembled in the evening to the two from Emmaus, "The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon!" Not for the perplexed only do we recur to this subject again and again. To look into these things is an exercise as healthy as delightful to those who love the Lord Jesus. For thus do we find ourselves in the midst of them; and the views which such scenes disclose to us of the person of the Lord Jesus, His Work in the flesh, His dying love, His resurrection-power and glory, have such a historical form as imparts to them undying life, immortal youth and beauty.

(2) How often in hours of darkest despondency are the disciples of the Lord Jesus favoured with His presence, though their eyes for a time are holden that they shall not know Him? For all He does, perhaps, at such seasons is to keep them from sinking, and cheer them with hopes of relief, through the talk, it may be, of some friend who speaks to their case and reminds them of forgotten truths and promises. But this is itself relief enough to be sweet in the meantime: and dimly though Himself may be discerned in all this, the feeling which it begets finds vent in such strains as these:

`Abide with me from morn to eve, For without Thee I cannot live: Abide with me when night is nigh,

For without Time I cannot die.' - KEBLE

But there are times when the presence of Jesus makes itself almost as manifest as when the eyes of the two at Emmaus were opened and they knew Him. And never, perhaps, more than "in the breaking of bread." It was indeed a common meal which those two prepared for their unknown Guest. But His taking the place of Master at their own table, and His "taking the bread, and blessing, and breaking, and giving to them" - bringing up the whole scene of the Last Supper, and disclosing to them in this Guest their own risen Lord-converted it into a communion in the most exalted sense. And thus sometimes, when we sit down to that table which He hath ordered to be spread, with no higher feeling at the moment than of simple obedience to a commanded duty, He "makes Himself known to us in the breaking of bread" as evidently as if Himself said to us with His own lips, "This is my body which is broken for thee. This cup is the New Testament in my blood shed for many, for the remission of sins; drink thou and all of it." But such vivid disclosures of Jesus to the spirit, like cordials to a sinking frame, are not what we live upon; and just as, when the end was answered, He vanished out of the sight of the two wondering disciples, and, when on the mount of transfiguration the voice was past, Jesus was left alone, the glory gone, and Jesus only, as before, with the three astonished disciples-so are we left to go up through this wilderness leaning on our Beloved through the medium of the word, of which Jesus Himself says, "Sanctify them through thy truth: Thy word is truth."

(3) What a testimony to the divine authority and evangelical sense of the Old Testament Scriptures have we in the expositions of them by the Lord Jesus, first to the two going to Emmaus, and afterward to the company of disciples assembled at Jerusalem on the same evening of the resurrection-day? He who denies, or would explain away, either of these-and both certainly stand or fall together-must settle it with Christ Himself; but with those who, in our day, dispute even His authority, and yet call themselves Christians, this is not the place to dispute-nor, perhaps, would it be of much avail But,

(4) Who that reads with simple faith what is here written of Christ's direct access to the human spirit, and power to open its faculties to the reception of truth (Luke 24:45), can doubt His proper Divinity? It is indeed, no more than He is said to have done to Lydia (see the note at Acts 16:14); nor is it more than the father of the lunatic boy ascribed to Him with tears (see the note at Mark 9:24); and we must get rid of the whole Gospel History before we can free ourselves of the necessity of believing that Jesus has this glorious power over the human heart. But to free ourselves from tiffs obligation we want not. It is our joy that it is written in the Evangelical Narrative as with a sunbeam, and reflected in all the subsequent writings of the New Testament. But for this, who would commit the keeping of his eternal all to Him? But "we know in Whom we have believed, and are persuaded that He is able to keep that which, we have committed unto Him against that day" (see the note at 2 Timothy 1:12).

(5) The identity of the Risen with the Crucified body of the Lord Jesus is beyond all doubt what our Lord intended to convince His disciples of, by eating before them, and by showing them His hands and His feet, with "the print of the nails." This is a truth of unspeakable importance, and delightful beyond the power of language to express. The varying forms in which He appeared to the disciples, in consequence of which He was not always immediately recognized by them, suggests the high probability that the resurrection bodies of the saints too will possess the same or analogous properties; and the conjecture that a process of progressive glorification during the forty days of His sojourn on earth, and consummated as He "went up where He was before" - though it derives but slender support from the words of John 20:17, "I am not yet ascended" - may possibly have something in it. But one little fact speaks volumes on the perfect identity of the Risen Jesus Himself with Him who in the days of His flesh endeared Himself to the disciples in the familiar conversations of life-that when His appearance in the garden quite deceived Mary Magdalene that one word "Mary!" fixed His identity to her beyond what all other proofs perhaps could have done (see the note at John 20:16). And is it beyond the bounds of legitimate inference from this, that personal recognition, implying of course the vivid recollection of those scenes of the present life which constitute the ties of dearest fellowship, will be found so to connect the future with the present state-the perfection and glory of the one with the weakness, and wants, and tears, and vanities of the other-as to make it forever delightfully manifest that with all its glory it is but the efflorescence of the present life of the redeemed?

(6) And Thou art gone up to the Father, O Thou whom my soul loveth! It is Thy proper home Thou hast but ascended up where Thou wast before. And it was expedient for us that Thou shouldst go away. For otherwise the Comforter would not have come. But He is come. Thou hast sent Him to us; and He hath glorified Thee as Thou never wast nor, without Him, would have been in the Church. Now, repentance and remission of sins is in course of being preached in Thy name among all nations. Beginning at Jerusalem, bloody Jerusalem, it shall reach in its triumphs the most desperate cases of human guilt. But Thou shalt come again, and receive us to Thyself, that where Thou art we may be also. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all that read these lines. Amen.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 24:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-24.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, July 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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