Luke 24 Commentary

NOTE: This Verse by Verse Commentary page is part of an ongoing project to add notes to each verse of the Bible. Therefore many verses do not yet have notes, but if the Lord tarries and gives me breath, additions will follow in the future. The goal is to edify and equip you for the work of service (Eph 4:12-13-note) that the Lord God might be glorified in your life and in His Church. Amen (Isa 61:3b, Mt 5:16-note)



From Jensen's Survey of the NT by permission

Luke 24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.

Wuest - And during the sabbath they ceased from work according to the commandment, but on the first day of the week, as the dawn was just breaking, they came to the tomb, bearing the aromatics which they had prepared.

THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK
THE FEAST OF FIRST FRUITS

See map of the events of the preceding Passion Week

Luke 24:1–12 recounts the discovery of the empty tomb and the announcement of Jesus’ resurrection. Parallel passages appear in the Matt 28:1–8; Mark 16:1–8; John 20:1–13.

The first day of the week at early dawn they came -

John 20:1   Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.

Mark 16:1-2 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him.  Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

Matthew 28:1 Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.

On the Jewish Calendar this day would be the Feast of First Fruits (Zola Levitt) (or here), the day we commonly refer to as Resurrection Sunday or Easter. In Jewish terms this is the day after their seventh day, the Sabbath (Sunset Fri to Sunset Saturday),  and is the day we refer to as Sunday. Christians sometimes refer to Sunday as the "Sabbath" but that is not accurate from a Jewish perspective. "All four Gospels state that the resurrection took place on Sunday." (ESV Study Bible) John MacArthur adds that "From then on, believers set aside Sunday to meet and remember the marvelous resurrection of the Lord (see Acts 20:7; 1Cor 16:2). It became known as the Lord’s Day (Rev 1:10)."

A T Robertson - So he had already risen at early dawn on the first day of the week. He was buried shortly before sunset on Friday, and at sunset the Sabbath began. So he lay in the tomb a small part of Friday, all of Saturday, and 10 or 11 hours of Sunday. This corresponds exactly with the seven times repeated statement that he would or did rise “on the third day,” which could not possibly mean after 72 hours. The phrase two or three times given, “after three days,” naturally denoted for Jews, as for Greeks and Romans, a whole central day and any part of a first and third, thus agreeing with “on the third day.” Even the “three days and three nights” of Matt. 12:40 need not, according to known Jewish usage, mean more than we have described. So these expressions can be reconciled with “on the third day,” and with the facts as recorded, while “on the third day” cannot mean after 72 hours. See Note 13 at end of the Harmony for full discussion of the question. There is no real appeal from the testimony of Luke, who gives the whole period. Luke states that Jesus was buried just before the sabbath “drew on” (our Friday evening); that the women rested during the sabbath (our Saturday), and that Jesus was already risen early Sunday morning when the women came to the tomb. (Harmony of the Gospels - scroll down to page 280 for Visit of Women to the Tomb...)

MacArthur - The Jews marked their days at sundown rather than midnight, so the Sabbath ended on Saturday evening around 6:00 P.M....At least two of (the women - see Mt. 27:61; Mk 15:47) observed Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus wrapping Jesus’ body with spices for His burial on Friday (John 19:39; cf. Mark 15:46). Yet they wished to prepare their own spices to anoint their Lord. Understandably, they desired one last opportunity to demonstrate their love. Because the Jewish people did not embalm the bodies of their dead, anointing was an act borne of necessity, to mitigate the powerful odors of a decomposing body.

Early dawn (‘at the crack of dawn’)  - Literally, "at deep dawn" or "or the dawn being deep." The adjective bathus (deep) was often used of time. This very idiom occurs in Aristophanes, Plato,etc. John 20:1 adds “while it was yet dark.” That is, when they started, for the sun was risen when they arrived (Mark 16:2). They could have accomplished nothing in the dark but were there as early as they could be to accomplish their supposed task of anointing Jesus' body.

Matthew has “as it began to dawn” (Matt. 28:1); and Mark has “when the sun had risen” (Mark 16:2). 

Vincent on early dawn (deep dawn) - Plutarch says of Alexander, that he supped “at deep evening;” i.e., late at night. Philo says that the Hebrews crossed the Red Sea “about deep dawn (as here), while others were yet in bed.” So Socrates, in prison, asks Crito the time of day. He replies, ὄρθρος βαθύς, the dawn is deep, i.e. breaking (Plato, “Crito,” 43).

Robertson on early dawn - Literally, at deep dawn. The adjective bathus (deep) was often used of time. This very idiom occurs in Aristophanes, Plato, et cetera.

They came to the tomb - They refers to the women who Luke had described at the end of the previous chapter -

It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.  (Luke 23:54-56)

MacArthur - John notes that Mary Magdalene arrived earlier “while it was still dark” (John 20:1). Evidently all the women set out just before dawn while it was still dark, but Mary got to the tomb ahead of the others. (Luke Commentary) (Ed: "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave." Mt 28:1)

They - Refers to the women in Luke 23:55. The names of those who traveled to the tomb are given in Luke 24:10 "Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them." Luke 23:56 tells us that these women planned to return to the tomb in order to prepare Jesus' body for burial following the Sabbath, the Jewish day of rest."

Luke 23:55-56 Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

J C Ryle - Let it be noted, that this early visit to the sepulchre is a strong proof of the love and affection of these holy women. For women to go to a place of burial, near a crowded city, before the sun was risen, faith and courage were needed.

Faith Life Study Bible - First-century Jews understood the calendar day to begin at sunset. In accordance with Jesus’ predictions (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34), He remained buried for parts of three calendar days: the end of Friday, the entirety of Saturday (the Sabbath), and roughly the first half of Sunday (from sunset to sunrise). By Mark’s reckoning, Jesus died and was buried before sunset on Friday—the end of the 15th day of the month of Nisan. Sunset marked the beginning of the Sabbath (Saturday, the 16th of Nisan). The following sunset was the start of Sunday (the 17th of Nisan); later that day, as the sun was rising, the women visited the tomb.

Bringing the spices which they had prepared - Recall that the body had already been anointed so this would have been additional anointing by the women. John MacArthur notes that "John reports that Nicodemus, a prominent Pharisee and almost certainly a member of the Sanhedrin (see John 3:1), joined Joseph at the tomb, “bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.” Together, “they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews” (John 19:39–40). Unlike the Egyptians, the Jews did not attempt to embalm bodies but simply encased them in strongly perfumed burial cloths to help mask the stench of decay." (Matthew Commentary)

Ryle - We are told by John that Joseph and Nicodemus had already used “a hundred pounds weight” of myrrh and aloes, when they buried our Lord. (John 19:39.) But if is probable that for want of time these spices were used hurriedly and imperfectly. Some commentators say, that the process of embalming and applying spices to dead bodies, was usually repeated for several days together, in order that the aromatic and antiseptic compounds might have their full effect.

Robertson -  Mark 16:1 notes that they bought other spices after the sabbath was over besides those which they already had (Luke 23:56).  

William MacDonald has an anonymous quote - “Their love was early astir (v. 1) and was richly rewarded (v. 6). There is still a risen Lord for the early riser (Prov. 8:17 = “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.").”

John MacArthur - All four gospel writers combine to report on the features surrounding Jesus’ resurrection. Though each author reveals unique elements that bear upon the narrative (a fact that contradicts the modern critical notion that the gospel writers copied from a common source), they harmonize perfectly because they share a common divine Author (cf. John 14:26; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). Each of the Fospels explains that Jesus died on the cross on Friday afternoon and was buried that evening (Matt. 27:47–61; Mark 15:33–47; Luke 23:44–56; John 19:28–42). He remained in the tomb all day Saturday. But early Sunday morning, when the women arrived to anoint the body with burial spices, the tomb was empty. Their confusion turned to wonder when an angel appeared and explained to them that Jesus was alive. After that, the Lord Himself began to appear to His followers. (For a harmony of the gospel accounts of Jesus’ postresurrection appearances, see John MacArthur, One Perfect Life [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012].) (Mark Commentary)

Leon Morris has an interesting comment - None of the four Gospels describes the resurrection, which in any case no-one saw. But all emphasize its critical importance, though in widely differing ways. Some things are common to all the accounts, such as the empty tomb, the reluctance of the disciples to believe that Jesus had risen, the fact that the first appearances were to women, and the limited number of appearances. Even when they are describing the same appearance each Evangelist tells it in his own individual way (e.g. Luke 24:36ff.; John 20:19ff.). This kind of thing makes it difficult to arrange the appearances in a coherent sequence and some critics hold that discrepancies in the accounts make this impossible. That this is incorrect is demonstrated by the fact that Arndt and John Wenham, for example, have worked out possible harmonies (as have others). We may or may not feel able to accept the solution proposed by either, but it cannot be denied that each has worked out a sequence that includes all the appearances mentioned in the accounts. Luke’s treasure is the wonderful story of the walk to Emmaus. His other resurrection stories also bear his own stamp and they differ from what we read elsewhere. It is noteworthy that he concentrates on Jerusalem and says nothing about appearances of the risen Lord in Galilee. (Tyndale NT Commentary - Luke)


O Glorious Day

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One bringing
My Savior Jesus is mine

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day


D L Moody - The man of God who has fixed his feet on the rock of salvation can say with certainty, "I know." If you have not got assurance and want it, just believe God's Word. If you go down South and ask those three million colored people how they think they are free, they won't talk about their feelings; they just believe that Abraham Lincoln made them free. They believe the proclamation, and so we must believe the proclamation God has made in the Bible. "One thing thou teachest," that is salvation.


J C Ryle comments on Luke 24:1-12 - 

THE resurrection of Christ is one of the great foundation-stones of the Christian religion. In practical importance it is second only to the crucifixion. The chapter we have now begun directs our mind to the evidence of the resurrection. It contains unanswerable proof that Jesus not only died, but rose again.

We see, in the verses before us, the reality of Christ’s resurrection. We read, that upon “the first day of the week” certain women came to the sepulchre in which the body of Jesus had been laid, in order to anoint Him. But when they came to the place, “they found the stone rolled away. And they entered in and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.”

This simple fact is the starting-point in the history of the resurrection of Christ. On Friday morning His body was safe in the tomb. On Sabbath morning His body was gone. By whose hands had it been taken away? Who had removed it? Not surely the priests and scribes and other enemies of Christ! If they had had Christ’s body to show in disproof of His resurrection, they would gladly have shown it.—Not the apostles and other disciples of our Lord! They were far too much frightened and dis-spirited to attempt such an action, and the more so when they had nothing to gain by it. One explanation, and one only, can meet the circumstance of the case. That explanation is the one supplied by the angels in the verse before us. Christ “had risen” from the grave. To seek Him in the sepulchre was seeking “the living among the dead.” He had risen again, and was soon seen alive and conversing in the body by many credible witnesses.

The fact of our Lord’s resurrection rests on evidence which no infidel can ever explain away. It is confirmed by testimony of every kind, sort, and description. The plain unvarnished story which the Gospel writers tell about it, is one that cannot be overthrown. The more the account they give is examined, the more inexplicable will the event appear, unless we accept it as true. If we choose to deny the truth of their account we may deny everything in the world. It is not so certain that Julius Cæsar once lived, as it is that Christ rose again.

Let us cling firmly to the resurrection of Christ, as one of the pillars of the Gospel. It ought to produce in our minds a settled conviction of the truth of Christianity. Our faith does not depend merely on a set of texts and doctrines, It is founded on a mighty fact which the sceptic has never been able to overturn.—It ought to assure us of the certainty of the resurrection of our own bodies after death. If our Master has risen from the grave, we need not doubt that His disciples shall rise again at the last day.—Above all it ought to fill our hearts with a joyful sense of the fulness of Gospel salvation, Who is he that shall condemn us? Our Great Surety has not only died for us but risen again. (Rom. 8:34.) He has gone to prison for us, and come forth triumphantly after atoning for our sins. The payment He made for us has been accepted. The work of satisfaction has been perfectly accomplished. No wonder that St. Peter exclaims, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Pet. 1:3.)

We see, secondly, in the verses before us, how dull the memory of the disciples was about some of our Lord’s sayings. We are told that the angels who appeared to the women, reminded them of their Master’s words in Galilee, foretelling His own crucifixion and resurrection And then we read, “They remembered his words.” They had heard them, but made no use of them. Now after many days they call them to mind.

This dulness of memory is a common spiritual disease among believers. It prevails as widely now as it did in the days of the first disciples. It is one among many proofs of our fallen and corrupt condition. Even after men have been renewed by the Holy Ghost, their readiness to forget the promises and precepts of the Gospel is continually bringing them into trouble. They hear many things which they ought to store up in their hearts, but seem to forget as fast as they hear. And then, perhaps after many days, affliction brings them up before their recollection, and at once it flashes across their minds that they heard them long ago! They find that they had heard, but heard in vain.

The true cure for a dull memory in religion, is to get deeper love toward Christ, and affections more thoroughly set on things above. We do not readily forget the things we love, and the objects which we keep continually under our eyes. The names of our parents and children are always remembered. The face of the husband or wife we love is graven on the tablets of our hearts. The more our affections are engaged in Christ’s service, the more easy shall we find it to remember Christ’s words. The words of the apostle ought to be carefully pondered: “We ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” (Heb. 2:1.)

We see, lastly, how slow of belief the first disciples were on the subject of Christ’s resurrection. We read that when the women returned from the sepulchre and told the things they had heard from the angels to the eleven apostles, “their words seemed to them idle tales, and they believed them not.” In spite of the plainest declarations from their Master’s own lips that He would rise again the third day,—in spite of the distinct testimony of five or six credible witnesses that the sepulchre was empty, and that angels had told them He was risen,—in spite of the manifest impossibility of accounting for the empty tomb on any other supposition than that of a miraculous resurrection.—in spite of all this, these eleven faithless ones would not believe!

Perhaps we marvel at their unbelief. No doubt it seems at first sight most senseless, most unreasonable, most provoking, most unaccountable. But shall we not do well to look at home? Do we not see around us in the Christian Churches a mass of unbelief far more unreasonable and far more blameworthy than that of the apostles? Do we not see, after eighteen centuries of additional proofs that Christ has risen from the dead, a general want of faith which is truly deplorable? Do we not see myriads of professing Christians who seem not to believe that Jesus died and rose again, and is coming to judge the world? These are painful questions. Strong faith is indeed a rare thing. No wonder that our Lord said, “When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8.)

Finally, let us admire the wisdom of God, which can bring great good out of seeming evil. The unbelief of the apostles is one of the strongest indirect evidences that Jesus rose from the dead. If the disciples were at first so backward to believe our Lord’s resurrection, and were at last so thoroughly persuaded of its truth that they preached it everywhere, Christ must have risen indeed. The first preachers were men who were convinced in spite of themselves, and in spite of determined, obstinate unwillingness to believe. If the apostles at last believed, the resurrection must be true.


Jon Courson -   Luke 24:1–2

When Joseph of Arimathaea placed the body of Jesus in his tomb, there would not have been time for a complete embalming because Passover would begin at sunset during which no work could be done. Consequently, these women were now coming to complete the task. All of the Gospel writers tell us that they came early—always a good time to come to the Lord. 

‘They that seek Me early shall find Me,’ the Lord declares (see Proverbs 8:17). Those who seek the Lord early—early in life, early in a situation, early in each and every day—will uniquely find Him. And these precious women would prove to be no exception.

After a grandfather had lost his much treasured watch during a family gathering, he called his grandchildren together and said, 

‘I’ll pay twenty-five dollars to the one who finds my watch.’

This sent the kids on a mad scramble—running and screaming and turning over every rock. But the youngest grandson just sat and watched his brothers and sisters and cousins all come back empty-handed. The next morning at breakfast, he handed his grandfather the watch. 

‘How did you find it?’ asked the puzzled old man.

‘I just got up real early and listened for the ticking,’ replied his clever grandson.

There’s some timely advice in that little story. Oftentimes, there’s so much noise and commotion going on all around us that it’s hard to hear the Lord in the middle of the day. The time to hear Him is when these precious women did, these who were last at the Cross and first at the tomb. 

The time to hear Him is early in the morning, early in life, early in any and every situation.


Is There Hope? - Luke 24:1

Read: Matthew 28:1-10 | “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said.” —Matthew 28:6

I sat quietly at the graveside of my father, waiting for the private family burial of my mother to begin. The funeral director carried the urn that held her ashes. My heart felt numb and my head was in a fog. How can I handle losing them both within just 3 months? In my grief I felt loss and loneliness and a little hopeless facing a future without them.

Then the pastor read about another graveside. On the first day of the week, early in the morning, women went to Jesus’ tomb, carrying spices for His body (Matt. 28:1; Luke 24:1). There they were startled to find an open and empty tomb—and an angel. “Do not be afraid,” he said to them (Matt. 28:5). They didn’t need to be afraid of the empty tomb or of the angel, because he had good news for them.

Hope stirred when I heard the next words: “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said” (v.6). Because Jesus had come back to life, death had been conquered! Jesus reminded His followers just a few days before His death: “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19).

Even though we grieve at the loss of our loved ones, we find hope through the resurrection of Jesus and His promise that there is life after death.

Thank You, Lord, for comfort and hope.
What would we do without You? Your death
and resurrection provide all we need for
this life and the next.

Because He lives, we live.

INSIGHT: The “other Mary” (Matt. 28:1) in today’s account is apparently the same woman described as “Mary the wife of Clopas” who was at the cross and burial of Jesus (Mt 27:61; John 19:25). It appears she was the mother of James “the Less” and Joses (Mark 15:40), and despite sharing the same name, she was a sister of Mary, Jesus’ mother (John 19:25).

By Anne Cetas 


The Most Important Days

On the first day of the week . . . they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. —Luke 24:1-2

This is the time of year when I go on “the hunt”—not for after-holiday deals on decorations but for the perfect calendar. I start looking in December, but I don’t get serious about my search until January. My requirements are simple: I want a week-at-a-glance, book-type calendar that will lie open on the counter near the telephone. It must also begin each week with Sunday, not Monday. It’s this last criterion that complicates my search. More and more calendars start the week with Monday, the day God considers second.

This trend, like others in our culture, gives the least prominence to what God considers most important. He chose to give special significance to 2 days of the week, the first and the last. He rested on the seventh day after creating the world (Genesis 2:1-3), and on the first day Christ rose from the dead after redeeming the world (Luke 24:1-7). Under the Old Covenant, the last day was reserved for rest. Today, under the New Covenant, believers celebrate the first day of the week in remembrance of Christ’s resurrection.

Although the calendar I use is not crucial to my faith, it does help me remember that my life begins and ends not with the work I do for myself but with the work God does for me as I worship and rest.  

Thinking It Over
Do I make time in my schedule for worship and rest?
How can worship transform my thinking and living?
How can rest help me to see God and life more clearly?

Time spent with the Lord is time well spent.

By Julie Ackerman Link


HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:1

Luke 24:2  And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,

WHO ROLLED 
THE STONE?

 

 

They - The women "They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" (Mk 16:3) (See representative picture) Recall that it had been sealed (Mt 27:66. The women's "worry" was taken care of by God's angel (see below). 

Mk 16:4 - size of stone?

Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. (Mk 16:4, Mt 27:60 = "a large stone")

Mt 28:2 - how the stone was rolled away?

And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.

Jn 20:1 - who was first to see the stone rolled away?

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.

The stone rolled away - All four Gospels include this detail - Mt 28:2; Mk 16:3–4; Jn 20:1. Rolled away is in the perfect tense - speaks of it having been rolled away and still standing rolled away) Mt 28:2-7 gives us the details of how who moved the stone -  "And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred (2nd one associated with Christ's death - see Mt 27:51), for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it." And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” 

The stone was rolled away not to let Jesus out,
but to let the witnesses in!

POSB explains - the stone had not been rolled back for the benefit of Jesus, but for the witnesses to the resurrection. When Jesus arose, He was in His resurrection body, the heavenly body of the spiritual dimension; and the spiritual dimension has no physical bounds. But the witnesses needed to enter the tomb and see the truth 

Wiersbe adds "We do not know at what time Jesus arose from the dead on the first day of the week, but it must have been very early. The earthquake and the angel (Matt. 28:2–4) opened the tomb, not to let Jesus out but to let the witnesses in. “Come and see, go and tell!” is the Easter mandate for the church." (Bible Exposition Commentary)

If you are a skeptic regarding the resurrection you might want to read Frank Morison's online book - Who Moved the Stone?

MacArthur - The stone was far too heavy for them to maneuver, and the women had discussed the problem of how to move it while on their way to the tomb (Mark 16:3). They did not know of the guard detachment, which also would have prevented them from entering the tomb. It had been posted on Saturday (Matt. 27:62-66), when they were home observing the Sabbath. The guards, terrified by the earthquake and the appearance of the angels, had been rendered unconscious (Matt. 28:4). When they came to their senses they fled, and some reported what had happened to the Jewish leaders (Mt 28:11), who initiated a cover-up (Mt 28:12-15).

Ryle - This, according to St. Matthew, (Matt. 28:1,) had been the first great sign attending the resurrection.

NET Note - Luke tells the story of the empty tomb with little drama. He simply notes that when they arrived the stone had been rolled away in a position where the tomb could be entered. This large stone was often placed in a channel so that it could be easily moved by rolling it aside. The other possibility is that it was merely placed over the opening in a position from which it had now been moved.

Mt 27:59-66 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the grave.  62 Now on the next day, the day after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ 64 “Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone.


The Good Story

Read: Luke 23:44-24:3 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. —Luke 24:2-3

People tend to remember negative images more than they do positive ones, according to an experiment conducted at the University of Chicago. While people claim that they want to turn away from the barrage of bad news in the media—reports on tragedies, diseases, economic downturns—this study suggests that their minds are drawn to the stories.

Catherine Hankey (1834-1911) was more interested in the “good news.” She had a great desire to see young women come to know Christ. In 1866, she became very ill. As she lay in bed, she thought about all those with whom she had shared the story of Jesus’ redemption, and she wished that someone would visit and comfort her with “the old, old story.” That’s when she wrote the poem that later became a hymn, “Tell Me the Old, Old Story”:

Tell me the story slowly, that I may take it in—

That wonderful redemption, God’s remedy for sin.

Tell me the story often, for I forget so soon;

The early dew of morning has passed away at noon.

We never tire of hearing the story that because of His great love God sent His one and only Son to this earth (John 3:16). He lived a perfect life, took our sin upon Himself when He was crucified, and 3 days later rose again (Luke 23:44-24:3). When we receive Him as our Savior, we are given eternal life and become His children (John 1:12).

Tell someone the old, old story of Jesus and His love. They need some good news.

The good news of Christ is the best news in the world.

By Anne Cetas

Luke 24:3  but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.

AN EMPTY TOMB

When they had entered - Mark also describes the women entering the tomb

Mark 16:4-5 Looking up, they (the women) saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right (Comment: Luke records that there were two angels in the tomb; Matthew and Mark focus on the one who spoke), wearing a white robe; and they were amazed (cp different Greek word "perplexed" in Lk 24:4).

Henry Morris  -  Matthew 28:2 says the women encountered an "angel;" Luke 24:4 says there were "two men;" and John 20:12 says Mary Magdalene saw "two angels." Since angels often appear as men, there is no contradiction. The word "angel" in Greek is the same as "messenger," and God had sent two messengers (whether angels or men) to roll the stone from the tomb and greet the women.

Matthew implies the women entered the tomb, the angel speaking to the women declaring

“He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. (Matthew 28:6)

They did not find the body of the Lord Jesus - He had risen. 

Luke 24:22-23-note But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive.

Find (2147)(heurisko) means to learn the  location of something, either by intentional searching or by unexpected discovery 

Lord Jesus - This is the first and only time in Luke's Gospel that Jesus is referred to as the Lord Jesus. The only other mention of this title in the Gospels is in Mk 16:19. 

Luke uses Lord Jesus 18x in Acts (out of 101x in the NT) - Acts 1:21; 4:33; 7:59; 8:16; 9:17; 11:17, 20; 15:11, 26; 16:31; 19:5, 13, 17; 20:21, 24, 35; 21:13; 28:31 In fact in the book of Acts, Luke refers to Jesus only two times as Savior but some 92 times as Lord

Ryle on Luke's title "the Lord Jesus" -  The Lord, Christ, Jesus, are names He frequently has had. Here, after His resurrection as a conqueror, St. Luke calls Him “the Lord Jesus.”

Lord (master, owner)(2962)(kurios) conveys the sense of the supreme one, one who is sovereign and possesses absolute authority, absolute ownership and uncontested power.

Tony Garland commenting on Rev 1:8-note writes that "Designating someone as “Lord,” especially in John’s day, could have serious implications. It was a title which Christians did not use lightly. (Quoting from Harold Foos "Christology in the Book of the Revelation" Garland adds that) “Lord (kurios) means that the bearer was worthy of divine recognition and honor. The apostolic writers and early believers were well aware of this meaning. Polycarp, for example, died as a martyr rather than call Caesar kurios."

Detzler writes that kurios "In the earliest Greek this word meant "to have power or authority." Later it came to describe one who is in control. As classical Greek developed, it became a title for men of importance. Since the gods of ancient Greece were neither creators nor lords of their fate, pagan deities were not called "lord" until much later. By the time of Christ, kings had come to be called "lord." This was true of the Roman Emperor Caligula (A.D. 37-41). It was also true of Candace, the fabled queen of upper Egypt (Ac 8:27). So too Herod the Great, Herod Agrippa I, and Herod Agrippa II were called "lord." (New Testament Words in Today's Language)

MacArthur sums up the witnesses of the empty tomb - The soldiers knew the tomb was empty, or they would still have been there guarding it. The Jewish leaders knew that the tomb was empty, or they would not have invented a false story to explain why it was empty. Mary knew the tomb was empty, or she would not have reported to Peter and John that it was. Peter and John also knew firsthand that the body of Jesus was not in the tomb. There is no explanation for the empty tomb other than that it was empty because Jesus had risen from the dead


Resurrection Reality

I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. —Revelation 1:18

The disciples and early followers of our Lord asserted with a zeal born of heartfelt conviction that Jesus of Nazareth was a living Savior, not a martyred teacher and philosopher. They held this truth so dear that they were willing to suffer torture and death rather than renounce it.

This startling message so electrified their ministry that their testimony “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). It is still true today: The Holy Spirit honors the witness of those who proclaim the resurrected Jesus. They do not point primarily to moral codes, religious rituals, or theological creeds (good as these may be in themselves), but to the living God-man who alone can save. It is to Him who is “alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:18) that we should look in these days of dead orthodoxy and spiritual apostasy.

A proud and ungodly professor said to a young child who believed in the Lord Jesus, “My dear little girl, you don’t know whom you believe in. There have been many christs. In which of them do you believe?” “I know which one I believe in,” replied the child. “I believe in the Christ who rose from the dead!”

Jesus is alive (Luke 24:1-12). Your eternal life depends on it.

Although our Lord was crucified,
He rose up from the grave;
He paid our penalty for sin,
Then showed His power to save. —Sper

Christ's resurrection assures what Calvary secures.

By Henry G. Bosch 


Christ’s Resurrection. Matt. 20. 19; Luke 24. 2-7
    1    See from the dungeon of the dead,
            Our great Deliverer rise;
        While conquests wreathe his heavenly head,
            And glory glads his eyes.

    2    The struggling Hero, strong to save,
            Did all our miseries bear
        Down to the chambers of the grave,
            And left the burden there.

    3    [See, how the well-pleased angel rolls
            The stone, and opes the prison!
        Lift up your heads, ye sin-sick souls,
            And sing, The Lord is risen.]

    4    No more indictments justice draws;
            It sets the soul at large;
        Our Surety undertook the cause,
            And faith’s a full discharge.

    5    To save us, our Redeemer died;
            To justify us, rose;
        Where’s the condemning power beside
            Has right to interpose?

    6    The Lord is risen! thou trembling soul,
            Let fears no more confound!
        Let heaven and earth, from pole to pole,
            The Lord is risen resound!

Luke 24:4  While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing;

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

NET While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood beside them in dazzling attire.

Wuest And it came to pass that while they were in a quandary concerning this, behold, two men stood by them in apparel that flashed like lightning. 

ANGELIC
APPEARANCE

Mt 28:5 The angel (Mt 28:4) said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.

While - More literally “And it happened that while.” The introductory phrase “it happened that”), common in Luke (69x) and Acts (54x). 

They were perplexed or filled with confusion because of their failure to understand what was happening. They did not expect the resurrection. Put yourself in their sandals - the empty tomb, the linen clothes lying by themselves, the body gone!

Gilbrant Their questions were answered by an even greater surprise. Two angels appeared to explain why the stone had been rolled away and the body of Jesus had disappeared. Up to this point the women had certainly given no thought to the possibility of the Resurrection. They had come to anoint the body of a dead man. The women had been the last at the cross; now they were the first to hear the news that Jesus was risen from the dead. (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)

Perplexed ("utterly at a loss" - NEB)(639)(aporeo from a = negative + poros = a way) means "to lose one's way", "to be in a confused state of mind, be at a loss, be in doubt, be uncertain." (BDAG) The term refers to a high state of confusion and anxiety. Perplexed is in the present tense = they were "continually perplexed."

Aporeo -Used 6x in the NT translated as - am perplexed(1), being at a loss(1), loss(1), perplexed(3).

Mark 6:20  for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him.

Comment - Herod's state of mind on hearing about Jesus after executing John.

Luke 24:4  While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing;

John 13:22 (When Jesus prophesied His betrayal - Jn 13:21) The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking.

Acts 25:20  (Festus to King Agrippa regarding Paul's "crimes") "Being at a loss how to investigate such matters, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these matters.

2 Corinthians 4:8  we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing;

Galatians 4:20  but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Aporeo is used 8x in the Septuagint - Ge 32:7 (Jacob's mental state when he heard Esau was coming to visit); Lev. 25:47; Pr 31:11; Isa. 9:1; Isa. 24:19; Isa. 51:20; Jer. 8:18; Hos. 13:8. 

Friberg - (1) be at a loss, be perplexed, be uncertain (Acts 25.20); (2) be inwardly disturbed (Mk 6.20) (Analytical Greek Lexicon)

Liddell- Scott - to be without means or resource; and so, 1. to be at a loss, be in doubt, be puzzled...."to be at a loss how he shall cross", Hdt.;  Xen.; with an acc. added..."to be at a loss about his march, how he shall cross," Hdt.; and with an acc. only, to be at a loss about...2. in Passive, of things, to be left wanting, left unprovided for, Xen. II. c. gen. rei, to be at a loss for, in want of, Soph., Thuc., etc. III.to be at a loss by reason of, by means of something, Xen. IV.

Behold, two men suddenly stood near - This is reminiscent of Lk 9:30  at the Mount of Transfiguration where Jesus' glorification was foretold. The two men are two angels. Mt 28:4-7 report one angel. Mk 16:5-7 describes a "young man sitting at the right." John's Gospel does not describe the angels.

Wiersbe - At this point two angels appeared on the scene. Matthew 28:2 and Mark 16:5 mention only one of the two, the one who gave the message to the women. There was a kind rebuke in his message as he reminded them of their bad memories! More than once, Jesus had told His followers that He would suffer and die and be raised from the dead (Matt. 16:21; 17:22–23; 20:17–19; Luke 9:22, 44; 18:31–34). How sad it is when God’s people forget His Word and live defeated lives. Today, the Spirit of God assists us to remember His Word (John 14:26). (Ibid)

A T Robertson on two men -  Men, not women. Mark 16:5 speaks of a young man (neaniskon) while Mt. 28:5 has “an angel.” We need not try to reconcile these varying accounts which agree in the main thing. The angel looked like a man and some remembered two. In Lk 24:23 Cleopas and his companion call them “angels.”

Henry Morris on the two men -  The account in Matthew 28:2 says there was an angel there, and Mark 16:5 says it was a "young man." The two on the road to Emmaus said the women had "seen a vision of angels" (Luke 24:23). Angels can appear as men, and probably the women did see two angels, appearing as men, only one of whom did the speaking. Perhaps he was Gabriel, who had earlier announced the birth of Christ (Luke 1:26, 31). 

Leon Morris on the two men - The fact that sometimes we hear of one and sometimes of two need not concern us. As many commentators point out, a spokesman is more prominent than his associates and may be referred to without mention of others. Neither should we be greatly concerned that the angels may be sitting (in John) or standing (here), nor that their words are not identical in the various accounts. It is hypercriticism that does not allow angels to change their position, and there is no reason for thinking that they spoke once only. Moreover John speaks of them in connection with a different incident. Problems there undoubtedly are, but the chief thing these minor differences tell us is that the accounts are independent. Further, with angels spiritual perception is presumably required and all may not have seen the same thing. (TNTC - Luke)

Ryle - The frequency with which St. Luke mentions angels is a peculiar feature in his Gospel. An angel appears to Zacharias, an angel appears to the virgin Mary, angels appear to the shepherds when our Lord is born, all mentioned only in St. Luke.

Behold - Don't scan over this word too quickly for behold should always cause one to pause and ask "What is there about which we should take special note?"

Behold (2400)(idou) is the second person singular aorist middle imperative of eidon which means to see, perceive, look at. In the NT idou is used as a demonstrative particle that draws attention to what follows. Idou in the middle voice means "you yourself look, see, perceive!" The aorist imperative is a command emphasizing "Do it now! Don't delay!" Spurgeon reminds us that "Behold is a word of wonder; it is intended to excite admiration. Wherever you see it hung out in Scripture, it is like an ancient sign-board, signifying that there are rich wares within, or like the hands which solid readers have observed in the margin of the older Puritanic books, drawing attention to something particularly worthy of observation." I would add, behold is like a divine highlighter, a divine underlining of an especially striking or important text. It says in effect "Listen up, all ye who would be wise in the ways of Jehovah!"

Two men - Angels (see Mt 28:2, 5; see also Mk 16:5).

Stood near (ephistemi) means to stand near or appear often as presumably in this case conveying the idea of suddenness. Robertson adds "Second aorist active indicative of ephistēmi. This common verb usually means to step up suddenly, to burst upon one." Jesus used it in warning us to be on our guard....

Luke 21:34 (CSB) "Be on your guard, so that your minds are not dulled from carousing, drunkenness, and worries of life, or that day will come on (ephistemi) you unexpectedly 35 like a trap. For it will come on all who live on the face of the whole earth. 

NET Note - Disciples are to watch out. If they are too absorbed into everyday life, they will stop watching and living faithfully. The metaphor of a trap is a vivid one. 

In dazzling attire - "The brilliantly shining clothing (dazzling attire) points to the fact that these are angels (see Lk 24:23)." (NET Note) (Ed: Mk 16:5 describes a young man "wearing a white robe and they were amazed." Mt 28:3 says "his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.")

Dazzling (797)(astrapto from astrape = lightning) means to lighten, to flash, to shine as lightning. Only here of the angels and in Lk 17:24 of our Lord's transfiguration. Compare the "two men in white clothing" who stood beside the disciples when Jesus ascended (Acts 1:10).

BDAG - flash, gleam  (cp. the one use in the Septuagint = Ps 144:6) lightning flashing Lk 17:24 (the Transfiguration). Of clothing gleam like lightning Lk 24:4 (suggesting the opposite of a scene of mourning such as one might normally expect),. 

Friberg -as giving off a very bright light flash, gleam; of lightning flash (Lk 17.24); of clothing be dazzling, gleam, shine brilliantly (Lk 24.4)

Vincent on dazzling - Shining (astraptomsais - present participle). Only here and Lk 17:24, Akin to astrape, lightning. See on bright shining, Lk 11:36 and compare Luke 17:24.

Spurgeon - Brethren, they might have been much more perplexed if they had found the body of Jesus there, for then his promises would not have been fulfilled, and all their hopes would have been blighted forever. Unbelief is often the mother of needless perplexity. The resurrection of Christ is plain enough to us now; but to those who had seen him die, and whose faith was so very weak, it was a cause for perplexity that they could not find his dead body. They meant to embalm it, they had brought sweet spices with them for that purpose. It was well that it was in their heart, although it was an unwise and needless project. Yet I doubt not that the Lord thought those spices were very sweet, and that he accepted them because of the love they represented; and, sometimes, you and I, in our ignorance, have tried to do for Christ what he would not wish to have us do, but he has understood our motive, and accepted our intention, albeit that there was a mistake lurking behind it.

Luke 24:5  and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead?

Wuest  And they having become fear-stricken and bowing their faces to the ground, they said to them, Why are you seeking the One who is living among those who are dead? 

ANGELS TESTIFY:
JESUS IS ALIVE

Mt 28:3-5 - And his (cf Angel in Mt 28:2) appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.

Mark 16:5; 6  Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, Who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.

The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground - Their bowing to the ground is a detail given only in Luke's Gospel and reflects a combination of fear and respect. These poor women went from perplexed in Lk 24:4 to terrified in Lk 24:5.

Phobos (fear) is the normal response to the supernatural - see Luke 1:13, 30; 2:9, 10; 8:25, 35.

Terrified (1719)(emphobos) literally means in fear and pertains to one being extremely afraid. Felix had a similar reaction after hearing Paul "discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come." (Acts 24:25). The disciples also "were startled and frightened" when the risen Lord stood in their midst (Lk 24:36,37, cp Mt 17:6)  

Bowed (2827)(klino) means to bend from straight position, whether downwards or horizontally =  to incline, recline, decline (Lk 9:12), or bow down (Jn 19:30).

To the ground - Either to emphasize the direction of their bowing or more likely the fact that they fell on their faces. They did out of fear and not as an act of worship (proskuneo) as John did to the angel in Revelation 22:8,9. It is not surprising that the appearance of angels often produced fear (Jdg. 13:19, 20, Daniel 10:5, 6, 9). Paul fell to the ground when he saw the heavenly vision of the risen Lord Jesus (Acts 9:4--5, 22:7, 26:17).

NET Note feels it was less out of fear but more out of respect. That is possible, but I think they were also afraid - "Such respect for angels is common: Dan 7:28; 10:9, 15."

Why do you seek the living One among the dead? - This is the first declaration in Luke that Jesus is alive.

POSB - There was a rebuke in the question. They were seeking to honor a dead Savior, a Savior who was as all other men are, frail and powerless to do anything about life and eternity. Their whole being—their thoughts, feelings, and behavior—were focused upon a dead Savior.

Wiersbe observes "At this point two angels appeared on the scene. Matthew 28:2 and Mark 16:5 mention only one of the two, the one who gave the message to the women. There was a kind rebuke in his message as he reminded them of their bad memories! More than once, Jesus had told His followers that He would suffer and die and be raised from the dead (Matt. 16:21; 17:22–23; 20:17–19; Luke 9:22, 44; 18:31–34). How sad it is when God’s people forget His Word and live defeated lives. Today, the Spirit of God assists us to remember His Word (John 14:26)." (Ibid)

The living One - The angels clearly testify that Jesus is not dead but alive. Read Luke 24:23; Acts 1:3; 3:15; Rom. 14:9.

Jesus Himself testifies

Rev 1:18-note and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Rev 2:8-note And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this: 


R C Sproul -  The Exaltation of Jesus Christ

  “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” [Luke 24:5–6]

When we consider the exaltation of Jesus our mind usually jumps immediately to the resurrection, but actually the exaltation of Jesus begins earlier. According to Isaiah 53:9, after Jesus’ death, he was assigned a grave with the wealthy. Normally, the body of a crucified criminal would be taken down and dumped into Gehenna, the garbage trench outside Jerusalem where a fire was kept burning to reduce the waste of the city.
Instead, however, the disciples interceded with Pilate and obtained permission to bury Jesus in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, a man of wealth and high social status. Not only that, but Jesus’ body was ministered to with costly oils and spices and carefully wrapped for the tomb. These events were the beginning of his exaltation.
But important as these events are, they pale before the glory of the resurrection. I say that the resurrection was “radical” because the word radical comes from the Latin radix, meaning “root,” and the resurrection gets down to the very root of what the Christian faith is all about.
It is radical because it means that the work of redemption is finished. It is radical because it means that a new world has begun. How is this so? Isaiah 53:9 states, concerning Jesus, that “he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.” Jesus had committed no sins, and thus it was impossible for the grave to hold him.
God publicly vindicated Jesus in raising him from the grave. It meant that Jesus had committed no sins and thus did not deserve to die. Why then did he die? It could only have been for the sins of others. Why was he raised? It could only have been because his work was finished. The resurrection, therefore, publicly proclaims that God has been completely satisfied, and redemption has been fully accomplished.

Coram Deo - The supreme exaltation of Jesus Christ was accomplished by God raising him from the grave. But as we have seen, others were also credited with exalting him. Paul tells us that we will all exalt him at the last days (Phil. 2:9–12). Take time now to think back over this past week and recount how you have exalted Christ in your words and actions. (Before the Face of God)


R C Sproul -     Jesus’ Resurrection

 “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be … crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” [Luke 24:6]

The earliest creed of the church was simple: “He is risen.” The entire impact of Christianity stands or falls with this truth. The Bible insists that the resurrection was an historical event, not a psychological wish-projection. Christ literally arose. As a result, two aspects of Jesus’ resurrection are stressed in the Gospels. One is the empty tomb, and the second is Jesus’ appearances during the forty days between his resurrection and ascension.
By itself, an empty tomb is an empty message. Perhaps the disciples stole the body. Perhaps the Romans or the Jews removed it. Perhaps the women were insane with grief and did not see the body. Appearances by Jesus after his crucifixion do not prove a resurrection. Perhaps he was a ghost and his body was still in the tomb. The Gospels stress both truths to demonstrate the historical fact that Jesus’ physical body was raised from the dead, and that it was in that resurrected body that he appeared.
Early Sunday morning the women took spices to finish anointing Jesus’ body for burial. When they arrived they discovered the tomb wide open and the body missing. They were perplexed. “Who has done this?” they wondered. Suddenly, two angels appeared and told them that Jesus had risen, according to his promise.
Throughout his Gospel, Luke calls attention to women. Here we see that it was women who first heard the glad tidings from the angels. It was these women who had stood by Jesus at his crucifixion, after all the men had fled. Their devotion to Christ was uniquely honored.
The women returned to tell the disciples what had happened, but the disciples thought they were crazy. Peter, however, ran to the tomb and saw the strips of linen in which Jesus had been wrapped, lying by themselves. Clearly the body had not been moved. Rather, the body had simply departed and left the grave clothes behind.

Coram Deo - For many Christians a full heart is the only apologetic for the truthfulness of Christianity and the belief that Christ is risen. A subjective feeling of hope and joy as expressed in a full heart, however, is not sufficient testimony. Many explanations can account for full hearts, but only one can adequately account for an empty tomb and the resurrection appearances. Ground your faith in the objectivity of history, and your heart will be both sure and full.


Robert Morgan - Words by an Unmarked Grave
Their hearts were heavy, these friends of Jesus. They needed time to grieve by his tomb, but arriving early in the morning, they found it emptied. It was too much to bear—their dear friend tortured to death before their eyes, his abrupt burial, and now his tomb looted. They were at the breaking point.
They did not yet know that this was the flash point of history, that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. But the angels told them, relaying the tidings with these simple words: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”
That same question came abruptly to Pastor Stephen Brown after his brother and best friend, Ron, died suddenly of a heart attack. Ron was young—in his forties—and a popular public servant, a superb district attorney, a good father. His death devastated Stephen, who didn’t even have a chance to say good-bye.
Several weeks after Ron’s death, Stephen decided to visit his brother’s grave. It was a cold, overcast afternoon in late winter, and Stephen stepped from his car into the drizzle. Ron’s grave was not yet marked, and Stephen couldn’t find it. As he groped through the mud, his grief overwhelmed him. Standing in the rain, Stephen began sobbing. “God, this has been the worst month of my life, and now I can’t even find my brother’s grave.”
Suddenly Stephen sensed a presence near him, as though Jesus Christ had drawn along side to help. These words came to mind like a burst of light, as though Jesus himself were speaking them: “Why are you seeking the living among the dead?”
“Those words comforted me,” Stephen later wrote, “and I haven’t been back to the cemetery since. I don’t need to go back. The One who loved Ron and knew him came to me in my grief. He promised never to leave, and that has made all the difference in the world.”  (From This Verse)


HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:5

Luke 24:6  "He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,

Wuest  He is not here. In fact, He was raised up. Remember how He spoke to you while He was yet in Galilee

HE IS RISEN!

He is not here, but He has risen - This declaration should make every believer shout "Hallelujah!" In the other synoptic Gospels we read that the women were sent to find Peter and the disciples to report that Jesus was risen (Mt 28:7, 8; Mk 16:7, 8), instructions they immediately obeyed (Lk 24:9).

Matthew 28:6-8 “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

Mark 16:6 And he *said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, Who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. “But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’ They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. 

Note the descriptions of the reactions of the women in the various Gospel descriptions - perplexed, terrified, fear, great joy, trembling, astonishment, afraid

Has risen ( (1453)(egeiromeans to rise (stand up) from a sitting or lying position (Mt 8:26, 9:5), to awaken from sleep (Mt 8:25), figuratively to "awaken" from death (rise up).

This is more accurately "He has been raised" because the verb egeiro is in the passive voice (action occurring on one from an outside source) which is the so-called "divine passive" (cp Lk 9:7; John 2:22; 1 Cor 15:12) indicating God was the Agent of the Resurrection. The Scriptures repeatedly testify that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead - Acts 3:15; 4:10; 5:30, Acts 13:30, 37, Ro 4:24, Ro 10:9, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:20; Col 2:12, 1 Th 1;10 1 Pt 1:21. The Holy Spirit also raised Jesus from the dead Ro 8:11. 

NET Note adds "A passive construction is also used to refer to Jesus’ exaltation: Luke 24:51; Acts 1:11, 22."

Other passages referring to Jesus' resurrection - Acts 2:24, 32; 3:15, 26; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33, 34, 37; Rom. 4:24-25; 6:4, 9; 7:4; 8:11, 34; 10:9; 1 Cor. 6:14; 15:4, 12-20; 2 Cor. 4:14; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:20; Col. 2:12; 1 Th. 1:10; 1 Peter 1:21

Ralph Martin - In the NT egeiro is found 141 times. Of these, 73, or slightly more than half, refer to the resurrection of the dead. Of these 73, again, some 48, or about two-thirds, refer to the resurrection of Jesus. There are other references in the NT to the resurrec­tion of Jesus, but about 50 places use this word. (Word Meanings in the NT)

A T Robertson adds this is "Another Western non-interpolation according to Westcott and Hort. The words are genuine at any rate in Mark 16:6; Matt. 28:7."

ANGELIC REMINDER
OF JESUS' PROMISES

Spurgeon on remember how He spoke - It is well to know Christ’s words, even though we often forget them; because we could not remember them if we had not once known them. Even though our leaky memory lets so much run through, there will be enough remaining in the soul to come back with great sweetness, by-and- by, in sometime of special need. Thus, those holy women, who had often ministered to Christ, “remembered his words,” 

Remember (aorist imperative) (3415))(mnaomai) means to recall to mind, to recollect, to remember, to come (or have) to one's remembrance. To remember means to bring an image or idea from the past into the mind. To recall information from memory, but without necessarily an implication that one has actually forgotten. 

Robertson adds "Jesus plainly foretold this fact. And yet they had forgotten it, for it ran counter to all their ideas and hopes."

Remember how He told you - They should have known because He had repeated predicted His resurrection. Clearly they did not remember because they brought spices to anoint His body.

Matthew 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.

Matthew 17:22-2)  And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved.

Matthew 20:17-19 As Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and on the way He said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.”

Matthew 26:2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.” 

Matthew 27:63 and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’

Luke 9:22 (context Lk 9:21) saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” 

NET Note - The necessity that the Son of Man suffer is the particular point that needed emphasis, since for many 1st century Jews the Messiah was a glorious and powerful figure, not a suffering one. Rejection in Luke is especially by the Jewish leadership (here elders, chief priests, and experts in the law), though in Luke 23 almost all will join in. The description of the Son of Man being rejected … killed, and … raised is the first of six passion summaries in Luke: 9:44; 17:25; 18:31–33; 24:7; 24:46–47.

Luke 9:44-45 “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement. 

Luke 18:31-33  Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. “For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, 33 and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.”

Luke 13:33 “Nevertheless I must journey on today and tomorrow and the next day; for it cannot be that a prophet would perish outside of Jerusalem.

Luke 24:44-46  Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,

Technical Note - The phrase “He is not here, but has been raised” is omitted by a few MSS (D it), but it has wide ms support and differs slightly from the similar statement in Matt 28:6 and Mark 16:6. Although NA27 places the phrase at the beginning of v. 6, as do most modern English translations, it is omitted from the RSV and placed at the end of v. 5 in the NRSV. (NET Note)

While He was still in Galilee - This would have been at the beginning of Jesus' ministry. In short, Jesus' resurrection should not have been a surprise to His disciples. This specific detail is only in Luke and omitted by Matthew and Mark. On the other hand, Matthew (Mt 28:7) and Mark (Mk 16:7) alone tell us that Jesus would go into Galilee before the disciples and that they would see Him there.


SpurgeonLuke 24:5,6 “The Lord Is Risen, Indeed”

What amazing news these good women received:- ‘He is not here, but is risen’. This was amazing news to his enemies. They said, ‘We have killed him; we have put him in the tomb; it is all over with him.’ A-ha! Scribe, Pharisee, Priest, what have you done? Your work is all undone, for he is risen! It was amazing news for Satan. He no doubt dreamed that he had destroyed the Saviour, but he is risen! What a thrill went through all the regions of hell! What news it was for the grave! Now was it utterly destroyed, and death had lost his sting! What news it was for trembling saints—‘The Lord is risen indeed’. They plucked up courage and they said, ‘The good cause is the right one still and it will conquer, for our Christ is still alive at its head.’ It was good news for sinners. It is good news for every sinner. Christ is alive; if you seek him, he will be found by you. He is not a dead Christ to whom I point you today. He is risen and ‘he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him’. There is no better news for sad, distressed, desponding and despairing men than this—the Saviour lives, able still to save and willing to receive you to his tender heart. This was glad news for all the angels and all the spirits in heaven, glad news indeed for them. And this day it shall be glad news to us, and we will live in the power of it by the help of his Spirit, and we will tell it to our brethren that they may rejoice with us, and we will not despair any longer. We will give way no more to doubts and fears, but we will say to one another, ‘He is risen indeed’; therefore let our hearts be glad.

The words of Jesus 

 


James Smith - "Daily Bible Readings for the Lord's Household"

  • "Remember how He spoke to you!" Luke 24:6

So said the angels to the women at the sepulcher, on the resurrection morning. This exhortation is most applicable to us — for we are apt to forget His words.  The words of Jesus ought to have the best place in our memories:
1. On account of their intrinsic value. There are no words like the words of Jesus, which exhibit the nature, will, and promises of God. 
2. On account of their veracity. They are all true — the truth itself. 
3. On account of their suitability. They . . .
  check sin,
  control fears,
  produce confidence,
  inspire with gratitude,
  and fill us with love. 
4. On account of their usefulness . . . 
  in our daily trials,
  to direct our way,
  to rule our expectations,
  to comfort our hearts,
  to feed and support our faith,
  on the bed of sickness,
  and at the hour of death. 

Let us treasure up the words of Jesus carefully, diligently, and with much prayer. 
Are our memories stored with Christ's words? 
Do we meditate upon them? 
Do we walk by them?

"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word." John 14:23

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away!" Luke 21:33


The Tomb Of Jesus

He is not here, but is risen! —Luke 24:6

In his documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus, Simcha Jacobovici claims archaeological evidence that disproves the resurrection of Christ. He says that the words “Jesus son of Joseph” found on a burial container near Jerusalem refer to Jesus of Nazareth. He also claims to have identified Jesus’ DNA.

How valid are these conclusions? The Israel Antiquities Authority calls them “nonsense.” Other secular and religious scholars agree. Jesus and Joseph were common names in first-century Judea. And Jacobovici needs DNA samples from Jesus to compare with the bones in the tomb. Obviously, that’s impossible!

But there are strong arguments in favor of Jesus’ resurrection. Most compelling is the fact that every disciple except John died a martyr’s death. Central to their message was Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 2:29-32). If Christ had not been raised from the dead, why did the disciples choose to die rather than deny it?

Assaults on our faith and on the Scriptures come and go. Don’t be shaken by these baseless attacks. Two thousand years ago, the disciples were eyewitnesses to the real tomb of Jesus. The angels told them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24:5-6).

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes;
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.  —Lowry

The resurrection is a fact of history that demands a response of faith.

By Dennis Fisher


He Was Dead But Now Lives

I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. — Revelation 1:18

Many years ago I was scheduled to speak at a Bible conference in Pennsylvania. A few days before it was to begin, a member of the conference committee telephoned my office. Someone in Pennsylvania had received a newspaper clipping from a Michigan paper reporting my death. The news had spread all over the area, and the conference representative wanted to verify the report so he could get another speaker in my place. The reason for all the confusion was the death of someone else with the same last name. Some people had jumped to the conclusion that the report was about me.

When I arrived at the conference, I found a very curious crowd assembled. I chose Revelation 1:18 for my text and said, “The reports you heard about my death were true. I did die, but I am now here, risen from the dead, and alive forevermore.” While Revelation 1:18 applies first of all to the death and resurrection of Jesus, it reminds me of what has happened to every member of the body of Christ. We were spiritually dead in sins (Eph. 2:1), but we were also spiritually raised (v.5). Every Christian can say, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20).

Is this your testimony too?  —M. R. De Haan, M.D. (founder of RBC Ministries)

Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine,
Living with Jesus, a new life divine,
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.  —Whittle

Because Christ lives in us, we will live with Him forever.

By M.R. DeHaan


JESUS DEFEATED DEATH
He is not here, but is risen! —Luke 24:6

On 18 June 1815, England’s Lord Wellington fought Napoleon at Waterloo. England waited for news of the outcome. Finally, some signal ships came into view. Through the mist, the lookout was just able to read: “Wellington defeated”. The bad news spread quickly. Soon the fog lifted, however, and it became clear that the lookout had reacted too quickly. The full message now came into view: “Wellington defeated Napoleon.”

Jesus’ followers felt the message of the cross was clear: “Jesus defeated”. Jesus had said He was the Saviour of the world. But His death had ended all hope. They were left with nothing but a dead body to prepare for burial. Yet when the women came to the tomb, they were faced with the rolled-away stone (Luke 24:2), the empty tomb (v.3) and a big announcement (vv.5-6)!

Then the ‘mist’ of unbelief cleared away as they remembered Jesus promising to rise again once He had paid for sin (v.8). The women rushed to share the full message with the disciples: “Jesus defeated death” (vv.9-10). The disciples, however, thought the women were talking rubbish (v.11). Even after checking the tomb, Peter didn’t believe straight away (v.12).

We also have a choice to make about Jesus’ resurrection. Will you dismiss it as an “idle tale” or gladly accept it as your own victory over sin and death?

JESUS DEFEATED DEATH.

AUTHOR Paul Baxendale


Happy Christmas! - Luke 24:6

Read: John 3:13-18

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. —John 11:25

Last Easter morning when I walked into church I saw my friend and greeted her, “Happy Christmas!” I quickly corrected myself. “I mean, Happy Easter!”

“Can’t have one without the other,” she smiled.

How true! Without Christmas, there wouldn’t be an Easter. And without the resurrection, this day would be just another day. In fact, we wouldn’t even be in church.

Christmas and Easter are the most joyful celebrations of the year for the Christian. In the first, we celebrate the incarnation (God taking on flesh and coming into the world). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son . . .” (John 3:16).

In the second, we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. “He is not here, but is risen!” the angel said (Luke 24:6). From the beginning of time, these 2 days were inextricably linked in the master plan of the Father. Jesus was born to die for our sins and to conquer death so that we could live.

Which is more important? Christmas—the birth of the infant Jesus? Or Easter—the death and resurrection of the man, God’s Son? Both are essential—and both are clear evidence of the Father’s love for us.

Happy Christmas! And Happy Easter!

Jesus our Savior left heaven above,
Coming to earth as a Servant with love;
Laying aside all His glory, He came,
Bringing salvation through faith in His name. —Hess

Christmas and Easter—two chapters of the same Book.

By Cindy Hess Kasper


HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:6

Luke 24:7  saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."

Wuest  saying that it was a necessity in the nature of the case for the Son of Man to be delivered into the hands of men who are sinners and be crucified and on the third day to arise again. 

THE GOSPEL IN BRIEF:
CRUCIFIED AND RESURRECTED

The angels continue to give their testimony to the women. Notice that they essence proclaim the Gospel of Jesus' death, burial (implied) and resurrection. These specific details are given by the angel only here in the Gospels.

Son of Man - This phrase occurs 88x in 84v in the NT - Matt. 8:20; Matt. 9:6; Matt. 10:23; Matt. 11:19; Matt. 12:8; Matt. 12:32; Matt. 12:40; Matt. 13:37; Matt. 13:41; Matt. 16:13; Matt. 16:27; Matt. 16:28; Matt. 17:9; Matt. 17:12; Matt. 17:22; Matt. 18:11; Matt. 19:28; Matt. 20:18; Matt. 20:28; Matt. 24:27; Matt. 24:30; Matt. 24:37; Matt. 24:39; Matt. 24:44; Matt. 25:31; Matt. 26:2; Matt. 26:24; Matt. 26:45; Matt. 26:64; Mk. 2:10; Mk. 2:28; Mk. 8:31; Mk. 8:38; Mk. 9:9; Mk. 9:12; Mk. 9:31; Mk. 10:33; Mk. 10:45; Mk. 13:26; Mk. 14:21; Mk. 14:41; Mk. 14:62; Lk. 5:24; Lk. 6:5; Lk. 6:22; Lk. 7:34; Lk. 9:22; Lk. 9:26; Lk. 9:44; Lk. 9:56; Lk. 9:58; Lk. 11:30; Lk. 12:8; Lk. 12:10; Lk. 12:40; Lk. 17:22; Lk. 17:24; Lk. 17:26; Lk. 17:30; Lk. 18:8; Lk. 18:31; Lk. 19:10; Lk. 21:27; Lk. 21:36; Lk. 22:22; Lk. 22:48; Lk. 22:69; Lk. 24:7; Jn. 1:51; Jn. 3:13; Jn. 3:14; Jn. 5:27; Jn. 6:27; Jn. 6:53; Jn. 6:62; Jn. 8:28; Jn. 9:35; Jn. 12:23; Jn. 12:34; Jn. 13:31; Acts 7:56; Heb. 2:6; Rev. 1:13; Rev. 14:14

Must be delivered - This was not optional but absolutely necessary in order to fulfill the divine plan of redemption, the Redeemer being put to death by sinful men that He might save sinful men! Gilbrant adds "The trauma of the Passion was a necessity."

Must (1163)(dei from deo = to bind or tie objects together, put in prison and also root of doulos, bond-servant) refers to what is not optional but needful (binding) out of intrinsic necessity or inevitability. Dei refers to inward constraint which is why it is often translated "must". Dei describes that which is under the necessity of happening or which must necessarily take place, and as stated above, conveys a sense of inevitability. To express the sense of necessity dei is translated "one ought", "one should", "one has to" or "one must".

Luke makes uses the verb dei in 39 verses (total uses in NT = 97) -  Lk. 2:49; Lk. 4:43; Lk. 9:22; Lk. 11:42; Lk. 12:12; Lk. 13:14; Lk. 13:16; Lk. 13:33; Lk. 15:32; Lk. 17:25; Lk. 18:1; Lk. 19:5; Lk. 21:9; Lk. 22:7; Lk. 22:37; Lk. 24:7; Lk. 24:26; Lk. 24:44;  Acts 1:16; Acts 1:21; Acts 3:21; Acts 4:12; Acts 5:29; Acts 9:6; Acts 9:16; Acts 14:22; Acts 15:5; Acts 16:30; Acts 17:3; Acts 19:21; Acts 20:35; Acts 23:11; Acts 24:19; Acts 25:10; Acts 25:24; Acts 26:9; Acts 27:21; Acts 27:24; Acts 27:26

Delivered (betrayed, handed over) (3860)(paradidomi  from para = alongside, beside, to the side of, over to + didomi = to give) conveys the basic meaning of to give over from one's hand to someone or something, especially to give over to the power of another.

Sinful men (268)(hamartolos from hamartáno = deviate, miss the mark) is an adjective (e.g., "that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful" - see Ro 7:13 -note) that is often used as a noun (as in this verse and Ro 5:19 [note]) to describe those who are continually erring from the way, constantly missing God's mark, living in opposition to His good and acceptable and perfect will.

Sinful men refers in context to the Jewish religious leaders - "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” (Lk 9:22) Gilbrant however adds that "The phrase "into the hands of sinful men" could mean Gentiles (crucifixion was a Roman form of execution) or it might mean the Jewish leaders (Lk 24:20). Perhaps both are meant." 

Crucified (4717)(stauroo from stauros = cross, in turn from histemi = to stand) means literally to nail or fasten to a cross and so to crucify -- literal death by nailing to and hanging from a cross (a stake).

NET Note on crucifixion - Crucifixion was the cruelest form of punishment practiced by the Romans. Roman citizens could not normally undergo it. It was reserved for the worst crimes, like treason and evasion of due process in a capital case. The Roman historian Cicero called it “a cruel and disgusting penalty” (Against Verres 2.5.63–66 §§163–70); Josephus (J. W. 7.6.4 [7.203]) called it the worst of deaths.

Ed comment: We do well to pause a moment and thank our Lord Jesus Christ not only for dying in our place but being willing to die one of the cruelest death devised by sinful men! -- O how He loves you and me, O how He loves you and me. He gave His life. What more could He give. O how He loves you. O how He loves me. O how He loves you and me. Ponder His cruel death in our place as you listen to the simple spiritual song "O How He Loves You and Me." (Have a Kleenex nearby!)

THE THIRD
DAY

The third day - That the resurrection would occur on the third day is repeatedly mentioned in Scripture -  Matt. 16:21; Matt. 17:23; Matt. 20:19; Matt. 27:64; Lk. 9:22; Lk. 13:32; Lk. 18:33; Lk. 24:7; Lk. 24:46;  Acts 10:40;  1 Co. 15:4

Rise (450)(anistemi from ana = up, again + histemi = stand, to cause to stand) means literally to get up, to stand up, to stand again, to cause to rise (thus "to raise"), to stand or be erect (Acts 9:41). To rise from a lying or reclined position. To stand straight up from a prostrate position (Acts 14:10). Most uses of anistemi denote the act of getting up from a seated or reclined position. Here Luke refers to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Wiersbe - There was a kind rebuke in his message as he reminded them of their bad memories! More than once, Jesus had told His followers that He would suffer and die and be raised from the dead (Matt. 16:21; 17:22–23; 20:17–19; Luke 9:22, 44; 18:31–34). How sad it is when God’s people forget His Word and live defeated lives. Today, the Spirit of God assists us to remember His Word (John 14:26). (Ibid)


Our Daily Homily - F B Meyer - Luke 24:7  Crucified, and the third day rise again.

These are the two poles of Christian life — Death and Resurrection. That which was true in the history of our Lord must have its counterpart in our own experiences. That Jesus died and rose again is not only the dual basis of justification, but it is the dual basis of sanctification. Did He die? Then we must arm ourselves with the same mind. The crucifixion was not finished on Calvary; it has continued through all ages, and will continue unto the end; not in its mediatorial and atoning aspect, but with the view of each man denying himself and taking up his cross to follow daily. So also we are perpetually leaving the things of time and sense where Christ left his grave-clothes, and are pressing up and on in the wake of his resurrection and ascension.

It is a solemn question, how far we are participating in this daily dying and daily rising. “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed. Mortify your members which are upon the earth; seek those things which are above. If one died for all, then all died; that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again.”

It is not that the old nature dies, but that we die to it. As a matter of experience and walk, the results will be very similar from either of these ways of stating the fact. But it is true to Scripture and experience also to speak of reckoning ourselves to be dead indeed unto sin — that is, the root-principle which so often fruits in sins. Reckon that the grave of Christ lies between thee and the solicitations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Deem thyself dead to thyself. All this, however, is only possible through the Holy Spirit. 


HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:7

Luke 24:8  And they remembered His words,

They remembered His words - This detail is also unique to Luke's Gospel.  The women remember words like...

John 2:19-22 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken. 

John 12:16 These things (Jn 12:12-15) His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

Compare also - Mt. 16:21; Mt. 17:22-23; Mt. 20:17-19; Mt 26:2 Mt. 27:63-64; Lk. 9:22; Lk. 13:32; Lk. 18:33; Lk. 24:7; Lk. 24:46

Luke 24:9  and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.    

THE WOMEN CAME, SAW,
WENT AND TOLD

And they returned from the tomb and reported - The disciples mention the resurrection announcement of the women in Luke 24:22–24-note. The women returned and reported what they had seen because they were commanded to do so and them immediately obeyed the angel's command. 

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. 7“Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”  8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. (Matthew 28:5-8)

("Young man" the angel instructed the women) But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’” They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.  (Mk 16:7-8)

The chronology of the events of Sunday morning can be somewhat confusing if we forget that Mary Magdalene had been the first to arrive at the Tomb and had also been the first to report to Peter and John that Jesus' body was missing. John records this detail...

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. (Ed: The other women were not with her at this time.) So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple (John) went forth, and they were going to the tomb. (John 20:1-3)

Tomb (3419)(mnemeion from mneme = memory, remembrance) literally means a memorial and then a monument to commemorate the dead (Mt 23:29), but most often referred to a tomb, grave or sepulcher. Most uses refer to the tomb in which Jesus' dead body was laid - Mt 27:60; Mt 28:8; Mk 15:46; 16:2, 3, 5, 8; Lk 23:55; 24:1, 2,  9, 12, 22, 24; John 19:42; 20:1-4, 6,  8, 11 Acts 13:29. 

The first NT use describes "demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs" (Mt 8:28), the second Jesus' rebuke of the Jewish religious leaders who were "hypocrites" building "the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous" who they would have willingly murdered,(Mt 23:29, 30), the third describes the tombs opened and dead rising when Jesus died (Mt 27:52, 53), the fourth describes Jesus' burial tomb (Mt 27:60). 

Mnemeion - 40x in 36v - Usage: monuments(1), tomb(30), tombs(7).

Matt. 8:28; Matt. 23:29; Matt. 27:52; Matt. 27:53; Matt. 27:60; Matt. 28:8; Mk. 5:2; Mk. 6:29; Mk. 15:46; Mk. 16:2; Mk. 16:3; Mk. 16:5; Mk. 16:8; Lk. 11:44; Lk. 11:47; Lk. 23:55; Lk. 24:2; Lk. 24:9; Lk. 24:12; Lk. 24:22; Lk. 24:24; Jn. 5:28; Jn. 11:17; Jn. 11:31; Jn. 11:38; Jn. 12:17; Jn. 19:41; Jn. 19:42; Jn. 20:1; Jn. 20:2; Jn. 20:3; Jn. 20:4; Jn. 20:6; Jn. 20:8; Jn. 20:11; Acts 13:29

Mnemeion - 13x in the Septuagint - Ge 23:6; Ge 23:9; Ge 35:20; Ge 49:30; Ge 50:5; G. 50:13; Neh. 2:3; 2:5; Isa. 22:16;26:19; Ezek. 39:11

HE IS NOT
THERE!

A T Robertson on reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest - It was a wonderful proclamation. Luke does not separate the story of Mary Magdalene from that of the other women as John does (John 20:2–18).

Reported (declared, announced, proclaimed) (518)(apaggello from apó = from + aggéllo = tell, declare from aggelos = messenger, one who speaks in place of one who has sent him) means to bring a message from any person or place. To bring tidings from a person or thing.

The eleven - Judas had departed leaving eleven  (Lk 24:33, Mt 28:16, Acts 1:26)

To all the rest - "I.e., other disciples, mostly from Galilee, who were in Jerusalem for the Passover." (MacArthur) This would appear to include includes the two disciples of Luke 24:13–25 and possibly the 120 of Acts 1:15.

MacArthur fills in some of the details contemporaneous with the women's return - Meanwhile, Peter and John were en route to the tomb to investigate Mary Magdalene’s report that Christ’s body had been stolen by grave robbers (John 20:1-3). When the rest of the women returned, they confirmed Mary’s report that the tomb was empty, and also filled in the details that she was unaware of. Mary did not look into the tomb, and did not see either the grave clothes or the angels. The other women reported the words of the angels to the nine apostles (Peter and John still had not returned) that the Lord had indeed risen, as He had said He would. They also related their encounter with the risen Lord, whom they had met on the way back from the tomb (Matt. 28:9-10). (Ibid)

Luke 24:10  Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles.   

TESTIMONY OF
THE WOMEN

John MacArthur on Mary Magdalene - Her name probably derives from the Galilean town of Magdala. Some believe she is the woman described in Lk 7:37–50, but it seems highly unlikely that Luke would introduce her here by name for the first time if she were the main figure in the account he just completed. Also, while it is clear that she had suffered at the hands of “demons,” there is no reason whatsoever to think that she had ever been a prostitute....She was the first to see Jesus alive (Mk 16:9; Jn 20:11–18).(Study Bible)

MacArthur adds that "At first glance Mary Magdalene seems out of place in the group of eyewitnesses. According to John 20:1-2, she had seen that the Lord’s body was not in the tomb, jumped to the erroneous conclusion that grave robbers had taken it, and ran back to report her conclusion to Peter and John. Thus, she was not at the tomb with the other women. But her story does not end there. At some point she decided to go back to the tomb. "

John 20:11-18 gives us the details of Mary Magdalene's second trip to Jesus' empty tomb...

But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she *said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” ("a strengthened form of the word “Rabbi,” used here to express supreme honor and reverence to her beloved Teacher") (which means, Teacher). 17 Jesus *said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and that He had said these things to her. 

Related Resources:

Wiersbe - Mary Magdalene had been especially helped by Jesus and was devoted to Him (Luke 8:2). She had lingered at the cross (Mark 15:47), and then she was first at the tomb. With her were Mary the mother of James; Joanna; and other devout women (Luke 24:10), hoping to finish preparing their Lord’s body for burial. It was a sad labor of love that was transformed into gladness when they discovered that Jesus was alive. (Ibid)

NET Note - Mary Magdalene is always noted first in the appearance lists in the gospels. It is unusual that the first appearance would involve women as in this culture their role as witnesses would not be well accepted. It is a sign of the veracity of the account, because if an ancient were to create such a story he would never have it start with women.

MacArthur on Joanna - This woman is also mentioned in Lk 8:3 ("Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s [Herod Antipas son of Herod the Great. He ruled from 4 B.C.–A.D. 39, sharing the rule of his father’s realm with his two brothers] steward"), but nowhere else in Scripture. It is possible that she was a source for some of the details Luke recounts about Herod....Her husband was Herod’s steward.  (cf. Lk 23:8, 12). 

Gilbrant has an interesting comment - That women should be the first witnesses of the empty tomb is characteristic of the gospel which regularly overturns society's expectations and systems. Women were generally excluded from giving legal testimony (see Sanhedrin 3.9, cited by Hauptman, pp. 187-211). Would their testimony that the tomb was empty and that Jesus had been raised just as He himself had predicted be accepted? Or would the disciples reject the women's testimony as the product of emotionalism or some feminine hysteria? The character of at least some of the women heightens the suspense as Luke names them. Mary Magdalene was a woman who had seven demons cast out of her (Lk 8:2)—could she be trusted? Joanna was the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward—was she part of some devious plot to trap the rest of Jesus' followers (cf. Lk 8:3 and Lk 13:31)? (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)

MacArthur points out "That the resurrected Christ appeared first to women elevated women, who held an inferior position in Jewish society. It was a testimony to their love, devotion, and courage. They had witnessed His death at Calvary and His burial, and had seen the empty tomb. John is the only disciple recorded to have been at the cross, but he did not witness the burial; Joseph and Nicodemus buried the Lord’s body, but they did not see the empty tomb. Now, with His appearance to the women, the evidence was complete, and only the women were eyewitnesses to the entire sequence of events. Luke may have specifically named three of them, Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James, again in light of the law’s requirement that “on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed” (Deut. 19:15).

Apostles (652)(apostolos  from apo = from + stello = send forth) (Click discussion of apostle) means one sent forth from by another, often with a special commission to represent another and to accomplish his work. 


Thankful For Skeptics

When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. —Matthew 28:17

Jesus’ disciples were not easily convinced. When they heard the excited testimony of the women who had been to the empty tomb, “they did not believe them” (Luke 24:11). And when Jesus suddenly appeared to them that evening, “they still did not believe for joy, and marveled” (v.41). They were so overjoyed and stunned at the sight of their risen Lord that they questioned their own senses.

Some time later, when Jesus appeared to His disciples in Galilee, even then “some doubted” (Matthew 28:17). This group likely included those followers who were seeing the resurrected Savior for the first time (1 Corinthians 15:6). Before worshiping Him, they had to be sure they weren’t seeing a phantom.

I am glad the Bible records that the disciples were skeptical, for it proves that they were not easily fooled. As a result, their testimony carries more weight. Their desire for proof helps us to be sure that Jesus actually did rise from the dead. It also assures us that God doesn’t want us to be gullible, and that He can bring sturdy faith out of doubt. Even His gentle rebuke of Thomas evoked a firm confession: “My Lord and My God!” (John 20:28). I’m thankful for these former skeptics, aren’t you?

For Further Study
Read John 20-21 and 1 Corinthians 15.
Read Did Christ Really Rise From The Dead?

Honest skepticism can be the first step to a strong faith.

By Herbert VanderLugt 

Luke 24:11  But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them

THE UNBELIEVING
DISCIPLES!

HCSB - In Jesus' day women were not considered to be credible witnesses. This is why the Eleven (the apostles who remained after Judas' act of betrayal) did not believe the women's report about what had happened at Jesus' tomb, viewing it as nonsense. 

John MacArthur - No matter that the women’s stories were identical, indicating that they all saw and experienced the same reality. No matter that their story had cohesion, was consistent, and provided details for which there was no other plausible explanation. The disciples thought the whole thing was absurd, and they would not believe them (cf. Luke 24:23–25). (Luke Commentary)

Leon Morris - The apostles were not men poised on the brink of belief and needing only the shadow of an excuse before launching forth into a proclamation of resurrection. They were utterly sceptical. Even when women they knew well told them of their experiences, they refused to believe. Clearly irrefutable evidence was needed to convince these sceptics. (TNTC-Luke)

Nonsense (Wikipedia) is a communication, via speech, writing, or any other symbolic system, that lacks any coherent meaning. Sometimes in ordinary usage, nonsense is synonymous with absurdity or the ridiculous.

NET Note - The term pure nonsense can describe idle talk or a tale. The point is important, since the disciples reacted with disbelief that a resurrection was possible. Sometimes it is thought the ancients were gullible enough to believe anything. But these disciples needed convincing about the resurrection.

To them - Literally "in their sight." (enopion)

Nonsense (only used here) (3026)(leros) means "silly talk," idle talk, "that which is totally devoid of anything worthwhile," (BDAG). A message that is simple incoherent and unintelligible. Leros was "Used in medical language of the wild talk of delirium." (Vincent)

Would not believe - "Disbelieved. Imperfect active of apisteō, old verb from apistos, without confidence or faith in. They kept on distrusting the story of the women." They think the women are hysterical and besides themselves with grief. 

Did not believe (569)(apisteo from a = without + pistós = believing, faithful) means literally without believing. They refused to believe and thus are unfaithful. To disbelieve is to doubt or not to acknowledge. Unbelief is a failure to respond to God with trust (pistis). 

Darrell Bock makes an interesting observation - The fact that the account is based initially on women's reports shows that this event is not fabricated. No one in the ancient world would make up such an important account by appealing to the testimony of women. (Bible Knowledge Key Word Study)

John MacArthur adds that "The disciples’ unbelief offers further evidence that Jesus had risen. They would never have fabricated a resurrection, as the Jewish leaders falsely accused them of doing, since they were not expecting one. When the resurrection was reported to them by eyewitnesses, they scoffed at it and refused to believe. It was not until Jesus Himself appeared to them that they finally accepted that He had risen—and Thomas, who was not present when the Lord appeared to the other ten, refused to take their word for it. He would not believe until Jesus appeared a second time with him present." (Luke Commentary)

Spurgeon - What an emptying power unbelief has! No news could ever be more full of solace than the news of a risen Saviour; but to the ears of unbelief this news, which made all heaven glad, seemed to the apostles but as idle tales. Unbelief tied the hands of Jesus once when he was at Nazareth, for “he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief:” and unbelief seems often to tie our heart-strings too, so that they can give forth no sweet music. O Lord, help us to overcome our unbelief, and enable us ever confidently to believe the truth that comes to us supported by such testimony as these good women gave to the apostles!


Too Good To Be True?

Read: Luke 24:1-12 | Their words seemed to [the disciples] like idle tales, and they did not believe them. —Luke 24:11

In the 1980s, John Knoll and his brother Thomas began experimenting with a computer program to manipulate images. Software companies thought they were crazy, because photographers didn’t use computers at that time. Initially the brothers called their program Display, then Imaginator, and finally they settled on Photoshop®. Today Photoshop® is used by amateurs at home and professionals in business around the world. A San Jose Mercury News article noted its place in popular language. When something looks too good to be true, people say, “It must have been Photoshopped.”

On the first Easter morning, the women who took spices to anoint the body of Jesus found the tomb empty and heard angels say, “He is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24:6). When the women told this to the disciples, “Their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them” (v.11). Nonsense! Mind-boggling! Too good to be true!

If someone manipulated the evidence, then millions of people around the world gather today to celebrate a myth. But if Jesus conquered death, then all He said about forgiveness, power to change, and eternal life is real.

Because Christ has risen and lives today, this news is too good not to be true!

  Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph o’er His foes; He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And He lives forever with His saints to reign. —Lowry  

  The resurrection is a fact of history that demands a response of faith.  

By David McCasland

Luke 24:12  But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened

CSB  Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. When he stooped to look in, he saw only the linen cloths. So he went home, amazed at what had happened.

ESV  But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

KJV  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.

NET But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. He bent down and saw only the strips of linen cloth; then he went home, wondering what had happened.

NIV Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

NLT However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened.

NRS   But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

RSV  Luke 24:12 -- RSV OMITS THIS VERSE - see Technical Note below. 

YLT   And Peter having risen, did run to the tomb, and having stooped down he seeth the linen clothes lying alone, and he went away to his own home, wondering at that which was come to pass.

PETER ENTERS THE TOMB
AND LEAVES MARVELING

MacArthur - Luke added as a side note Peter’s visit to the tomb with John, which happened before the other women and Mary Magdalene returned.

But Peter got up and ran to the tomb (Cf. John 20:3–6) - "But" introduces a contrast (term of contrast) which begs the question "What is Luke contrasting?" While the other disciples were skeptical of the women's report, Peter believed (some commentaries dispute this conclusion) what the Lord had prophesied about His resurrection and thus translated his belief into action (ran).

While the others dismissed the report of the women, Peter got up and ran to the tomb, for he had learned to believe in what the Lord had said.

John fills in some details - John also got up and in fact outran Peter to the tomb...

John 20:3-10 So Peter and the other disciple (John) went forth, and they were going to the tomb. 4 The two were running together; and the other disciple (John) ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; 5 and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. 6 And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he *saw the linen wrappings lying there (in contrast Lazarus' came forth in the grave-clothes - Jn 11:44 - Jesus' body was glorified and able to pass thru grave clothes), 7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself (Ed: Not at all like grave robbers would have done! Upshot - No one stole the body!!! cp Mt 27:64- see Jesus' Body Stolen hypothesis). 8 So the other disciple (John) who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed (John saw the grave clothes which convinced him Jesus had risen) 9 For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.11 But Mary (Mary Magdalene) was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; 12 and she *saw two angels (Lk 24:4) in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.

John MacArthur explains that "Neither Peter nor John understood that Scripture said Jesus would rise (Ps 16:10). This is evident by the reports of Luke (Lk 24:25–27, 32, 44–47). Jesus had foretold His resurrection (Jn 2:19; Mt 16:21; Mk 8:31; 9:31; Lk 9:22), but they would not accept it (Mt 16:22; Lk 9:44, 45). By the time John wrote this gospel, the church had developed an understanding of the OT prediction of Messiah’s resurrection (cf. “as yet” Jn 20:9).....Christ suddenly appeared to (Mary Magdalene (Jn 20:11–18). That was His first appearance (Mk 16:9). Sometime soon after that, He met the other women on the road and appeared to them as well (Mt 28:9, 10). Later that day He appeared to two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13–32), and to Peter (Lk 24:34). 

ESV Study Bible on linen wrappings in Jn 20:6 - The linen cloths lying there are clear evidence that Jesus’ body had not been taken by grave robbers (cf. Matt. 28:11–15) or by his disciples attempting to steal the body (cf. Matt. 27:62–66) or by his enemies, who would not have taken the time to remove these cloths (see John 19:40). The Greek text simply says that the cloths were “lying” (keimai, a common word). Though it is sometimes suggested otherwise, nothing in the text indicates that Jesus’ body passed through the cloths or that the cloths were lying in the shape of Jesus’ body. The NT elsewhere affirms the real physical materiality of Jesus’ resurrection body (see Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:30, 39, 42; John 20:17, 20, 27; Acts 10:41). Most likely Jesus unwrapped these cloths from his body when he awakened from death and left them behind.

Stooping and looking in - "In most instances the entrance to such tombs was less than 3 ft (1 m) high, so that an adult would have to bend down and practically crawl inside." (NET Note) That may be true but I would propose he bent over to examine the evidence very closely!

Stooping and looking in (3879)(parakupto from pará = beside, aside + kúpto = bend forward, stoop) means to stoop or bend beside or sideways in order to look into. It means to look at with head bent forward, to look into with the body bent, to stoop and look into and figuratively to look carefully into, to inspect curiously or with a focus on satisfying one's curiosity. The idea was to down and look into in order to see something exactly.

Vincent on parakupto - The verb is used of one who stoops sideways (para) to look attentively. 

Parakupto is used 5 times in the NT: (Luke 24:12; John 20:5, 11; Jas 1:25; 1 Pet 1:12) and is translated in the NAS as: look, 1; looks intently, 1; stooped and looked, 1; stooping and looking, 2.

James used parakupto to describe the "one who looks intently (contemplative, meditative gazing) at the perfect law, the law of liberty… " (Jas 1:25-noteComment: So on one hand, the verb literally describes the bodily posture (at the empty tomb) and on the other, is used figuratively of a man "stooping over" the Word of God.

Parakupto in some uses meant "to lean over the railing". For example it n the Septuagint in the context of the return of "the ark of the covenant of the Lord… to the city of David" Scripture records that "Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of (parakupto) the window, and saw King David leaping and making merry; and she despised him in her heart." (1Chr 15:29).

Parakupto pictures the angels gazing carefully by the side of these great truths of salvation, "stooping" over in order to look, looking even with their heads bowed forward.

Wuest adds that "the angels peer into the mysteries of Church truth from beside it, like the cherubim bending over the Mercy Seat where man has access to God through a substitutionary sacrifice that cleanses him from sin. They are not participants in the salvation but spectators of it."

Parakupto describes John when he came to the empty tomb of His Lord, "stooping" in order to get a better view (Jn 20:5) and Mary who "stooped and looked into the tomb" (Jn 20:11 ).

These uses of parakupto imply a willingness to exert or inconvenience oneself to obtain a better perspective.

Vincent says that parakupto "Used by Aristophanes to picture the attitude of a bad harp-player. Here it portrays one stooping and stretching the neck to gaze on some wonderful sight."

He saw the linen wrappings only - Not disheveled but neatly arranged as described by John giving testimony that Jesus body had risen (and passed through the wrappings as He later passed through closed doors - John 20:19, 20:26).

Marveling (2296)(thaumazo) Most versions translate it as wondering and the NET Note comments that "Peter’s wondering was not a lack of faith, but struggling in an attempt to understand what could have happened." ESV Note adds "This (marveling) can be associated with unbelief (Luke 11:38; Acts 13:41) but usually involves a positive response (see Luke 1:21). Cf. Lk 24:34."

Spurgeon on Peter marveling - Thus that notable day wore on. Christ had risen, but His people had not risen to full belief in Him; they were still in the grave of distress and doubt, though their Master had left the grave of death!

Technical Note - Your translation may have Luke 24:12 in brackets. The NET Note explains "Some Western manuscripts (D it) lack Luke 24:12. The verse has been called a Western non-interpolation, meaning that it reflects a shorter authentic reading in D and other Western witnesses. Many regard all such shorter readings as original (the verse is omitted in the RSV), but the ms evidence for omission is far too slight for the verse to be rejected as secondary. It is included in 𝔓75 and the rest of the ms tradition."

Luke 24:13  And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem

ON THE ROAD TO 
EMMAUS

A new pericope the walk to Emmaus begins - Luke 24:13-35. This story is only briefly mentioned in one other Gospel...

After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country. They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either. (Mark 16:12, 13)

J C Ryle notes that " THE history contained in these verses is not found in any other Gospel but that of St. Luke. Of all the eleven appearances of Christ after His resurrection, none perhaps is so interesting as the one described in this passage." 

Spurgeon - When Christians make their Lord the subject of discourse they may hope to be favoured with his company. 

And behold (idou)  see note on Behold It is notable that Luke uses "behold" more than other NT writer --- 57x in 55v in the Gospel of Luke (out of a total of 200v in the NT) (and in 23 verses in Acts) - Lk. 1:20, 31, 36, 38, 44, 48; 2:10, 25, 34, 48; 5:12, 18; 6:23; 7:12, 25, 27, 34, 37; 8:41; 9:30, 38f; 10:3, 19, 25; 11:31f, 41; 13:7, 11, 16, 30, 32, 35; 14:2; 15:29; 17:21, 23; 18:28, 31; 19:2, 8, 20; 22:10, 21, 31, 38, 47; 23:14f, 29, 50; 24:4, 13, 49

Two of them - These are disciples, only one of whom is named (Cleopas Lk 24:18) from the group Luke referred to earlier as "all the rest." (Lk 24:9)

That very day - Still on the first day of the week (Sunday) and toward the evening.

Emmaus. This is the only mention in Scripture so the location is not certain. Tradition identifies it is as Kubeibeh about 7 miiles NW of Jerusalem. Another map suggesting site

Seven miles - Literally the Greek has “sixty stades” which is about 11 kilometers. A stade (stadion) was a unit of distance about 607 feet (187 meters) long (See also Wikipedia)

David Gooding summarizes the dilemma of these two heartsick, devastated, and utterly confused disciples:

Death and resurrection formed no part of their concept of Messiah’s office and programme, which is why they had not really taken in what Jesus had said about His coming death. They were hoping for a Messiah who would break the imperialist domination of the Romans by force of arms. A Messiah Who managed to allow Himself to be caught by the Jewish authorities, handed over to the Romans and crucified before He had even begun to organize any guerrilla operations, popular uprising or open warfare—what use was He? If the Old Testament prophesied a liberator who should not die, but be triumphant, Jesus was already disqualified: He had died. After that, it was almost irrelevant to talk of resurrection. (According to Luke [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 351)


Adrian Rogers -  (Luke 24:13ff) - Can you imagine what this day was like? Resurrection day. Jesus was not in the tomb anymore. People were talking about it everywhere. But did they understand that Jesus truly was alive? After the Crucifixion, even after the Resurrection, some of Jesus’ disciples were half-believing and some were half-doubting—not totally convinced He was the Messiah. 

The Discouragement of a Confused Heart  - On Easter Sunday, two forlorn disciples left Jerusalem for Emmaus, a small village about seven miles away. Walking wearily from where Jesus had been crucified, buried, and raised, they were discouraged and burdened (Read Luke 24:14-16) They had expected Jesus to be the political Messiah who would deliver Israel, like the angels proclaimed. They’d been looking for a King, but their king’s mission had been cut short—they thought. Now He had nails for a scepter, a cross for a throne, and for His kingdom—a narrow tomb. But the story was only half done. They hadn’t yet seen that Jesus had turned Calvary into Easter. Pentecost was coming. Their sadness was rooted in misunderstanding. Misunderstanding led to disappointment. Disappointment led to doubt. Doubt led to discouragement. That can happen to us when we’re going through our own Gethsemane and Calvary. We can’t see that He’s going to turn our hurts to hallelujah. So many Christians get discouraged because they don’t fully understand the Scriptures or believe all that the prophets have spoken. 

The Discovery of a Challenged Heart  - The Scripture says “Jesus himself drew near….” He sought them, He caught them, then He taught them; “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.”(Lk 24: 27) Just as the Lord Jesus sought us when we were lost, Jesus met them along the way and challenged them with the Word of God. He’s done that many times for me, and He’s done that for you. He comes alongside not to condone or condemn, but to claim us and comfort us. If Jesus sought us when we were out-and-out sinners, surely He will seek us when we’re saved but away from Him. During this journey He opened the Scriptures. What a marvelous time that must have been! Jesus held a Bible conference! How would you like to have a recording of Jesus, starting in the book of Genesis, going through the Old Testament, saying, “Now, here’s Jesus. Here’s the Messiah. Here’s the Messiah in this passage. And here’s another one.”  If you read the Bible and don’t find Jesus, you missed it. Go back and you’ll find Him. He’ll be in prophecy, in precept, in parable, in poetry. Whether it’s the Old Testament or the New Testament, in every book you’ll find Jesus standing somewhere in the shadows. “Search the Scriptures,” He said, “…these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). When we’re confused and disillusioned, the Lord must open two things for us: the Scriptures and our eyes. Both are absolutely necessary. Light without sight is no good, and sight without light is no good. It takes both.  I believe God held back Jesus’ identity from them for a while on purpose. He was soon to leave earth and return to the Father. He would no longer be with them physically. On the road to Emmaus he was transferring their dependence upon His physical presence and moving it to the Word of God.  As He opens the Word, He opens their eyes to see Him, now not after the flesh, but revealed by the Holy Spirit in the Word of God. Do you understand why He did this? He’s going back to heaven, but He’s leaving the Word. Today we need the same thing. We don’t have Jesus before us in physical form, but we do have the written Word of God to bring Jesus Christ to us and make Him real. It is extremely significant that it was the Word and not the physical sense that made Him real to them. They didn’t say, “Oh yes, we recognize Him.” No. They said, “We knew Him because He opened the Word to us.” That’s how they knew Him now—through the Word of God. Notice that Jesus “indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us,…” (Lk 24:28-29) Many times in Scripture it seems as if the Lord is trying to get away. Did you know most of us have about all of God we want? And if we don’t have more it’s because we don’t want more. But what He really wants us to do is to press on and press forward toward Him. I’ve often said, “God does business with those who mean business.” “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Mt. 5:6).  I want you to have a burning, passionate love for Jesus Christ—to know not only that Jesus is risen, but that He is risen indeed. 

The Declaration of a Convinced Heart - Immediately the two went back to Jerusalem with this news—to shout it, tell it, sing it, share it, no longer seeing with the eyes of the flesh, but with spiritual eyes as the Scriptures and their hearts were opened to His Truth. May the same be said of us. And may He continue to show us the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. There’s no lasting joy without Him. He’s the One you need. God has engineered it that you’re not going to have joy without Jesus. And you’re not going to know Jesus apart from the Scriptures. We need to have our eyes opened and our hearts set aflame. We don’t need a dead orthodoxy—we need a living faith. He is risen indeed!  (Love Worth Finding)


HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:13

Luke 24:14  And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place

Were talking -imperfect tense = over and over. 

Talking (conversing) (3656)(homileo) means to converse with or to to be in a group and speak. "Our word homiletics is derived from this word for preaching was at first largely conversational in style and not declamatory." (A T Robertson)

All these things - We cannot be definitive but these things would likely include Jesus’ triumphal entry, His arrest, mock trial, crucifixion, the report of the women that had visited His tomb and had found it empty, and then received a message from “angels, who affirmed that he was alive” (Lk 24:23).

See map of the events of the preceding Passion Week

Spurgeon - As was most proper, they that feared the Lord spake often one to another. Just as Elijah and Elisha talked with each other as they went towards the Jordan where Elijah was to be translated, so these two disciples were talking together of the great events that had recently happened; and especially talking of the death and the reported resurrection of Christ. This was most natural, for what is uppermost in the heart will soon be uppermost upon the tongue. They had had their minds greatly exercised concerning the departure of their Lord, and it was only natural that they should speak of it. If we never talk of Christ, we have great reason to suspect whether he is really in our hearts at all. Christ’s declaration to is disciples, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” was literally fulfilled in the case of these two disciples going to Emmaus.

Spurgeon  - Where two talk of heavenly things they shall not be long without a third. Jesus loves holy company, and he will join himself to those who in their conversation join themselves to him.

Spurgeon - And the Lord himself also appeared to them “in another form,” so that they did not recognise him. Jesus sometimes hides himself from those whom he loves best. He may be very near us and yet we may not know him (Interpreter's Bible0


J C Ryle - Let us mark, in these verses, what encouragement there is to believers to speak to one another about Christ. We are told of two disciples walking together to Emmaus, and talking of their Master’s crucifixion. And then come the remarkable words, “While they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them.”
Conference on spiritual subjects is a most important means of grace. As iron sharpeneth iron, so does exchange of thoughts with brethren sharpen a believer’s soul. It brings down a special blessing on all who make a practice of it. The striking words of Malachi were meant for the Church in every age;—“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be mine saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels.” (Mal. 3:16, 17.)
What do we know ourselves of spritual conversation with other Christians? Perhaps we read our Bibles, and pray in private, and use public means of grace. It is all well, very well. But if we stop short here we neglect a great privilege and have yet much to learn. We ought to “consider one another to provoke to love and good works.” We ought to “exhort” and “edify one another.” (Heb. 10:24; 1 Thess. 5:11.) Have we no time for spiritual conversation? Let us think again. The quantity of time wasted on frivolous, trifling, and unprofitable talk, is fearfully great.—Do we find nothing to say on spiritual subjects? Do we feel tongue-tied and dumb on the things of Christ? Surely if this is the case, there must be something wrong within. A heart right in the sight of God will generally find words. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matt. 12:34.)
Let us learn a lesson from the two travellers to Emmaus. Let us speak of Jesus, when we are sitting in our houses and when we are walking by the way, whenever we can find a disciple to speak to. (Deut. 6:7.) If we believe we are journeying to a heaven where Christ will be the central object of every mind, let us begin to learn the manners of heaven, while we are yet upon earth. So doing we shall often have One with us whom our eyes will not see, but One who will make our hearts “burn within us” by blessing the conversation.

Luke 24:15  While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them

JESUS WALKING
WITH THE TWO

Jesus Himself - The resurrected Jesus although His appearance was not described as dazzling (cf Lk 24:4), or like the transfiguration (Lk 9:29) and so the men were not startled by His appearance because He seemed to be just another traveler. 

Approached (eggizo) means He drew near, moving toward these two men. 

MacArthur - The numerous appearances Jesus made after the resurrection provide the most convincing proof of His resurrection: Scripture records at least ten distinct appearances of Christ between the resurrection and the ascension: to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18), to other women who had been at the tomb (Matt. 28:8-10), to two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32), to Peter (Luke 24:34), to ten of the eleven remaining apostles, Thomas being absent (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25), to all eleven apostles, with Thomas present (John 20:26-31), to seven of the apostles on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-25), to more than 500 disciples, probably on a mountain in Galilee (1 Cor. 15:7), to James (1 Cor. 15:7), and to the apostles when He ascended to heaven (Acts 1:3-11). In addition, the risen Christ later appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9), and several subsequent occasions (Acts 18:9; 22:17-18; 23:11). (John 12-21, 376

Approached (Drew near ) (1448)(eggizo) means to approach, draw closer to, draw near, be near, come near, all these uses referring to moving in space and drawing closer to some point. In short, to draw near in space. (Mt 21:1, Lk 7:12, 15:1, 25, 18:35. 19:29, 37, 41).

POSB - Note the exact words as Cleopas and his companion walked along: “While they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them” (suneporeueto, imperfect tense). The idea is that they were so absorbed in their despair and talk that Jesus was already walking along with them when they noticed Him. But note: they did not know Him. His resurrected body differed enough that He was not recognized as Jesus without close observation (see DEEPER STUDY # 1—Jn. 21:1). In this particular instance, the Lord “held” (restrained, kept) their eyes from recognizing Him as well. Apparently He wanted them to more freely discuss the events with Him.

Traveling with them - "The use of the imperfect tense here is very beautiful Jesus drew near while they were absorbed in their talk, and was already walking with them when they observed him." (Vincent)

Discussing - "This term suggests emotional dialogue and can thus be translated “debated.”" (NET Note)

Spurgeon applies this passage - Where two, whose hearts are right, and whose talk is heavenly, keep company with one another, Christ is very likely to make a third. Sometimes, when he does not come to one, he reveals himself to two; as he said to his disciples, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” And often, when two believers agree in communion, there is a sweet magnetic force about their fellowship which brings the Saviour to them, and retains him in their company.

Spurgeon- And, beloved, if you would have communion with Christ, have communion with one another. If my Lord will not reveal himself to me, perhaps he will reveal himself to others, therefore let me get into the company of his chosen, and then, surely, when he appears in the midst of their assembly, I shall have a share of the fellowship that they will enjoy.

Spurgeon - When two saints are talking together, Jesus is very likely to come and make the third one in the company. Talk of him, and you will soon talk with him. I would that believers more often spoke the one to the other about the things of God. It has been said that, in the olden time, God’s people spake often one to another; and now we have altered that, and God’s people speak often one against another. It is an alteration; but it certainly is not an improvement. May we get together again, and, like these two disciples, talk of all the things that happened in Jerusalem eighteen centuries ago! If we have less of reasoning than they had, let us have more of communion.

Spurgeon - You have been sitting at your table writing, and a friend has come behind you with noiseless tread, yet on a sudden you have been aware of a presence. Before you had heard or seen you were impressed, what if I say overshadowed? Was it not so with Mary Magdalene and the Saviour? I am not superstitious if I assert that something very similar happens to me when Jesus is near. Many a believer will tell you that he has, at times, when he has been in prayer, hearing the word or meditating, felt as if he could be sure that the Lord stood near him. There could, of course, be no palpable impression upon the flesh, for now, ‘after the flesh … know we him no more’, yet his presence has impressed our souls. There are influences of mind on mind which are beyond the recognition of science. The great spirit of our Lord has means of making itself spiritually known to our spirits, means which flesh and blood know nothing of and which lips could not describe. I have discerned the special presence of my Lord with me by a consciousness as sure as that by which I know that I live. Jesus has been as real to me, at my side in this pulpit, as though I had beheld him with my eyes. I appeal to the experience of many of you. Have you not been moved by a mysterious influence, which has overawed, inspired and impressed you beyond description? A divine, majestic, delightful and hallowing presence has been near you and you have turned to look at a something which was so distinct that you would not have been surprised had it been visible to you. Mary did not discover at first that it was the Lord, but she felt his powerful influence and then ‘she turned herself back, and saw Jesus’.

Luke 24:16  But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him

Their eyes - Spurgeon applies this passage - Oh, these eyes of ours! They let us see a great deal that we had better not see; and there are some things, which we might almost die to see, which we see not. I doubt not that, often, spiritual beings are about us, but we do not discern them; and, certainly, the Master himself ofttimes draws near, yet our eyes are holden (past participle of hold - held shut), and we do not see Him. This may even happen at the communion table; we may see the signs and symbols, but see not Christ, the signified and symbolized One. It is ill when it is so.

Prevented from recognizing Him - Luke does not further explain. We do not need to know how but by Whom. God prevented them from recognizing Jesus. 

Others did not recognize Jesus

John 20:14-15 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

John 21:4 But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

We see a similar supernatural action by God in...

Luke 9:45 But they did not understand this statement, and it was concealed from them so that they would not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this statement.

Luke 18:34 But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.

MacArthur - By not revealing Himself to them until after He explained the Scripture, Jesus modeled the principle that the power lies in the explanation of biblical truth, not in the person doing the explaining.

Spurgeon - Christ was there; but they did not perceive him. Our eyes may be very easily shut so that we do not see Christ even when he is close to us; we see a thousand things; but we miss the Master.


Spurgeon - The disciples had heard His voice so often and gazed upon that marred face so frequently that it is wonderful they did not discover Him. Yet is it not so with you also? You have not seen Jesus lately. You have been to His table, and you have not met Him there. You are in a dark trouble this day, and though He plainly says, “It is I; be not afraid” (Matt. 14:27), you cannot discern Him. Dear child of God, are you in this state? Faith alone can bring us to see Jesus. Make the following your prayer: “Lord, open my eyes that I may see my Savior present with me.”  (Daily Help)


Spurgeon's Devotional - - Luke 24:16
The disciples ought to have known Jesus, they had heard his voice so often, and gazed upon that marred face so frequently, that it is wonderful they did not discover him. Yet is it not so with you also? You have not seen Jesus lately. You have been to his table, and you have not met him there. You are in a dark trouble this evening, and though he plainly says, "It is I, be not afraid," yet you cannot discern him. Alas! our eyes are holden. We know his voice; we have looked into his face; we have leaned our head upon his bosom, and yet, though Christ is very near us, we are saying "O that I knew where I might find him!" We should know Jesus, for we have the Scriptures to reflect his image, and yet how possible it is for us to open that precious book and have no glimpse of the Wellbeloved! Dear child of God, are you in that state? Jesus feedeth among the lilies of the word, and you walk among those lilies, and yet you behold him not. He is accustomed to walk through the glades of Scripture, and to commune with his people, as the Father did with Adam in the cool of the day, and yet you are in the garden of Scripture, but cannot see him, though he is always there. And why do we not see him? It must be ascribed in our case, as in the disciples', to unbelief. They evidently did not expect to see Jesus, and therefore they did not know him. To a great extent in spiritual things we get what we expect of the Lord. Faith alone can bring us to see Jesus. Make it your prayer, "Lord, open thou mine eyes, that I may see my Saviour present with me." It is a blessed thing to want to see him; but oh! it is better far to gaze upon him. To those who seek him he is kind; but to those who find him, beyond expression is he dear!  (Morning and Evening)

Have you seen Jesus lately? 


Spurgeon -  Luke 24:16 Jesus Near But Unrecognized

I remember years ago visiting a woman, whom I never could comfort until she died, and then she died triumphantly. I said to her, ‘What do you come to the chapel for? What is the good of it if there is nothing there for you?’ ‘No,’ she said, ‘still I like to be there. If I perish, I will perish listening to the precious word.’ ‘But why is it you remain a member of the church, as you say you are not a saved soul?’ ‘Well,’ she said, ‘I know I am not worthy, but unless you turn me out I will never go out, for I like to be with God’s people. I desire to be numbered with them, too, though I know I am not worthy, for I have no hope.’ I said, ‘Well now, I will give you five pounds if you will give up your hope altogether;’ and I drew out my purse. ‘Five pounds!’ she said, and looked at me with utter horror; ‘Five pounds!’ She would not give Christ up for five thousand worlds. ‘But you have not got him, you said.’ ‘No, sir, I am afraid I have not got him, but I will never give him up.’ There came out the real truth. So it was with these two disciples; they talked as if they could not give him up; though they were afraid that he had not risen from the dead, yet they remained his disciples and spoke of ‘certain women also of our company’. They were half-unconsciously clinging to the forlorn cause in its very worst estate. And so will we. We will say with Job, ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.’

  ‘Yea, when thine eye of faith is dim,
  Rest thou on Jesus, sink or swim;
  And at His footstool bow the knee,
  And Israel’s God thy peace shall be.’


A B Simpson - There is much precious significance in this. The Lord is often present in our lives in things that we do not dream possess any significance. We are asking God about something which needs His mighty working, and the very instrument by which He is to work is by our side, perhaps for weeks and months and years all unrecognized, until suddenly, some day it grows luminous and glorious with the very presence of the Lord, and becomes the mighty instrument of His victorious working. He loves to show His hand through the unexpected. Often he keeps us from seeing His way until just before He opens it, and then, immediately that it is unfolded, we find that He was walking by our side in the very thing, long before we even suspected its meaning.

Luke 24:17  And He said to them, "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?" And they stood still, looking sad. 

TLB - “You seem to be in a deep discussion about something,” he said. “What are you so concerned about?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 

Wuest - And He said to them, What are these words which you are tossing to and fro to one another in this animated, heated conversation as you are walking? And they came to a standstill, gloomy-countenanced.

What are these words - It is notable that during his public ministry Jesus often ask questions (Lk 6:3, 9; 8:30; 9:18; 18:40, 41; 20:3, 4, 41–44; 22:35, etc.) Jesus asked to arouse the listeners' interest and thereby draw them into His discourse. Still a good pattern for Bible teachers and preachers!

Exchanging (only in Lk 24:17) (antiballo) means literally to "throw back and forth" (like a ball). The inherent idea is to discuss with the implication of conflicting opinions. Friberg says "figuratively, of words or ideas argue about, discuss together." NET Note adds that "The term antiballō, used only here in the NT, has the nuance of “arguing” or “debating” a point (the English idiom “to exchange words” also comes close)." Robertson adds that antiballo "is an old verb and means to throw in turn, back and forth like a ball, from one to another, a beautiful picture of conversation as a game of words."

“Discussed a doubt and tossed it to and fro” (Tennyson).

Spurgeon - The first part of that question some professors might be ashamed to answer, “What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another as ye walk?” It is not always that all Sunday talk is Sabbath talk —not always that we converse as we should upon the things of God. We are, many of us, blameworthy here.

Stood still - The stopped in their tracks!

Looking Sad (4659)(skuthropos from skuthrós = grim, stern + ṓps = the countenance) means stern, gloomy, sullen (characterized by a dark and dour countenance), grim-faced, gloomy (cp as some faked it = Mt 6:16), discouraged, dejected, despondent, sullen, overcast. Used in the Lxx of Ge 40:7 when the the cupbearer and the baker had dreams but no one to interpret. It would be natural for them to look sad for the events of the last few days had filled them with sorrow and disappointment.

They were discouraged but had no reason to be for the greatest victory over evil had just been carried out by Jesus Christ! We are a lot like the disciples, not fully understanding what Jesus has accomplished for us on Calvary. We too need our eyes of our heart enlightened as Paul prayed for the saints in Ephesus "so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe." (Eph 1;18-19).

Spurgeon - Christian people, why are you sad? It should not be so. And when you talk, why do you increase each other’s sadness? Is that wisdom? Surely, the Master might say to some here present, “Why are ye sad?” I hope that he will enable you to shake off the sadness, and to rejoice in him. 

Luke 24:18  One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, "Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?"

Wuest - And answering, one by the name of Cleopas said to Him, As for you, are you the only temporary resident in Jerusalem and have not come to know about the things which have taken place in it in these days?

THE IRONY OF
THEIR QUESTION!

Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware - Cleopas answered Jesus' question with a question. The point is that the Crucifixion of Christ had "gone viral" as we say in the internet era.

The truth be told, Jesus seems to be the ONLY ONE Who really understands what happened in Jerusalem!

Visiting (Paroikeo) (see  paroikia) Vincent - "to dwell as a stranger, is used in later Greek of strangers who have no rights of citizenship, and no settled home." "The verb paroikeō means to dwell beside one, then as a stranger like paroikoi (Eph. 2:19)." (A T Robertson)

Spurgeon - What a little advance these disciples had made in the knowledge of Christ! He had been their Teacher, they had seen his miracles, and yet, though they had been constantly under his superintendence, they had not learned enough to know that he was divine. The Holy Ghost had not yet been given; and, without the Holy Spirit’s divine instruction, these disciples could only say that Christ “was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:” 

Luke 24:19  And He said to them, "What things?" And they said to Him, "The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people,

Wuest - And He said to them, What sort of things, And they said to Him, The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a man, a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people,

What things? - "Our Lord, both here and at a latter part of His history draws out from the disciples their opinions, feelings, and wishes. By asking a question He elicits a declaration of the exact state of their minds about Himself." (Ryle)

Wiersbe - There is a touch of humor in Luke 24:19 when Jesus asked, “What things?” He had been at the heart of all that had happened in Jerusalem, and now He was asking them to tell Him what occurred! How patient our Lord is with us as He listens to us tell Him what He already knows (Rom. 8:34). But we may come “boldly” (“with freedom of speech”) to His throne and pour out our hearts to Him, and He will help us (Ps. 62:8; Heb. 4:16). (Bible Exposition Commentary)

They said to Him - Cleopas' companion joins in the conversation.

A prophet mighty - Jesus was the Prophet about which Moses prophesied. As a prophet Jesus spoke forth the Word of God (as God's "spokesman"). These two disciples were correct but Jesus is more than a prophet.

Dt 18:15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.

Dt 18:18-21 ‘I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 ‘It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. 20 ‘But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuous ly in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 “You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’

Matthew 21:11  And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Luke 7:16  Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!”

John 1:21 They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he *said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”

John 1:25 They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

John 7:40  Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.”

John 4:19  The woman *said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.

John 6:14  Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

Acts 3:22  "Moses said, 'THE LORD GOD SHALL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED in everything He says to you.23  'And it shall be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.'

Prophet (4396)(prophetes  from próphemi = literally to tell beforehand in turn from pró = before, in front of, forth, on behalf of + phemí = speak, tell) is primarily a forth-teller or one who speaks out God’s message, primarily to their own generation, usually always calling the people to God's truth for them at that moment, often using the phrase "Thus saith the Lord." The prophet is one who speaks before in the sense of proclaim, or the one who speaks for, i.e., in the Name of (God). "As distinct from the sacral figures of pagan antiquity the biblical prophet is not a magician. He does not force God. On the contrary, he is under divine constraint. It is God Who invites, summons, and impels him--e.g., Jer 20:7" (Lamorte and Hawthorne)

While here the two seem to have a limited understanding of Who Jesus was, their statement "it was He who was going to redeem Israel" (Lk 24:21) indicates they saw Him as more than just a prophet. 

NET Note - The role of Jesus as prophet is a function Luke frequently mentions: Lk 4:25–27; 9:35; 13:31–35.

Mighty in deed - Jesus did countless miracles. 

Related Resources to Mighty in Deed:

Mighty...in word - For example

"The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” (John 7:46).

"When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes." (Mt 7:28-29)

Jesus the Nazarene - This designation is used 9x - Mk. 10:47; Mk. 14:67; Mk. 16:6; Lk. 24:19; Jn. 18:5; Jn. 18:7; Jn. 19:19; Acts 2:22; Acts 22:8. The related description "Jesus of Nazareth" is used 7x - Matt. 26:71; Mk. 1:24; Lk. 4:34; Lk. 18:37; Jn. 1:45; Acts 10:38; Acts 26:9

Spurgeon - Supposing him to be a stranger in Jerusalem, yet one who was well acquainted with Jewish prophecy, they had told him exactly what the prophecies had foretold concerning the Messiah. If they had meant to refer to the various prophecies concerning Christ, they could not have detailed facts which would have more accurately fulfilled them, and therefore Christ said to them “O you foolish men, how slow of heart you are to believe all that the prophets have spoken!”

Spurgeon - Just as a schoolmaster, though he knows more than the children, yet asks them questions to see what they know. So did the Saviour, “What things?.... And they said to him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in word and deed.” I ought to have said, “in deed and word.” You see my mistake. That is how we put it, “word and deed,” for our words go first, but, with Christ, the practical comes first, and then commences the doctrinal.

Luke 24:20  and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him.

John MacArthur on the chief priests and our rulers - Even though Jesus was sentenced to death by a Roman governor in a Roman court and crucified by Roman soldiers, the two men did not mention the Romans, since they were merely the executioners carrying out the Jewish leaders’ will. And even though in the end the crowds cried for Pilate to crucify Jesus, they did so because the chief priests and rulers manipulated them (Matt. 27:20). The religious elite were the real killers (cf. Acts 4:10; 5:30).

Hendriksen notes that they say "Not how Pilate and the Romans did this. The two men placed the main blame exactly where it belonged, namely, on the chief priests and rulers of the Jews. This is not anti-Semitism. It is simply a true reflection of historical fact. To be sure, both the Jewish leaders and the Romans were guilty, but the chief responsibility and therefore also the heavier guilt rested on the Jews (see John 19:11).

Delivered (betrayed, handed over - second time used in this chapter - Lk 24:7) (3860)(paradidomi  from para = alongside, beside, to the side of, over to + didomi = to give) conveys the basic meaning of to give over from one's hand to someone or something, especially to give over to the power of another.

NET Note on delivered Him - Handed him over is another summary of the passion like Luke 9:22. 

Paradidomi uses by Luke in his Gospel and the Acts (30 verses total out of 117) - Lk. 1:2; Lk. 4:6; Lk. 9:44; Lk. 10:22; Lk. 12:58; Lk. 18:32; Lk. 20:20; Lk. 21:12; Lk. 21:16; Lk. 22:4; Lk. 22:6; Lk. 22:21; Lk. 22:22; Lk. 22:48; Lk. 23:25; Lk. 24:7; Lk. 24:20; Acts 3:13; Acts 6:14; Acts 7:42; Acts 8:3; Acts 12:4; Acts 14:26; Acts 15:26; Acts 15:40; Acts 16:4; Acts 21:11; Acts 22:4; Acts 27:1; Acts 28:17

Death (2288)(thanatos) is a permanent cessation of all vital functions and thus is the end of life on earth (as we know it). The separation of the soul from the body and the end of earthly life. Spiritual death is separation from the life of God forever by dying without being born again. The first use in the Septuagint is in a well known promise from God "you shall surely die (Lxx = thanatos apothnesko).” (Ge 2:17) followed by the second use in the deceptive lie by Satan “You surely shall not die (thanatos apothnesko)!" (Ge 3:4) Death is natural to humanity as part of the created world. Death is a result of Adam’s sin (Ro 5:12). Death is universal - no one can escape it.

Crucified (4717)(stauroo from stauros = cross, in turn from histemi = to stand) means literally to nail or fasten to a cross and so to crucify -- literal death by nailing to and hanging from a cross (a stake).

Spurgeon - These were sad things to talk about. They thought that they had lost all when they had lost Christ; and yet there is no theme in all the world that is more full of joy than talk about the crucified Christ. This is strange, is it not? If we look beneath the surface, we shall see that the darkest deed that was ever perpetrated has turned out to be the greatest blessing to mankind; and that the cruelest crime ever committed by mortal man has been made the channel of the divinest benediction of God.


J C Ryle - Let us mark, secondly, in these verses, how weak and imperfect was the knowledge of some of our Lord’s disciples. We are told that the two disciples confessed frankly that their expectations had been disappointed by the crucifixion of Christ. “We trusted,” said they, “that it had been He who should have redeemed Israel.” A temporal redemption of the Jews by a conqueror appears to have been the redemption which they looked for. A spiritual redemption by a sacrificial death was an idea which their minds could not thoroughly take in.
Ignorance like this, at first sight, is truly astounding. We cannot be surprised at the sharp rebuke which fell from our Lord’s lips, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe.” Yet ignorance like this is deeply instructive. It shows us how little cause we have to wonder at the spiritual darkness which obscures the minds of careless Christians. Myriads around us are just as ignorant of the meaning of Christ’s sufferings as these travellers to Emmaus. As long as the world stands the cross will seem foolishness to natural man.
Let us bless God that there may be true grace hidden under much intellectual ignorance. Clear and accurate knowledge is a most useful thing, but it is not absolutely needful to salvation, and may even be possessed without grace. A deep sense of sin, a humble willingness to be saved in God’s way, a teachable readiness to give up our own prejudices when a more excellent way is shown, these are the principal things. These things the two disciples possessed, and therefore our Lord “went with them” and guided them into all truth.

Luke 24:21  "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened.

Wuest - But as for us, we were hoping that it was He who was about to be liberating Israel. But also with all these things it is the third day since these things took place.

THE THIRD DAY

We were hoping (1679)(elpizo) in this context is used in the sense of counting on something, looking forward to something with confidence it would come to pass.  

Ryle on He who was going to redeem Israel - it is clear that like most Jews, they looked much more for a temporal Redeemer than a spiritual one. They looked for a redemption like that of their forefathers out of Egypt. Hence their excessive perplexity and amazement, when he who they thought would prove the Redeemer was crucified.

See Messianic Hope of Israel 

Redeem (3084)(lutroo) releasing of someone held captive, such as a prisoner or a slave, on receipt of a ransom payment. Robertson notes "From the bondage of Rome, no doubt." Their Messianic hope was that He would bring national redemption in a political sense. They miss the most important aspect of His mission which was to redeem sinners from the penalty and power of sin, for as Paul explained using the verb lutroo Jesus "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." (Titus 2:14, cp use in 1 Peter 1:18).

The third day - These two mentioned the day, but clearly had missed His teaching that He would rise from the dead on the third day. Ryle says "He speaks like one who had an indistinct recollection of our Lord’s sayings about rising again, upon the third day, but had never understood their meaning."

MacArthur - Perhaps Cleopas recalled the Lord’s promises of 9:22; 18:33. More likely, however, it seems this was his way of expressing surprise that this Stranger did not yet know the news everyone else in Jerusalem had been discussing for the past 3 days.

Lightfoot "points out the frequency with which the third day is referred to in the Old Testament. (Gen. 22:4; Hosea 6:2: Gen. 42:18; Jos. 2:16; Exod. 19:16; Jonah 1:17; Ezra 8:15; Esther 5:1.)"


Oswald Chambers - The discipline of dejection

But we trusted … and beside all this, to-day is the third day … Luke 24:21.

Every fact that the disciples stated was right; but the inferences they drew from those facts were wrong. Anything that savours of dejection spiritually is always wrong. If depression and oppression visit me, I am to blame; God is not, nor is anyone else. Dejection springs from one of two sources—I have either satisfied a lust or I have not. Lust means—I must have it at once. Spiritual lust makes me demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Who gives the answer. What have I been trusting God would do? And to-day—the immediate present—is the third day, and He has not done it, therefore I imagine I am justified in being dejected and in blaming God. Whenever the insistence is on the point that God answers prayer, we are off the track. The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, not of the answer. It is impossible to be well physically and to be dejected. Dejection is a sign of sickness, and the same thing is true spiritually. Dejection spiritually is wrong, and we are always to blame for it.
We look for visions from heaven, for earthquakes and thunders of God’s power (the fact that we are dejected proves that we do), and we never dream that all the time God is in the commonplace things and people around us. If we will do the duty that lies nearest, we shall see Him. One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that it is in the commonplace things that the Deity of Jesus Christ is realized.

Luke 24:22  "But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning,

Some women - Referring to their report described in Luke 24:9–11-note

They were amazed because although they were not convinced by the women's report, neither could they explain it! 

Vincent on amazed - Literally the verb means to put out of place; and so, to drive one out of his senses.

NET Note - The account in 24:1–12 is repeated here, and it is clear that the other disciples were not convinced by the women, but could not explain the events either.

Amazed (astonished, astounded, besides one's self) (1839)(existemi from ek = out + hístemi = to stand) literally means to stand out from or to stand outside oneself (and thus to be beside oneself). The NT uses of existemi are all related in some way to the human mind. Richards says that existemi "suggests astonishment mixed with anxiety, stimulated by extraordinary events that cannot be explained." It describes "the feeling of astonishment mingled with fear, caused by events which are miraculous, extraordinary, or difficult to understand." (BDAG) It can describe one who is so astonished almost to the point of failing to comprehend what one has experienced.

Early in the morning - Early dawn in Lk 24:1-note

Luke 24:23  and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive.

HE IS ALIVE!

Did not find His body -  see Lk 24:3-note.  And they still failed to understand this pointed to the resurrection! 

A vision of angels - The two men in "dazzling clothing" Lk 24:4-note.

Spurgeon - How innocently they tell the story! How they convict themselves of stark unbelief! And the Master hears it all patiently and quietly. What a strange sensation it must have been for him to hear them talking about him in this singular way when, all the while, they did not know who the “stranger” was to whom they were speaking! Have you ever thought of what the Saviour must think of many things that we say? We think them wise; but they must be very foolish to the eye of his infinite wisdom, and very shallow to him who sees everything to the bottom.

CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY
Charles Wesley

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! 
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! 
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! 
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! 

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia! 
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! 
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! 
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia! 

3 Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! 
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia! 
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia! 

4 Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia! 
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! 
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia! 
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! 

5 Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! 
Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia! 
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! 
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! 

6 King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia! 
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! 
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia! 
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia! 

In every worship service, the words we say and the actions we participate in are somehow shaping us. Perhaps without even being aware of it, worship is doing something to us – it’s forming habits and language inside of us to both teach us why we are in relationship with God, and how to be in relationship with God. One practice that many liturgists and hymn authors have brought into worship is describing an event that happened in the past (usually a moment from the Gospel story) as if it were happening today, in order to instill in us the understanding that, just as God worked in the lives of people two thousand years ago, He is still working today. The hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” is a perfect example of this. Right in the title is an indicator of the present tense: the word “is.” As we sing this song, we are first brought back two millennia as “witnesses” of the resurrection, and then we are also made aware that though the actual event of the resurrection happened once, it is in a sense an on-going event with ever-present effects. We are called today to live out of the resurrection, to follow our risen Lord in newness of life, and to ever lift our “alleluias” in praise.


​​​​​​​HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:23

Luke 24:24  "Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see."

Some of those who were with us -  Peter and John (see Lk 24:12-note).

Him they did not see - Their testimony validated that of the women.

Spurgeon - They made out a very clear case against their own unbelief here. They had the evidence of the women, and they had the evidence of the men of their own company; the women, they knew were honest. About their own company they could have no doubt, but yet they did not draw the inference which was clear enough, namely, that Jesus had risen, and that what he said he was he had proved himself to be.

Wiersbe - “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17, NKJV). This explains why Jesus opened the Word to these two men as the three of them walked to Emmaus. Their real problem was not in their heads but in their hearts (see Luke 24:25 and 32, and note v. 38). They could have discussed the subject for days and never arrived at a satisfactory answer. What they needed was a fresh understanding of the Word of God, and Jesus gave that understanding to them. He opened the Scriptures and then opened their eyes, and they realized that Jesus was not only alive but right there with them! What was their basic problem? They did not believe all that the prophets had written about the Messiah. That was the problem with most of the Jews in that day: they saw Messiah as a conquering Redeemer, but they did not see Him as a Suffering Servant. As they read the Old Testament, they saw the glory but not the suffering, the crown but not the cross. The teachers in that day were not unlike some of the “success preachers” today, blind to the total message of the Bible. (Bible Exposition Commentary)

Luke 24:25  And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!

Wuest - And He himself said to them, O dull of perception and slow of heart to be believing in all the things which the prophets spoke,

JESUS REBUKES
THE TWO TRAVELERS

NET Note - The rebuke is for failure to believe the promise of scripture, a theme that will appear in Lk 24:43–47 as well.

Foolish (453)(anoetos from a = alpha-negative = makes following word exact opposite + noéo = comprehend from nous = mind, intellect, understanding, thought) means literally “not having a mind” or not thought of (not within the province of thought) and thus describes a person without understanding, dull-witted. Anoetos describes one with a unwillingness to use one's mental faculties to understand. It is not a lack of intelligence as much as it is a mental laziness and carelessness. Anoetos frequently conveyed the idea of a wrong attitude of heart, a lack of faith that clouds one's judgment. For example, Paul used anoetos to describe greedy people who think that a lot of money will enhance their lives and bring happiness and fulfillment -- that is foolish thinking!

Ryle on foolish - The Greek word so rendered is not the same word which is so translated in the sermon on the mount. (Matt. 5:22.) Here it only means “wanting in thought, understanding, and consideration,” and does not imply any contempt.

Wuest adds that the word anoetos  "denotes the stupidity that arises from deadness and impotence of intellect. It means “lacking in the power of perception, unwise.” It refers to one who does not reflect. The word speaks of failure to use one’s powers of perception. The Galatians (Wuest's comment on Gal 3:1-note), Paul says, were certainly not using their heads. The word is used with an ethical reference as the faculty of moral judgment. Thus the word indicates a failure to use one’s powers of perception, that failure being due to a moral defect. It is always true, as it was with the Galatians, that the act of a Christian who embraces false doctrine, is due to sin in his life. (Galatians Commentary - Verse by Verse)

Trench - in the anoetos there is always a moral fault lying behind the intellectual; the nous, the highest knowing power in man, the organ by which divine things are apprehended and known, being the ultimate seat of the error (Luke 24:25, Gal. 3:1, 3; 1 Tim. 6:9; Titus 3:3). 

Spurgeon on "O foolish men" - I feel sure that be said that word very gently; — not as you and I might say it, in a pet. Yet, truly, as we read the story, we cannot help feeling that they were very foolish and stupid. Their own tale convicts them. So no wonder Christ said unto them, “O fools,”

Vance Havner - They were "slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken" (Luke 24:25). Better slow of head to understand than slow of heart to believe! To know the Bible by memory is not to know it "by heart." To know it "by heart" is to hide "thy Word," the great possession, "in my heart," the great place, "that I might not sin against thee," the great purpose.

Slow (1021)(bradus) means slow (dull), slow to learn, understand or react. Lacking intellectual acuity. 

Heart (2588)(kardia) does not refer to the physical organ but is always used figuratively in Scripture to refer to the seat and center of human life. The heart is the center of the personality, and it controls the intellect, emotions, and will. 

Ryle on slow of heart - [Slow of heart to believe all … prophets … spoken.] This expression should be carefully noted. The disciples believed many things which the prophets had spoken. But they did not believe all. They believed the predictions of Messiah’s glory, but not of Messiah’s sufferings. Christians in modern times too often err in like manner, though in a totally different direction. They believe all that the prophets say about Christ’s sufferings, but not all that they say about Christ coming the second time in glory.

THEIR BASIC PROBLEM: FAILURE
TO ACCEPT BIBLE PROPHECY

All that the prophets have spoken - The prophets had not "stuttered" but had spoken plainly enough. Since Jesus says "all" presumably they believed some of what the prophets spoke of the Messiah (especially the predictions of His glory, but not His suffering). 

Acts 10:43  “Of Him all the prophets bear witness (testify) that through His Name (Jesus - Mt 1:21, Acts 4:12) everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” 

Prophets (4396)(prophetes) - see Lk 24:27

Spurgeon - He loved them tenderly, but he rebuked them strongly, I had almost said sternly: “O fools, and slow of heart!” I am afraid that is our name: “fools.” I am afraid that it may be said of us that we are “slow of heart to believe.” We want so many proofs. We very readily disbelieve, but we very slowly believe. If you had a piano in your house, and you left it for months; and when you came back, you found it all in beautiful tune, you would be sure that somebody must have been there to put it in tune; but if, on the other hand, you left it to itself, and it got out of tune, you would say that such a condition was only what was to be expected. So it is natural for us to get out of tune. Sometimes we ring out glad music on the high sounding cymbals, and we lift up the loud hallelujahs of exultant joy; but soon we are down again in the deeps, and strike a minor key. Grace alone can raise us; nature, alas! sinks if left to itself.

Ray Pritchard - He rebukes them for one thing and only one thing–for failing to understand and apply the Scriptures. He doesn’t upbraid them for leaving Jerusalem and walking back home. He doesn’t criticize their doubt nor condemn their confusion. All of that was perfectly understandable, given the circumstances and the fragmentary information they had received. But he tells them they should have known and believed what God had said. That leads to what we might call the ultimate Bible conference. He tells them plainly that it was necessary for Christ to suffer and die on the cross. What seemed like the ultimate miscarriage of justice turns out to be the Father’s plan to glorify his Son. Christ was no victim being led against his will to the cross. (Where is Jesus When We Need Him?)

Believe  (4100)(pisteuo from pistispistos; related studies the faith, the obedience of faith) means to consider something to be true and therefore worthy of one’s trust. To accept as true, genuine, or real. To have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something or someone. This verb is key -- because they did not believe (and remember if you believe you will obey), they did not understand. In John 7:17 Jesus stated that "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself." Failure to believe and obey the Word blunts our ability to understand the Word. 

Spurgeon - He called them fools, or wanting in thought and understanding. The original words do not imply contempt; our Lord gently rebuked them for not seeing what was so plainly revealed in Scripture.) Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? (Is it not so predicted in the prophets? How could it be otherwise? (Interpreter's Bible)

J Vernon McGee - This is a very important section, friend. The Lord, in speaking about His resurrection, did not show them the prints of the nails in His hands to prove it. He referred them to the Scriptures rather than to the nail prints. He told them, “You should have believed what the prophets said.” It is well to note the Lord’s attitude toward the Bible. The day in which we live is a day of doubt. There are people who are actually saying that you cannot be intelligent and believe the Bible. Many people are afraid that they will not be considered intelligent; so they don’t come out flat-footed and say whether they believe the Bible or not. I suppose it is the most subtle and satanic trap of our day to discount the inerrancy and integrity of the Word of God. Christ says a man is a fool not to believe it. He gave an unanimous and wholehearted acceptance of the Bible’s statements, with no ifs, ands, or buts. The other day I picked up a seminary professor and took him to a filling station, because he had car trouble. As we rode along, I asked him about his school’s viewpoint of the inerrancy of Scripture. “Well,” he said, “you mean the infallibility of the Bible?” I replied, “Wait a minute, you are arguing semantics. You know what I mean, and I know what you mean. Do you or do you not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture?” Well, he wouldn’t make a forthright declaration whether or not he believed it. He wanted to appear intelligent. Frankly, a lot of these men do not have the intestinal fortitude to stand for the Word of God. I think their problem is more intestinal than intellectual! (Thru the Bible)


Luke 24:25 Folly of Unbelief - C H Spurgeon

The Lord Jesus says, ‘Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth’. The gospel is to be preached to every creature, and every creature that believes it shall be saved: but these people back out of it and begin hammering out reasons for their own destruction. A sadly suicidal business this! Let the devil invent reasons for my not being saved: it is not a business which can bring me any form of good. Nothing can stand against the promise of God: he commands me to believe on his Son Jesus; I do believe and I am saved and shall be saved, despite all the objections which may be raised by carnal reason. Though you find it so hard to believe Christ, you have found it very easy to believe in yourself. Not long ago you were everybody and now you cannot believe that Christ is everybody. You thought you were very good; you were wonderfully easy in your own mind when you ought to have been afraid. What! Was it easy to believe your poor self and can you not believe the faithful word of a good and gracious Saviour who says that, if you trust him, you shall be saved? Moreover, you are very apt now to believe Satan if he comes and says that the Bible is not true, or that Jesus will not accept you, or that you have sinned beyond hope, or that the grace of God cannot save you. Of course, you believe the father of lies and you go mourning and moping, when you might at once go singing and dancing, if you would believe your Saviour. Jesus bids you trust and live, but Satan says it is of no use your trusting; you believe Satan and treat your Lord as if he had intended to deceive you. ‘O fools, and slow of heart’! (365 Days with Spurgeon Volume 6)

Luke 24:26  "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?"

CSB  Didn't the Messiah have to suffer these things and enter into His glory?"

NAB  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?"

NLT  Wasn't it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?"

Wuest - was it not necessary in the nature of the case for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter His glory? 

SUFFERING BEFORE GLORY
THE CROSS BEFORE THE CROWN

Was it not necessary - This phrase in Greek expects an affirmative answer. Yes, the suffering of our Messiah was necessary that He might be the atoning sacrifice for our sins, paying the price in full (Jn 19:30-note). And the Jews should have known this because the OT clearly taught that a blameless sacrifice was required to cover the sin of a guilty sinner.

NET Note - The statement Wasn’t it necessary is a reference to the design of God’s plan (see Luke 24:7-note). Suffering must precede glory (see Luke 17:25). 

Necessary (must) (1163)(dei from deo = to bind, tie objects together) means it is  necessary (binding), needful. Deí  is an obligation out of intrinsic necessity or inevitability. In order to fulfill perfectly the OT prophecies of the Messiah, first it was necessary for Him to suffer. More to the point, it was necessary for Him to die on the Cross as our sinless Substitute for sin, that we might one day experience glory with Him. 

To suffer these things - The suffering Cleopas described in Lk 24:19, 20-note. 

The Christ (5547)(Christos) means "the Messiah" (and so translated by some versions - HCSB, marginal note on NAS = "i.e;, Messiah") (See also Messiah - Anointed One and Greek word for Messiah.)

Resources Related to Messiah's suffering

Suffer (3958)(pascho) means essentially what happens to a person experience. It means to undergo something; to experience a sensation, to experience an impression from an outside source, to undergo an experience (usually difficult) and normally with the implication of physical or psychological suffering.

Peter spoke of the "The sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow." (1 Peter 1:11)

The writer of Hebrews says 

But we do see Him Who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect (Jesus was perfect but the idea is to bring His mission of redemption to its final goal) the Author of their salvation through sufferings. (Heb 2:9-10)

J C Ryle on suffer - Here our Lord briefly states the whole truth concerning the expected Messiah. He was one who was to suffer first and afterwards to reign,—to be cut off first and afterwards have a kingdom,—to be led as a lamb to the slaughter first, and afterwards to divide the spoil as a conqueror.

“Praise the Savior Now and Ever”
Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus (c. 530–609). 

Praise the Savior now and ever;
Praise Him, all beneath the skies;
Prostrate lying, suff’ring, dying
On the cross, a sacrifice.
Vict’ry gaining, life obtaining,
Now in glory He doth rise.

And to enter into His glory - The cross and then the crown. 

Glory (1391)(doxa from dokeo = to think) in simple terms means to give a proper opinion or estimate of something and thus the glory of God expresses all that He is in His Being and in His nature, character, power and acts. He is glorified when He is allowed to be seen as He really is. To be where God is will be glory. To be what God intended will be glory. To do what God purposed will be glory.

Spurgeon - “Are not those just the very things which the prophets say that the Christ, the Anointed, must suffer? ‘Ought not Christ to have suffered these things,’” Is not this just what he said he would do?


Lincoln’s Testimony

Read: Luke 24:13-27 | Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? —Luke 24:26

Abraham Lincoln was a backwoodsman who rose from humble beginnings to the heights of political power. During the dark days of the US Civil War, he served as a compassionate and resolute president. Depression and mental pain were his frequent companions. Yet the terrible emotional suffering he endured drove him to receive Jesus Christ by faith.

Lincoln told a crowd in his hometown in Illinois: “When I left Springfield, I asked the people to pray for me; I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. I do love Jesus.” Life’s most painful tragedies can bring us to a deeper understanding of the Savior.

When two men walked the road to Emmaus, they were dumbfounded by the senseless murder of Jesus of Nazareth. Then a stranger joined them and gave scriptural insight about the suffering Messiah (Luke 24:26-27). The stranger was Jesus Himself, and His ministry to them brought comfort.

Heartache has a way of pointing us to the Lord Jesus, who has shared in our sufferings and can bring meaning to seemingly senseless pain.

Though tragedy, heartache, and sorrow abound
And many a hardship in life will be found,
Just put all your trust in the Savior of light,
For He can bring hope in the darkest of night.  —D. De Haan

Suffering can teach us what we can’t learn in any other way.

By Dennis Fisher


Oswald Chambers - His resurrection destiny

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? Luke 24:26.

Our Lord’s Cross is the gateway into His life: His Resurrection means that He has power now to convey His life to me. When I am born again from above, I receive from the risen Lord His very life.
Our Lord’s Resurrection destiny is to bring “many sons unto glory.” The fulfilling of His destiny gives Him the right to make us sons and daughters of God. We are never in the relationship to God that the Son of God is in; but we are brought by the Son into the relation of sonship. When Our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life, to a life He did not live before He was incarnate. He rose to a life that had never been before; and His resurrection means for us that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. One day we shall have a body like unto His glorious body, but we can know now the efficacy of His resurrection and walk in newness of life. “I would know Him in the power of His resurrection.”
“As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.” “Holy Spirit” is the experimental name for Eternal Life working in human beings here and now. The Holy Spirit is the Deity in proceeding power Who applies the Atonement to our experience. Thank God it is gloriously and majestically true that the Holy Ghost can work in us the very nature of Jesus if we will obey Him.

Luke 24:27  Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

Wuest - And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets He interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

JESUS IS ON EVERY PAGE OF
THE SCRIPTURES!

Beginning with Moses - Jesus says He began in the Pentateuch but He does not tell us the specific verses. Many have suggested He began with Genesis 3:15-note which is possible. We will have to wait until heaven to speak with Cleopas regarding this exposition from the Master Expositor!

Warren Wiersbe on beginning with Moses and with all the prophets - “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Ro 10:17, NKJV). This explains why Jesus opened the Word to these two men as the three of them walked to Emmaus. Their real problem was not in their heads but in their hearts (see Luke 24:25 and Lk 24:32, and note Lk 24:38). They could have discussed the subject for days and never arrived at a satisfactory answer. What they needed was a fresh understanding of the Word of God, and Jesus gave that understanding to them. He opened the Scriptures and then opened their eyes, and they realized that Jesus was not only alive but right there with them! What was their basic problem? They did not believe all that the prophets had written about the Messiah. That was the problem with most of the Jews in that day: they saw Messiah as a conquering Redeemer, but they did not see Him as a Suffering Servant. As they read the Old Testament, they saw the glory but not the suffering, the crown but not the cross. The teachers in that day were not unlike some of the “success preachers” today, blind to the total message of the Bible. (Ibid)

Prophets (4396)(prophetes from próphemi = literally to tell beforehand in turn from pró = before, in front of, forth, on behalf of + phemí = speak, tell) is primarily a forth-teller or one who speaks out God’s message, primarily to their own generation, usually always calling the people to God's truth for them at that moment, often using the phrase "Thus saith the Lord." The prophet is one who speaks before in the sense of proclaim, or the one who speaks for, i.e., in the Name of (God). "As distinct from the sacral figures of pagan antiquity the biblical prophet is not a magician. He does not force God. On the contrary, he is under divine constraint. It is God Who invites, summons, and impels him--e.g., Jer 20:7" (Lamorte and Hawthorne)

"Christ is the sum of the whole Bible — prophesied, typified, prefigured, exhibited, demonstrated — to be found in every leaf, almost in every line. The Scriptures being but as it were, the swaddling bands of the child Jesus." Thomas Adams

"Think of Christ as the very substance, marrow, soul, and scope of the whole Scriptures!" Isaac Ambrose

Explained (1329)(diermeneuo from diá = an intensifier + hermeneuo = to interpret, translate  which some say is from Hermes the pagan god of language - our English Hermeneutics - study or science of interpretation of Scripture) means to explain clearly, exactly, thoroughly. To translate, expound, interpret , explain from one language into another. This verb is used of interpreting a foreign language . 

Louw-Nida - "to explain on a more extensive and formal level the meaning of something which is particularly obscure or difficult to comprehend"

Thayer - 1. to unfold the meaning of what is said, explain, expound: Luke 24:27; 1 Corinthians 12:30; 1 Corinthians 14:5,13, 27. 2. to translate into one's native language: Acts 9:36 ( 2 Maccabees 1:36; Polybius 3,22, 3, and several times in Philo (cf. Siegfried, Glossar. Phil. under the word)

In modern parlance especially as it relates to the church hermeneutics is "The discipline of interpreting texts, with special reference to the principles and procedures involved" (DeMoss, M. S. Pocket Dictionary for the Study of New Testament Greek. IVP)

Dr Stephen Lewis writes that hermeneutics is

The science (principles) and art (task) by which the meaning of the biblical text is determined [It is a science because it is guided by rules within a system; and it is an art because the application of the rules is by skill, and not by mechanical imitation].

A. Hermeneutics is a SUPPORTING discipline. By delineating how a student should reach his/her conclusion.

B. Hermeneutics is a REFLECTIVE discipline. By exposing how a student is reaching his/her conclusions.

C. Hermeneutics is a CLARIFYING discipline. By enabling a student to gain self-awareness.

But being aware of how you reach your interpretation you are in a better position to weigh the merits of your interpretation. (Hermeneutics)

Spurgeon - We may well wish that we might have been there. What a privilege it was for those two disciples, — a walk and a talk combined! But what heavenly talk, all concerning himself! I know that you, dear friends, never relish a discourse unless Christ is foremost in it; but when Christ is the sole subject, and even Scripture itself is made subordinate to the display of Christ, then are you well content.

He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures - Jesus is present in "all the Scriptures." 

Scriptures (1124)(graphe  from grapho = to write; English = graphite - the lead in a pencil!) means first a writing or thing written, a document. The majority of the NT uses refer to the Old Testament writings, in a general sense of the whole collection when the plural (= Scriptures - Matt. 21:42; 22:29; 26:54; Mk. 12:24; 14:49; Lk. 24:27, 32, 45; Jn. 5:39; Acts 17:2, 11; 18:24, 28; Rom. 15:4; 2 Pe 3:16) is used and other times of a particular passage when the singular is used (= the Scripture - Mk. 12:10; 15:28; Lk. 4:21; Jn. 13:18; 19:24, 36f; Acts 1:16; 8:35; Ro 11:2; Jas. 2:8, 23) and is used in such a way that quoting Scripture is understood to be the same as quoting God!

J C Ryle - Many a commentator has remarked on this verse, that it would have been a blessing to the Church if it had possessed the exposition which our Lord here gave. For wise reasons it has been withheld from us. Several have attempted to supply conjecturally the general substance of this exposition, and specially Gerhard, Bullinger, and Stella. But it is probable that we have, at best, very inadequate ideas of the fullness of our Lord’s exposition. Judging from the use He made of Scripture during His ministry, He saw probably many “things concerning Himself” which modern commentators utterly fail to discover.

Spurgeon - The best Book, with the best Teacher, descanting upon the best of subjects. Everywhere this Book speaks about Christ; and when Christ explains it, he only brings himself more clearly before our minds.

Afford remarks, “Observe the testimony which this verse gives to the divine authority, and Christian interpretation of the Old Testament Scriptures. The denial of reference to Christ’s death and glory in the Old Testament, is a denial of Christ’s own teaching.”

McGee - Christ says that there are two things which are essential to the understanding of the Word of God. They are simple but important. First, as verse 25 indicates, we must have faith in the Bible. Christ said, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” Pascal said, “Human knowledge must be understood to be believed, but divine knowledge must be believed to be understood.” I think the Bible is a closed book to the critic and the infidel. He can learn a few facts, but he misses the message. On the other hand, some simple soul whose heart is turned in humble faith to God will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit of God. The eyes of his understanding will be opened. Great men of the past have come to the pages of Scripture for light and life in the hours of darkness or crisis. It is not smart to ridicule the Bible. The Lord said, “You are a fool not to believe it.” I would rather lack sophistication and subtlety than to be a fool. Then the Lord says that the Bible can only be divinely understood. Human intellect is simply not enough to comprehend its truths. Verse 45 tells us: “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” Then in 1 Corinthians 2:14 Paul declares, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” There are things that are above and beyond human comprehension, and only the Holy Spirit of God can make them real to us. Our prayer ought to be, “Open Thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy Word.” We should come with a humble attitude to the Word of God. Just because you read the Bible does not mean that you know it. The Holy Spirit of God will have to make it real to you. (Ibid)


J C Ryle - Let us mark, thirdly, in these verses, how full the Old Testament is of Christ. We are told that our Lord began “at Moses and all the prophets, and expounded in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
How shall we explain these words? In what way did our Lord show “things concerning himself,” in every part of the Old Testament field? The answer to these questions is short and simple. Christ was the substance of every Old Testament sacrifice, ordained in the law of Moses. Christ was the true Deliverer and King, of whom all the judges and deliverers in Jewish history were types. Christ was the coming Prophet greater than Moses, whose glorious advent filled the pages of prophets. Christ was the true seed of the woman who was to bruise the serpent’s head,—the true seed in whom all nations were to be blessed,—the true Shiloh to whom the people were to be gathered,—the true scape-goat,—the true brazen serpent,—the true Lamb to which every daily offering pointed,—the true High Priest of whom every descendant of Aaron was a figure. These things, or something like them, we need not doubt, were some of the things which our Lord expounded in the way to Emmaus.
Let it be a settled principle in our minds, in reading the Bible, that Christ is the central sun of the whole book. So long as we keep Him in view, we shall never greatly err in our search for spiritual knowledge. Once losing sight of Christ, we shall find the whole Bible dark and full of difficulty. The key of Bible knowledge is Jesus Christ.


Spurgeon - Morning and Evening - - Luke 24:27

The two disciples on the road to Emmaus had a most profitable journey. Their companion and teacher was the best of tutors; the interpreter one of a thousand, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The Lord Jesus condescended to become a preacher of the gospel, and he was not ashamed to exercise his calling before an audience of two persons, neither does he now refuse to become the teacher of even one. Let us court the company of so excellent an Instructor, for till he is made unto us wisdom we shall never be wise unto salvation. 

This unrivalled tutor used as his class-book the best of books. Although able to reveal fresh truth, he preferred to expound the old. He knew by his omniscience what was the most instructive way of teaching, and by turning at once to Moses and the prophets, he showed us that the surest road to wisdom is not speculation, reasoning, or reading human books, but meditation upon the Word of God. The readiest way to be spiritually rich in heavenly knowledge is to dig in this mine of diamonds, to gather pearls from this heavenly sea. When Jesus himself sought to enrich others, he wrought in the quarry of Holy Scripture. 

The favoured pair were led to consider the best of subjects, for Jesus spake of Jesus, and expounded the things concerning himself. Here the diamond cut the diamond, and what could be more admirable? The Master of the House unlocked his own doors, conducted the guests to his table, and placed his own dainties upon it. He who hid the treasure in the field himself guided the searchers to it. Our Lord would naturally discourse upon the sweetest of topics, and he could find none sweeter than his own person and work: with an eye to these we should always search the Word. O for grace to study the Bible with Jesus as both our teacher and our lesson! 


Connecting the Dots

Read: Luke 24:13–32 | Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:27

In the 1880s French artist Georges Seurat introduced an art form known as pointillism. As the name suggests, Seurat used small dots of color, rather than brush strokes of blended pigments, to create an artistic image. Up close, his work looks like groupings of individual dots. Yet as the observer steps back, the human eye blends the dots into brightly colored portraits or landscapes.

The big picture of the Bible is similar. Up close, its complexity can leave us with the impression of dots on a canvas. As we read it, we might feel like Cleopas and his friend on the road to Emmaus. They couldn’t understand the tragic “dotlike” events of the Passover weekend. They had hoped that Jesus “was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21), but they had just witnessed His death.

The Bible shows a God who loves us more than we can imagine.

Suddenly a man they did not recognize was walking alongside them. After showing an interest in their conversation, He helped them connect the dots of the suffering and death of their long-awaited Messiah. Later, while eating a meal with them, Jesus let them recognize Him—and then He left as mysteriously as He came.

Was it the scarred dots of the nail wounds in His hands that caught their attention? We don’t know. What we do know is that when we connect the dots of Scripture and Jesus’s suffering (vv. 27, 44), we see a God who loves us more than we can imagine.

Jesus laid down His life to show His love for us.

INSIGHT: In today’s reading, Jesus came alongside two disciples traveling to Emmaus (v. 13). This appearance took place in the “nearly evening” of Sunday (vv. 29–30). The gospel writer Mark said, “Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them” (Mark 16:12). This was why they did not recognize Him until later (Luke 24:16, 31).

By Mart DeHaan 


​​​​​​​HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:27

Luke 24:28  And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther.

He acted as though He were going farther - MacArthur proposes "He did so for the same reason He had questioned them, to elicit a response that would demonstrate the effect of the Scriptures on their hearts. And it did. They wanted more instruction and did not want the thrilling teaching to end."

Spurgeon - No doubt he would have done so if they had been indifferent to his company: Jesus never forces his society upon us.

Ray Pritchard - The word “acted” means “pretended.” What a thought that is. Was Jesus trying to deceive his own disciples? No, that can’t be right. Was Jesus planning on leaving his disciples alone on the road of doubt? No, but he makes them think he is going to leave them behind so that they will invite him to stay. Think about that for a moment. Our Lord sometimes seems to leave us so that we will ask him to stay. He seems to leave us behind so that we will seek him all the more. Those days when we feel alone and confused are part of God’s plan to wean us away from the things of the world and bring us to a place where we say, “O Lord, it is you and you alone that I seek.”

Acted (4364) (prospoiéomai from prós = to, besides + poiéō = to make. To make, acquire, claim or appropriate for oneself, to make pretension. In the NT, only in the middle voice meaning to make a show of being or doing something, to feign, pretend (Used only in Luke 24:28). To act or appear as if having certain qualities or a particular state of mind. Used twice in the Septuagint - 1 Sam. 21:13; Job 19:14

Spurgeon - And sorry, I have no doubt, they were to do so. One would like to walk on to all eternity with Christ thus talking by the way. Never had they had a shorter walk in their lives; his holy talk had made the journey seem as nothing, and sorry they were to see the village, and especially when they found, that their companion had an idea of going further.

Spurgeon - For Christ never forces his company upon anyone; and if we are willing to let him go, he will go, nor will he return until we are heartily sick of having treated him coldly. When we can no longer bear the absence of Christ, then he will speedily return to us. There is an instance of this in the life of Christmas Evans, which impressed me very much when I read it. Sandemanianism had spread very much through Wales, and he had been very busy attacking it; but it seemed as if, in doing so, his sermons had lost all their former power and unction, and his own soul also grew very dry and barren, and he had little or no fellowship with Christ. He said that, at last, his soul grew utterly weary of being absent from his Lord and he could not endure it any longer, but felt that he must once again enjoy communion with his Lord, and experience the power of the Holy Spirit in his preaching. So he stopped at the foot of Cader Idris and spent some three hours in an intense agony of prayer; and the result was that, when he next preached, he did so with all the unction and power which had formerly rested upon him. He had grown weary of the absence of Christ and therefore Christ returned to him. O brethren, if Christ makes as though he would go further, do not let him go, but hold him fast!

Spurgeon - They were sorry to be nearing their destination. They would have liked to walk to the ends of the earth in such company, and listening to such conversation. Christ intended to go further unless the two disciples constrained him to tarry with them.


F Whitfield - Is not God always acting thus? He comes to us by His Holy Spirit as He did to these two disciples. He speaks to us through the preaching of the gospel, through the Word of God, through the various means of grace, and the providential circumstances of life; and having thus spoken, He makes as though He would go further. If the ear be opened to His voice and the heart to His Spirit, the prayer will go up “Lord, abide with me.” But if that voice makes no impression, then He passes on, as He has done thousands of times, leaving the heart at each time harder than before, and the ear more closed to His Spirit’s call. (Moody - One Thousand and One Thoughts from My Library)

Luke 24:29  But they urged Him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over." So He went in to stay with them.

ABIDE WITH US
LORD JESUS!

But they urged (3849)(parabiazomai from para - beside, unto, implying movement toward a point + biazo = to force, impel) literally means to use force against, to press and figuratively to urge strongly, to constrain  one by entreaties, to compel, to coerce, to persuade, "to speak in such a way as to encourage a particular type of behavior or action." (L-N)

The only other NT use is Acts 16:15-note - And when she (Lydia) and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us. 

Spurgeon - Love can always find a plea to which her Lord will yield, for he is always most willing to commune with his people

Ryle on stay with us - Let it be noted that we have several instances of expressions like this in Scripture used upon similar occasions. Abraham said, “Pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant.” (Gen. 32:26.) Gideon said, “Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee.” (Judges 6:18.) Manoah and his wife said, “I pray thee, let us detain thee.” (Judges 13:15.) All show that God loves to be entreated of His people, and that those who would have much must ask much, and even use a holy violence.

Spurgeon - O wise disciple, when thou hast thy Master to hold him. “I held him,” says the spouse; “I held him, and I would not let him go.” So may it be with us.

Wiersbe - These men had talked to Jesus and listened to Jesus, and when He made as though He would go on alone, they asked Jesus to come home with them. They had been won by the Word of God, and they did not even know who the Stranger was. All they knew was that their hearts were “burning” within them, and they wanted the blessing to last. The more we receive the Word of God, the more we will want to fellowship with the God of the Word. The hymn writer expressed it perfectly: “Beyond the sacred page/I seek Thee, Lord.” Understanding Bible knowledge can lead to a “big head” (1 Cor. 8:1), but receiving Bible truth and walking with the Saviour will lead to a burning heart. (Ibid)

Spurgeon - That is our prayer to the Lord Jesus tonight, “Abide with us, dear Master; we had thy blessed company this morning; and now the sun is almost down, abide with us!” Let each one of us pray the prayer that we often sing, for, morning, noon, and night, this is a suitable supplication:-“

Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without thee I cannot live;
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without thee I dare not die.” 


J C Ryle - Let us mark, finally, in these verses, how much Christ loves to be entreated by His people. We are told, that when the disciples drew nigh to Emmaus, our Lord “made as though he would have gone further.” He desired to see if they were weary of His conversation. But it was not so. “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.”
Cases like this are not uncommon in Scripture. Our Lord sees it good for us to prove our love, by withholding mercies till we ask for them. He does not always force His gifts upon us, unsought and unsolicited. He loves to draw out our desires, and to compel us to exercise our spiritual affections, by waiting for our prayers. He dealt so with Jacob at Peniel. “Let me go,” He said, “for the day breaketh.” And then came the noble declaration from Jacob’s lips, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.” (Gen. 32:26.) The story of the Canaanitish mother, the story of the healing of two blind men at Jericho, the story of the nobleman at Capernaum, the parables of the unjust judge and friend at midnight, are all meant to teach the same lesson. All show that our Lord loves to be entreated, and likes importunity.
Let us act on this principle in all our prayers, if we know anything of praying. Let us ask much, and ask often, and lose nothing for want of asking. Let us not be like the Jewish king who smote three times on the ground, and then stayed his hand. (2 Kings 13:18.) Let us rather remember the words of David’s Psalm, “Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.” (Psal. 81:10) It is the man who puts a holy constraint on Christ in prayer, who enjoys much of Christ’s manifested presence.


Abide with us! - James Smith, "Food for the Soul" 1867
So said the disciples when Jesus was about to leave them — and so shall we say, if we know the sweetness of His presence. When Jesus comes and manifests Himself, when He draws out our souls into sweet communion with Himself — then . . .

we enjoy a Heaven on earth,
our hearts glow with gratitude and burn with love,
we are filled with joy, and 
dread nothing so much as His leaving us!

Then we cry, "Abide with us!" 

Precious Lord Jesus . . .

  come and visit my soul,
  reveal Your glory, 
  shed abroad Your love in my heart, and 
  draw me into the closest, sweetest communion with Yourself!


It was getting toward evening - Vance Havner alluded to the Road to Emmaus in his devotional - Home Before Dark - I have been intrigued by the title of a fine book about the hereafter. It reads, Home Before Dark. When I was a little boy, it was an unwritten law of the Medes and Persians that I should always be home before dark. No exceptions, no argument. Father and I didn't dialogue much in those days!

Now I'm at the other end of my life span and I still want to get home before dark in more ways than one. For one thing, I pray it will be before dark comes in the loss of my faculties so that I become a helpless vegetable like the sad sights I see in some homes for the aged—poor hunks of flesh kept going by machines that prolong death instead of life. I have no control over such a possibility, but I'd like to go home before that dark sets in.

I want to go home before the dark when I can no longer preach. "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4). Samuel Johnson carried a watch with an inscription inside that read THE NIGHT COMETH.

Doctor William Culbertson of Moody Bible Institute cherished a poem by John Oxenham which ran like this:

   Lord, when Thou seest that my work is done,
   Let me not linger on,
   With failing powers,
   Adown the weary hours,—
   A workless worker in a world of work.
   But, with a word,
   Just bid me home,
   And I will come
   Right gladly,—
   Yea, right gladly
   Will I come.

I want to go home before dark, before some big blunder on the home stretch, some tragic mistake in old age, whether within or beyond my control, which everyone, forgetful of all the good things of the years before, would remember. There is no fool like an old fool. I remember the prayer of one dear saint, "Lord, keep me from becoming a wicked old man!" Christians are saved but never safe so far as witness and example are concerned, never until we reach heaven. The bark can perish in the haven's mouth!

I want to go home before darkness settles on this world. The lights are going out everywhere these days. It is the darkness that precedes the dawn.

Abide with me, fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
                                             HENRY F. LYTE

Like the weary disciples on the road to Emmaus, I would say, "Lord, it is toward evening and the day is far spent" (see Luke 24:29), not only the day of my life but the day of this age. Be not only Guest but Host at my table and make Thyself known in the breaking of the bread.

O. Henry, the famed short-story writer, uttered as his last words, "I don't want to go home in the dark." Neither do you nor I! I want to make it to that better land of which I read, "... there shall be no night there" (Revelation 21:25).

Whatever you do, make sure that you get home before it is dark, while the day of grace is still yours. When that day passes, it will be too late. "Judas went out... and it was night" (John 13:30). The soul that departs from Jesus Christ always walks into the night. Get home before dark. (from Chapter 28 - Hope Thou in God)


Vance Havner - The Christ of the Emmaus Road
Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent (Luke 24:29) 

Jesus had been crucified and buried, and now, three days later, two lonely disciples were trudging home to Emmaus, seven miles out of Jerusalem. They should have been singing, but instead they were sad. They had a heartache instead of a hallelujah. What was meant to be the ground of their hope had become the cause of their doubt, and what should have been a reason for delight had become their despair. They said, "Today is the third day," and because it was, they should have been hilarious. Both the written Word and the living Word had said He would rise on that day. But they were half-believing and half-doubting: "... we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel..."—there was their faith; "... to day is the third day since these things were done" (Luke 24:21)—there lay their doubt.

They were right in their facts but wrong in their conclusion. It was the third day, and exactly because it was, they should not have been sad. The woman at Jacob's well was right in her facts: "... thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep...," but wrong in her conclusion: "... whence then hast thou that living water?" (John 4:11). These disciples had their chronology right and their theology right, but they had no doxology!

All over America I meet modern disciples of the Emmaus Road. Some admit their condition; they come forward in meetings with wet eyes or write letters full of doubt and despondency. Others are too proud or afraid to admit the truth that they are disappointed, not in the Lord, but in their experience of Him. "They trusted," like the Emmaus disciples, but delight has become despair. They wouldn't have anyone in the world know that their experience is not real, so they keep going through the motions of religious activity in a form without force. They say the words and sing the songs, but they are like fountains in public squares where water gushes out of lips that never taste it. These disciples would be awfully embarrassed, after all these years, to confess that they are Emmaus Christians. Yet, when they are alone with their souls and absolutely honest, they know that they live in the bitterness of Romans 7, not in the blessedness of Romans 8. It is not that they don't believe the doctrines; a fundamentalist can be as dry as a modernist. Some are not burdened any more about it. They are resigned to live at a poor dying rate, their love so faint, so cold to Christ, and His love for them so great. At least the Emmaus disciples were troubled over the situation!

Some of the Emmaus disciples are ministers. Some are just out of school, half-believing, half-doubting, having been taught to doubt the Bible instead of believing it. Others are older and have grown disillusioned, disappointed in men they once trusted, cynical over the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of church life. They started out with starry eyes but their golden dreams have lost their glow in the rat-race of religious politics. Too many have tended the vineyards of others to the neglect of their own; they work harder than ever trying to pump water out of a dry well. My heart goes out to them. They do not want to be this way. I do not believe a man would enter the ministry at all unless he had some sort of heavenly vision. But there are more ministers than we realize who secretly hunger for a deeper experience of Jesus Christ, and whose jaded spirits need quickening because they have left their first love and lost the joy of their salvation. Some of them show up in strange meetings and sample queer doctrines and fall in with odd sects, all in desperation, like a drowning man clutching at a straw.

I am convinced that our greatest trouble is not false doctrine or worldliness but an inadequate experience of Jesus Christ. A handful of men and women who loved Jesus and were filled with the Spirit shook the world one time. It could be done again, but never by Emmaus disciples like those who were living on the memory of a dead Christ instead of in communion with the living Lord. And yet, within an hour or two, the same disciples became radiant witnesses. It was said of Thomas Chalmers that he had "an original experience of Jesus Christ." It was his own, not somebody else's. Some of us live on a mosaic of other people's experiences, getting our spiritual thrills by proxy. We read of John Wesley's heartwarming and Hudson Taylor's crisis and Dwight L. Moody's enduement, but if we get no further, these men become not our inspiration but our despair.

The living Christ walks beside us, ready to change us from weaklings to witnesses, to give us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. He may not meet us in a blinding vision or in thrilling ecstasy, but if we have trusted him, and yet our faith has grown dim and dry and disappointing, we have a right to a brand-new experience of the living Christ which will turn us around on the Emmaus Road, straighten our drooping shoulders, and start us out in another direction to bless others even as we have been blessed.

   Lord Jesus, make thyself to me
   A living, bright reality,
   More pleasant to faith's vision keen
   Than any outward object seen;
   More dear, more intimately nigh
   Than e'en the sweetest earthly tie.

When it comes to a deeper experience of Christ, too many only deplore the lack of it; some discuss theories about it, a few describe how to have it, but too few demonstrate it. Actually, however, we should not talk so much about "it." Too many are seeking "it" and when they find "it" they think they have arrived. What we need is not merely "it," an experience, but "Him." Some make much of experiences of the Holy Spirit, but F. B. Meyer said long ago that we should beware of making the Holy Spirit the figurehead of any movement. The Holy Spirit testifies of our Lord, not of Himself. The Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:39). That speaks of Pentecost, of course, but it is also true that the Holy Spirit never comes in blessing until Jesus is glorified, whether in individual blessing or in church revival. We would do well to study these two not yets.

The Emmaus experience had four characteristics that mark every genuine meeting with the Lord. First, it was true to the Scriptures. The risen Lord reproved those disciples for being slow of heart to believe the prophets, and "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27). Not only does the Spirit testify of our Lord, but so do the Scriptures. Our Lord opened the Scriptures, opened the disciples' eyes, and opened their understanding—and He began by opening the Scriptures. We err because we know not the Scriptures. Our eyes are holden if we do not search the Scriptures that testify of Him. Better to be slow of head to understand than slow of heart to believe! The Scriptures are like a railroad track; some dear souls are like a locomotive off the track, stuck in the mud, with only the whistle blowing.

Let it be noted that our Lord began with Moses. If men will not believe Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though One rose from the dead. Men who doubt or deny the inspiration of the Old Testament part company with Jesus Christ. A genuine experience of Him begins with an open Bible: "... faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). I do not agree with those who think we should not begin with the Bible but should relate our experience when dealing with an unsaved man. Philip began at an Old Testament verse and preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch. Our Lord defeated the devil with three verses from Deuteronomy. Our weapon is the Word of God.

The living Word manifests Himself in line with the written Word. Any spiritual experience that is not Bible-based is not of God but of the devil. It may be spiritual, but it is the wrong spirit!

In the second place, the experience of the Emmaus disciples stirred their hearts. 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?" (Luke 24:32). He gave them holy heartburn. A genuine experience of the Lord is based on Scripture, not our feelings, but that does not mean that our feelings are unaffected. We are so afraid of feeling these days that it has become almost the unpardonable sin to say "Amen" at prayer meeting. We are not saved because we feel saved, but being saved ought to make us happy. There never was a real revival that did not produce heartburn and hallelujahs. For some years now we have been having "revivals" specially designed not to arouse anybody, and they are certainly working out as planned. Plenty of church members are shaky about what they believe, while not many are shaken by what they believe. The church militant has become the church complacent. We are so afraid of too much feeling that we are almost past feeling. Afraid of too much, we make out with too little. Dead men do not sing or cry; one has to be alive to have feeling, which is true of churches as well. We have moved from burning hearts to itching ears.

John Wesley set England on fire after his heart was strangely warmed. In that drab period between the death of the Puritans and the birth of the Methodists it was an Emmaus heartburn that changed the course of history.

   Thy soul must overflow if thou
   Another's soul wouldst reach;
   It takes the overflow of heart
   To give the lips full speech.

Furthermore, the Emmaus experience showed up at home. "Abide with us," the weary disciples besought their Lord, "for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent" (Luke 24:29). It is toward evening in the lives of many of us; it is toward the end of the age with all of us. It is later than we think. The time is short and we need to pray:

   Abide with me from morn till eve,
   For without Thee I cannot live;
   Abide with me when night is nigh,
   For without Thee I cannot die.

Never was the old hymn more timely:

   Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
   Earth's joys grown dim, its glories pass away;
   Change and decay is all around I see;
   O Thou, who changest not, abide with me."

It is not enough to see the Lord in the Scriptures. It is not enough that He stirs our hearts. Feelings will rise and fall, and zeal will flag. We need His abiding presence all the time. Mind you, He did not manifest Himself at Emmaus in a great sermon or a dazzling performance, but in the breaking of bread, the simplest and plainest of things. That was not a miraculous meal like the feeding of the multitude, nor a special meal like the Lord's Supper. It was a common household meal, and yet it was miraculous and special because His presence made it so.

If ever our homes needed the Lord, it is now. The domestic life of America is one vast disaster area. Our homes have gone to pieces, and unless Christ gets into more of them we face worse evils here than any abroad.

Christians need a fresh revelation of the Lord in their homes. Too often we lay aside our Christian profession with our Sunday clothes, behaving worst before those who love us most. He is a poor saint who smiles at everybody else's table and sits at his own like such a son of Belial that one cannot speak to him. Some have Sunday-morning grace and Bible-conference grace, but no kitchen or living-room grace. If the Saviour cannot manifest Himself at your breakfast table He will not shine through you at any other table. If it takes two cups of coffee to make you fit to live with of a morning, you need the Emmaus experience.

Finally, this experience of the lonely disciples sent them out to witness: "... they told what things were done in the way..." (Luke 24:35). They did not sit with folded hands and congratulate each other. It was a day of good tidings and they did not hold their peace. One thinks of the spiritual with the constant refrain, "I couldn't keep it to myself." The disciples hurried back to Jerusalem to tell others, and as they witnessed, the Lord appeared again! He said to them, "... ye are witnesses of these things" (Luke 24:48).
We are awfully short on the kind of Christian experience that makes us tell about Him. Some want to be His lawyers, arguing His case, but while He sometimes needs apologists, He needs apostles more. We do not have a secret to be hidden but a story to be heralded. Sometimes it is easier to give a check for the telling of the story in Africa than to tell it around the corner. A fresh experience of the Lord gives witnessing its dynamic. Some have the desire and know the directions, but they don't do it because they lack dynamic. When the Lord takes over He cures us of believing the heresy that only a few special people are missionaries.

How does one come into the Emmaus experience? What did those disciples do? For one thing, they were concerned. At least they were discussing it; it was on their minds and lay heavy on their hearts. Too many of us do not care. Then they constrained Him when "he made as though he would have gone further" (Luke 24:28). Our Lord does not force Himself upon us—He will go on if we do not constrain Him—yet He longs to abide with us. Have you not, in the company of someone you loved, moved as though you would be going, yet inwardly you hoped you would be asked to remain? He is the Guest who would go on. The deeper things of God pass on if we do not lay hold upon them. But He is also the Guest who will come in: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in..." (Revelation 3:20). Moreover, He is the Guest who becomes the Host: "I... will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20). He comes in as the Guest; He abides as the Host. It was that way at Cana and Emmaus. It will be so with you.

For most of us the top item on the agenda of life is a new experience of the living Christ, one that is true to the Scriptures, stirs our hearts, shows up at home, and sends us forth to witness until, in the glow of that testimony, He appears again!


HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:29

Luke 24:30  When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them.

SUPPER WITH 
JESUS

See the paintings

Spurgeon on He took bread and blessed it and breaking it - That was the old sign, well known to them and to him, — that blessing and breaking of the bread. Sometimes when you do not remember a friend who has greatly changed, or from whom you have been long apart, some old familiar sign will bring it all back as with a rush of memory; you know him at once. Now if this were an ordinary meal, as perhaps it was, Jesus was so in the habit of giving thanks that they knew him by that. I wish we knew every Christian by the same sign. Or if this were, indeed, a celebration of his own sacred festival, then again they knew, for is not this the sign between Christ and his people, and is not this table the place where Jesus meets his beloved? “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him.” But they knew him to see him no more that night.

McGee - The resurrected, glorified Christ wants to fellowship with those who are His own. He only fellowships with those who believe in Him.....Eating around a table is a wonderful time to share the things of Christ. There is nothing wrong with a church banquet, provided it is not all given over to hearing some soloist, or watching a magician, or some type of entertainment. We have too many church programs that leave Jesus Christ out. To have true fellowship and blessing, He must be in the midst breaking the bread.

Spurgeon - In the breaking of bread Christ is often known. It is a wonderful emblem. Even if this breaking of bread were not the observance of the Lord’s Supper, it was something very like it. Christ’s blessing and breaking of bread anywhere are the true token of himself.


​​​​​​​HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:30

Luke 24:31  Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.

SPIRITUAL TRUTH IS SEEN
WITH SPIRITUAL EYES

Their eyes were opened - Clearly they had been able to see Jesus physically, but they were unable to see Him  spiritually. The principle of this passage can be applied to all believers, for too often our eyes are closed to spiritual truth and we would all do well to pray (frequently) Eph 1:18, 19-note (see devotional below, cp the vision described in 2 Cor 4:18-note) not only for ourselves but for other believers in our sphere of influence.

God has given us the capacity to “see” unseen spiritual realities that are as real and vital as any physical thing we can see or touch. Spiritual sightedness is a precious gift. - Timothy Lane and Paul D Tripp

Opened (1272)(dianoigo from dia = through, between, used here as an intensive + anoigo = to open, remove that which obstructs) means to open completely (wide, like "double folding doors" or as when Stephen in his last moments before martyrdom saw "the heavens opened up" Acts 7:56) and can speak of opening to one's understanding what is otherwise hidden to their intellect. To open the sense of Scripture and thus to explain the Scripture. To thoroughly disclose or cause one to thoroughly understand. Albert Barnes says dianoigo "means to explain what is concealed or obscure." Dianoigo is one of those truly "supernatural" words, a word that speaks of the Spirit's enabling power! It is used by Mark to describe the miraculous giving of hearing by Jesus (Mk 7:34, 32-33). The remainder of the NT uses are by Dr. Luke to describe the opening of the womb (context = miraculous birth of Jesus) (Lk 2:23), the supernatural opening of one's (spiritual) eyes ("the eyes of our heart") to recognize the Messiah (Lk 24:31), the opening of one's mind to Scriptural truth, explaining the truth, (and unless this occurs, we cannot truly understand it naturally, because it is supernatural!) (Lk 24:45, cp Lk 24:32), the opening of heaven to Stephen so that he could see Jesus (Acts 7:56), the supernatural opening of Lydia's heart to receive the Gospel preached by Paul (Acts 16:14) We see an OT parallel when Elisha prayed for his servant's (spiritual) eyes to be opened and given "supernatural vision." (2Ki 6:17) Note that the idiomatic phrase "a male that opens the womb" (Lk 2:23) speaks of the first-born male.

Recognized (1921)(epiginosko from epí means upon but is used here to intensify the force of the following verb + ginosko = to know) (See noun epignosis) means to know fully, to know with certainty, to become thoroughly acquainted with or to know thoroughly. To recognize, know (Mt 11.27; cf. Lk 10.22). 

Spurgeon on He vanished - It is sometimes so with us; we have just recognized our Lord, and, lo! he has gone.

John MacArthur - Christ could appear and disappear bodily, as seen in this text. His body could pass through solid objects—such as the grave clothes (see note on v. 12), or the walls and doors of a closed room (Jn 20:19, 26). He could apparently travel great distances in a moment, for by the time these disciples returned to Jerusalem, Christ had already appeared to Peter (v. 34). The fact that He ascended into heaven bodily demonstrated that His resurrection body was already fit for heaven. Yet it was His body, the same one that was missing from the tomb, even retaining identifying features such as the nail-wounds (Jn 20:25–27). He was no ghost or phantom. (Luke Commentary)

Ray Pritchard - Why did he leave so suddenly? The answer is, he didn’t leave them at all. He simply became invisible. Leaving implies a change of geography, but it’s not as it Jesus moved to a different location. He appeared to them on the road but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. Even when he taught them the Scriptures, he still did not reveal himself to them. Only in the course of sharing a meal together did Cleopas and his friend recognize who he was. And then he vanished. That doesn’t mean he left them. It simply means they could no longer visibly see him. This is the point of the whole story. Just because you don’t see Jesus doesn’t mean he isn’t there. Just because you can’t feel him doesn’t mean he has left you. Just because you think you are alone doesn’t mean he is no longer by your side. Once you know that Jesus is alive, you have certainty in your heart. There is no need for him to stay longer. He stays long enough for them to believe but no longer. There are times when we all say, “Lord Jesus, it would be wonderful if you would stay a while longer.” And the Lord answers back, “My child, I am with you even though you think I’m gone.” Where is Jesus when we need him? He is with us even though he seems to leave us. This is the profound insight of our text. Because Jesus is alive, he is with us even when we don’t know it. He is with us when we think we are walking alone through the dark valleys of life. And even when we have given up all hope, we discover that he was with us when we needed him most.
When you come to the conviction that Jesus is alive, everything changes! 

That’s why the two disciples couldn’t wait to get back to Jerusalem. Even though it was late in the evening, they had to go back and tell the others what they had seen and heard. Once you encounter Christ, nothing will ever be the same again.
If Jesus is alive, there’s no time to waste.

If Jesus is alive, everything we believe is true.

If Jesus is alive, then death has been defeated.

If Jesus is alive, then heaven is more than a dream.

If Jesus is alive, then our sins are really forgiven.

If Jesus is alive, then all his promises are true.

If Jesus is alive, then we can never truly be alone again.
Where is Jesus when we need him most? He is with us because he is risen from the dead....

It’s Saturday, but Sunday’s coming.
And so every Easter we celebrate the great triple truth of this holy day.
The tomb is empty.

Jesus is alive.

We are not alone.
He is risen! He is risen indeed! Amen.
Where is Jesus When We Need Him?)


Seeing the Unseen - So much of what we pray for has to do with what we see with our eyes. We petition God about car problems, a leaky roof, faulty plumbing, or the need for a new church facility—and that’s all right. We should pray about those things. But when Paul talked to God about the believers in Ephesus, he didn’t mention their physical needs. Instead, he asked that they would be able to see and understand God’s truth more clearly (Eph 1:18). He was asking the Lord to give the Ephesians spiritual wisdom and discernment in three areas: the hope to which they had been called, the riches of their spiritual inheritance, and the resurrection power that was theirs (Eph 1:18-20). These unseen elements are significant because the better we can see with the eye of faith into the invisible, spiritual realm of God, the better we will see the visible world for what it really is. Understanding our hope of eternal life and realizing the wealth of our riches in Jesus Christ will enable us to maintain a proper perspective of this visible world. It will also keep us from being too focused on all the stuff it has to offer.

O Lord, show us those invisible things we need to see and know, which are so much more important than the things we can see. Amen.

Lord, help us see what cannot be seen
With only the naked eye;
So let us look with eyes of the heart
To riches beyond the sky.
—Fitzhugh

You won't be blind to your spiritual riches if you keep your eyes on Jesus.


Luke 24:31 Eyes Opened - C H Spurgeon

‘And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.’ Genesis 21:19
‘And their eyes were opened, and they knew him.’ Luke 24:31

Through the fall the spiritual taste of man became perverted, so that he puts bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter; he chooses the poison of hell and loathes the bread of heaven; he licks the dust of the serpent and rejects the food of angels. The spiritual hearing became grievously injured, for man naturally no longer hears God’s word, but stops his ears at the Maker’s voice. Let the gospel minister charm never so wisely, yet is the unconverted soul like the deaf adder which hears not the charmer’s voice. The spiritual feeling by virtue of our depravity is fearfully deadened. Whether the thunders of Sinai or the turtle notes of Calvary claim his attention, man is resolutely deaf to both. Even the spiritual smell with which man should discern between that which is pure and holy and that which is unsavoury to the Most High has become defiled, and now man’s spiritual nostril while unrenewed derives no enjoyment from the sweet savour which is in Christ Jesus, but seeks after the putrid joys of sin. As with other senses so is it with man’s sight. He is so spiritually blind that things most plain and clear he cannot and will not see. The understanding, which is the soul’s eye, is covered with scales of ignorance, and when these are removed by the finger of instruction, the visual orb is still so affected that it sees men as trees walking. Our condition is thus most terrible, but at the same time it affords ample room for a display of the splendours of divine grace. Dear friends, we are naturally so entirely ruined, that if saved the whole work must be of God, and the whole glory must crown the head of the Triune Jehovah. (365 Days with Spurgeon - Volume 2)


I Know Him

April 13, 1998

Their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. —Luke 24:31

Two disciples were walking sadly on the way to their home in the little village of Emmaus. It was 3 days after Jesus had been crucified. They were disappointed and discouraged, for they thought their Lord was dead.

Suddenly a stranger appeared and asked them why they were sad. They told Him about the death of the one they had thought was the Messiah. When they arrived home, they asked the stranger to come in. At the meal, when He took bread in His hands, the two men recognized who had been talking with them—it was Jesus their Lord! “Their eyes were opened and they knew Him” (Lk. 24:31).

What was it these disciples saw to identify Him? It could have been that their eyes were opened when they saw Him break the bread with His nail-pierced hands.

A young girl, whose Sunday school teacher had died, dreamed she was in heaven and was being introduced by her teacher. In the morning, she told her mother, “Teacher introduced me to Abraham, Paul, David, and a lot of others.” “Didn’t she introduce you to Jesus?” asked her mother. “Oh, no,” was the reply. “I knew Him the moment I saw Him. I didn’t need an introduction. He carried His identification—the nail-prints in His hands.”

I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
As redeemed by His side I shall stand;
I shall know Him, I shall know Him
By the print of the nails in His hand. —Crosby

If we know Jesus in this life, we will know Him in the life to come.

By M.R. DeHaan


Loss and Gain

Read: Luke 24:13-35 | Their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. —Luke 24:31

A Texas high school football team began the 2002 season with a 57-game winning streak and hopes for an unprecedented fifth consecutive state championship. In spite of losing their longtime coach and competing against larger schools, the Celina Bobcats remained undefeated through the regular season. But then they lost a quarterfinal playoff game by one point. It felt like the end of the world—even though they had won 68 straight games and 5 state championships in 7 years.

When our dreams are shattered and our hearts are broken, we may feel that all has been lost and nothing has been gained. It takes the touch of God to open our eyes to the greater glory of His plan.

When the crucified and risen Christ joined two disciples on the road to Emmaus, they were grieving over His death. “We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21), they told Jesus, whom they didn’t recognize. But Jesus said, “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26). Later they realized they had been talking with Jesus. He was alive!

In our time of loss, the risen Lord comes to us with comfort and peace, revealing His glory and the eternal gain that is ours because of His cross.

When circumstances overwhelm
And seem too much to bear,
Depend upon the Lord for strength
And trust His tender care. —Sper

Present pains can lead to permanent gains.

By David McCasland 


Surprised!

Read: Luke 24:13-35 | Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him. Luke 24:31

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610), an Italian artist, was known for his fiery temperament and unconventional technique. He used ordinary working people as models for his saints and was able to make viewers of his paintings feel they were a part of the scene. The Supper at Emmaus shows an innkeeper standing while Jesus and two of His followers are seated at a table when they recognize Him as the risen Lord (Luke 24:31). One disciple is pushing himself to a standing position while the other’s arms are outstretched and his hands open in astonishment.

Luke, who records these events in his gospel, tells us that the two men immediately returned to Jerusalem where they found the eleven disciples and others assembled together and saying, “ ‘It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread” (vv. 33-35).

Oswald Chambers said, “Jesus rarely comes where we expect Him; He appears where we least expect Him, and always in the most illogical connections. The only way a worker can keep true to God is by being ready for the Lord’s surprise visits.”

Whatever road we are on today, may we be ready for Jesus to make Himself known to us in new and surprising ways.

Lord Jesus, open our eyes to see You, the risen Christ, alongside us and at work in the circumstances of our lives today.

To find the Lord Jesus Christ we must be willing to seek Him.

INSIGHT: Jesus’s actions in today’s reading opened eyes to the truth of who He is. The road-to-Emmaus encounter in Luke 24 points back to the Last Supper and forward to the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:24–26. “ ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. . . . This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

By David McCasland

Luke 24:32  They said to one another, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining (opening) the Scriptures to us?"

BURNING HEARTS

Spurgeon - Oh, blessed heart-burn! These were the two disciples who had recognized their Lord in the breaking of bread, though they did not know him during their walk with him to Emmaus. When God's Word is opened, may our hearts be opened.

J C Ryle on hearts burning - It is a strong expression to indicate the warmth and delight of their feelings while they listened to our Lord’s exposition of Scripture. See Jer 20:9.

Robertson on speaking - This common verb [laleō] is onomatopoetic, to utter a sound, λα-λα [la-la] and was used of birds, children chattering, and then for conversation, for preaching, for any public speech.

Explaining (opening - cp similar use in Acts 17:2-note) is the same word used for opening their eyes (dianoigo) in the previous passage . Jesus opened the the Scriptures to them and opened the eyes of their heart to see Him. We too need the Spirit of Jesus today to open the Scriptures to us lest we fall into the trap of reading them mechanically (making sure we get through our "Thru the Bible in a Year" reading for the day!)

Vincent - The A. V., as usual, pays no attention to the graphic imperfects here. They are speaking of something which was in progress: “was not our heart burning (finite verb and participle) while he was speaking, and was opening the scriptures?”

Related Resource - Illumination of the Bible

Wondrous Child divine! 
Warm this heart of mine;
keep it burning,
for thee yearning,
wondrous Child divine! 


Henry Blackaby - Jesus joins those who are earnestly seeking Him. Two men walked along the road to Emmaus discussing the confusing events that had just occurred in Jerusalem. They thought they had understood the happenings of their day, but the death of Jesus had left them disoriented to God and His activity in their world. They had hoped that Jesus was the Messiah, but His death had left them perplexed and discouraged. They needed answers.

God reads the heart and knows the honest pursuit of His will by His children. Jesus drew near to these men, walked with them, and opened their minds to what the Scriptures said about Him and about the events of their day. As Jesus was speaking, their hearts burned within them! As they listened to Jesus relate the Scriptures to what they were experiencing, they knew in their hearts that they were hearing God's truth. Their doubts vanished, excitement overcame them, and they raced back to share the truth with their friends!

If you become bewildered by circumstances in your life, Jesus can reorient you to Himself through the Scriptures just as He did for these two men. From your human perspective, the situation may be confusing and discouraging. It takes the presence of Christ to open your eyes to the truth of the Scriptures. Have your circumstances confused you? You need Jesus to give you His perspective. Once you've heard from Him, you'll be like these two men, excited to join God in what He is doing around you and eager to include others in the experience. (Experiencing God Day by Day)


Vance Havner - Holy Heartburn  "Did not our heart burn within us!" Luke 24:32
These Emmaus disciples were half-believing, "We trusted that it had been he...", and half-doubting, "Today is the third day." So of course they were sad. And Jesus walked with them but their eyes were blind. Is he a veiled Christ to you? "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me?" (John 14:9).
They were "slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken" (Luke 24:25). Better slow of head to understand than slow of heart to believe! To know the Bible by memory is not to know it "by heart." To know it "by heart" is to hide "thy Word," the great possession, "in my heart," the great place, "that I might not sin against thee," the great purpose.
On this Emmaus journey our Lord is the great Opener. He opened the Scriptures, he opened their eyes, he opened their understanding. But he began with the Scriptures which produced holy heartburn. The church needs nothing else so much as a holy heartburn that all the dopes of the devil and the sedatives of sin cannot deaden.
When their eyes were opened they went back those seven miles to Jerusalem and I do not believe they were weary for they had seen the Lord. Now they had a testimony and as they gave it, he appeared again, as he always does when men truly testify as to "what things were done in the way."
Are your eyes closed? Let him open to you the Scriptures that your heart may burn, and open your eyes that you may see!


Oswald Chambers - The burning heart

Did not our heart burn within us? Luke 24:32.

We need to learn this secret of the burning heart. Suddenly Jesus appears to us, the fires are kindled, we have wonderful visions; then we have to learn to keep the secret of the burning heart that will go through anything. It is the dull, bald, dreary, commonplace day, with commonplace duties and people, that kills the burning heart unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus.
Much of our distress as Christians comes not because of sin, but because we are ignorant of the laws of our own nature. For instance, the only test as to whether we ought to allow an emotion to have its way is to see what the outcome of the emotion will be. Push it to its logical conclusion, and if the outcome is something God would condemn, allow it no more way. But if it is an emotion kindled by the Spirit of God and you do not let that emotion have its right issue in your life, it will react on a lower level. That is the way sentimentalists are made. The higher the emotion is, the deeper the degradation will be if it is not worked out on its proper level. If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many things inevitable as possible, let the consequences be what they will. We cannot stay on the mount of transfiguration, but we must obey the light we received there; we must act it out. When God gives a vision, transact business on that line, no matter what it costs.

‘We cannot kindle when we will
The fire which in the heart resides,
The spirit bloweth and is still,
In mystery our soul abides;
But tasks in hours or insight will’d
Can be through hours of gloom fulfill’d.’
 


A Fire To Be Kindled

Read: Luke 24:13-32 | Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us? —Luke 24:32

In Acts 17, Paul went to Mars Hill to declare the truth of the resurrection. Many listeners gathered there were not spiritual seekers. Luke, who wrote the book of Acts, records that they spent their days simply wanting to discuss the latest new ideas, with little interest in acting on what they learned (v.21).

Too much information can be dangerous. All the ideas can blur together and become incoherent, leaving us unchanged by what we know.

Centuries ago, the historian Plutarch warned of the danger of living on a purely informational level. He wisely said, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

The Christ-followers on the road to Emmaus would have agreed (Luke 24). As they grieved the death of Jesus, the risen Christ Himself joined them but hid His identity. He began instructing them on the ancient prophecies of those events found throughout the Old Testament. Later that day, Christ revealed Himself to them and then departed.

After Jesus’ departure, they marveled at what they had heard. The things He taught were not sterile facts but a fire that kindled their hearts with devotion for Him. May we likewise trust the Shepherd of our souls to kindle our hearts as we grow in His Word.

As we walk along the road of life,
We can sense that Jesus is there too;
As we read His Word and hear His voice
We will find He kindles fire anew. —Hess

You cannot start a fire in another’s heart till it is burning in your own.

By Bill Crowder


HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:32

Luke 24:33  And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them,

IT WAS LATE BUT
THE NEWS WAS GREAT!

Hendriksen on they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem - So filled are these two men with joy that they must needs tell others. Have they already walked seven miles? Then seven more miles. Was it dark and dangerous? All of that means nothing now. This news is so electrifying and reassuring that the other disciples must know about it. Not tomorrow but tonight.

That very hour (at the hour itself) - a favorite idiom only used by Luke - Lk. 12:12; 20:19; 24:33; Acts 16:33

Returned (5290) hupostrepho

Map of Jerusalem

The eleven - Minus Judas the traitor. MacArthur adds "The eleven is a technical term for the apostles, just as “the twelve” had been before the defection and death of Judas Iscariot (Matt. 26:14; Mark 3:16; 4:10; 6:7; 9:35; 10:32; 11:11; 14:17, 20; Luke 8:1; 9:1, 12; 18:31; John 6:67, 70, 71; 20:24) and would again be after Matthias was added (Acts 6:2; 1 Cor. 15:5)"

MacArthur has an interesting thought on gathered together  noting that the verb is in the passive voice (action from outside source) "perhaps indicating that those present had been gathered by the prompting of the Holy Spirit to witness the appearance of Jesus that would take place that night."

Spurgeon - They could not stop away from their fellow-disciples; they must tell such glorious tidings as they had, so “they rose up the same hour,” This shows their zeal and also their courage; this news was too good to be kept to themselves, and although it was nearly night, and they had a good distance to go, in a country that was far from safe for travelers, they “returned to Jerusalem,”

Spurgeon - It was getting late; but it is never too late to tell of Christ’s appearing, and never too early. Such a secret ought not to be kept an hour, and therefore “they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem.”

MacArthur - The evidence was mounting that Jesus was alive and had risen from the dead. Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-17), the other women (Matt. 28:8-10), and Cleopas and the unnamed disciple (Luke 24:13-32) had all seen Him, and Luke’s narrative is about to refer to one more appearance and describe yet another. (Lk 24:34)


Spurgeon - Morning and Evening - Luke 24:33,35

When the two disciples had reached Emmaus, and were refreshing themselves at the evening meal, the mysterious stranger who had so enchanted them upon the road, took bread and brake it, made himself known to them, and then vanished out of their sight. They had constrained him to abide with them, because the day was far spent; but now, although it was much later, their love was a lamp to their feet, yea, wings also; they forgot the darkness, their weariness was all gone, and forthwith they journeyed back the threescore furlongs to tell the gladsome news of a risen Lord, who had appeared to them by the way. They reached the Christians in Jerusalem, and were received by a burst of joyful news before they could tell their own tale. These early Christians were all on fire to speak of Christ's resurrection, and to proclaim what they knew of the Lord; they made common property of their experiences. This evening let their example impress us deeply. We too must bear our witness concerning Jesus. John's account of the sepulchre needed to be supplemented by Peter; and Mary could speak of something further still; combined, we have a full testimony from which nothing can be spared. We have each of us peculiar gifts and special manifestations; but the one object God has in view is the perfecting of the whole body of Christ. We must, therefore, bring our spiritual possessions and lay them at the apostle's feet, and make distribution unto all of what God has given to us. Keep back no part of the precious truth, but speak what you know, and testify what you have seen. Let not the toil or darkness, or possible unbelief of your friends, weigh one moment in the scale. Up, and be marching to the place of duty, and there tell what great things God has shown to your soul. 

Luke 24:34  saying, "The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon."

Lord (2962kurios

Risen (1453egeiro

McGee on appeared to Simon - The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Simon Peter privately because there was something that needed to be straightened out. Remember that Peter had denied Him. The restoration to fellowship was a personal and private transaction between Peter and his Lord. (Ibid)

Robertson on appeared to Simon - This is the crucial evidence that turned the scales with the disciples and explains “indeed.” Paul also mentions it (1 Cor. 15:5-note).

NET Note on appeared to Simon - Jesus had made another appearance besides the one on the road. The excitement was rising. Simon refers to Simon Peter.

Spurgeon - Did they go to their beds? The day was far spent; late traveling was dangerous in Israel. Ah! dangerous or not, they are so overwhelmed with joy that they must go and communicate what they had seen.

Wiersbe on the two men on the road to Emmaus - The best evidence that we have understood the Bible and met the living Christ is that we have something exciting to share with others. The two men immediately left Emmaus and returned to Jerusalem to tell the believers that they had met Jesus. But when they arrived, the apostles and the others told them that Jesus was alive and had appeared to Peter! What a difference it would make in our church services if everybody who gathered came to tell about meeting the living Christ! If our services are “dead” it is probably because we are not really walking with and listening to the living Saviour. (Bible Exposition Commentary)

J C Ryle -   It may be well to mention here the eleven distinct appearances of our Lord after His resurrection. He appeared,
  1. To Mary Magdalene alone. Mark 16; John 20:14.
  2. To the women returning from the sepulchre. Mat. 28:9, 10.
  3. To Simon Peter alone. Luke 24:34.
  4. To the two disciples going to Emmaus, Luke 24:13, &c.
  5. To the apostles at Jerusalem, excepting Thomas who was absent. John 20:19.
  6. To the apostles at Jerusalem, a second time, when Thomas was present. John 20:26, 29.
  7. At the sea of Tiberias, when seven disciples were fishing. John 21:1.
  8. To the eleven disciples, on a mountain in Galilee. Matt. 28:16.
  9. To above five hundred brethren at once. 1 Cor. 15:6.
  10. To James only. 1 Cor. 15:7.
  11. To all the apostles on mount Olivet at His ascension. Luke 24:51.
  Three times we are told that His disciples touched Him after He rose. Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:39; John 20:27. Twice we are told that He ate with them. Luke 24:42; John 21:12, 13.


Knee-Deep In Daffodils

The Lord is risen indeed! —Luke 24:34

When the first flowers of spring bloomed in our yard, my 5-year-old son waded into a patch of daffodils. He noticed some debris from plants that had expired months before and remarked, “Mom, when I see something dead, it reminds me of Easter because Jesus died on the cross.” I replied, “When I see something alive—like the daffodils—it reminds me that Jesus came back to life!”

One reason we know Jesus rose from the grave is that, according to the gospel of Luke, He approached two travelers headed to Emmaus 3 days after His crucifixion. Jesus walked with them; He ate dinner with them; He even gave them a lesson in Old Testament prophecy (24:15-27). This encounter showed the travelers that Jesus conquered the grave—He had risen from the dead. As a result, the pair returned to Jerusalem and told the disciples, “The Lord is risen indeed!” (v.34).

If Jesus had not come back to life, our faith as Christians would be pointless, and we would still be under the penalty of our sin (1 Cor. 15:17). However, the Bible tells us that Jesus “was raised to life for our justification” (Rom. 4:25 niv). Today, we can be right with God because Jesus is alive!

The empty cross and the empty tomb provide a full salvation.

By Jennifer Benson Schuldt


The Lord Is Risen Indeed!

Read: Luke 24:13-27 | The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon. —Luke 24:34

“Surprise! Jesus is alive!” The two travelers from Emmaus, who had just entertained the risen Savior in their home, were greeted by the disciples with the news that the Lord was no longer in the tomb (Lk. 24:29-34).

How strange that the news of Jesus’ resurrection should be a surprise. He had told them repeatedly that He would rise after 3 days (Mt. 26:61; Mk. 8:31; Jn. 2:19). Yet when Jesus was crucified, His disciples were filled with gloom and despair, though they should have been joyously and expectantly waiting for Him to rise.

Resurrection day is a day of joy and victory! But on that first resurrection day there was gloom and sadness before the disciples realized Jesus was alive. Mark’s Gospel tells us that they “mourned and wept” (Mk. 16:10), but they should have been rejoicing.

It is the resurrection that gives meaning to the cross. The death of Christ alone is bad news, but followed by His rising from the dead it is good news. Why? Jesus took our sins to Calvary. Had He atoned for all but one, He would still be in the tomb. His resurrection is the assurance that the work is finished. God was satisfied, and He demonstrated it by raising Jesus from the grave (Acts 13:32-33).

Hallelujah! The Lord is risen indeed!

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! —Wesley

Live as if Christ died yesterday, arose this morning, and is coming back tomorrow!

By M.R. DeHaan


F Whitfield - Before the Lord can use us in His service we must have close individual dealings with Him. He always will have to do in secret with that soul that He intends to use in blessing others.
Do you want to speak for Jesus to those around you? Then you must go to Jesus Himself for your message. What you say for Jesus must be got from Jesus.
Oh, how much breath falls powerless on every side because it has not been inhaled in the sanctuary! We want more secret dealing with the living God. We run without being sent: we speak before God has spoken to us: no wonder we so often fail. Oh, what secret prayer and what heart-searching discipline the heart needs before God can use it! (Moody - Thoughts for the Quiet Hour)


Christ’s Resurrection. Luke 24. 34; Ps. 16. 10; Acts 13. 34
    1        Christians, dismiss your fear;
            Let hope and joy succeed;
        The great good news with gladness hear,
            The Lord is risen indeed.

    2        The shades of death withdrawn,
            His eyes their beams display;
        So wakes the sun, when rosy dawn
            Unbars the gates of day.

    3        The promise is fulfilled;
            Salvation’s work is done;
        Justice with mercy’s reconciled,
            And God has raised his Son.

    4        He quits the dark abode,
            From all corruption free;
        The holy, harmless Child of God
            Could no corruption see.

    5        [Angels, with saints above,
            The rising Victor sing;
        And all the blissful seats of love
            With loud hosannas ring.

    6        Ye pilgrims, too, below,
            Your hearts and voices raise;
        Let every breast with gladness glow,
            And every mouth sing praise.]

    7        My soul, thy Saviour laud,
            Who all thy sorrows bore;
        Who died for sin, but lives to God,
            And lives to die no more.

    8        His death procured thy peace,
            His resurrection’s thine;
        Believe; receive the full release;
            ’Tis signed with blood divine.


​​​​​​​HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:34

Luke 24:35  They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.

Amplified Then they [themselves] related [in full] what had happened on the road, and how He was known and recognized by them in the breaking of bread. 

CSB Then they began to describe what had happened on the road and how He was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

NLT Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread.

YLT and they were telling the things in the way, and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread,

TWO SETS OF WITNESSES
CORROBORATE WOMEN'S REPORTS

Relate (declare, make known, exegete) (1834)(exegeomai from ek = out or as an intensifier + hegeomai = tell, lead means literally to lead out, then to unfold, declare by making plain, or tell the meaning of something, especially to tell it fully. To make known or thoroughly explain. Figuratively the idea is to "bring out" the meaning. To "draw out" in narrative form and so to relate (Luke 24:35; Acts 10:8; 15:12, 14; 21:19). In English relate means to give an account of.

Robertson on began to relate (rehearsed) - Imperfect middle indicative (Ed: Over and over they were speaking) of [exēgeomai], verb to lead out, to rehearse. Our word exegesis comes from this verb. Their story was now confirmatory, not revolutionary. The women were right then after all.

The breaking of the bread - This does not refer to the Lord's Supper but to a regular meal (well, not so "regular" when your dinner guest is Jesus!). 

Robertson on how He was recognized - They did not recognize Jesus in his exegesis, but did in the breaking of bread. One is reminded of that saying in the Logia of Jesus: “Raise the stone and there thou shalt find me, cleave the wood and there am I.”

Wiersbe - Jesus revealed Himself to them during a common meal, and that is often how He works. We must learn to see Him in the everyday things of life. However, as we do celebrate the Lord’s Supper from time to time, we want Jesus to reveal Himself to us in a new way, and we must not be satisfied with anything less.

    Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide;
    The darkness deepens: Lord, with me abide!
    When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
    Help of the helpless, O abide with me!

    Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
    Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away:
    Change and decay in all around I see;
    O thou, who changest not, abide with me!

    I need thy presence every passing hour.
    What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
    Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
    Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me!

Luke 24:36  While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be to you."

Amplified  Now while they were talking about this, Jesus Himself took His stand among them and said to them, Peace (freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin) be to you! 

CSB   And as they were saying these things, He Himself stood among them. He said to them, "Peace to you!"

ESV  As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, "Peace to you!"

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

NET  While they were saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."

NIV  While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."

NLT   And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. "Peace be with you," he said.

YLT  and as they are speaking these things, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith to them, 'Peace -- to you;'

JESUS STEPPED AND STOOD
THROUGH A CLOSED DOOR

Mark 16:14   Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen.

John 20:19-25 So when 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 came and stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 

Spurgeon - That is usually his way; while we are talking about manifestations of Christ in the past, he often comes again among us, and gives us a new revelation of himself.

Spurgeon - You see that, while they were talking about Christ, he came, and stood in their midst. Speak of your Master, and he will appear. Oh, happy people! who have but to talk of Jesus, and lo! he comes to them.

Peace (1515)(eirene from verb eiro = to join or bind together that which has been separated) literally pictures the binding or joining together again of that which had been separated or divided and thus setting at one again, a meaning convey by the common expression of one “having it all together”. It follows that peace is the opposite of division or dissension. Peace as a state of concord and harmony is the opposite of war. Peace was used as a greeting or farewell corresponding to the Hebrew word Shalom - "peace to you".

MacArthur - Because of His sacrifice on the cross, men and women could now have peace with God (Rom. 5:1) and enjoy the peace of God (Phil. 4:6–7).

Peace in Luke's writings -  Lk. 1:79; 2:14, 29; 7:50; 8:48; 10:5f; 11:21; 12:51; 14:32; 19:38, 42; 24:36; Acts 7:26; 9:31; 10:36; 12:20; 15:33; 16:36; 24:2; 


Luke 24:36-44 First Appearance of the Risen Lord to the Eleven - C H Spurgeon 

They are as slow of heart and as fearful as ever. If they are convinced that Jesus has risen from the dead, it must be so. If they go forth to tell the tidings of his resurrection and to yield up their lives for it, you may be sure that their witness is true, for they are not the sort of men to be deceived. In our day there has been a buzz about certain miracles of faith, but the statements usually come from those whose impartiality is questionable, credulous persons who saw what they evidently wished to see. I know several good people who would not wilfully deceive, who nevertheless upon some points are exceedingly unreliable, because their enthusiasm is prepared to be imposed upon. Any hawker of wonders would expect them to be buyers; they have a taste for the marvellous. As witnesses, the evidence of such people has no value in it as compared with that of these eleven men, who evidently were the reverse of credulous or excitable. In the apostles’ case the facts were tested to the utmost and the truth was not admitted till it was forced upon them. I am not excusing the unbelief of the disciples, but I claim that their witness has all the more weight in it, because it was the result of such cool investigation. These apostles were in special manner to be witnesses of the resurrection and it makes assurance doubly sure to us when we see them arrive at their conclusion with such deliberate steps. These were men like ourselves, only perhaps a little less likely to be deceived: they needed to be convinced by overwhelming witness: ever afterwards they declared boldly that their crucified Lord had indeed risen from the dead.


He Is Here

Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, "Peace to you." —Luke 24:36

Surprise! Surprise! The eleven apostles had gathered together on the day of Jesus’ resurrection. They were discussing the strange happenings of the past few days, and had just listened to a report from two men who said they had seen Jesus. Suddenly He was there! Then the Savior said, “Peace to you” (Luke 24:36).

I wonder if we realize when we meet together—at church, in our home, in our prayer meetings, in our gatherings with friends—that Jesus is also there. He said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Do we really believe He is with us and listens to every word we say, and that He sees all we do?

Some scholars were discussing the great authors of the past. One asked, “What if Milton should suddenly enter the room?” “Ah!” replied another. “We would honor him and compensate him for the little recognition he received in his day.” A third man commented, “What if Shakespeare entered? Would we not all stand and proclaim him King of the Poets?” Then someone ventured, “And if Jesus Christ should enter?” There was a long silence, until finally one said: “But gentlemen, He is here!”

Yes, remember that Jesus is here! He sees, He hears, and He knows!

Although we cannot see our Lord,
We know that He is here;
His promise is dependable:
He always will be near. —Hess

Our greatest privilege is to enjoy Christ's presence.

By Mart DeHaan


David Reed - Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse

Luke 24:36–39 While they were speaking of these things he himself stood in their midst.… But because they were terrified, and had become frightened, they were imagining they beheld a spirit. So he said to them: “Why are you troubled, and why is it doubts come up in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; feel me and see, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you behold that I have.” (NWT)

In contrast to the above words in their own Bible, Jehovah’s Witness leaders teach that the resurrected Christ is a spirit and that: “The human body of flesh, which Jesus Christ laid down forever as a ransom sacrifice, was disposed of by God’s power, but not by fire on the altar of the temple in Jerusalem. The flesh of a sacrifice is always disposed of and put out of existence, so not corrupting” (Watchtower book Things in Which It Is Impossible for God to Lie, 1965, p. 354). They also say: “Following his resurrection, Jesus did not always appear in the same body of flesh [perhaps to reinforce in their minds the fact that he was then a spirit]” (Watchtower book Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, p. 335).

Obviously, the Jehovah’s Witness organization would have us believe the opposite of what Scripture teaches on this point. They insist that Christ’s body was not resurrected but disposed of, and that he became a spirit. If that were true, then his statements at Luke 24:36–39 would have been lies; and his showing the disciples the nail scars in his hands and feet, and inviting them to feel his flesh and bones, would have been a clever trick to deceive them.

Besides discussing the above, you might also ask Jehovah’s Witnesses to read the verses where Jesus had originally foretold what would happen to his body: “In answer Jesus said to them: ‘Break down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ Therefore the Jews said: ‘This temple was built in forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he was talking about the temple of his body” (John 2:19–21, NWT).

The Witnesses have a choice to make—to believe what Jesus said about his bodily resurrection, or to believe what the Watchtower says.


HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:36

Luke 24:37  But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit.

CSB   But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost.

ESV   But they were astartled and bfrightened and cthought they saw a spirit.

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

NET  But they were startled and terrified, thinking99 they saw a ghost.

NIV  They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.

NLT   But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!

YLT   and being amazed, and becoming affrighted, they were thinking themselves to see a spirit.

DISCIPLE'S REACTION 
NOT RELIEF BUT FRIGHT!

Jesus has just said "Peace be to you," even repeating the blessing of John 20:19-20, but this did not deflect their frightened reaction. 

MacArthur - Since no human being could suddenly materialize out of nowhere into a locked room, they panicked and thought they were seeing a ghost (cf. Acts 12:9).

Frightened (1719)(emphobos from en = in + phobos = fear) literally means "in fear" and then alarmed, startled, terrified, thrown into fear, very afraid.

Startled (4422) (ptoéō) means to terrify, frighten, scare. In the pass., to be terrified. Only passive in the NT = be startled, alarmed = 2 uses = Luke 21:9; 24:37. 

Ptoeo - 31x in the Septuagint - Exod. 19:16; Deut. 31:6; Jos. 7:5; 1 Chr. 22:13; 28:20; 2 Chr. 20:15, 17; 32:7; Job 11:16; 23:15; 32:15; Prov. 13:3; Isa. 31:4; Jer. 1:17; 4:25; 8:9; 17:18; 21:13; 23:4; 46:5, 27; 49:37; 51:56; Ezek. 2:5, 7; 3:9; Amos 3:6; Obad. 1:9; Hab. 2:17; 3:7, 16;

Emphobos is used only 5x in the NT (no uses in Lxx). The women at Jesus' tomb "were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground" when they saw two men suddenly stand near them in dazzling apparel. (Lk 24:4,5). When the Gentile Cornelius saw in a vision an angel of God, he fixed his gaze on him and became "much alarmed." (Acts 10:4)  Felix "became frightened" as Paul spoke to him  of "righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come." (Acts 24:25). His reaction was not misplaced and one wanders if this man ever bowed the knee to Jesus and was saved? In the Revelation (probably at the middle of the seven years of Daniel's seventieth week) there was a great earthquake in Jerusalem killing 7000 and leaving the "rest terrified." (Rev 11:13).

Thought that they were seeing a spirit -  NET = "thinking they saw a ghost"! 

Thought (Supposed) in the Imperfect active = they kept on thinking so.

Wiersbe - It all happened so suddenly that they were totally unprepared, even though several of them had already seen the risen Christ. Mark 16:14 suggests that the condition of their hearts had something to do with the expression of their fears.

Leon Morris - It is not surprising that the disciples were startled. After all, to have the risen Lord suddenly appear in their midst must have been something of a shock. That they were frightened is not quite so explicable. They had just been telling the two from Emmaus that ‘The Lord has risen indeed’. But it is one thing to accept such a statement on the word of someone else about an absent Person and quite another to accept it for oneself when the Person is suddenly present despite locked doors. Small wonder that they supposed that they saw a spirit, i.e. a ghost! Their fear was the natural reaction to the supernatural.

Luke 24:38  And He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?

Amplified And He said to them, Why are you disturbed and troubled, and why do such doubts and questionings arise in your hearts? 

NET Then he said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?

NIV He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?

NLT "Why are you frightened?" he asked. "Why are your hearts filled with doubt?

Morris comments that "Jesus proceeded to calm and reassure his followers. First he asked the reason for their being troubled and for their questionings. He takes their doubts out into the open and deals with them."

Troubled (disturbed, stirrred up) (5015)(tarasso literally means to shake back and forth and therefore to agitate and stir up (like the pool in John 5:4,7, Lxx = Ezek 32:2, 13, Isa 51:15). To shake together, stir up, disturb, unsettle, throw into disorder (Lxx = Ps 46; 2Sa 22:8 = of earth shaking). Most of the NT uses of tarasso are figurative and describe the state of one's mind as stirred up, agitated or experiencing inward commotion. The passive voice is always used in the NT with a negative meaning, conveying the sense of emotional disturbance or inner turmoil, so that one is unsettled, thrown into confusion, or disturbed by various emotions, including excitement, perplexity, fear or trepidation. Tarasso refers to an unsettled mind, as when Herod heard of the birth of Jesus (Mt 2:3), Zacharias' fear when he saw the angel (Lk 1:12), the terror of the disciples when they witnessed Jesus walking on the water (Mt 14:26), Jesus' reaction to the lack of faith among the people before He raises Lazarus (Jn 11:33), in Jesus' command to not let their hearts be troubled (Jn 14:1) and of disturbing the faith of someone (Gal 5:10). Tarasso emphasizes the intensity of the Lord's reaction to His impending death (Jn 12:27) and His response to Judas' imminent betrayal. Tarasso also describes the potential effect of false teaching in Galatians 1:7 and Gal 5:10.

Perfect tense - they are in a state of agitation.

NET Note on why do doubts arise - Jesus calls the disciples to faith with a gentle rebuke about doubts and a gracious invitation to see for themselves the evidence of his resurrection.

Doubts (1261)(dialogismos from diá = through or as a preposition to intensify meaning of + logizomai = reckon, take an inventory, conclude; source of our English dialogue) means literally reasoning through and conveys the basic meaning of inner reasoning. In this context Luke describes the inner reasoning that gives rise to uncertainty or doubt 

Vincent on dialogismos - As if he had said, “Why do you reason about a matter which your spiritual perception ought to discern at once.”

Heart (2588kardia


Spurgeon - Morning and Evening - Luke 24:38

"Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest O Israel, my way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?" The Lord cares for all things, and the meanest creatures share in his universal providence, but his particular providence is over his saints. "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him." "Precious shall their blood be in his sight." "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose." Let the fact that, while he is the Saviour of all men, he is specially the Saviour of them that believe, cheer and comfort you. You are his peculiar care; his regal treasure which he guards as the apple of his eye; his vineyard over which he watches day and night. "The very hairs of your head are all numbered." Let the thought of his special love to you be a spiritual pain-killer, a dear quietus to your woe: "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." God says that as much to you as to any saint of old. "Fear not, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." We lose much consolation by the habit of reading his promises for the whole church, instead of taking them directly home to ourselves. Believer, grasp the divine word with a personal, appropriating faith. Think that you hear Jesus say, "I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not. " Think you see him walking on the waters of thy trouble, for he is there, and he is saying, "Fear not, it is I; be not afraid. " Oh, those sweet words of Christ! May the Holy Ghost make you feel them as spoken to you; forget others for awhile-accept the voice of Jesus as addressed to you, and say, "Jesus whispers consolation; I cannot refuse it; I will sit under his shadow with great delight. " 


In The Face Of Fear - Luke 24:38

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” —Matthew 14:27

I’ll never forget my childhood fear that the clothes thrown on my chair would turn into a shadowy dragon-like figure after my bedroom lights were turned off. My early experience of fear-driven insomnia reminds me that when trouble arrives on the doorstep of life, fear is not our friend. It disables us from moving forward and causes us to shrink from doing what is right—unless we have our eyes fixed on Jesus.

When the disciples faced the raging seas that were threatening to sweep them overboard, Jesus, walking on the water, assured them, “It is I; do not be afraid” (Matt. 14:27). And to His followers who were fearfully locked away in a room after His crucifixion, Jesus appeared and asked, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?” (Luke 24:38). Recognizing the inevitability of trials, He said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The point is clear. Trusting in His presence and power is the antidote to fear.

As the familiar hymn says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace” (Helen Howarth Lemmel. © Renewal 1950, H. H. Lemmel). We can rest peacefully in the knowledge that God is with us.

Lord, in our weak and fearful moments, remind
us that Your love for us guarantees Your
presence with us and Your power against
our fears. Teach us to trust in You.

Trust the presence and power of Jesus in the midst of life’s storms.

By Joe Stowell 


HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:38

Luke 24:39  "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."

Amplified  See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself! Feel and handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have. 

CSB  "Why are you troubled?" He asked them. "And why do doubts arise in your hearts?

ESV   And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?

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

NET   Then he said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?

NIV  He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?

NLT   "Why are you frightened?" he asked. "Why are your hearts filled with doubt?

YLT   And he said to them, 'Why are ye troubled? and wherefore do reasonings come up in your hearts?

REACH OUT 
AND TOUCH JESUS

Henry Morris - It seems the Lord answers modern theologians who interpret the resurrection as spiritual, rather than physical. His spirit never died so could not be resurrected. He also refutes those who argue that the "appearances" to His disciples were "spiritual appearances," or even hallucinations. Even they at first thought He was a spirit, but He then showed them the scars of the spikes that had pierced His hands and feet and even ate part of a fish and a honeycomb before them (Luke 24:37,40,42). They could no longer doubt the reality of His bodily resurrection, nor did they ever doubt it thereafter.

Robertson on Myself ([autos]). Jesus is patient with his proof. They were convinced before he came into the room, but that psychological shock had unnerved them all. 

Morris on the phrase "flesh and bones" - It is significant that Christ did not use the more common phrase, "flesh and blood." His blood had been shed on the cross as the price of our redemption (1 Peter 1:18,19), and now "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 15:50).

Wiersbe - The next thing He did to calm them was to show them His wounded hands and feet (Ps. 22:16) and assure them that He was not a ghost. Songwriters sometimes mention His “scars,” but the record says nothing about “scars.” The “prints” of Calvary were on His glorified body (John 20:24–29), and they are still there (Rev. 5:6, 9, 12). It has well been said that the only work of man now in heaven is the marks of Calvary on the body of the exalted Saviour....With our limited knowledge, we cannot explain how a human body can be solid flesh and bones and still pass through closed doors and appear and disappear, or how it can be glorified and still carry the marks of the cross. We do know that we shall one day be like Him and share His glory (1 John 3:1–2).

Spurgeon -Mark the loving familiarity which thus unveiled his scars, and note the full proofs of his identity which those wounds afforded them. Even now the Lord reveals himself unto his chosen as he doth not unto the world. Oh, for a view of him by faith.

Ryrie - The evidences that Jesus' appearance was not as a spirit's: (1) the scars in His hands and feet, (2) His tangibleness in being handled, and (3) His ability to eat (Lk 24:43; Acts 10:41). 

Touch Me - This would certainly remove their fear that He was a ghost! The Apostle John reports in his first epistle

"What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched (same verb with our hands, concerning the Word of Life." (1John 1:1)

Touch (5584)(pselaphao from psallo = to pull  from psao = to rub + haphao = to handle) means to touch by feeling and handling. The other sense is to "feeling around for" or "grope for" as when looking for something in an uncertain fashion. In Lk 24:39 Jesus uses the aorist imperative a command calling for them to touch and feel and handle Him now. Don't delay. We say "seeing is believing," but the disciples not only saw but touched the physical resurrected body of Jesus. 

Friberg - (1) feel about, grope one's way, like a person who is blind or in the dark; figuratively, of those who seek to know God through natural and moral revelation apart from special revelation try to find, want to know, feel one's way toward (Acts 17:27, cp Lxx uses Dt 28:29, Job 5:14, 12:25, Isa 59:10) (2) feel, touch, handle (Lk 24:39, 1Jn 1:1); passive = be felt or touched in a tangible way (Heb 12:18). (Analytical Greek Lexicon) 

Pselaphao - 14x in the Septuagint - Gen. 27:12; Gen. 27:21; Gen. 27:22; Deut. 28:29; Jda. 16:26; Jdg. 16:26; Ps. 113:15; Ps. 134:17; Job 5:14; Job 12:25; Nah. 3:1; Zech. 3:9; Zech. 9:13; Isa. 59:10. In Ge 27:12 Jacob was afraid Isaac might feel him and discover he was not Esau, so Rebekah and Jacob duped nearly blind Isaac and "put the skins of the young goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck." (Ge 27:16, Ge 27:21,22) In the curses predicted to fall on disobedient Israel Moses said "you will grope at noon, as the blind man gropes (both uses pselaphao) in darkness, and you will not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed continually, with none to save you." (Dt 28:29) Pselaphao is used of blinded Samson being led by a boy to "feel the pillars." (Jdg 16:26) It is used of idols that "have hands, but they cannot feel." (Ps 115:7, cp similar use Ps 135:17)

Vincent on handle - Compare 1 John 1:1. The word occurs also Acts 17:27; Heb. 12:18. “It never expresses the so handling an object as to exercise a moulding, modifying influence upon it, but at most a feeling of its surface; this, it may be, with the intention of learning its composition (Gen. 27:12, 21, 22); while, not seldom, it signifies no more than a feeling for or after an object, without any actual coming in contact with it at all” (Trench, “Synonyms”). Compare Acts 17:27. Used of groping in the dark, Job 5:14; of the blind, Isa. 59:10; Deut. 28:29; Judges, 16:26. See on Heb. 12:18.

Robertson on Flesh and bones -  At least this proves that he is not just a ghost and that Jesus had a real human body against the Docetic Gnostics who denied it. But clearly we are not to understand that our resurrection bodies will have “flesh and bones.” Jesus was in a transition state and had not yet been glorified. The mystery remains unsolved, but it was proof to the disciples of the identity of the Risen Christ with Jesus of Nazareth.

You see (behold, observe) (2334)(theoreo from theaomai = to look at closely or attentively or contemplatively - even with a sense of wonder; cp theoros = a spectator) (Gives us English = theater) usually refers to physical sight but can also refer to perception and understanding.The inherent idea is to behold attentively and thus carefully examine with attention to details. Our English word scrutinize conveys this sense, for it means to examine closely and minutely. Theoreo in some contexts can include the idea of to behold with amazement.

Vincent adds that theoreo "was more than simple seeing. The verb means looking steadfastly, as one who has an interest in the object, and with a view to search into and understand it: to look inquiringly and intently. (Ed Note: And even with a sense of amazement.) 

John writes that "when He (Jesus) was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing." (John 2:24) Unfortunately Jesus did not "believe" in them, for He knew their motives and that they were enthusiastic concerning His spectacular miracles. Jesus makes it clear that enthusiasm is not necessary associated with genuine faith, faith that results in salvation.

Spurgeon - They knew those signs, the marks of his crucifixion. They ought to have been convinced at once that it was even he.


David Reed - Mormons Answered Verse by Verse

Luke 24:39 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.

LDS Apostle LeGrand Richards quotes this verse to refute the idea that Jesus is “without body or form, so large that he fills the universe and so small that he dwells in each heart, as so many believe and as the churches teach” (A Marvelous Work And A Wonder, 1979 edition, pp. 18–19). But is that really what the churches teach? Not the Bible-believing ones.
The bodily resurrection of Christ is one of the basic tenets of orthodox Christianity. No sound Christian church would describe him as “without body or form.” Rather, “in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).
Although he has a body of flesh and bones, the resurrected Christ is able to appear and disappear at will, with walls and locked doors serving as no obstacle to him (Luke 24:31, 36; John 20:19, 26). Although “we shall be like him” in the resurrection, “it doth not yet appear what we shall be” (1 John 3:2). God has not furnished us, in advance, much information about the resurrection body, except that it is “changed” from and superior to what we have now (1 Cor. 15:35–53).
Moreover, when Christians believe “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Eph. 3:17), this does not require that he become so small that his body can fit inside a human heart. Although the Bible speaks of “this mystery … which is Christ in you” (Col. 1:27), it also explains that “God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6). He does not enter bodily into our hearts.
While the Mormon argument presented above in connection with Luke 24:39 might shake someone with a nebulous concept of Christ, it should not prove troubling to Bible-believing Christians.


​​​​​​​HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:39

Luke 24:40  And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.

Amplified And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 

NET NOTE - Some Western MSS (D it) lack Luke 24:40. However, it is present in all other MSS, including î(75), and should thus be regarded as an original part of Luke's Gospel. 

John MacArthur - Christ’s resurrection body was capable of conforming to any realty, physical or spiritual. It was a real, physical body with flesh and bones, which could be seen, speak, be touched, and eat, yet it could also pass through walls. Jesus could one moment be absent and in the next present, at one moment standing on the Mount of Olives conversing with the disciples, and the next ascending into heaven. Resurrected believers will have bodies like His resurrected body (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2; 1 Cor. 15:35-44). (Luke Commentary)


C H Spurgeon -  Luke 24:40 The Wounds of Jesus

There are three things in Christ that death never met with before, all of which are fatal to it. There was in Christ, innocence. Now, as long as man was innocent, he could not die. Adam lived as long as he was innocent. Now, Christ was about to die; but death sucked in innocent blood; he sucked in his own poison and he died. Again, blessedness is that which takes away the sting of death. Now Christ, even when he was dying, was “God over all, blessed for ever.” All that death had ever killed before was under the curse; but this man was never by nature under the curse, because for our sakes he was not born into this world a cursed man. He was the seed of woman it is true, but still not of carnal generation. He did come under the curse when he took upon himself our sins, but not for his own sins. He was in himself blessed. Death sucked in blessed blood; he had never done that before—all others have been under the curse—and that slew death. Yet another thing. Death had never met before with any man who had life in himself. But when death drank Christ’s blood it drank life. For his blood is the life of the soul, and is the seed of life eternal. Wherever it goes, does it not give life to the dead? And death, finding that it had drunk into its own veins life in the form of Jesus’ blood, gave up the ghost; and death itself is dead, for Christ has destroyed it, by the sacrifice of himself; he has put it away; he has said, “Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?”

Luke 24:41  While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?"

Amplified  And while [since] they still could not believe it for sheer joy and marveled, He said to them, Have you anything here to eat? 

TOO GOOD
TO BE TRUE!

Not believe (569apisteo

Robertson on could not believe - a quite understandable attitude. They were slowly reconvinced, but it was after all too good to be true.

NET Note - They still could not believe it. Is this a continued statement of unbelief? Or is it a rhetorical expression of their amazement? They are being moved to faith, so a rhetorical force is more likely here.

John MacArthur - It seemed too good to be real, and they were torn between hope and skepticism, just like those praying for Peter’s release from prison would later be (Acts 12:12-16).

Joy (5479)(chara) is a feeling of great pleasure, of inner gladness, or of delight. Joy is an emotion evoked by a sense of well-being. It is a deep feeling of happiness and contentment. Joy in the NT is virtually always used to signify a feeling of "happiness" that is based on spiritual realities (and independent of what "happens"). Joy is a depth of assurance and confidence that ignites a cheerful heart. It is a cheerful heart that leads to cheerful behavior. 

Amazement (2296)(thaumazo  from thauma [from thaomai = to wonder] = wonder, admiration) means to wonder, marvel, be struck with admiration or astonishment. Thaumazo describes the human response when confronted by divine revelation in some form (Mt 9.33). Luke uses thaumazo to express reaction to miraculous events or to teaching (cf. Lk 1:63; 2:18; 4:22; 7:9; 8:25; 9:43; 11:14; 20:26, 24:41).

Their joy and amazement - This should be our reaction each day as we meet with Him in communion in our Quiet Time in His Word led by His Spirit Who ever seeks to exalt Him. Have you lost that sense of amazement that He is alive and that He desires to meet with you each new morning. This is a meeting that will impact your entire day. Don't miss it!

Jesus had prophesied the disciples would rejoice 

“Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. (John 16:22).

Jacob had the same reaction to the news that Joseph was alive...

They told him, saying, “Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” But he was stunned, for he did not believe them. When they told him all the words of Joseph that he had spoken to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. Then Israel said, “It is enough; my son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.” (Ge 45:26-28)

Spurgeon on still could not believe - Does joy stop faith? Beloved, anything stops faith if we will let it. Faith is a divine miracle. Wherever it exists, God creates it, and God sustains it; but without God, anything can hinder it: “while they yet believed not for joy,”-

Spurgeon - That is a singular combination. At first, they believed not for grief; and now the pendulum swings the other way, and they believe not for joy. There is a kind of unbelief that is begotten of excessive delight. We know something to be true, and yet there comes the recoil, and the doubt, “Surely it is too good to be true; can it really be so?” See how Jesus convinced them that he was not a spirit: “while they yet believed not for joy,” —

NET Note on Do you have anything here to eat? - Eating would remove the idea that a phantom was present. Angelic spirits refused a meal in Jdt 13:16 and Tob 12:19, but accepted it in Gen 18:8; 19:3 and Tob 6:6.

This event is reminiscent of the Lord's visit to Abraham in  Ge 18:1-8 before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. 


ILLUSTRATION - Marty Halyburton’s husband, Porter, was shot down during the Vietnam War, and Navy representatives came to her home to tell her he had died in action. For several days, Marty was too numb to react. Flags flew at half-staff all over town, and a grave-marker was placed in Porter’s memory in the family cemetery. Eighteen months passed, and though Marty tried to adjust to her loss, it was very hard. Then one day, a group of military experts appeared again at her house, this time with dramatic news. Porter was alive, in relatively good condition, being held by the North Vietnamese. Marty’s emotions leaped as if on a roller coaster. But they told her to keep the information to herself for fear of reprisals against the POWs if the news got out. It was impossible to do. How do you hide the sparkle in your eyes, the bounce in your step, the smile on your face? How do you hide the sudden transformation of your personality? How do you talk to friends without blurting out the news? In the end, the Navy realized this and made it easier by officially changing Porter’s status, and Marty phoned everyone she could with the life-changing news: “He’s alive!”


Spurgeon - Luke 24:41 Too Good to Be True—A Paradox 

If you should see tomorrow a heavy shower of rain, you would not believe, I suppose, that it was made with a watering-can; and if you saw the Thames swollen to its banks from a great flood, you would not believe that the London waterworks had filled it to the brim. ‘No,’ say you, ‘this is God at work in nature. The greatness of the work proves that God is here.’ If you were ever in Cambridge, you might have seen a little mountain which is so small nobody knows how it was made. Some say it is artificial; some say it is natural. Now, I have never heard any dispute about the Alps; nobody ever said that they were artificial. I never heard of any disputation about the Himalayas; no one ever conjectured that human hands piled them up to the skies and clothed them with their hoary snows. So, when I read of the mercies of God in Christ, reaching up like mountains to heaven, I am sure they must be divine. I am certain the revelation must come from God; it must be true; it is self-evidential. I might enlarge this argument by showing that God’s works in creation are very great, and therefore it would be idle to think that there would be no great works in grace. Two works which have been made by the same artist always have some characteristics which enable you to see that the same artist made them. In like manner, to us there is one God; creation and redemption have but one author; the same eternal power and Godhead are legibly inscribed on both. Now when I look at the sea, and hear it roaring in the fulness thereof, I see a great artist there. And when my soul surveys the ocean of grace, and listens to the echoes of its motion as the sound of many waters, I see the same Almighty artist. When I see a great sinner saved, then I think I see the same Master-hand which first formed man.


My Lord - Luke 24:40-41

Read: John 20:19-29 | Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” —John 20:28

On the day of His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples and showed them His hands and feet. We are told that at first they could not believe for joy—it appeared too wonderful to be true (Luke 24:40-41). Thomas was not with the disciples, but he also had trouble believing until he saw for himself. When Jesus appeared to Thomas and told him to put his fingers in the nail holes and his hand in His side, Thomas cried, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).

Later, as Paul told the Philippians of his own suffering, he also declared Jesus as Lord. He testified that he had come to the place where he considered all his experiences as loss “for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:8).

You and I have never seen Jesus calm a storm or raise someone from the dead. We haven’t sat at His feet on a Galilean hillside and heard Him teach. But through eyes of faith we have been spiritually healed by His death on our behalf. Thus we can join Thomas and Paul and countless others in acknowledging Jesus as our Lord.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). When we believe, we too can call Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown? —Watts

Though we cannot see Him with our eyes, we can believe with our heart—He is Lord!

By David Egner

Luke 24:42  They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish;

Amplified  They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, 

Literal physical food to a literal Jesus. Even as He ascended as a literal being, He is now in Heaven as a glorified Being, the difference being that now His body manifests the scars (prints) of His crucifixion, scars that will endure eternally as testimony to His everlasting covenant of peace with all who have entered that new covenant by grace through faith. Hallelujah. Notice John's description of Jesus in heaven...

And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. (Rev 5:6)

The verb slain is in the perfect tense - He was slain in the past on Calvary and the evidence and effect of His atoning death will last forever!

Luke 24:43  and He took it and ate it before them.

Amplified   And He took [it] and ate [it] before them. 

Luke records Peter's testimony

“God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, [that is,] to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. - Acts 10:40-41

Spurgeon - That was proof positive that he was still composed of flesh and bones, a real person, and no phantom.

And so we see that Jesus present the disciples clear evidence that He had been resurrected, for this truth was the crux of the message they would carry from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria and to the remotest parts of the earth. 

John MacArthur adds "From its inception on the Day of Pentecost, the church’s triumphant message has been that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and is alive forevermore (Acts 2:22-32; 3:14-15, 26; 4:10-12; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30, 33-37). Erich Sauer writes, “The message of the cross is at the same time a message of the resurrection (Acts 1:22; 2:32). In this lies its invincibility” (The Triumph of the Crucified [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951], 40). The bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ was necessary for at least three reasons. First, it demonstrated Christ’s complete victory over sin. Sin brought spiritual death and physical death. If He only conquered spiritual death, He did not fully conquer sin. If He had not risen bodily, those who are His would not rise either. There would never be a restoration of the earth in millennial glory. Second, Christ’s bodily resurrection is necessary to demonstrate the purpose of God in humanity. Men and women were created to give glory to God. Their bodily resurrection, which is dependent on Christ’s, is necessary so that men and women in some bodily form may give glory to God as they were originally intended to do. Finally, and most significantly, the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ offers visible proof that God was satisfied with His sacrifice. Saving faith comes when one acknowledges Jesus as Lord, affirming that God raised Him from the dead, and thus demonstrated His approval of Christ’s atoning work on the cross. If the story of Jesus ended at the cross, the disciples’ hopes would have been shattered. They needed to know not only that He died, but also that He rose from the dead. The only way they would know that is to see Him in His physical, visible resurrected body. If they had not seen Jesus alive from the dead, they would not have carried the message any further. They would never have proclaimed the message of a dead, disappointing teacher. No one would have believed the Lord Jesus was the Redeemer, Savior, Son of God, and Lord if He hadn’t visibly risen from the dead."

This was the essence of Paul 's message in the "resurrection chapter" in First Corinthians...

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. (1 Cor 15:13-17)


Forty Amazing Days - Luke 24:43

Read: Acts 1:1-11 | [He was] seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. —Acts 1:3

During the 40 days between His resurrection and ascension to heaven, Jesus appeared again and again to His disciples. What an amazing and significant time that was! It seemed as if He came out of nowhere, then just as mysteriously He would vanish from their sight. He spoke to them about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3), and even ate with them (Luke 24:43). These appearances were not some figment of their imagination.

When I was a boy, I used to ponder those mysterious events. Where did Jesus come from when He appeared, and where did He go when He disappeared? I came to believe that Jesus was able to slip from heaven to earth and back again during those 40 days. Then on the 40th day He ascended and disappeared into a cloud to remain at the Father’s right hand until the time comes for Him to return (Acts 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:20-21).

Mystery still remains, but I find comfort in the fact that the Bible records those events. They strengthen my faith in knowing that before Jesus’ disciples began to preach the gospel, they were absolutely sure He was alive. They also reassure me that heaven is near at hand.

How wonderful to know that Jesus is alive and that heaven is only a step away!

Jesus the Savior reigns,
The God of truth and love;
When He had purged our stains,
He took His seat above. —Wesley

No matter where we are, Jesus is only a prayer away.

By Herbert VanderLugt

Luke 24:44  Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."

Greek Eipen (3SAAI) de pros autous: houtoi oi logoi mou ous elalesa (1SAAI) pros humas eti on (PAPMSN) sun humin, hoti dei (3SPAI) plerothenai (1SAAI) panta ta gegrammena (RPPNPA) en to nomo Mouseos kai tois prophetais kai psalmois peri emou. 

Amplified Then He said to them, This is what I told you while I was still with you: everything which is written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. 

LUKE'S VERSION OF THE 
GREAT COMMISSION 
Luke 24:44-49

Leon Morris on These are My words - ‘These happenings, specifically the resurrection, represent the outworking of the things I taught you.’ Jesus had included in his teaching enough foreshadowings of the passion and resurrection for his followers not to have been surprised at what had happened. 

Henry Morris adds that "This threefold division actually embraces the entire Old Testament canon. Another way of expressing this would be the historical writings, the poetical writings, and the prophetical writings. All are divinely inspired and inerrant in their very words.

The Law of Moses - The Pentateuch, the first five books, Genesis-Deuteronomy.

The prophets -   the former prophets (the historical books beginning with Joshua) and the later prophets (the major prophets; Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Lamentations, and the minor prophets; Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi);

The psalms - This would represent the wisdom literature - Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon.

Wiersbe - The final source of peace and assurance is the Word of God, so our Lord “opened their understanding” of the Old Testament Scriptures, just as He had done with the Emmaus disciples. After all, the believers were not being sent into the world to share their own personal experiences but to share the truths of the Word of God. We today cannot touch and feel the Lord Jesus, nor is it necessary that we do so; but we can rest our faith on the Word of God (1 John 1:1–5).

NET Note on all things which are written about Me (Everything written about me) - The divine plan, events, and scripture itself are seen here as being one.

Law...prophets...psalms - there is no part of Scripture that does not bear its witness to Jesus. This is the only place where this threefold division is mentioned.

Henry Morris on must be fulfilled - Every promise of God concerning the person and work of Christ must be fulfilled either at His first coming or at His second coming. "The Scripture cannot be broken," Jesus has assured us (John 10:35).

Spurgeon - Notice the seals which our Lord continually set upon the Old Testament, the manner in which he always treated the Scripture, the reverent way in which he confessed its infallibility, and his determination that, in every item, every jot and tittle, it should be fulfilled by himself. This was often manifested before his death; and, on his return from the grave, he had not changed his mind. He here speaks of the three great parts into which the Old Testament was divided by the Jews, and he expressly sets the seal of his royal assent upon “the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms.” May we, in like manner, prize the whole-inspired Word! 

Fulfilled (complete) (4137)(pleroo) means  to make complete in every particular.

MacArthur writes that the disciples' "evangelism was to be biblically based, so they needed clear understanding of the Scriptures related to Christ. The Old Testament promised the Messiah would come through the line of Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3; cf. Gal. 3:16), the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10; cf. Rev. 5:5), and the line of David (2 Sam. 7). Isaiah 7:14 predicted that He would be born of a virgin; Micah 5:2 that He would be born in Bethlehem. He would be betrayed by a close, trusted friend (Ps. 41:9); He would be beaten, spit on, and have His beard pulled out (Isa. 50:6; Mic. 5:1); the soldiers would gamble for His clothing (Ps. 22:18); He would be crucified (Ps. 22) and pierced (Zech. 12:10); His death would be vicarious (Isa. 53), and He would rise from the dead (Isa. 53:10; Ps. 16:8-11). The Christ of gospel history did not invent Himself, nor is He the invention of some people in the first century. He is the unmistakable fulfillment of divine prophecy."


Norman Geisler - When Critics Ask 

LUKE 24:44—Was the OT divided by the Jews of Jesus’ day into two or three parts?

PROBLEM: The Jewish Bible is divided into three sections—the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. Many believe that Jesus is alluding to this threefold division in the phrase “the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms.” However, the standard NT way of referring to the entire OT by Jesus and the NT  writers was by the phrase “the Law and the Prophets” (cf. Matt. 5:17; Luke 24:27). Which is correct?

SOLUTION: The earliest reference to divisions or sections in the OT is twofold—Law and Prophets. This is true during the period of the Jewish exile (6th century _._.), as indicated by Daniel (9:2, 11, 13), and also after the exile (Zech. 1:4; 7:7, 12; cf. Mal. 4:4, 5). References to the OT continued between the OT and NT in the Apocrypha (1 Mac. 4:45; 9:27; 2 Mac. 15:9), as well as in the Qumran community (Manual of Discipline 9.11). Also, as indicated, this is the standard way to refer to the divisions of the OT in the NT (cf. Matt. 5:17; Luke 24:27).

Furthermore, this phrase “Law and Prophets” included the whole OT (all 39 books), since Jesus said it referred to “all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27). It also includes everything God revealed through prophets up to John the Baptist (Matt. 11:13). Indeed, the emphatic manner in which Jesus referred to not a “jot or tittle” of the OT passing away from the “Law or the Prophets” (Matt. 5:17–18) indicates He is referring to the entire OT.

However, there apparently was an early alternate way of dividing “the Prophets” into two sections which came to be known as Prophets and Writings. The “Prologue of Ecclesiasticus” (ca. 132 B.C.) uses a threefold division, as did the Jewish philosopher Philo (ca. A.D. 40). So did the Jewish historian Josephus (A.D. 37–100) just after Jesus’ time (Against Apion, 1.8), even though he did not place the exact same books in this division as later Jewish groups did. The modern threefold classification into Law, Prophets, and Writings found in today’s Jewish Bibles is derived from the Babylonia Talmud (ca. A.D. 4th cent.). So Jesus’ reference in Luke 24:44 may or may not refer to this threefold division. It is interesting that He did not call the third group “Writings,” but referred only to the Book of “Psalms.” Some believe that He may have singled it out only because of its messianic significance. At any rate, Jesus had just referred to the standard twofold division of Law and Prophets calling it “all the Scriptures” (in Luke 24:27).


Andrew Murray - LIKE CHRIST: In His Use of Scripture. (from "Like Christ")

“That all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.”—Luke 24:44.

What the Lord Jesus accomplished here on earth as man He owed greatly to His use of the Scriptures. He found in them the way marked in which He had to walk, the food and the strength on which He could work, the weapon by which He could overcome every enemy. The Scriptures were indeed indispensable to Him through all His life and passion: from beginning to end His life was the fulfilment of what had been written of Him in the volume of the Book.
It is scarcely necessary to adduce proofs of this. In the temptation in the wilderness it was by His “It is written” that He conquered Satan. In His conflicts with the Pharisees He continually appealed to the Word “What saith the Scripture?” “Have ye not read?” “Is it not written?” In His intercourse with His disciples it was always from the Scriptures that He proved the certainty and necessity of His sufferings and resurrection: “How otherwise can the Scriptures be fulfilled?” And in His intercourse with His Father in His last sufferings, it is in the words of Scripture that He pours out the complaint of being forsaken, and then again commends His spirit into the Father’s hands. All this has a very deep meaning. He was Himself the living Word. He had the Spirit without measure. If ever any one, He could have done without the written Word. And yet we see that it is everything to Him. More than any one else He thus shows us that the life of God in human flesh and the word of God in human speech are inseparably connected. Jesus would not have been what He was, could not have done what He did, had He not yielded Himself step by step to be led and sustained by the Word of God.
Let us try and understand what this teaches us. The Word of God is more than once called Seed; it is the seed of the Divine life. We know what seed is. It is that wonderful organism in which the life, the invisible essence of a plant or tree, is so concentrated and embodied that it can be taken away and made available to impart the life of the tree elsewhere. This use may be twofold. As fruit we eat it, for instance, in the corn that gives us bread: and the life of the plant becomes our nourishment and our life. Or we sow it, and the life of the plant reproduces and multiplies itself. In both aspects the Word of God is seed.
True life is found only in God. But that life cannot be imparted to us unless set before us in some shape in which we know and apprehend it. It is in the Word of God that the Invisible Divine life takes shape, and brings itself within our reach, and becomes communicable. The life, the thoughts, the sentiments, the power of God are embodied in His words. And it is only through His Word that the life of God can really enter into us. His Word is the seed of the Heavenly life.
As the bread of life we eat it, we feed upon it. In eatinc, our daily bread, the body takes in the nourishment which visible nature, the sun and the earth, prepared for us in the seed-corn. We assimilate it, and it becomes our very own, part of ourselves, it is our life. In feeding upon the Word of God, the powers of the Heavenly life enter into us, and become our very own; we assimilate them, they become a part of ourselves, the life of our life.
Or we use the seed to plant. The words of God are sown in our heart. They have a Divine power of reproduction and multiplication. The very life that is in them, the Divine thought, or disposition, or powers that each of them contains, takes roots in the believing heart and grows up; and the very thing of which the word was the expression, is produced within us. The words of God are the seeds of the fulness of the Divine life.
When the Lord Jesus was made man, He became entirely dependent upon the Word of God, He submitted Himself wholly to it. His mother taught it Him. The teachers of Nazareth instructed Him in it. In meditation and prayer, in the exercise of obedience and faith, He was led, during His silent years of preparation, to understand and appropriate it. The Word of the Father was to the Son the life of His soul. What He said in the wilderness was spoken from His inmost personal experience: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” He felt He could not live but as the Word brought Him the life of the Father. His whole life was a life of faith, a depending on the Word of the Father. The Word was to Him not instead of the Father, but the vehicle for the living fellowship with the living God. And He had His whole mind and heart so filled with it, that the Holy Spirit could at each moment find within Him, all ready for use, the right word to suggest just as He needed it.
Child of God! would you become a man of God, strong in faith, full of blessing, rich in fruit to the glory of God, be full of the Word of God. Like Christ, make the Word your bread. Let it dwell richly in you. Have your heart full of it. Feed on it. Believe it. Obey it. It is only by believing and obeying that the Word can enter into our inwaxd parts, into our very being. Tale it day by day as the Word that proceedeth, not has proceeded, but proceedeth, is proceeding out of the mouth of God, as the Word of the living God, who in it holds living fellowship with His children, and speaks to them in living power. Take your thoughts of God’s will, and God’s work, and God’s purpose with you, and the world, not from the Church, not from Christians around you, but from the Word taught you by the Father, and like Christ, you will be able to fulfil all that is written in the Scripture concerning you.
In Christ’s use of Scripture the most remarkable thing is this: He found Himself there; He saw there His own image and likeness. And He gave Himself to the fulfilment of what He found written there. It was this that encouraged Him under the bitterest sufferings, and strengthened Him for the most difficult work. Everywhere He saw traced by God’s own hand the Divine waymark: a rough suffering to glory. He had but one thought: to be what the Father had said He should be, to have His life correspond exactly to the image of what He should be as He found it in the Word of God.
Disciple of Jesus, in the Scriptures thy likeness too is to be found, a picture of what the Father means thee to be. Seek to have a deep and clear impression of what the Father says in His word that thou shouldest be. If this is once fully understood, it is inconceivable what courage it will give to conquer every difficulty. To know: it is ordained of God; I have seen what has been written concerning me in God’s book; I have seen the image of what I am called in God’s counsel to be: this thought inspires the soul with a faith that conquers the world.
The Lord Jesus found His own image not only in the institutions, but specially in the believers of the Old Testament. Moses and Aaron, Joshua, David, and the Prophets, were types. And so He is Himself again the image of believers in the New Testament. It is especially in Him and His example that we must find our own image in the Scriptures. “To be changed into the same image, from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord,” we must in the Scripture-glass gaze on that image as our own. In order to accomplish His work in us, the Spirit teaches us to take Christ as in very deed our Example, and to gaze on every feature as the promise of what we can be.
Blessed the Christian who has truly done this; who has not only found Jesus in the Scriptures, but also in His image the promise and example of what he is to become. Blessed the Christian who yields himself to be taught by the Holy Spirit not to indulge in human thoughts as to the Scriptures and what it says of believers, but in simplicity to accept what it reveals of God’s thoughts about His children.
Child of God! it was “according to the Scriptures” that Jesus Christ lived and died; it was “according to the Scriptures” that He was raised again: all that the Scriptures said He must do or suffer He was able to accomplish, because He knew and obeyed them. All that the Scriptures had promised that the Father should do for Him, the Father did. O give thyself up with an undivided heart to learn in the Scriptures what God says and seeks of thee. Let the Scriptures in which Jesus found every day the food of His life, be thy daily food and meditation. Go to God’s Word each day with the joyful and confident expectation, that through the blessed Spirit who dwells in us, the Word will indeed accomplish its Divine purpose in thee. Every word of God is full of a Divine life and power. Be assured that when thou dost seek to use the Scriptures as Christ used them, they will do for thee what they did for Him. God has marked out the plan of thy life in His Word; each day thou wilt find some portion of it there. Nothing makes a man more strong and courageous than the assurance that he is just living out the will of God. God Himself, who had thy image portrayed in the Scriptures, will see to it that the Scriptures are fulfilled in thee, if like His Son thou wilt but surrender thyself to this as the highest object of thy life.
O Lord, my God! I thank Thee for Thy precious Word, the Divine glass of all unseen and eternal realities. I thank Thee that I have in it the image of Thy Son, who is Thy image, and also, O wonderful grace! my image. I thank Thee that as I gaze on Him I may also see what I can be.
O my Father I teach me rightly to understand what a blessing Thy Word can bring me. To Thy Son, when here on earth, it was the manifestation of Thy will, the communication of Thy life and strength, the fellowship with Thyself. In the acceptance and the surrender to Thy Word He was able to fulfil all Thy counsel. May Thy Word be all this to me too. Make it to me, each day afresh through the unction of the Holy Spirit, the Word proceeding from the mouth of God, the voice of Thy living presence speaking to me. May I feel with each word of Thine that it is God coming to impart to me somewhat of His own life. Teach me to keep it hidden in my heart as a Divine seed, which in its own time will spring up and reproduce in me in Divine reality the very life that was hid in it the very thing which I at first only saw in it as a thought. Teach me above all, O my God, to find in it Him who is its centre and substance, Himself the Eternal Word. Finding Him, and myself in Him, as my Head and Exemplar, I shall learn like Him to count Thy Word my food and my life.
I ask this, O my God, in the name of our blessed Christ Jesus. Amen.

Luke 24:45  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

Greek tote dienoixen (3SAAI) auton ton noun tou sunienai (PAN) tas graphas: 

Amplified Then He [thoroughly] opened up their minds to understand the Scriptures, 

OPENING THE SCRIPTURES
BY OPENING THEIR MINDS

Opened (explain) (1272)(dianoigo) is used the third time in this chapter - Luke 24:31, 32, 45. Jesus thoroughly, totally opened their minds  by dividing the mind was was previously closed and causing them to understand spiritual truths otherwise hidden to the natural mind.

Robertson on opened - The same verb as that in verses 31 and 32 about the eyes and the Scriptures. Jesus had all these years been trying to open their minds that they might understand the Scriptures about the Messiah and now at last he makes one more effort in the light of the Cross and the Resurrection. They can now see better the will and way of God, but they will still need the power of the Holy Spirit before they will fully know the mind of Christ.

Minds (3563)(nous) refers to a basic meaning direct one's inner sense to an object. Nous refers to human intellectual perception and moral judgment. It is the God given faculty of perceiving and understanding and is the channel through which truth reaches the heart. Nous describes everything in the realm of the intellect, including one's will, emotions, ability to think, reason and decide.

New Linguistic & Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament on Nous- A comprehensive name for the thoughts existing in the conscience; understanding, the reasoning faculty, man’s power of judgment; thinking, understanding; it is the constellation of thoughts and assumptions which make up the consciousness of the person and acts as the agent of rational discernment and communication; the thinking power, reason in its moral quality and activity; reasoning capacity, especially as concerns moral action; the intellect in its judging faculty

Related Resources:

Spurgeon - Good Master, do the same with us tonight!

Understand  (put together, mentally comprehend) (4920)(suniemi from sun/syn = with + hiemi = send) (related noun sunesis) literally means to send together or bring together. The idea is to put together "pieces of the puzzle" (so to speak) and to exhibit quick comprehension. Suniemi is the manifestation of the ability to understand concepts and see relationships between them and thus describes the exercise of the faculty of comprehension, intelligence, acuteness, shrewdness.

Keep on putting together the pieces until you see Jesus. We'll never graduate from Spirituality 101 on this earth.

Scriptures (1124graphe - Luke uses graphe 11x but 3x in this one chapter -  Lk. 4:21; 24:27, 32, 45; Acts 1:16; 8:32, 35; 17:2, 11; 18:24, 28. In the context Jesus undoubtedly opened their minds to understand the prophecies about Him that had been fulfilled and those that were yet to be fulfilled. 

John MacArthur observes that "The disciples for the first time understood the messianic meaning of the Old Testament prophecies and used them immediately in their own interpretation of events (Acts 1:15-20), as well as their preaching and evangelism. In his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Peter cited Joel 2:28-32 and Psalm 16:8-11, among others (Acts 2:14-36; cf. 4:23-26). Addressing the Sanhedrin, Peter cited Psalm 118:22 (Acts 4:10-11). Both Stephen (Acts 7) and Philip (Acts 8:26-35) employed sweeping features of the Old Testament in their evangelism, as did the apostle Paul (Acts 13:16-41; 17:1-3; 28:25-27)."

Here are some parallel passages to opened their minds....

Psalms 119:130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. 

2 Corinthians 4:6  For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 

Acts 16:14 A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.

Acts 26:18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’ 

2 Corinthians 3:14-16 (3:14) But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

Revelation 3:18  I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and [that] the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.

Exodus 4:11 The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes [him] mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?

Job 33:16; 17  Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction, That He may turn man aside [from his] conduct, And keep man from pride; 

Isaiah 29:10-14 For the LORD has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers.  11 The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”  13 Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned [by rote,]  14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.” 


Spurgeon - Luke 24:45

He whom we viewed last evening as opening Scripture, we here perceive opening the understanding. In the first work he has many fellow-labourers, but in the second he stands alone; many can bring the Scriptures to the mind, but the Lord alone can prepare the mind to receive the Scriptures. Our Lord Jesus differs from all other teachers; they reach the ear, but he instructs the heart; they deal with the outward letter, but he imparts an inward taste for the truth, by which we perceive its savour and spirit. The most unlearned of men become ripe scholars in the school of grace when the Lord Jesus by his Holy Spirit unfolds the mysteries of the kingdom to them, and grants the divine anointing by which they are enabled to behold the invisible. Happy are we if we have had our understandings cleared and strengthened by the Master! How many men of profound learning are ignorant of eternal things! They know the killing letter of revelation, but its killing spirit they cannot discern; they have a veil upon their hearts which the eyes of carnal reason cannot penetrate. Such was our case a little time ago; we who now see were once utterly blind; truth was to us as beauty in the dark, a thing unnoticed and neglected. Had it not been for the love of Jesus we should have remained to this moment in utter ignorance, for without his gracious opening of our understanding, we could no more have attained to spiritual knowledge than an infant can climb the Pyramids, or an ostrich fly up to the stars. Jesus' College is the only one in which God's truth can be really learned; other schools may teach us what is to be believed, but Christ's alone can show us how to believe it. Let us sit at the feet of Jesus, and by earnest prayer call in his blessed aid that our dull wits may grow brighter, and our feeble understandings may receive heavenly things. 


Baffled?

He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. —Luke 24:45

Read it three times.” That was the advice William Faulkner gave when readers of his novel The Sound And The Fury complained that they couldn’t understand it.

That’s good counsel. Some books require a first reading, a second reading, and still another reading before they yield their meaning. If we believe that a book has value, we may be willing to spend time and effort in deciphering and grasping its message.

Faulkner’s advice surely can be applied to passages in the Bible that initially puzzle and perplex us. After all, the apostle Peter commented that Paul’s letters contained some things that are “hard to understand” (2 Pet. 3:16). While some concepts may be difficult, they’re not impossible to comprehend.

But suppose you encounter texts that continue to baffle you even though you read them over and over. What then? Ask the Lord to open your understanding (Lk. 24:45; 1 Cor. 2:10-16). Consult a commentary. Ask your pastor. If no light dawns, temporarily set those passages aside. Then wait patiently for the Holy Spirit to illuminate what may be baffling to you now. As you grow in grace, you will also grow in understanding. Meanwhile, put into practice the teachings you do understand.

Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free. —Scott

To understand the Word of God, Rely on the Spirit of God.

By Vernon C. Grounds


J C Philpot on Luke 24:45 - Blessed opening, when He that hath the key of David puts in His hand by the hole of the door, and opens our heart to receive His own word.  Then when we go to the Word of Truth, after it has come to us, our fingers drop with sweet-smelling myrrh upon the handles of the lock.  It is said that “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live” (John 5:25).  O, to hear the voice of the Son of God in our hearts!  Surely it shall make our dead hearts, cold frames, withering hopes, drooping love, dying faith, languishing prayers, and fainting minds live; yea, revive as the corn and grow as the vine.  What is all religion without a divine beginning, middle, and end, commencing, carried on, and accomplished with a heavenly power, supernatural life, and spiritual unction?  Well may we be ashamed and sick of, and sorry for all our thoughts, words, and works, all our knowledge and profession that have not stood, or do not stand, in the power, teaching, and wisdom of God.  All our talk has been but vain babbling, our prayers lip-service, our preaching wind and vanity, our profession hyprocisy, our knowledge the worst kind of ignorance, and all our religion carnality or delusion, if they have not been divinely communicated.  Sir Isaac Newton, the wisest philosopher, is said to have remarked to one who congratulated him on his knowledge, “I have been like a little child on the sea-shore taking up a little water in a shell when the vast ocean of truth lay undiscovered before me.”  Much more may a spiritual man feel how little, how nothing he knows of the unsearchable riches of Christ, and the boundless stores of wisdom hid in them.

Luke 24:46  and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,

Amplified  And said to them, Thus it is written that the Christ (the Messiah) should suffer and on the third day rise from (among) the dead, 

IT IS WRITTEN AND
STANDS WRITTEN

Written (1125)(grapho  from root graph- = primarily means to scratch on or engrave as on an ornament, reports, letters, etc; English = graph, graphic, etc) means to engrave or inscribe with a pen or stylus characters or letters on a surface The verb grapho is perfect tense (gegraphtai) signifying that God's Word has been written down at a point of time in the past (cf Lev 11:44, 19:2, 20:7 were originally inscribed with a stylus by Moses probably on clay tablets under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit circa 1500BC) and remains on record as the eternal, unchanging Word of God. It stands written! The perfect tense in this context also signifies the permanence of the written word of God. The phrase it is written (in perfect tense) is a regular "formula" in the New Testament (e.g., Mt 4:4, 4:6, 4:7, 4:10, 11:10 - some 60 times in all 4 gospels and by Paul and Peter) and always refers directly or indirectly to an Old Testament quotation and thus it carries great authority for the believer. The idea is that this divine revelation was written down at a specific time in the past and stands written and effective. As Jesus declared "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away."(Mt 24:35)

Criswell comments that Luke 24:46-5 "indicate the fact that the Book of Acts is Luke's second volume and begins where his Gospel concludes. Compare the many points of contact found in Lu 24:46-53 and Acts 1:1-14: (1) suffering, (2) resurrection, (3) witnesses, (4) the Promise of the Father, (5) tarrying in Jerusalem, (6) power from on high, (7) ascension, (8) return to Jerusalem, and (9) meeting in the temple.

Spurgeon - And he said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in the name of all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. 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 he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

NET Note - Three Greek infinitives are the key to this summary: (1) to suffer, (2) to rise, and (3) to be preached. The Christ (Messiah) would be slain, would be raised, and a message about repentance would go out into all the world as a result. All of this was recorded in the scripture. The remark shows the continuity between Jesus’ ministry, the scripture, and what disciples would be doing as they declared the Lord risen.

MacArthur on rise again from the dead on the third day - The resurrection was not mythological, or legendary; it was not a mystical or spiritual idea, but an event that happened in real, space-time history (cf. 1 Cor. 15:3-8). In fact, there is no better attested fact or event in ancient history than the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Good Enough?

It was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead. —Luke 24:46

I was 17 when I first examined the gospel. Not that I felt I needed to, mind you. I was a churchgoer, a do-gooder, and above all I was sincere. But I had met some Christian teenagers who had something I didn’t have, and I was curious.

Two things troubled me. First was their stress on sin and repentance. I had always compared myself favorably with those I considered to be mega-sinners—murderers, gangsters, and the like—making me feel more grateful than sinful.

A second thing that bothered me about these Christians was their insistence that Jesus had to die and rise again. Well, He didn’t need to go to such extremes for me, I thought.

Then one evening God prompted me to compare myself with Him. I realized my sinfulness, and I eagerly repented! At last I appreciated the necessity of Christ’s death and resurrection. If sin’s penalty didn’t fall on us, where else could it fall? Calvary was the only place. In His immeasurable love, Jesus did what was necessary (Lk. 24:46). Dying, He allowed sin’s penalty to fall on Him. Rising, He became our living Savior to overcome sin’s power in us.

You don’t have to take my word for it, of course. But have you taken His?

I know I'm a sinner and Christ is my need;
His death is my ransom, no merit I plead;
His work is sufficient, on Him I believe;
I have life eternal when Him I receive. —Anon.

If you say, "I'm no worse than the rest," you still fail God's test.

By Joanie Yoder


No Other Way

It was necessary for the Christ to suffer. —Luke 24:46

Have you ever had an argument with God? My friend David did. Although he was a Christian, he questioned God’s justice in allowing His innocent Son Jesus to be so cruelly punished on behalf of guilty people. As David tried to make sense out of Christ’s horrible death on the cross, he became extremely agitated. One day as he cried out, “Why?” God comforted his troubled mind with this thought: It was the only way!

Peter, one of our Lord’s disciples, had a similar struggle understanding God’s purposes. He knew that Jesus was “the Christ of God” (Lk. 9:20), but he rebuked Him when He began teaching that He would suffer, be killed, and rise again (Mk. 8:31-32). Peter couldn’t accept such an injustice happening to the sinless Christ. In response, Jesus rebuked Peter because he had unknowingly expressed a satanic outlook. He was thinking as man thinks, not as God thinks (v.33). Jesus knew that His death was necessary to provide forgiveness, for “without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb. 9:22).

On the cross Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, but He did it willingly out of love for you and me. Although His terrible death was totally undeserved, there was no other way He could save us. Have you thanked Him today?

Christ paid a debt He didn't owe to cancel a debt we couldn't pay.

By Joanie Yoder

Luke 24:47  and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Amplified  And that repentance [with a view to and as the condition of] forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 

THE GREAT COMMISSION
LUKE'S VERSION

NET Note on repentance - This repentance has its roots in declarations of the Old Testament. It is the Hebrew concept of a turning of direction.

Leon Morris - On this occasion Jesus went beyond showing how prophecy was fulfilled in his passion and resurrection. It was also fulfilled in the preaching of repentance and forgiveness of sins. It is often said that Luke does not see the cross as atoning, so these words connecting forgiveness with the passion are important. Luke may not stress the atonement in the way some other New Testament writers do, but it is part of his teaching. In his name connects this repentance and forgiveness with what Jesus is and has done. People are not called to a repentance based on general principles and to a forgiveness always available. Luke is speaking about what Christ has done for people and what is available through him.

Repentance (3341) (metanoia from meta = after + noéo = to understand) literally means "afterthought" or "to think after" and implies a change of mind. From the NT uses, it is clear that metanoia means much more than merely a change of one's mind but also includes a complete change of heart, attitude, interest, and direction. Metanoia is a conversion in every sense of the word. Jesus' teaching would support this conclusion for our Lord declared "I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents (metanoeo), than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance (metanoia). (Luke 15:7) So it is not surprising that Jesus began His minister w this message! Mt4:17 (related verb )

Metanoia - 11/22 uses in the NT are by Dr Luke - Matt. 3:8, 11; Mk. 1:4; Lk. 3:3, 8; 5:32; 15:7; 24:47; Acts 5:31; 11:18; 13:24; 19:4; 20:21; 26:20; Rom. 2:4; 2 Co. 7:9f; 2 Tim. 2:25; Heb. 6:1, 6; 12:17; 2 Pet. 3:9

Bishop Ryle offers this descriptive definition of repentance…

Repentance is a thorough change of man's natural heart, upon the subject of sin. We are all born in sin. We naturally love sin. We take to sin, as soon as we can act and think—just as the bird takes to flying, and the fish takes to swimming. There never was a child that required schooling or education in order to learn deceitfulness, selfishness, passion, self-will, gluttony, pride, and foolishness. These things are not picked up from bad companions, or gradually learned by a long course of tedious instruction. They spring up of themselves, even when boys and girls are brought up alone. The seeds of them are evidently the natural product of the heart. The aptitude of all children to these evil things is an unanswerable proof of the corruption and fall of man. Now when this heart of ours is changed by the Holy Spirit, when this natural love of sin is cast out, then takes place that change which the Word of God calls "repentance." The man in whom the change is wrought is said to "repent." (Repentance)

One of the best illustrations of genuine repentance is found in Paul's description of the saints at Thessalonica…

For they themselves (other believers in Macedonia and Achaia) report about us (Paul, Silvanus and Timothy) what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1Thessalonians 1:9; 1:10-See notes 1Th 1:91:10)

C H Spurgeon in a sermon entitled The Plumbline (Amos 7:7, 8) wrote that…

Side by side with that faith, God puts true repentance. When a man attempts to convert his fellow-man, he gives him a sham repentance, or perhaps he tells him that there is no need of any repentance at all. Certain preachers have been telling us, lately, that it is a very easy matter to obtain salvation, and that there is no need of repentance; or if repentance is needed, it is merely a change of mind. That is not the doctrine that our fathers used to preach, nor the doctrine that we have believed. That faith, which is not accompanied by repentance, will have to be repented of; so, whenever God builds, he builds repentance fair and square with faith. These two things go together; the man just as much regrets and grieves over the past as he sees that past obliterated by the precious blood of Jesus. He just as much hates all his sin as he believes that his sin has been all put away. (Amos 7:7-8 The Plumbline)

It should be stated at the outset that there are some in evangelical circles who teach that all repentance involves is a change of mind. The problem with this definition is that has nothing to do with one’s attitude toward sin and does not necessarily result in any change in lifestyle. Keeping this definition in mind now read the first NT use of metanoia by John the Baptist who is addressing the religious leaders who sought to flee from the wrath to come…

Therefore bring forth (aorist imperative = do it and do it now! Even conveys a sense of urgency) fruit (karpos - fruit is what people produce that other people see that indicates their true spiritual condition. Fruit does not save but shows that one is saved!) in keeping (axios = the idea is that of having equal weight or worth, and therefore of being appropriate) with repentance. (Matthew 3:8)

Then notice how our Lord Jesus began His ministry in Galilee…

From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent (present imperative = make this your habitual practice, it is to be your lifestyle!), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17)

And after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent (present imperative = make this your habitual practice, it is to be your lifestyle!) and believe (present imperative = make this your habitual practice, it is to be your lifestyle!) in the gospel." (Mark 1:14, 15)

Were John the Baptist and our Lord calling for simply a change in thinking or is he calling for a change in thinking that was evidenced by a change in behavior? What do the passages teach? John was issuing a call to repentance that was evidenced by an inner change and an outward act that gave proof that the change was genuine (possession and not just profession). As a corollary, note that the New Testament knows nothing of a gospel that lacks a call to repentance. John and Jesus were both calling Israel to have a radical change in thinking about genuine righteousness and how it was worked out in one's everyday life. The Scribes and Pharisees taught the Jews a distorted, perverted, external type of righteousness, a self-righteousness based on an adherence to manmade rules and regulations (613 of them to be exact!), the keeping of which would emphatically not guarantee one's entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus presented the Sermon on the Mount to correct this deadly distortion of the Law and the Prophets (the entire Old Testament) by the religious leaders. (See Overview of Matthew 1-7) and commentary on Matthew 5-7 beginning in Matthew 5:1-2). In summary, the Jews needed to have a change (repentance) in regard to righteousness for as Jesus emphatically declared "unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. (see notes on Matthew 5:20)

J. R. Miller wrote that genuine repentance "amounts to nothing whatever if it produces only a few tears, a spasm of regret, a little fright. We must leave the sins we repent of and walk in the new, clean ways of holiness."

Vance Havner wrote that "It is a change of mind about sin and self and the Savior."

Related ResourceGreat quotes on repentance primarily from Puritan writers

Disciple's Study Bible - Repentance and forgiveness of sins go together. God forgives only those who repent.

MacArthur - Forgiveness of sins is available only to those who repent. Repentance is the foundational biblical, spiritual act that moves the heart in the direction of salvation. It is turning from sin’s presence, power, dominance, and consequences to righteousness. Repentance involves a desire to leave sin behind and pursue righteousness. It is not simply feeling bad about one’s circumstances, or condition, or the consequences that resulted from one’s sins, but mourning over the reality of sin. Repentance is prompted by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), who came to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and is granted by God (2 Tim. 2:25; cf. Acts 11:18).

Forgiveness (859) (aphesis from aphiemi = action which causes separation and is in turn derived from apo = from + hiemi = put in motion, send) literally means to send away or to put apart, a letting go, a leaving behind, a removal. Aphesis is most often translated remission as when one remits (pardons, cancels) a debt (see definition of English word below). The act of releasing someone from an obligation. To release from captivity.

Aphesis - 9/16 uses of aphesis in the NT are by Dr Luke - Matt. 26:28; Mk. 1:4; 3:29; Lk. 1:77; 3:3; 4:18; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 5:31; 10:43; 13:38; 26:18; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:22; 10:18

Remission of sins means once and for all taking them away, removing the guilt, punishment and power of sin. And so to release one’s sins, is not just release from the ("legal" or forensic) charge and the just penalty of sin but also release from the power and dominion of sin (and in Heaven the release from the presence of sin and the pleasure of sin). And so we see that Wuest translates Col 1:14 as "the putting away of our sins" (Wuest)

The OT gives us a beautiful picture of the meaning of aphesis in the celebration of the Year of Jubilee. In fact there are 11 uses of aphesis in the Septuagint translation of Leviticus 25 (Lev 25:10-13, 28, 30-31, 33, 40, 41, 50, 52, 54) where aphesis is frequently substituted for the Hebrew word Jubilee, so that instead of the phrase Year of Jubilee the Lxx translated into English reads "Year of the Release" in Lev 25:13 (or "Jubilee of Release in Lev 25:11). One aspect of the Year of Jubilee involved the setting free of indebted servants or slaves (cf Lev 25:10). It is interesting that the OT release from debts was associated with a time of celebration. How much more should we as NT saints daily celebrate and revel in the truth that we have been released from our sin debt! I fear I do not ponder this profound truth often enough and begin to take it for granted and become complacent and even indifferent which makes me vulnerable to committing sin! We need to remember that the Year of Jubilee was an OT picture which pointed to and was fulfilled in the crucifixion of the Messiah Whose fully atoning, substitutionary death made release from sin, Satan and death possible for all who receive this truth by grace through faith. Here is an example from Leviticus 25...

Leviticus 25:10 You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release (Hebrew = deror = a flowing, liberty; Lxx = aphesis) through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.

Leviticus 25:12 'For it is a jubilee (Hebrew - yobel = ram's horn; Lxx = aphesis + onmasia = shouting, a day for blowing the trumpets - The beginning of this year was marked by the blast of the Shofar [Jewish Encyclopedia] or ram's horn); it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field.

Mounce writes that aphesis "almost always refers to divine forgiveness, and its meaning is usually clarified by adding “of sins.” In Eph 1:7; Col 1:14, Paul defines redemption as specifically related to “the forgiveness of sins.” The forgiveness of sins is a central feature of the Christian message and witness, standing at the heart of the gospel. Also, the divine initiative in the forgiveness of sins creates a forgiving spirit in the life of the Christian. As Christ forgave us, so should we forgive others (Mt 5:38–48Ro 12:19–21).(Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words.)

Aphesis is followed by sin (hamartia) in this passage and in 11/17 uses in the NT (Mt 26:28, Mk 1:4, Lk 1:77, 3:3, 24:47, Acts 2:38, 5:31, 10:43, 13:38, 26:18, Col 1:14), where Sin is depicted as a "master" that has bound and enslaved all mankind (cf "slave of sin" Ro 6:20). Paul writes "thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin Sin (see discussion of Sin personified as a "Slavemaster"), you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (Ro 6:17-18) Aphesis releases (so to speak) a man from the cords of Sin, the power of Sin. Jesus declared that one of the goals of His ministry was to "release [aphesis] the captives" (Lk 4:18). Here the word captives is aichmalotos which refers to prisoners of war, and in context refers to all men as in a state of captivity to Sin as a result of having inherited Adam's sin nature (Ro 5:12).

The root meaning of forgiveness is to put away an offense. In secular Greek literature, the related word aphiemi was used to indicate the sending away of an object or a person and came to include the release of someone from the obligation of marriage, or debt, or even a religious vow. In its final form this word group came to embrace the principle of release from punishment for some wrongdoing.

Aphesis is used in medical language of the relaxation (remission) of disease. Both Luke and John use the kindred verb aphiemi, in the same sense. See Luke 4:39 (Fever left her); John 4:52 (the fever left him).

Would be proclaimed (preached) (2784)(kerusso from kerux/keryx = a herald - one who acts as the medium of the authority of one who proclamation he makes; kerugma = the thing preached or the message) means to proclaim (publicly) or to herald or act as a public crier - the town official who would make a proclamation in a public gathering.

Kerusso was used of the official whose duty it was to proclaim loudly and extensively the coming of an earthly king, even as our gospel is to clearly announce the coming of the King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 19:16-note)!

The Imperial Herald would enter a town in behalf of the Emperor, and make a public proclamation of the message which his Sovereign ordered him to give, doing so with such formality, gravity, and authority as to emphasize that the message must be heeded! (Think about this in regard to the Gospel of God instead of the decree of a man! cf 1Th 2:13-note). He gave the people exactly what the Emperor bade him give, nothing more, nothing less. He did not dare add to the message or take away from it. Should this not be the example and pattern every preacher and teacher of the holy gospel of God seeks and strives to emulate, yea, even doing so with fear and trembling! ("not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts" see 1Th 2:4-note)

Kerusso is used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it as proclaimed by John the Baptist, Jesus, the apostles and other Christian teachers. An unexpected group of preachers were some of those whom the miracles of Jesus touched. A cleansed leper told his tale of healing far and wide (Mark 1:44-45). When a demon-possessed man was released, he proclaimed the glories of Christ throughout the whole city (Mark 5:19-20). In the New Testament, from John the Baptist to the establishment of an Apostolic church, preaching was the main means of communicating the Christian message. This gives validity to the preaching ministry today.

To all the nations - The hope of God in Christ was for all the nations from the beginning. Forgiveness is available to all people, both Jew and Gentile. This recalls Jesus commission in Matthew to ""Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations." (Mt 28:19a-note)

Beginning in Jerusalem - This beginning is described in Acts 2 after the Holy Spirit has come to give them the supernatural power they needed to carry out this task (Acts 1:8-note)

Spurgeon on beginning in Jerusalem - This gospel message was to be proclaimed among all nations, “beginning at Jerusalem”, but not ending there. It has been preached to us; let us see to it that we pass it on to those who have never heard it yet.


SpurgeonMatthew 4:17. Luke 24:47 Christ's First and Last Subject

If you are renewed by grace, and were to meet your old self, I am sure you would be very anxious to get out of his company. “No,” say you, “No, sir, I cannot accompany you.” “Why, you used to swear!” “I cannot now.” “Well, but,” says he, “You and I are very near companions.” “Yes, I know we are, and I wish we were not. You are a deal of trouble to me every day. I wish I could be rid of you for ever.” “But,” says Old Self, “you used to drink very well.” “Yes, I know it. I know you did, indeed, Old Self. You could sing a song as merrily as any one. You were ringleader in all sorts of vice, but I am no relation of yours now. You are of the old Adam, and I of the new Adam. You are of your old father, the devil; but I have another—my Father, who is in heaven.” I tell you, brethren, there is no man in the world you will hate so much as your old self, and there will be nothing you will so much long to get rid of as that old man who once was dragging you down to hell, and who will try his hand at it over and over again every day you live, and who will accomplish it yet, unless that divine grace which has made you a new man shall keep you a new man even to the end. Good Rowland Hill, in his “Village Dialogues,” gives the Christian, whom he describes in the first part of the book, the name of Thomas Newman. Every man who goes to heaven must have the name of new-man. We must not expect to enter there unless we are created anew in Christ Jesus.


Luke 24:47 Beginning at Jerusalem - C H Spurgeon

The Lord Jesus knew that there would come a time when some of his disciples would despise the Jews, and therefore he said, ‘When you preach my gospel, begin with them’. This is a standing commandment, and everywhere we ought to preach the gospel to the Jew as well as to the Gentile; Paul even says, ‘to the Jew first’. Some seem to think that there ought to be no mission to the Jews, that there is no hope of converting them, that they are of no use when they are converted, and so on. I have even heard some who call themselves Christians speak slightingly of the Jewish people. What! and your Lord and Master a Jew! There is no race on earth as exalted as they are. They are the seed of Abraham, God’s friend. We have nobles and dukes in England, but how far could they trace their pedigree? Why, up to a nobody. But the poorest Jew on earth is descended linearly from Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham. Instead of treating them with anything like disrespect, the Saviour says, ‘beginning at Jerusalem.’ Just as we say, ‘Ladies first,’ so it is ‘the Jew first’. They take precedence among races and are to be first waited on at the gospel feast. Jesus would have us entertain a deep regard to that nation which God chose of old, and out of which Christ also came, for he is of the seed of Abraham according to the flesh. He puts those first who knew him first. Let us never sneer at a Jew again, for our Lord teaches us the rule of his house when he says, ‘beginning at Jerusalem.’ Let the seed of Israel first have the gospel presented to them, and if they reject it we shall be clear of their blood. But we shall not be faithful to our orders unless we have taken note of Jews as well as Gentiles.


Benjamin Grosvenor, "The Temper of Jesus Christ towards His Enemies, and His Grace to the Chief of Sinners")

"Repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24:47

It is very affecting that the first offers of grace should be made to those who, of all people in the world — had done Him the most harm! One would rather have expected the apostles would have received another kind of charge, and that Christ would have said, "Let repentance and forgiveness of sins be preached — but do NOT carry it to Jerusalem, that wicked city, that has been the slaughter-house of my prophets, whom I have often sent. Last of all, I myself, the Son, came — and with wicked hands, they have crucified and murdered Me! They may do the same to you! Do not let the gospel enter those wicked gates, through which they led Me, its Author, to crucifixion!"

But Christ singles out exactly these murderous people of Jerusalem — to make monuments of His mercy, and commands the first offer of eternal life to be made to them!As if our Lord had said: "Lest the poor house of Israel should think themselves abandoned to eternal despair — as cruel and vile as they have been — go, make the first offer of grace to them! Let those who spilled My blood — be welcome to its healing virtue. Tell them that there is repentance and forgiveness, even for them!"
"Nay, if you meet that poor wretch who thrust his spear into My side, tell him that there is another way, a better way of coming to My heart — even My heart's love! Tell him, that if he will repent, and look upon Me whom he has pierced, and will mourn — then I will cherish him in that very bosom which he has wounded! Tell him that he shall find the blood which he has shed — to be an ample atonement for the sin of shedding it! And tell him from Me, that he will put Me to more pain and displeasure by refusing this offer of My blood — than when he first drew it forth!"

"For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance!" Matthew 9:13


​​​​​​​HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:47

Luke 24:48  "You are witnesses of these things.

Amplified You are witnesses of these things. 

THEY WITNESSED THESE THINGS
SO THEY COULD BE WITNESSES!

Jesus had opened the eyes of their hearts to the Scriptures and now He charges them to open their mouths to proclaim the Gospel, in the next verse reminding them that they do not have to be witnesses in their own natural strength, but in the power of God provided by the promise of God in the giving of His Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

You are witnesses - So that they could be witnesses - 

but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8-note)

That the disciples received Jesus' message of the power to proclaim the Gospel is clearly evident in Acts as they declared...

 we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:20)

O, for this to be the case with ALL God's children. So filled with and controlled by the supernatural power of the Spirit that they cannot stop speaking forth the Gospel and the Christ of the Gospel. Amen

Witnesses (3144)(martus/martys) basically describes one who remembers something and testifies concerning what they remember. Notice that martus has a two fold meaning of (1) describing one who has seen and/or experienced something or someone and (2) one who testifies to what he or she saw. The testimony could be in a legal setting (Mk 14:63; Acts 6:13; 7:58; Heb. 10:28) or in the general sense of recounting firsthand knowledge (Lk 11:48; 1Ti. 6:12; Heb 12:1; 1Pe 5:1).

martus is one who attests to a fact or event, one who gives evidence (testifies in a court to the truth of a fact or event), one who has seen or has personal knowledge of something or someone, especially as an "eye witness" (eg, the apostles in Acts having and relating their personal knowledge of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances). A witness is one who furnishes evidence or proof, confirming the truth by verbal testimony.

Warren Wiersbe - A witness is somebody who sincerely tells what he has seen and heard, and the word witness is used in one way or another twenty-nine times in the Book of Acts. As Christians, we are not judges or prosecuting attorneys sent to condemn the world. We are witnesses who point to Jesus Christ and tell lost sinners how to be saved....Witnessing is not something that we do for the Lord; it is something that He does through us, if we are filled with the Holy Spirit. There is a great difference between a “sales talk” and a Spirit-empowered witness. “People do not come to Christ at the end of an argument,” said Vance Havner. “Simon Peter came to Jesus because Andrew went after him with a testimony.” We go forth in the authority of His name, in the power of His spirit, heralding His Gospel of His grace.

Spurgeon - We also are called to be “witnesses of these things.” May the Lord make us to be faithful and true witnesses, for his name’s sake! Amen.


As Below, So Above

Read: Luke 24:44-53 | You are witnesses of these things. . . . but tarry in the city . . . until you are endued with power from on high. —Luke 24:48-49

The Roman paganism of Jesus’ day taught that the actions of gods in the heavens above affected the earth below. If Zeus got angry, thunderbolts shot out. “As above, so below,” went the ancient formula.

Jesus, though, sometimes inverted that. He taught: As below, so above. A believer prays, and heaven responds. A sinner repents, and the angels rejoice. A mission succeeds, and God is glorified. A believer rebels, and the Holy Spirit is grieved.

I believe these things, yet somehow I keep forgetting them. I forget that my prayers matter to God. I forget that the choices I make today bring delight or grief to the Lord of the universe. I forget that I am helping my neighbors to their eternal destinations.

The good-news message of God’s love that Jesus brought to this earth we can now bring to others. That was the challenge He gave His disciples before ascending to His Father (see Matt. 28:18-20). We who follow Jesus serve as an extension of His incarnation and ministry. It is why He came to earth. Before He left, He told His disciples that He would send His Spirit from above to them below (Luke 24:48). He did not leave us alone. He fills us with His power that we might touch lives here below to affect eternity.

You ascended before our eyes, and we turned back grieving, only to find You in our hearts. —Augustine

INSIGHT: In today’s passage, Jesus teaches that all Scripture—the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms—direct us to Him. Paul underscores this point in his second letter to the young pastor Timothy. He reminds Timothy of the purpose of Scripture: “to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15).

By Philip Yancey 


Witnesses - Luke 24:48

Read: Acts 1:1-11 | You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me . . . to the end of the earth. —Acts 1:8

In a criminal court case, witnesses provide vital information about a possible crime. Being a witness means telling the court the truth about what you know.

Just as the criminal justice system relies heavily on witnesses, Jesus uses bold, faithful, and credible witnesses to spread His Word and build His church.

Before Jesus ascended to His Father, He gave His disciples a final command—to launch a worldwide witnessing campaign. The Holy Spirit would come upon them and give them supernatural power to be His witnesses throughout the world (Acts 1:8).

Jesus called these early apostles to go into a world where people did not know about Him and to give a truthful account of what they had seen, heard, and experienced (Acts 4:19-20). Since they had witnessed His perfect life, teachings, suffering, death, burial, and resurrection (Luke 24:48; Acts 1–5), they were to go out and give a truthful testimony about Him.

In taking the gospel to the ends of the world, we are called to testify to the truth about Jesus and how He has changed our lives. “How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” (Rom. 10:14). What are you doing to tell others?

Lord and Savior, Christ divine, Reign within this heart of mine; May my witness ever be Always, only, Lord, for Thee. —Brandt

God has left us in the world to witness to the world.

By Marvin Williams 

Luke 24:49  "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."

Amplified And behold, I will send forth upon you what My Father has promised; but remain in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high. 

KJV  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.

NET   And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

NLT   "And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven."

ESV  And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."

NIV  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

CSB And look, I am sending you what My Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high."

GWN  "I'm sending you what my Father promised. Wait here in the city until you receive power from heaven."

The promise is the Spirit.
The clothing is power from on high.
The Spirit is the Source of the power.

The promise was from the Father and Jesus would send the promise. This promise was the promise of the Holy Spirit, a promise made to the disciples in the upper room before the crucifixion "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides WITH you and will be IN you (as fulfilled at Pentecost)." (Jn 14:16,17). Christ also had told them "“Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you" (Jn 20:21). But before they went out they had to wait for the promise. As Jesus promised "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) They could not be supernatural witnesses without supernatural power. And beloved, this principle still holds true -- we cannot be witnesses for Jesus in our natural strength but only in the Spirit's supernatural power. 

Spurgeon - The promise of the Father was, as you know, the gift of the Holy Spirit. By this gift our Lord’s rising again into glory was celebrated. The Holy Spirit was the heavenly largess of the great King by which he did honour to the return of his Son to his ancient throne. The apostles and the other disciples were to wait for this gift. They might have to wait for some days, but it is better to wait for divine equipment than to go out to holy service in our own strength. All that you do will have to be undone unless it is done in the power of the Holy Ghost. “But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Has that command ever struck some people who profess to be serving the Lord? Are there not men who preach whom God never sent to preach? The best advice we could give them would be, “Tarry ye.” Are there not some who teach, and some who take office in the church, whom God has never endued with gifts or graces for such work? Powerless workers stand in the way of true workers, they block up the path of those whom God sends to serve him.

 

Who sends the Holy Spirit? Several passages speak of the sending of the Spirit some stating it is Jesus Who sends Him and others stating it is the Father Who sends Him. Clearly there is perfect unity and harmony in the Trinity so there is no difference if the Spirit is sent by the Father or the Son. It does appear that in regard to the giving of the Spirit, it is only the Father Who is stated as giving the promise of the Spirit.

(Father gives the Spirit) John 14:16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 14:17) [that is] the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, [but] you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. 

(Father sends the Spirit) John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

(Jesus sends the Spirit) John 15:26  “When the Helper comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, [that is] the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,

(Jesus sends the Spirit) John 16:7 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you

Behold is a command from Jesus to the disciples to make sure He had their full attention regarding the important teaching He was about to give them. And He desires His disciples' (our) full attention to the truth of this passage which was fulfilled at Pentecost but is still truth that is vital to understand so that we might be empowered to live a supernatural life in front of a watching, skeptical, lost world. 

Behold (2400)(idou) is the second person singular aorist middle imperative of eidon which means to see, perceive, look at. In the NT idou is used as a demonstrative particle that draws attention to what follows. Idou in the middle voice means "you yourself look, see, perceive!" The aorist imperative is a command emphasizing "Do it now! Don't delay!"

Idou is used by the Biblical writers to (1) prompt or arouse the reader's attention (introducing something new or unusual), (2) to mark a strong emphasis ("Indeed!" Lk 13:16) and (3) to call the reader to pay close attention (very similar to #1) so that one will listen, remember or consider

Spurgeon reminds us that "Behold is a word of wonder; it is intended to excite admiration. Wherever you see it hung out in Scripture, it is like an ancient sign-board, signifying that there are rich wares within, or like the hands which solid readers have observed in the margin of the older Puritanic books, drawing attention to something particularly worthy of observation." I would add, behold is like a divine highlighter, a divine underlining of an especially striking or important text. It says in effect "Listen up, all ye who would be wise in the ways of Jehovah!"

Sending forth (649)(apostello from apo = from, away from + stello = to withdraw from, avoid) means to send off, to send forth, to send out. To send out; to commission as a representative, an ambassador, an envoy. The idea is to send forth from one place to another. But the meaning of apostello is more than just to send because it means "to send off on a commission to do something as one’s personal representative, with credentials furnished" (Wuest) To send upon some business (Mt. 2:16; 10:5; 20:2). To send away in the sense of to dismiss (Mk 12:3, 4). To send or thrust forth as a sickle among corn (Mk 4:29).

The rabbis used the term apostello to refer to one called and sent as an official representative of another (something like our English "Ambassador" - 2Cor 5:20-note). Apostello was used by the Greeks for the personal representatives of the king, ambassadors who functioned with the king’s authority. To make light of the king’s envoys was to be in danger of insubordination.

Apostello summarized - 1. send someone out, implying for a particular purpose (Mk 1:11; 1Co 1:17); 2. send a message, send word (Ac 28:28, Mt 14:35, Mt 27:19); 3. (apostellō to drepanon), begin to harvest, place the sickle (Mk 4:29) (Ed: literally "send the sickle" = begin to harvest) (Swanson)

The promise of the Father is a reference to His giving of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is mentioned specifically ("Spirit") about 17 times in the Gospel of Luke.  Lk. 1:15; Lk. 1:35; Lk. 1:41; Lk. 1:67; Lk. 2:25; Lk. 2:26; Lk. 2:27; Lk. 3:16; Lk. 3:22; Lk. 4:1; Lk. 4:14; Lk. 4:18; Lk. 4:33; Lk. 8:29; Lk. 8:55; Lk. 9:39; Lk. 9:42; Lk. 9:55; Lk. 10:21; Lk. 11:13; Lk. 11:24; Lk. 12:10; Lk. 12:12; Lk. 13:11; Lk. 23:46; Lk. 24:37; Lk. 24:39.

In this passages, notice that Jesus Himself was filled with the Spirit, was led about by the Spirit (Lk 4:1) and functioned in His teaching and preaching ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit (Lk 4:14, cp Acts 10:37-38), thus giving us a perfect example to follow. As Paul exhorted the saints at Corinth "Be (present imperative = continually, do this as your lifestyle - only possible as we are filled with and enabled by the Spirit) imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ." (1 Cor 11 :1-note

We see the Spirit promised in several places in the Old Testament, some implied in reference to the prophesied giving of the New Covenant to Judah and Israel...

Isaiah 44:3-4 For I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants;  And they will spring up among the grass Like poplars by streams of water.’ 

Isaiah 59:21 “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from now and forever.”

Jeremiah 31:31-33-note “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. 33“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Ezekiel 36:23-27-note “I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24 “For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

Comment: Don't miss the important spiritual dynamic in Ezekiel 36:27-note. The first part of the verse is God's Sovereign work of grace -- He will cause us to walk obediently (Php 2:13NLT-note amplifies this truth explaining He, the Spirit, will give us both the desire and the power to walk in God's statutes. But it is not simply "Let go and Let God!" The last part of the verse describes the responsibility of the believer to exercise his or her volitional choice to "be careful to observe" God's ordinances. So as we discuss elsewhere on this website, Ezekiel 36:27 exemplifies the 100/100 principle -- the Christian walk is 100% God's provision and 100% our responsibility. So instead of "Let go, let God," it could be more accurately phrased "Let God and let's go!" Can you see the difference? The former is passive, whereas the latter calls for active involvement. 

Ezekiel 37:14-note I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.’”

Ezekiel 39:29 “I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD.

Joel 2:28-29 It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions.  29“Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

Pr 1:23 (some do not see this as the Holy Spirit but I do)  Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out My Spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 

The Spirit was first mentioned in the sense of a promise in Luke in chapter 3...

Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ, John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. “His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”  (Luke 3:15-17)

Promise (1860)(epaggelia/epangelia from epí = intensifies verbal meaning + aggéllo = to tell, declare) literally means to "tell at or upon" and originally referred to an announcement or declaration (especially of a favorable message) (see Acts 23:21). In other words the first sense of epaggelia is that of a . declaration to do something which came to be associated with the implication of obligation to carry out what is stated and thus the meaning of a promise, pledge or offer. In Scripture, epaggelia refers primarily to God's pronouncements that provide assurance of what He intends to do.

Epaggelia initially in Greek was primarily a legal term denoting summons, a promise to do or give something, but in the NT speaks primarily of the promises of God, the first four NT uses referring to the promise of the Holy Spirit (Lk 24:49, Acts 1:4, 2:33, 39). The promises of God are absolutely dependable (2Cor. 1:20). Most of God's promises bring benefit to those who are designated as recipients of His promises. God's promises are not earned, but rather humbly received.

Darrel Bock - The reference to the Father's promise looks back to the promised Spirit that John the Baptist first mentioned in Luke 3:15-17 and that Jesus will note in Acts 1:4-5. In the verse the term is a noun and looks to a specific promise from God. The Spirit is is the enablement for witness that is also grounded in God's power. It includes His promise to wash and indwell them as noted in Jeremiah 31:31-33 and Ezekiel 36:23-27."

In Acts Luke records this instructive passage… "And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob to whom and through whom the Abrahamic Covenant passed) that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, 'THOU ART MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN THEE.' (Acts 13:32-33)

Father (3962)(pater) is the genitor (a begetter), by whom another is begotten. Stated more simply this is a man who has begotten a child. Father is the progenitor, the ancestor in the direct line (a forefather -- thus Adam was the "progenitor" of the Human Race).

Vine writes that pater is "from a root signifying “a nourisher, protector, upholder” (Lat., pater, Eng., “father,” are akin)." (Note: Not all lexicons agree with this origin)....Whereas the everlasting power and divinity of God are manifest in creation, His “Fatherhood” in spiritual relationship through faith is the subject of NT revelation, and waited for the presence on earth of the Son, Matt. 11:27; John 17:25. The spiritual relationship is not universal, John 8:42, 44 (cf. John 8:12 and Gal. 3:26).

BUT YOU ARE TO STAY IN THE CITY UNTIL YOU ARE CLOTHED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH

  • Acts 1:4,8 2:1-21

But - term of contrast. What is the contrast?

Stay in the city - Remain in Jerusalem.

Stay (3306)(kathizo from katá = down, and hízō = to sit, to cause to sit) means to sit down and then to remain in a place, in this case Jerusalem (cp similar use Acts 18:11). Jesus gives this as a command in the aorist imperative. Do this now! Don't delay! (Delayed obedience is disobedience).

Some have objected that they did not obey but instead went to Galilee. Norman Giesler addresses this question of "Why did the disciples go to Galilee when Jesus commanded them to stay in Jerusalem? 

PROBLEM: According to Luke, the apostles were told to “tarry in the city of Jerusalem” until Pentecost. But Matthew tells us that they went into Galilee (Matt. 28:10, 16). 

SOLUTION: First, it is possible that the command was not given until after they had been in Galilee. In this event there would be no conflict whatsoever. Furthermore, the command to “tarry” simply meant to make Jerusalem their headquarters. It did not preclude taking short trips elsewhere. Jerusalem was the place they were to receive the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49) and to begin their work." (When Critics Ask)

In Acts 1:4 Luke records "Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised (Lk 24:49), “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me." This would suggest that this event (and the command to stay or tarry) did indeed follow their sojourn to Galilee. 

We see that the disciples obeyed Jesus and in Acts we read...

These all with one mind (homothumadon/homothymadon - a key word in Acts!) were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. (Acts 1:14)

Clothed (1746)(enduo from en = in + dúo = to sink, go in or under, to put on) means literally to clothe or dress someone and to put on as a garment, to cause to get into a garment (eg, Lk 15:22 where the father says "quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him… ").

All God's workmen must be ENDUED with power (dunamis) from on high 

In the OT "clothed" is used to describe the Holy Spirit coming upon (enduo) Judges 6:34, Gideon; 1Chr 12:18, 1 Chr 24:20 God clothing Adam & Eve Ge 3:21 of a person as clothed, i.e., endued, furnished with any power, quality; 1Co 15:53, 54 = incorruptibility and immortality;Col3:12 =  to the bowels of compassion;  2Chr 6:41; Job 29:14; Ps 93:1; Ezek7:27 

Paul uses enduo are all figurative describing the putting on of "ethical, moral or spiritual" garments. And what a "wardrobe" he lays out for believers in his epistles…

THE ARMOR OF LIGHT

Romans 13:12 The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside (cast off, drop, fling away, renounce) the deeds of darkness (all the filthy garments of worldliness—that is, everything associated with unrighteousness and evil -- in the context of Col 3:10 this would include lying) and put on the armor of light. (See notes)

CHRIST HIMSELF AS OUR GARMENT

Galatians 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Comment: This putting on refers to salvation, at which time the Spirit replaced our filthy rags of sin with the righteousness of Christ - this is now and forever our new position before God. He sees us in Christ's righteousness - the theologians refer to this as positional truth = past tense salvation = justification.

Romans 13:14 But put on (our practice = present tense salvation = progressive sanctification - put Him on each morning and every moment of the day - aorist imperative [middle voice = you initiate the action and participate in the result = put Him yourself] ) the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. (See notes)

THE NEW SELF

Ephesians 4:24 and put on (not a command - aorist tense) the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Comment: As discussed in the notes there is debate between excellent commentators, some favoring this putting on as indicative of positional truth and others favoring it as calling for this to be our practice - progressive sanctification or present tense salvation.

Colossians 3:10 and have put on (past tense salvation = positional sanctification = our position now and forever in Christ - see our practice in Col 3:12) the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One Who created him (See notes)

Colossians 3:12 And so, as those who have been chosen of God (cf notes Eph 1:5), holy and beloved, put on (present tense salvation = progressive sanctification = our practice - a command be clothed [middle voice = clothe yourself] now = aorist imperative) a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (See notes)

THE BREASTPLATE OF FAITH AND LOVE

1Thessalonians 5:8 (note) But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on (at the time of our new birth = justification = our position = past tense salvation) the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

IMPERISHABLE, IMMORTAL GARMENTS

1 Corinthians 15:53 For this perishable must put on (glorification = future tense salvation) the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory.

What a "wardrobe" God has made available for believers! We're the "best dressed" folks in the world and most of us don't even know it! And the best is yet to come for John writes…

GARMENTS OF FINE LINEN, WHITE AND CLEAN…

Revelation 19:14 (note) And the armies (this is us, those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb) which are in heaven, clothed (enduo) in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him (the Lamb = Faithful and True = the Word of God) on white horses. (Comment: This incredible historical event will occur at the end of the 7 year period, Daniel's Seventieth Week, and marks the defeat of the antichrist and his armies and the inception of Messiah's Millennial Reign)

Lockyer writes "Clothing" as a verb is frequently used in a figurative sense. In connection with the Spirit's enpowerment it can be likened unto an act of clothing. "The Spirit of the Lord clothed himself with Gideon" (cf. Judges 6:34, marg.). "Tarry ye... until ye be endued" (Clothed with power from on high"—Luke 24:49; cf. Isaiah 61:10)."

Judges 6:34  So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him.

Isaiah 61:10  I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 

Power from on high - Supernatural power from the Holy Spirit. 

Power through the Spirit

  • Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit (Zech. 4:6); 
  • Jesus was anointed with the Spirit and with power (Acts 10:38); 
  • you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you (Acts 1:8); 
  • clothed with power from on high (Lk 24:49); 
  • God has given us a spirit of power (2 Tim. 1:7);
  • Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14);
  • power of the Spirit (Ro 15:13); 
  • the power of signs and wonders, the power of the Spirit (Ro 15:19);
  • not persuasive words but the demonstration of the Spirit and power (1 Cor 2:4)
  • filled with power with the Spirit of the Lord (Micah 3:8)
  • Stephen, full of grace and power (Acts 6:8).
  • These Scriptures beg the question "Am I plugged in to the power "Source" (so to speak)?"

Leon Morris - The disciples are not to attempt the task of evangelism with their own meagre resources, but are to await the coming of the Spirit. The equipment he would provide is picturesquely described in terms of the disciples being clothed with power from on high. The note of power is significant, and on high reminded them (and reminds us) of the source of all real power for evangelism. (TNTC-Luke)

Power (Miracles) (1411)(dunamis from dunamai = to be able, to have power) power especially achieving power or Inherent power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. Dunamis describes power in the sense of that which overcomes resistance. In Matthew dunamis refers to the miracles or miraculous powers of Jesus. The Gospel is the dynamis of God for salvation. If we grasp this basic truth, it takes the pressure off of us in evangelizing. In other words our job is to accurately present the Gospel, not to try to convince them of its veracity for the Gospel has it's own intrinsic power or dynamis. In a word the Gospel is "dynamic." 

Words deriving from the stem duna- or dyna- all have the basic meaning of “being able,” of “capacity” in virtue of an ability;

A B Bruce writes “Power from on high (Lk 24:49) the expression has a mystical sound, and its sense seems difficult to define; yet the general meaning is surely plain enough. The thing signified is not altogether or chiefly a power to work miracles, but just what Jesus had spoken of at such length in His farewell address before His death. “Power from on high” means: All that the apostles were to gain from the mission of the Comforter—enlightenment of mind, enlargement of heart, sanctification of their faculties, and transformation of their characters, so as to make them whetted swords and polished shafts for subduing the world unto the truth; these, or the effect of these combined, constituted the power for which Jesus directed the eleven to wait. The power, therefore, was a spiritual power, not a magical; an inspiration, not a possession; a power which was not to act as a blind fanatical force, but to manifest itself as a spirit of love and of a sound mind." (Excerpt from Chapter 30 of the Training of the Twelve - see full chapter below). 


Out of Gas - One New Year's Day, in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas. The amusing thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. With its vast oil resources, its truck was out of gas. Often, Christians neglect their spiritual maintenance, and though they are "clothed with power" (Luke 24:49) find themselves out of gas. —Steve Blankenship


Go Quickly and Tell - The far-famed preacher, Robert G. Lee, told of a terrible train wreck that occurred near Kinston, North Carolina. An excursion train plunged into an open draw bridge on the Elizabeth River, and eighteen passengers were killed or drowned. An inquiry to determine the cause of the accident heard from the signal man and from the engineer. The signal man swore under oath that he had waved a red flag, signaling the train to stop. The engineer, however, swore that the flag had been white, indicating full speed ahead. The mystery was solved when the flag was recovered and presented as evidence. It was a red flag, but it had become so faded in time that it would have appeared white from a distance. “Many Christians have become like a faded flag that fails to convey God’s message of warning to imperiled men,” said Lee. “Oh, the wrecks that have resulted from the unfaithfulness of those whose Christianity is a faded flag.” Do “dying sayings” interest you? It’s intriguing to compare the final moments of Christians to those without Him. The last words of Thomas Carlyle, the famous Scottish writer, was: I am as good as without hope … a sad old man gazing into the final chasm. Compare that with the dying words of evangelist D. L. Moody: Earth recedes! Heaven opens before me. This is no dream… It is beautiful! It is like a trance! If this is death, it is sweet! God is calling me, and I must go! Easter changes the way we look at both life and death. When the Bible says that Christ is the firstfruits of those who sleep, it means He is the first of many to be resurrected. “Firstfruits” refers to the earliest ingathering of crops. It indicates there’s a greater harvest coming. Jesus was the first of those to be resurrected, and because He lives, we shall live also. As Charles Wesley put it in his great hymn: “Lives again our glorious King, / Where, O death, is now thy sting? / Dying once He all doth save, / Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!”      —Dr. David Jeremiah


Acts 1:12-14 Going Away -  Dave Branon
Luke 24:36-53
They worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. —Luke 24:52
It was the most unusual “going-away party” ever. There stood Jesus, who had recently risen from the grave. And there stood His followers, listening to His teaching as they had on so many occasions. Jesus spoke about the coming of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49), and He told them that it would be their task to be His witnesses.

Then an unusual thing happened. Luke said that Jesus led His disciples to Bethany (v.50), and as He was blessing them He was “carried up into heaven” (v.51). Mark recorded, “He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God” (16:19).

To see Jesus ascend to heaven was amazing, but what happened next was also remarkable. Instead of being downcast because He had gone away, the disciples responded with renewed purpose. They worshiped Him (Luke 24:52). They joyfully returned to Jerusalem, where they prayed (Acts 1:12-14). Then, after receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 2), “they went out and preached everywhere” (Mark 16:20).

Although Jesus has gone away, the Holy Spirit makes real to us His presence so that we too can worship, pray, and witness as His disciples did centuries ago. These are still the best ways to celebrate what Jesus has done for us: Worship. Prayer. Witness.  —JDB

Jesus conquered death and fear;
Now He reigns from heaven above.
Spread the word both far and near
Of His great redeeming love. —D. De Haan

Jesus had to go away so the Holy Spirit could come to stay.


The Promised Spirit

Read: 2 Kings 2:5-12 | Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 1–3; Luke 24:1-35

“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied. 2 Kings 2:9

Tenacity and audacity—Elisha had heaps of both. Having spent time with Elijah, he witnessed the Lord working through the prophet by performing miracles and by speaking truth in an age of lies. Second Kings 2:1 tells us that Elijah is about to be taken “up to heaven,” and Elisha doesn’t want him to leave.

The time came for the dreaded separation, and Elisha knew he needed what Elijah had if he was going to successfully continue the ministry. So he made a daring demand: “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit” (2 Kings 2:9). His bold request was a reference to the double portion given the firstborn son or heir under the law (Deut. 21:17). Elisha wanted to be recognized as the heir of Elijah. And God said yes.

Recently one of my mentors—a woman who spread the good news of Jesus—died. Having battled ill health for years, she was ready to enjoy her eternal feast with the Lord. Those of us who loved her were grateful at the thought of her newfound freedom from pain and that she could enjoy God’s presence, but we grieved the loss of her love and example. Despite her departure, she did not leave us alone. We too had God’s presence.

Elisha gained a double portion of Elijah’s spirit—a tremendous privilege and blessing. We who live after the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus have the promised Holy Spirit. The triune God makes His home with us!  Amy Boucher Pye

Dear Lord, we want to be more like You. Help us to be witnesses of Your Spirit within us.

When Jesus ascended to His Father, He sent His Spirit.

INSIGHT: When Elisha received the “double portion” of Elijah’s spirit, the first thing he asked was, “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” (2 Kings 2:14). This question voices Elisha’s deep concern that the ministry Elijah had—bringing the word of the Lord to the people—would not cease after Elijah was taken to heaven. 

By Amy Boucher Pye


Oswald Chambers - The life that lives

Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Luke 24:49.

The disciples had to tarry until the day of Pentecost not for their own preparation only; they had to wait until the Lord was glorified historically. As soon as He was glorified, what happened? “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” The parenthesis in John 7:39 (“For the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified”) does not apply to us; the Holy Ghost has been given, the Lord is glorified; the waiting depends not on God’s providence, but on our fitness.
The Holy Spirit’s influence and power were at work before Pentecost, but He was not here. Immediately Our Lord was glorified in Ascension, the Holy Spirit came into this world, and He has been here ever since. We have to receive the revelation that He is here. The reception of the Holy Spirit is the maintained attitude of a believer. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive quickening life from the ascended Lord.
It is not the baptism of the Holy Ghost which changes men, but the power of the ascended Christ coming into men’s lives by the Holy Ghost that changes them. We too often divorce what the New Testament never divorces. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is not an experience apart from Jesus Christ: it is the evidence of the ascended Christ.
The baptism of the Holy Ghost does not make you think of Time or Eternity, it is one amazing glorious NOW. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee.” Begin to know Him now, and finish never.


HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:49


CLICK HERE FOR MORE RESOURCES RELATED TO LUKE 24:49 (because they are lengthy, they are placed at the bottom of this page).

Luke 24:50  And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.

Amplified  Then He conducted them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up His hands, He invoked a blessing on them. 

Luke 24:50-53 deal with the ascension which is described more fully in Luke’s second volume (Acts 1:9–11). No other Gospel records the ascension of Jesus. In fact, no other NT writer records His ascension.

MacArthur has an excellent summary statement - Luke’s gospel began with the story of the Lord Jesus Christ’s arrival on earth, and ends with His departure from it. His life began with condescension and ended with ascension; it began with incarnation and ended with exaltation; it began with expectation and ended with consummation; it began with the Son of God being born of a virgin and descending to earth, and ended with the Son of God being born from the dead and ascending to heaven; it began with hope unrealized and ended with hope fully realized; it began with a promise and ended with a fulfillment and a new promise; it began with the praise of Mary, Zacharias, Simeon, Anna, and the angels in anticipation of Messiah’s arrival, and ended with the worship and praise of those who witnessed Messiah’s departure.

When did He lead them out? In Acts 1:3 we learn that forty days had elapsed between His resurrection and His ascension. 

To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

Leon Morris - The ascension differs radically from Jesus’ vanishing from the sight of the disciples at Emmaus (Lk 24:31) and similar happenings. There is an air of finality about it. It is the decisive close of one chapter and the beginning of another. It is the consummation of Christ’s earthly work, the indication to his followers that his mission is accomplished, his work among them come to a decisive end. They can expect to see him in the old way no more.

Warren Wiersbe notes that "For some reason, our Lord’s ascension is not given the prominence in the church that it deserves. Think of what it meant to Him to return to heaven and sit on the throne of glory! (John 17:5, 11) His ascension is proof that He has conquered every enemy and that He reigns supremely “far above all” (Eph. 1:18–23)."

Bethany - Bethany was village on the Mount of Olives about 2 miles from Jerusalem.

Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha....18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off; John 11:1, 18.

Spurgeon - He went away in the act of blessing, and he has never left off blessing his people from that day to this. He never had lifted up his hands to strike them, or to invoke curses upon them. Those hands were filled with blessings, and the last thing that was seen of Jesus by human eyes was his hands uplifted in the act of blessing.

Spurgeon - The ruling passion was strong in the hour of his departure. Well did he know that place, Bethany, — the place of love, where he had received a welcome such as he had experienced nowhere else on earth, — where lived Mary, and Martha, and Lazarus; — there did he bid “Good-bye” to his disciples.

He lifted His hands - a common gesture associated with blessing (cf. Lev. 9:22; Ps. 134:2) that pointed toward heaven, from where all blessing descends.

Blessed (2127)(eulogeo from eu = good + lógos = word; see cognates eulogetos and eulogia) means speak good or well. When eulogeo is used by men toward men it means to speak well of with praise and thanksgiving (English "Eulogy" = an address in praise for one deceased ). To say good or positive things. Eulogeo can be from men to God, from men to men, and from God to men. When God blesses men He grants them favor and confers happiness upon them.

Paul wrote "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed (eulogeo) us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Eph 1:3).


Norman Geisler - LUKE 24:50–51—Did Jesus ascend from Bethany or from the Mountain of Olives near Jerusalem?
PROBLEM: Luke says Jesus ascended from Bethany (Luke 24:50), but Acts 1:9–11 affirms that He ascended from the Mt. of Olives near Jerusalem.
SOLUTION: Bethany was on the eastern slope of the Mt. of Olives, which is just east of Jerusalem. Luke, who wrote both passages (cf. Acts 1:1), saw no contradiction in referring to both places as the general location of Christ’s ascension. Jesus may have begun His ascension from the mount, passing to the east over Bethany as He disappeared from their sight. (When Critics Ask)


​​​​​​​Octavius Winslow - Morning Thoughts

"And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them." Luke 24:50

Let us approach the spot where the Redeemer ascended. It was from Mount Olivet, near to Bethany; so that the two accounts of Christ's ascension recorded by Luke, the one in his Gospel, and the other in his Acts of the Apostles, 1:12, perfectly, agree. How full of great, and holy, and solemn, yes, awful, associations would be that spot to Jesus! It was no strange, unfamiliar, untrodden ground to Him. At the foot of that mount, from whose summit He entered into glory, He had been wont to resort with His disciples for holy meditation and prayer. There, too, His sufferings commenced. There He endured the fearful conflict, when His soul was "exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." It was there, prostrate in the dust, the cup of trembling in His hand, the sweat of blood falling to the ground, He thrice poured out His soul in that touching prayer- "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." Yes, it was from Mount Olivet, the scene of His deep mental agony, and near to Bethany (which signifies the house of affliction), our blessed Lord took His flight to His Father and His God, to enjoy His presence forever, and to drink deeply and eternally of the pleasures which are at His right hand. And so will it be with all His members. As if to heighten, by contrast with the sufferings of earth, the glories of heaven- as if to give a deeper melody to their song, and a richer sweetness to their joy, and a higher character to their ecstasy, and a profounder sense of the grace that brought them there, it often pleases the Lord that affliction, in various forms, should throw its deepest gloom around the path of the children of God, when just on the eve of translation to glory. And when, in anticipation of a smooth descent and a cloudless sunset, they have said, with Job, "I shall die in my nest," God their Father has seemed to have reserved the bitter dregs of affliction's cup for the dying lips; and, like Jacob, they have been constrained to anticipate that with sorrow their grey hairs will be brought down to the grave. Thus, through much tribulation they enter the kingdom; out of the house of affliction, and, as it were, from Mount Olivet, they ascend to Mount Zion, borne up as in a chariot of fire. Be it so; "He does all things well." Compared with the sufferings of Jesus, it is, in its heaviest form, but a "light affliction;" and measured with an eternity of bliss, in its longest duration, is but "for a moment." 


​​​​​​​HYMNS RELATED TO LUKE 24:50

Luke 24:51  While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven.

Amplified And it occurred that while He was blessing them, He parted from them and was taken up into heaven. 

JESUS' ASCENSION
TO HEAVEN

While - "Greek “And it happened that while.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), (NET Note)

He parted from them - "He stood apart and was gone" (Robertson)

Leon Morris - Theologians also see in the ascension the taking into heaven of the humanity of Jesus. The incarnation is not something casual and fleeting but a divine action with permanent consequences. And Moule argues that if the ascension means the taking of Christ’s humanity into heaven, ‘it means that with it will be taken the humanity which He has redeemed—those who are Christ’s, at His coming. It is a powerful expression of the redemption of this world, in contrast to mere escape from it.

MacArthur - Never has so little been said about such a monumental event. Only Enoch (Gen. 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11) had been taken to heaven in their physical bodies. Unlike what happened in Emmaus, where Jesus suddenly vanished, here He rose up into heaven in a physical, literal form as they watched. In the account of this scene in Acts 1:10-11, two angels asked the disciples, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking [longingly, as if they were losing someone] into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven”; in other words, in the same physical form. His bodily ascension and return shows that heaven is a place that accommodates humans in their glorified, resurrected bodies. It is also a preview of the bodily resurrection of believers. And although He left, the Lord would still be with them and all believers (Matt. 28:20) through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Was carried away into heaven - The Ascension occurred 40 days after His resurrection. In 10 days it would be Pentecost (50 days after His resurrection). 

Luke gives a more detailed account in Acts 1:9-11

And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them;  and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way (visually, in a cloud in the air) as you have watched Him go into heaven."

NET Note -  There is great debate whether this event equals Acts 1:9–11 so that Luke has telescoped something here that he describes in more detail later. The text can be read in this way because the temporal marker in v. 50 is vague.

Holman Bible Dictionary - Ascension - Act of going to heaven in bodily form from earthly life. Experienced by Enoch (Genesis 5:24 ) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:1-2 ) but supremely by Jesus Christ (Acts 1:9 ). Jewish literature outside the canon of the Bible developed long stories and explanations of the ascension of many religious heroes. See, for example, the Assumption of Moses. The Bible gives only brief notices. Still, the ascension of Jesus provides important theological foundations. It concluded the earthly ministry of Jesus, allowing eyewitnesses to see both the risen Christ on earth and the victorious, eternal Christ returning to heaven to minister at the right hand of the Father. The ascension expanded Christ's ministry from its geographically limited earthly dimensions to its universal heavenly dimensions. The ascension (1) allowed Jesus to prepare a heavenly place for His followers (John 14:2 ), (2) return to the Father (John 16:5 ), (3) send the Holy Spirit to the disciples (John 16:7 ) to bring conviction of sin, open the way to righteousness through faith, and condemn the devil, (4) comfort those suffering for Him through visions of the Ascended One (Acts 7:54-60 ), (5) call persons to fulfill His missionary task (Acts 9:1-18 ), (6) open doors of ministry for His people (2 Corinthians 2:12-14 ), (7) demonstrate God's power and His rule over all who would exercise power and authority on earth or in heaven (Ephesians 1:20-23 ), (8) give gifts for ministry to His people (Ephesians 4:7-12 ), (9) give hope to troubled followers showing they would join Him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4 ), (10) rescue His servants from persecution so they can preach His gospel (2 Timothy 4:16-18 ), (11) demonstrate that glory, not death, is God's final word for the Son and for disciples (Hebrews 2:9 ), (12) exercise a heavenly priesthood (Hebrews 4:14 ), (13) make revelation of future trials and final victory possible (Revelation 1:1 ), (14) discipline His church so He may have fellowship with it and provide final full fellowship in ruling with Christ (Revelation 3:19-22 ). Most of all the ascension combined with the resurrection exalted Christ (Philippians 2:9 ). Contrasted to Christ's act of humbling Himself to move from heaven to earth and especially to the cross (Philippians 2:5-8 ) is God's act of exalting Jesus to the highest position in the universe, in charge of everything that exists and all that happens. Thus in ascension Jesus showed He had defeated death for good and made eternal life possible. The ascension thus calls on all people to bow in worship and obedience to the Ascended One (Philippians 2:10 ). (Holman)

Related Resources:


A Departing Blessing

While He blessed them, . . . He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. —Luke 24:51

A cancer-stricken believer was dying. I was in his room as his family gathered around him. One by one he spoke to his children, to their spouses, and to his young grand children. He gave each a loving, tender blessing. Even his warnings were spoken with gentleness. He reminded them to keep the Lord in the center of their lives. We wept together, knowing that soon he would no longer be with us. A few days later he was gone.

Our Savior was doing much the same thing just before He ascended to heaven. Rather than weep as they saw Him leave, His disciples were filled with great joy, even though they understood only dimly how they would experience His blessings. But Jesus would soon send the Holy Spirit to indwell them (Acts 1-2). He would carry on a ministry of intercession for them “at the right hand of God” (Romans 8:34). And the promise of His return would comfort them (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

As we think about our Savior ascending to heaven, let’s rejoice in the blessings He left us. And as we have occasion, let’s encourage our loved ones to keep Jesus at the center of their lives. Someday we will depart from this earth, and our example and words may be the most precious blessing we can leave behind.

Your parting words, O Lord, give hope,
They're filled with promise, joy, and love;
Help us to share what You have done
With grace and power from above. —D. De Haan

Christ departed so that the Holy Spirit could be imparted.

By David Egner 


Why The Ascension?

Read: John 16:5-15; Luke 24:50-53 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 13-15; Acts 19:21-41

If I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. —John 16:7

God raised Jesus from the grave and exalted Him to His right hand in heaven (Ephesians 1:20). Yet for 40 days Jesus made many bodily appearances to His disciples. But the 40th day was different. With His disciples looking on, He slowly ascended into the sky until a cloud hid Him from view (Acts 1:9).

Why didn’t Jesus continue His visible appearances on earth? He had told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would not begin His work until after He left (John 16:7). The time had come for His followers to trust His word instead of relying on their physical senses (20:25,29). Their Master’s slow, visible, and final ascent was a dramatic way of saying to them that a new era was about to begin.

From heaven Jesus would send the Holy Spirit to replace His bodily presence. Christ would form the church and rule as its Head (Ephesians 1:22-23). By His Spirit, He would live within His followers and fill them with peace and power. In heaven He would intercede for them before the Father’s throne (Hebrews 7:25). He would no longer be visibly present, but He would still be with them in a very real way (Matthew 28:19-20).

The same is true for every believer today. That’s why we can be thankful that Jesus ascended to heaven.

He who came to save us, He who bled and died,
Now is crowned with glory at His Father's side;
Nevermore to suffer, nevermore to die,
Jesus, King of glory, is gone up on high. —Havergal

Jesus ascended to heaven that He might continue His work on earth.

By Herbert VanderLugt


The Ascension

I go to prepare a place for you. . . . I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. —John 14:2-3

The repeated appearances of Jesus after His death and resurrection brought His followers so much joy that they must have wanted the visits to continue indefinitely. But on the 40th day after His resurrection, having given His disciples final instructions, Jesus slowly ascended and a cloud hid Him from view.

Jesus could have vanished instantly, as He had done previously (Luke 24:31). But He chose to ascend visibly to impress on His followers that this was the end of His visits. His bodily presence would soon be replaced by “another Helper,” the Holy Spirit promised in John 14:16. Jesus’ ascension marked the dawn of a new era.

In His glorified human body, the Lord Jesus ascended, entered heaven, sat down at the right hand of God, sent the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18; Acts 2:33), and now intercedes for us (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). He permeates the whole universe with His spiritual presence and power (Col. 1:15-23; Eph. 4:10).

An ancient writing says that Jesus ascended bodily into heaven “our entrance to secure, and our abode to prepare.” That’s true. But it’s also true that as God, He is always spiritually present with us and will be “to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). What a wonderful Savior we have!

The Lord ascended bodily
From earth to heaven’s throne;
Now He is there to intercede
For those who are His own. —Sper

Jesus went away so the Holy Spirit could come to stay.

By Herbert VanderLugt


Octavius Winslow - Morning Thoughts

"And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven." Luke 24:51

How touching and instructive was the parting interview! Oh, how worthy of Himself was this His final blessing! How harmonious with every previous act of His life was this its closing one! Blessing to the last, and while with outstretched hands that blessing was yet breathing from His lips, "received up into glory." Oh, how full of grace and love is our adorable Immanuel! What a heart of overflowing tenderness and blessing is His! Knowing this, knowing it from observation and from experience, supported by the innumerable proofs which crowd every page of the New Testament, is it not a marvel that we should seek our blessing from any other source than Jesus, or that we should breathe our sighs, or pour our sorrows, or repose our aching head, on any other bosom than His? Ah! our acquaintance with Him- our best, our dearest, our most loving Friend- is so limited, we walk with Him so coldly, we follow Him so distantly, we believe in Him so feebly; the greatest wonder is; that in the midst of all, His patience forbearance, tender and unchangeable love, towards us should still be so unwearied and so great. 
But who can describe the parting interview and the last blessing? Clustering around Him a lonely timid band, saddened as they must have been by the thought that they were about to separate forever on earth from Him whom they loved- as many of them afterwards proved- better than life itself- to whom they had been wont to look for guidance, on whom they had leaned for strength, and to the shelter of whose bosom they had fled in danger and in sorrow, they needed His blessing- they needed that which none but Jesus could give to them. They were oppressed, and He only could undertake for them. They were in sorrow, and He only could comfort them. They were tried and perplexed, and He only could sustain and counsel them. And what, may we suppose, would that blessing contain, which He now breathed over them? The richer anointing of the Spirit to fit them for their work- a larger measure of grace to shield them in temptation, and to uphold them in trial- increased light in the understanding respecting the spiritual nature of His kingdom, and the meaning of the Holy Scriptures of truth; and- what to them, at that moment, would be of unspeakable preciousness- a deeper discovery of His own pardoning love, a fuller assurance of their personal acceptance in Himself, and a richer bestowment of the "peace of God, which passes all understanding." Thus blessing, He was "parted from them, and carried up into heaven," to intercede for them there; and thus blessed, "they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy," to spread the fragrance and to manifest the power of His name through all the world. 


Oswald Chambers - His ascension and our union

And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. Luke 24:51.

We have no corresponding experience to the events in Our Lord’s life after the Transfiguration. From then onwards Our Lord’s life was altogether vicarious. Up to the time of the Transfiguration He had exhibited the normal perfect life of a man; from the Transfiguration onwards—Gethsemane, the Cross, the Resurrection—everything is unfamiliar to us. His Cross is the door by which every member of the human race can enter into the life of God; by His Resurrection He has the right to give eternal life to any man, and by His Ascension Our Lord enters heaven and keeps the door open for humanity.
On the Mount of Ascension the Transfiguration is completed. If Jesus had gone to heaven from the Mount of Transfiguration, He would have gone alone; He would have been nothing more to us than a glorious Figure. But He turned His back on the glory, and came down from the Mount to identify Himself with fallen humanity. The Ascension is the consummation of the Transfiguration. Our Lord does now go back into His primal glory; but He does not go back simply as Son of God: He goes back to God as Son of Man as well as Son of God. There is now freedom of access for anyone straight to the very throne of God by the Ascension of the Son of Man. As Son of Man Jesus Christ deliberately limited omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience in Himself. Now they are His in absolute full power. As Son of Man Jesus Christ has all power at the throne of God. He is King of kings and Lord of lords from the day of His Ascension until now.


Christ’s Ascension. Luke 24.51-53; Ps. 68.18
    1    Now for a theme of thankful praise
            To tune the stammerer’s tongue;
        Christians, your hearts and voices raise,
            And join the joyful song.

    2    The Lord’s ascended up on high,
            Decked with resplendent wounds;
        While shouts of victory rend the sky,
            And heaven with joy resounds.

    3    See, from the regions of the dead,
            Through all the ethereal plains,
        The powers of darkness captive led,
            The dragon dragged in chains.

    4    Ye eternal gates, your leaves unfold!
            Receive the conquering King;
        Ye angels, strike your harps of gold;
            And saints, triumphant sing.

    5    Sinners, rejoice! he died for you;
            For you prepares a place;
        Sends down his Spirit to guide you through
            With every gift of grace.

    6    His blood, which did your sins atone,
            For your salvation pleads;
        And, seated on his Father’s throne,
            He reigns and intercedes.

Luke 24:52  And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy,

Amplified  - And they, worshiping Him, went back to Jerusalem with great joy; 

ESV  And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,

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

NET  So they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,

NIV  Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.

NLT  So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy.

YLT and they, having bowed before him, did turn back to Jerusalem with great joy,

THE REACTION TO THE
THE ASCENSION OF JESUS

After worshiping Him - They were bowing down to the ground in reverence to their Lord. Did they have a protracted "worship service?" The text does not elaborate. The point is that even though Jesus was not in their midst, they worshiped Him as the Living Lord. Before they had seen their risen Lord, they fretted and doubted behind a closed door. But the sight of Jesus changed their perspective from temporal to eternal, from fear to worship. And time with our Lord in His Word will have the same impact on His diiples today. So the simple question is are you daily in His Word

Matthew also describes the disciples' worshiping the risen Lord...

Matthew 28:9; And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him.

Matthew 28:17 When they saw Him, they worshiped [Him;] but some were doubtful.

Spurgeon - Then they were not Unitarians — “They worshiped Him,” — and there were angels present at the time who would have been sure to have rebuked them if it had been a wrong thing for them to worship him. Indeed, they themselves, both as Jews and as Christians, would have felt, in their inmost soul, that they could not worship anyone but God; but Christ is God, so they did well to worship Him.

Leon Morris - Worship is their response to his ascension (it is the first time Luke speaks of anyone worshiping Jesus). It is interesting that their feeling at this final parting was not one of grief but of great joy (cf. John 14:28). They were understanding more than they had previously. (TNTC-Luke)

Worshiping (bow down) (4352)(proskuneo from pros = before + kuneo = kiss or adore) means to prostrate oneself in homage before another in the full sense of worship, not mere reverence or courtesy. When Jesus Christ was born into this world, He was attended and worshiped by angels. (Lu 2:13-17). How fitting that Jesus Christ's advent and ascension should be marked by worship! Notice also although Jesus was now physically absent, their worship was no less directed to Him. What a great pattern for the church today, for He is not physically present but we can truly worship the risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ in a very real sense, just as did His first disciples. Did you see what was linked to genuine worship? Great joy! That principle persists and should make us passionate to praise His Holy Name. 

Proskuneo represents the most common Near Eastern act of adoration and reverence and also carries the idea of profound awe and respect. Some believe that the root word kuneo may be related to kuon which is the Greek word for dog and which then could be picturing a dog licking his master's hand.

The word proskuneo literally means to kiss toward someone, to throw a kiss in token of respect or homage, to prostrate oneself in homage, to do reverence to, to adore and so to worship and show respect. In the ancient Oriental (especially Persia) the mode of salutation between persons of equal rank was to kiss each other on the lips. When the difference of rank was slight, they kissed each other on the cheek. When one was much inferior, he fell upon his knees touched his forehead to the ground or prostrated himself, and as he was bowing down he would be throwing kisses toward the superior. It is this latter mode of salutation that is intended by the Greek writers in the use of the verb proskuneo .

Returned to Jerusalem - Which is what Jesus commanded the disciples (Lk 49:49; Acts 1:4) 

Spurgeon  on returned to Jerusalem - Back to the place of his murder, — back to the place where they were likely to be themselves murdered. (Ed: So in light of the potential danger, why did they return to Jerusalem? They were obeying their Lord's instructions in Lk 24:49-note "to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”)

GREAT JOY

A T Robertson - Now that the Ascension has come they are no longer in despair. Joy becomes the note of victory as it is today. No other note can win victories for Christ. The bells rang in heaven to greet the return of Jesus there, but he set the carillon of joy to ringing on earth in human hearts in all lands and for all time.

Joy is a key theme for Luke: Luke 1:14; 2:10; 8:13; 10:17; 15:7, 10; 24:41. 

If you read commentaries they propose a variety of reasons the disciples experienced joy but the simple solution is that they had seen the risen Lord. The Cross was not darkness and defeat but marked the victory over darkness. 

The disciples had been doubting, fearful and sad (Lk 24:11, 17, 37) but the sight of their risen Lord brought joy! This is a pattern which we need to practice when we are down, seeking and seeing Him in His Word with eyes of faith, because as the Psalmist says "In Thy presence is fullness of joy." (Ps 16:11). Is your joy quotient low? Have you been neglecting time at His feet, listening to His Word like Mary (Lk 10:39-note), and instead been to busy for time with Him like Martha (Lk 10:40, 41-note) and as a result have little joy despite great busyness? Then go to bed early tonight and set your alarm to meet with Jesus in His Word and prayer and I would predict your joy would return. 

Joy (5479)(chara)  is a feeling of inner gladness, delight or rejoicing. Joy is a feeling of inner gladness, delight or rejoicing. Joy in the NT is virtually always used to signify a feeling of "happiness" that is based on spiritual realities (and independent of what "happens"). Joy is an inner gladness; a deep seated pleasure. It is a depth of assurance and confidence that ignites a cheerful heart. It is a cheerful heart that leads to cheerful behavior. Joy is not an experience that comes from favorable circumstances but is God’s gift to believers. Joy is a part of God’s very essence and His Spirit manifests this supernatural joy in His children (Galatians 5:22-note, Acts 13:52, 1Th 1:6-note). So while the Spirit had not yet come to live within them, He was surely present with them (cp Jesus' promise in John 14:18 = "with you forever").

Joy is the deep-down sense of well-being that abides in the heart of the person who knows all is well between himself and the Lord. There is a chorus from an old spiritual song that is apropos Happiness happens But joy abides. 

NET Note -  Luke’s gospel story proper ends where it began, in the temple courts (Luke 1:4–22). The conclusion is open-ended, because the story continues in Acts with what happened from Jerusalem onwards, once the promise of the Father (Lk 24:49) came.


Have We Learned?

Read: Luke 24:44-53 | You shall be witnesses to Me. —Acts 1:8

What happens when we keep to ourselves something that, if shared with others, would enrich their lives? We not only fail to increase their happiness, but we rob ourselves of the joy that generosity brings.

Luigi Tarisio, who loved violins passionately, never learned that lesson. He spent his limited income buying the finest instruments he could find. He owned 246 exquisite violins, which were crammed into every corner of his otherwise barren little house. And they were never played! His obsession prevented those instruments from bringing pleasure and inspiration to other music lovers.

Instead of following Luigi’s example, we need to be motivated by the admonition of Proverbs 3:27 to keep ourselves free from the guilt of withholding good. Even more, we should be motivated by grateful obedience to Jesus Christ. And obedience, the Savior assures us, brings joy (John 15:10-11).

As Christians, we have a message that makes the melodies of heaven flood our souls. Our Lord gave us the mandate to share that message with everybody everywhere (Mark 16:15). Are we keeping the heavenly harmonies of saving grace sealed up inside ourselves, or are we obediently letting them ring out through our lips and lives?

O you who are trusting Jesus,
Redeemed at infinite cost,
Are you showing Christ to others
And seeking to win the lost? —Gilmore

Joy is a byproduct of obedience.

By Vernon C. Grounds

Luke 24:53  and were continually in the Temple praising God.

Greek  kai ēsan (imperfect tense) dia pantos en tō hierō eulogountes (present tense) ton Theon

Amplified  And they were continually in the temple celebrating with praises and blessing and extolling God. Amen (so be it). 

CSB  And they were continually in the temple complex blessing God.

ESV  and were continually in the temple blessing God.

KJV   And were continually in the temple, praising (aineo - only in Textus Receptus) and blessing God. Amen.

NET  and were continually in the temple courts blessing God.

NIV   And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

NLT   And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.

YLT  and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

IN THE TEMPLE
PRAISING GOD

Luke began (Lk 1:4-22) and ends in the Temple of God. The continued attendance of the disciples in the temple is recorded in the Acts 2:44, 3:1, 5:21, 42.

NET Note - The conclusion is open-ended, because the story continues in Acts with what happened from Jerusalem onwards, once the promise of the Father (Lk 24:49) came.

Spurgeon - So bold were they that the very central spot for the worship of Jehovah we made the place where Christ’s divine sovereignty was proclaimed. 

Warren Wiersbe -Dr. Luke opened his Gospel with a scene in the temple (Luke 1:8ff), and he closed his Gospel the same way (Luke 24:53). But what a contrast between the unbelieving, silent priest and the trusting, joyful saints! Luke has explained how Jesus went to Jerusalem and accomplished the work of redemption. His book begins and ends in Jerusalem. But his next book, The Acts of the Apostles, would explain how that Gospel traveled from Jerusalem to Rome! Is the Gospel going out to the ends of the earth from your Jerusalem? (Bible Exposition Commentary)

Were continually in the Temple - Now where is the Temple today? Our body of course (1 Cor 3:16, 1 Cor 6:19-20)! So what is the application? If we practiced praise in the temple of our bodies, what difference might it make in our daily grind? Perhaps our daily grind might be filled with great joy (Lk 24:52b)! Why don't we ask the Lord to enable you by His Spirit to praise the Name of Jesus throughout the day and see what difference that makes in our day?

Continually - dia pantos (dia = through + pantos = all) means "through all the time," at all times, continually, used as an adverb. This points to the unbroken duration of their worship. O, that the Spirit would energize such a worshiping mindset in us today! Amen. That would be great "preparation" for eternity! (cp Revelation 19:3-7-note)

It is notable that praising (blessing is probably the better translation) is in the present tense which signifies these saints were saturated with the Spirit Who enabled them to continually bless the Lord. Do it again Lord in all of us who read these words. Amen.

There is a technical point in this section - The Western text (D it) has αἰνοῦντες (ainountes, “praising”) here, while the Alexandrian MSS (𝔓75 א B C* L) have εὐλογοῦντες (eulogountes, “blessing”). Most Manuscripts, especially the later Byzantine, evidently combine these two readings with αἰνοῦντες καὶ εὐλογοῦντες (A C2 W Θ Ψ f1, 13 33 𝔐 lat). It is more difficult to decide between the two earlier readings. Internal arguments can go either way, but what seems decisive in this instance are the superior witnesses for εὐλογοῦντες. (blessing) (NET Note)

Praising (blessing) (2127)(eulogeo from eu = good + lógos = word, reason) means literally to speak good or well. Eulogeo passes on benefit by giving oneself ("giving oneself away"). God also graciously does this in us as we receive (obey) faith from Him. Or one might say eulogeo properly means to speak reason which confers benefit and hence bestows blessing. The idea is to confer what is beneficial which is quite amazing when used of His children blessing Him given that He is the great I Am and as the self-existent God, He needs absolutely nothing. And yet in a mysterious way our heartfelt praise confers "benefit" to our Holy God. Amazing grace indeed!!! (cp His people blessing Him Lk 1:64, 2:28, 24:53; 1 Cor 14:16; James 3:9). And on the other side of the coin so to speak, given that we so frequently stray like sheep from the "fold of His good and acceptable and perfect will," that He would still choose to bless us is also amazing grace indeed!!! (see Lk 1:28; Eph 1:3; Heb 6:14, etc)

"Blessing God" extends (shares) ourselves with the Lord, giving our word to be completely His – i.e. conferring ourselves to Him which fulfills the common OT imperative, "Bless the Lord!"

Lk 1:64: "And at once (Lk 1:63) his (Zacharias) mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he was speaking, blessing (eulogéō) God."

The Discovery Bible says "Scripture calls us to "bless God"!  See: Lk 1:64,68, 2:28; Ro 1:25, 9:5; 2 Cor 1:3, 11:31; Eph 1:3; 1 Pet 1:3.  The distinction between "blessing God" and "praising God" is carefully preserved in the original Hebrew/Greek text of Scripture and therefore both should be practiced in true worship!  "Praising God" acknowledges (exalts) His work and character.  In contrast, "blessing God" means surrendering oneself to Him. The scriptural imperative to "bless God!" is frequent in the (Hebrew) text of the OT.  See Ps 103:1,2, 104:1, etc. Unfortunately, it was "eliminated" by the NIV (and other translations), rendering it the same as "praise God." God also "gives Himself away" to us as He blesses us.  A. W. Tozer, "God gives....but He doesn't give away!" Reflection: "Blessing (2127/eulogéō) God" means giving ourselves away to Him.  It is so important to bless God because this impacts Him forever.  Why?  The Lord never becomes more nor less than He has always been, is, or will be (cf. Rev 4:8).  Therefore what impacts God now....does so forever!  Meditate on this in light of Mal 3:6 and Heb 13:8."

When eulogeo is used by men toward men it means to speak well of with praise and thanksgiving (English "Eulogy" = an address in praise for one deceased ). To say good or positive things.

MacDonald - Luke’s Gospel opened with devout believers at the temple, praying for the long-expected Messiah. It closes at the same place with devout believers praising and blessing God for answered prayer and for accomplished redemption. It is a lovely climax to what Renan called the most beautiful book in the world. 

NET Note on "Amen" in the King James Version - The majority of Greek manuscripts, some of which are important witnesses (A B C2 Θ Ψ f13 𝔐 lat), add “Amen” to note the Gospel’s end. Such a conclusion is routinely added by scribes to NT books because a few of these books originally had such an ending (cf. Rom 16:27; Gal 6:18; Jude 25). A majority of Greek witnesses have the concluding amen in every NT book except Acts, James, and 3 John (and even in these books, amen is found in some witnesses). It is thus a predictable variant. Further, since significant witnesses lack the word (𝔓75 א C* D L W 1 33 pc it co), it is evidently not original.

MORE RESOURCES
RELATED TO LUKE 24:49

James Smith - THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER. Acts 1:4.

Jesus Christ is the gift of God to the world; the Holy Spirit is the gift of Father and of Son to the Church. Both gifts should be thankfully accepted and equally enjoyed.
I. What this Promise is. It is the promise—

1. OF AN INDWELLER (John 14:16).
2. OF A COMFORTER (John 16:7).
3. OF A WITNESS (John 15:16).

II. The Conditions of Receiving the Promise. This promise was not made to the world—only to those who had obeyed Him, and were desirous of following Him.

1. BELIEVING.
2. WAITING (Luke 24:49).
3. THIRSTING (Isa. 44:3).

III. The Results which follow—

1. POWER TO WILL ACCORDING TO GOD'S MIND (Phil. 2:13).
2. POWER TO WALK ACCORDING TO GOD'S WAY (Ezek. 36:27).
3. POWER TO WITNESS ACCORDING TO GOD'S WORD (Acts 1:8; 4:33). (Handfuls on Purpose)


The Spirit Makes the Difference - Acts 2:38, 39 - David Cooper

There is no way to talk about the Christian life without talking about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is mentioned 261 times in the New Testament alone. The Holy Spirit makes the difference. Your spiritual growth and maturity is directly proportionate to your submission to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. When we talk about the Holy Spirit, we are not talking about a New Age mysticism, cosmic power, emotionalism or psychic phenomenon. He is God, third member of the triune Godhead; coexistent, eternal, and equal with the Father and Son (Matthew 28:19). Jesus described Him in very personal terms in John 14:16, 17.
When we read the Book of Acts, it becomes apparent that the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost marked a dramatic transformation in the lives of the disciples and, in particular, Simon Peter. Before Pentecost, Peter was often impulsive in his decisions, fearful of opposition and unstable in his commitments. But after Pentecost, he emerges on the scene as a courageous, committed and faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ Peter's challenge rings clear today: "You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). What is this gift, and how do we receive it?

I. Receiving the Spirit at Conversion
We have the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Christ as our Savior. He lives in the heart of every believer, making us the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). The Spirit is at work in every believer's life (John 20:22).
    • Born-again by the Spirit (John 3:3-7) 
    • Led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14) 
    • Intercedes for us in prayer (vv. 26, 27) 
    • Seals us for the day of salvation (Ephesians 1:13) 
    • Guides us into all truth (John 16:13) 
    • Gifts us for service (1 Corinthians 12:11) 
    • Transforms us into Christ's image (2 Corinthians 3:18) 

II. Receiving the Spirit in His Baptism or Infilling
Every believer needs to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, or what is also described in Scripture as being filled with the Holy Spirit, for power.
    A. There are five accounts in Acts of believers being filled with the Spirit: 
         1. Pentecost (Acts 2:4) 
         2. Samaria (Acts 8:14-17) 
         3. Paul (Acts 9:17) 
         4. Cornelius (Acts 10:44-46) 
         5. Ephesus (Acts 19:6) 
    B. The purpose of the infilling: One word, power (Acts 1:8). The word in Greek is dynamis, from which we get the word dynamite! 
         1. Power from on high (Luke 24:49) 
         2. Power in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16, 17). 
         3. Power in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) 

III. Receiving the Spirit in Seasons of Renewal
There are seasons of spiritual renewal and new power as we seek God to fill us again with the Spirit as seen in the life of the early church (Acts 4:31; 13:52; Ephesians 5:18).
Closing: How can we be filled with the Spirit? Peter tells us to "receive." The word receive tells us first and foremost what we do not have to do: work, labor, tarry, be perfect. This means we receive the Spirit as we would receive a gift (Acts 2:38) or as we would receive a guest. The KJV translates Holy Spirit as "Holy Ghost," from the Anglo-Saxon derivative, guest. Thus, the translators in 1611 meant Divine Guest. The means of receptivity include:
    • Desiring the gift (Matthew 5:6) 
    • Asking for the gift (Luke 11:13) 
    • Repenting of any sins and barriers between you and God's will in your life (Acts 2:38). 
Missionary Hudson Taylor said, "The Holy Spirit only enters the human heart that can boast of nothing but an aching void."


Chapter 30 - POWER FROM ON HIGH - Mt. 28:18–20; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:47–53; Acts 1:1–8
A B Bruce from his book The Training of the Twelve (Read some reviews of this Christian Classic - then consider reading through it being sure to keep your Bible open by your side.)

FROM Galilee the disciples, of their own accord or by direction, found their way back to Jerusalem, where their risen Lord showed Himself to them once more, and for the last time, to give them their final instructions, and to bid them farewell.

Of this last meeting no distinct notice is taken in the Gospels. Each of the synoptical evangelists, however, has preserved some of the last words spoken by Jesus to His disciples ere He ascended to heaven. Among these we reckon the closing verses of Matthew’s Gospel, where we read: “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Mt 28:18-20) Of this last word Mark gives, in the close of his Gospel, an abbreviated version, in these terms: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mk 16:15) In Luke’s narrative the words spoken by Jesus on the occasion of His final appearance to the eleven are so interwoven with those which He spoke to them on the evening of His resurrection day, that, but for the supplementary and more circumstantial account given by the same author in the Book of the Acts, we should never have thought of making a distinction, far less have known where to place the boundary line. On comparing the two accounts, however, we can see that words spoken at two different times are construed together into one continuous discourse; and we have no great difficulty in determining what belongs to the first appearance and what to the last. According to the Book of Acts, Jesus, in His last conversation with His disciples, spoke to them of their apostolic duties as witnesses unto Himself and preachers of His gospel; of the promise of the Spirit, whose descent was to fit them for their work; and of what they should do till the promise should be fulfilled. Now these are just the topics adverted to in the verses cited from the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel. There is first the apostolic commission to preach repentance and remission of sins in the name of Jesus among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem; and a virtual injunction laid on the disciples to be faithful witnesses to all things they had seen and heard in their Lord’s company, and especially to His resurrection from the dead. Then there is the renewal of this promise, here called the “promise of my Father.” Then, finally, there is the direction to wait for the promised blessing in the holy city: “But tarry ye at Jerusalem until ye be clothed with power from on high.”

All these sayings bear internal evidence of being last words, from their fitness to the situation. It was natural and needful that Jesus should thus speak to His chosen agents at the hour of His final departure, giving them instructions for their guidance in their future apostolic labors, and in the short interval that was to elapse before those labors began. Even the business-like brevity and matter-of-fact tone of these last words betray the occasion on which they were uttered. On first thoughts, we should perhaps have expected a more pathetic style of address in connection with a farewell meeting; but, on reflection, we perceive that every thing savoring of sentimentality would have been beneath the dignity of the situation. In the farewell address before the passion, pathos was in place; but in the farewell words before the ascension, it would have been misplaced. In the former case, Jesus was a parent speaking His last words of counsel and comfort to His sorrowing children; in the latter, He was “as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch;” and His manner of speech was adapted to the character He sustained.

And yet the tone adopted by Jesus in His last interview with the eleven was not purely magisterial. The Friend was not altogether lost in the Master. He had kind words as well as commands for His servants. What could be kinder and more encouraging than that word: “And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world”? And is there not an accent of friendship in that utterance, in which Jesus, now about to ascend to glory, seems by anticipation to resume the robe of divine majesty, which He laid aside when He became man: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”? Why does He say that now? Not for the purpose of self-exaltation; not to put a distance between Himself and His quondam companions, and, as it were, degrade them from the position of friends to that of mere servants. No; but to cheer them on their way through the world as the messengers of the kingdom; to make them feel that the task assigned them was not, as it might well seem, an impossible one. “I have all power,” saith He in effect, “in heaven, and jurisdiction over all the earth: go ye therefore into all the world, making disciples of all the nations, nothing doubting that all spiritual influences and all providential agencies will be made subservient to the great errand on which I send you.”

Jesus had kind actions as well as kind words for His friends at parting. There was indeed no farewell kiss, or shaking of hands, or other symbolic act in use among men who bid each other adieu; but the manner of the ascension was most gracious and benignant towards those whom the ascending One left behind. Jesus moved upwards as if lifted from the earth by some celestial attraction, with His face looking downwards upon His beloved companions, and with His hand stretched out in an attitude of benediction. Hence the eleven grieved not for their Lord’s disappearance. They marvelled indeed, and gazed eagerly and wonderingly towards the skies, as if trying to penetrate the cloud which received their Master’s person; but the parting left no sadness behind. They bowed their heads in worship towards the ascended Christ, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, as if they had gained, not lost a friend, and as if the ascension were not a sunset but a sunrise—as indeed it was, not for them alone, but for the whole world.

Of that miraculous event, by which our High Priest passed within the veil into the celestial sanctuary, we may not speak. Like the transfiguration, it is a topic on which we know not what to say; an event not to be explained, but to be devoutly and joyfully believed, in company with the kindred truth declared by the two men in white apparel to the disciples, who said: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heaven? This same Jesus, which was taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” Wherefore we pass from the ascension to make some observations on the great commission given by the Lord to His apostles for the last time, just before He was taken up into glory.

That commission was worthy of Him from whom it emanated, whether we regard Him as Son of God or as Son of man. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” Surely this is the language of a Divine Being. What mere man ever entertained a plan of beneficence embracing the whole human race within its scope? and who but one possessing all power in heaven and on earth could dare to hope for success in so gigantic an undertaking? Then how full of grace and love the matter of the commission! The errand on which Jesus sends His apostles is to preach repentance and remission of sins in His name, and to make a peaceful conquest of the world to God by the word of reconciliation through His death. Such philanthropy approves itself to be at once divine and most intensely human. And mark, as specially characteristic of the gracious One, the direction, “beginning at Jerusalem.” The words indicate a plan of operations adapted at once to the circumstances of the world, and to the capacities and idiosyncrasies of the agents; but they do more. They open a window into the heart of Jesus, and show Him to be the same who prayed on the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Why begin at Jerusalem? Because “Jerusalem sinners” most need to repent and to be forgiven; and because Jesus would show forth in them at the outset the full extent of His long-suffering, for a pattern to them who should afterwards believe, in Samaria, Antioch, and the uttermost parts of the earth.

It was in every way a commission worthy of Jesus, as the Son of God and Saviour of sinners, to give. But what a commission for poor Galilean fishermen to receive! what a burden of responsibility to lay upon the shoulders of any poor mortal! Who is sufficient for these things? Jesus knew the insufficiency of His instruments. Therefore, having invested them with official authority, He proceeded to speak of an investment with another kind of power, without which the official must needs be utterly ineffectual. “And, behold,” He said, “I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye at Jerusalem till ye be clothed with power from on high.”

“Power from on high:” (Lk 24:49) the expression has a mystical sound, and its sense seems difficult to define; yet the general meaning is surely plain enough. The thing signified is not altogether or chiefly a power to work miracles, but just what Jesus had spoken of at such length in His farewell address before His death. “Power from on high” means: All that the apostles were to gain from the mission of the Comforter—enlightenment of mind, enlargement of heart, sanctification of their faculties, and transformation of their characters, so as to make them whetted swords and polished shafts for subduing the world unto the truth; these, or the effect of these combined, constituted the power for which Jesus directed the eleven to wait. The power, therefore, was a spiritual power, not a magical; an inspiration, not a possession; a power which was not to act as a blind fanatical force, but to manifest itself as a spirit of love and of a sound mind. After the power descended, the apostles were to be not less rational, but more; not mad, but sober-minded; not excited rhapsodists, but calm, clear, dignified expositors of divine truth, such as they appear in Luke’s history of their ministry. In a word, they were to be less like their past selves and more like their Master: no longer ignorant, childish, weak, carnal, but initiated into the mysteries of the kingdom, and habitually under the guidance of the Spirit of grace and holiness.

Such being the power promised, it was evidently indispensable to success. Vain were official titles—apostles, evangelists, pastors, teachers, rulers; vain clerical robes, without this garment of divine power to clothe the souls of the eleven. Vain then, and equally vain now. The world is to be evangelized, not by men invested with ecclesiastical dignities and with parti-colored garments, but by men who have experienced the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and who are visibly endued with the divine power of wisdom, and love, and zeal.

As the promised power was indispensable, so it was in its nature a thing simply to be waited for. The disciples were directed to tarry till it came. They were neither to attempt to do without it, nor were they to try to get it up. And they were wise enough to follow their instructions. They fully understood that the power was needful, and that it could not be got up, but must come down. All are not equally wise. Many virtually assume that the power Christ spake of can be dispensed with, and that in fact it is not a reality, but a chimera. Others, more devout, believe in the power, but not in man’s impotence to invest himself with it. They try to get the power up by working themselves and others into a frenzy of excitement. Failure sooner or later convinces both parties of their mistake, showing the one that to produce spiritual results something more than eloquence, intellect, money, and organization are required; and showing the other that true spiritual power cannot be produced, like electric sparks, by the friction of excitement, but must come sovereignly and graciously down from on high. (Read Bruce's full treatise of training of the disciples - Online)


Oswald Chambers has a devotional on Luke 24:49 entitled "The life that lives" -

Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Luke 24:49.

The disciples had to tarry until the day of Pentecost not for their own preparation only; they had to wait until the Lord was glorified historically. As soon as He was glorified, what happened? “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” The parenthesis in John 7:39 (“For the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified”) does not apply to us; the Holy Ghost has been given, the Lord is glorified; the waiting depends not on God’s providence, but on our fitness. The Holy Spirit’s influence and power were at work before Pentecost, but He was not here (Ed: However He was here in the sense that He is omnipresent because He is God and has all the attributes of the Father and the Son!). Immediately Our Lord was glorified in Ascension, the Holy Spirit came into this world, and He has been here ever since. We have to receive the revelation that He is here (Ed: It is even better - not only is He here, but He is within! He indwells every born again believer). The reception of the Holy Spirit is the maintained attitude of a believer. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive quickening life from the ascended Lord.
It is not the baptism of the Holy Ghost which changes men, but the power of the ascended Christ coming into men’s lives by the Holy Ghost that changes them (Ed: The Spirit functions so to speak as the "Chief Operating Office" of the Trinity.). We too often divorce what the New Testament never divorces. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is not an experience apart from Jesus Christ: it is the evidence of the ascended Christ. The baptism of the Holy Ghost does not make you think of Time or Eternity, it is one amazing glorious NOW. “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee.” Begin to know Him now, and finish never.


A W Tozer - The Church’s Life in the Holy Spirit: Fruitful, Happy, Blessed!

Luke 24:49: “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.”

Acts 1:5: “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”

OUTLINE - Introduction: Should not individual believers who comprise the membership of evangelical Christian churches be leading fruitful and happy Spirit-filled lives? The Scriptures must be our authority in the consideration of the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit. Eloquence in presentation is not enough. If the Lord’s people were only half as eager to be filled with the Spirit as they are to prove that they cannot be filled, the churches would be crowded out. The Bible indicates that God never dreamed of His people apart from the Holy Ghost.

1.      God made promises about the coming of the Holy Spirit.

a.      Isaiah and Joel—“The Spirit to be poured on us from on high.”
b.      Jesus called these prophecies “fullness of the Father.”
c.      Jesus said, “I will send the promise of the Father upon you.”

2.      The three periods relating to the Holy Spirit and the Church.

a.      The Period of Promise, from John the Baptist to the Resurrection of Christ.
b.      The Period of Preparation, prior to Pentecost.
c.      The Period of Realization. The Holy Spirit was given “suddenly” on the Day of Pentecost.

3.      Teachings about the Holy Spirit that hinder God’s people.

a.      Because Pentecost happened, the Church need no longer be concerned about the Holy Spirit and His work.
b.      The individual Christian need not be concerned with this promise from the Father—it happened once.

4.      Questions and answers in regard to these teachings:

a.      Is it true that the Father’s promise was valid only to Christians of the first century?
b.      Does the new birth in the first century make unnecessary my new birth?
c.      Have you ever seen anyone in the Christian church today who received at conversion that which Peter received in the upper chamber?
d.      Is modern fundamental belief a satisfactory fulfillment of the expectation raised by the Father in Christ?

IT IS MY CONTENTION that the individual believers who comprise the membership of our evangelical Christian churches ought to be leading fruitful and happy Spirit-filled lives. If you will set aside the necessary time to search the Scriptures with an honest and open being, you will be convinced that fruitfulness and joy and peace and blessing and contentment are all part and parcel of what the Holy Spirit expects to provide in and through the yielded life of the Christian believer. Now, I know that some say that I have confused people about the blessing of the Holy Spirit and in answer I want to point out that if the Lord’s people were only half as eager to be filled with the Spirit as they are to prove that you can’t be filled with the Spirit, the church would be crowded out. I have never tried to bend people to the working of God merely by eloquence, for if I don’t teach according to the truth found in the Bible, I’m wrong no matter how eloquent I try to be. But in these matters, I have spent a long time in the Word of God myself. and I can speak with a good deal of authority because I have gone through it, and I know what I’m speaking about. However, I wouldn’t ever try to push one of God’s children into any knowledge or any experience, because I have found that we try to push too much and too soon. We only result in kicking God’s children out of their shells too soon, and as a result, we have a lot of weird monstrosities instead of saints. I don’t want to do that! I can only wonder why it is that Christian people can go on and on and not be concerned about actually lacking the blessings and gifts promised by a loving Father in heaven. As a Christian believer, shouldn’t my life and outlook, and the very life of my church, be affected by the promise of the Father God that He would give the Spirit as a gift to His children?

In Luke 11:13, I am sure God had in mind the love we have for our children when He said, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

In making the Spirit the promise of the Father, I believe God wanted to show that we don’t have to be afraid of the Holy Spirit. I say this because I have found that it is very difficult to get Christians over the fear of the Holy Spirit. Just remember that He is given to us as the Father’s promised gift. If a man promises his son a beautiful bicycle for Christmas, the son is certainly never afraid of the promise made by a father who loves him and wants to provide the best for him.

The members of the redeemed Church should be bound into a bundle of love with the Holy Spirit. The truth is that God never fathered His Church apart from the Holy Spirit. We should be anointed with the Spirit. We are led of the Spirit. We are taught by the Spirit. The Spirit, then, is the medium, the divine solution, in which God holds His Church.

The Bible plainly indicates that God never dreamed of His people apart from the Holy Spirit. Actually, He made many promises to them based on the coming of the Spirit.

Let’s note some of the promises He made.

In Isaiah 32:15–17, He said: “Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”

Further on, in Isaiah 44:3, He said: “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.”

There is also that passage in Joel 2:28–29: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”

Now, those were the words of the Father, and Jesus interpreted them and called them the “fullness of the Father.” Let me say that whenever you read about Jesus, our Lord, interpreting the Old Testament, you stay close by His interpretation. Don’t lean too hard on the interpretations of men because they can be wrong. Our Lord, the man Christ Jesus, never was wrong—and He called this the promise of the Father.
Recall that in Luke 24:49, Jesus said, “Tarry ye … until ye be endued with power … I send the promise of my Father upon you.” Now, I say that Jesus further interpreted this in chapters 14, 15 and 16 of the Gospel of John, as He talked about the Holy Spirit and His coming to the Church.

Here I should point out that in reading the Gospels, the book of Acts and the Epistles, we can easily trace three periods that are discernable with respect to the Holy Spirit and His work in the Church.

First is what we may call THE PERIOD OF THE PROMISE, from the time of John the Baptist to the resurrection of Christ. In this three-year period, the disciples were called, commissioned and taught in the best Bible school in the world, for there isn’t a seminary on earth that can equal the seminary in which Jesus was the entire faculty! They didn’t get a degree which they could frame and put on the wall, but they had a degree inside of them, and they loved Christ, our Lord. They loved Him living, they loved Him dead, and they loved Him living again.

Now at that time they had only been promised something. Jesus had told them and taught them that there was a new kind of life coming to them—not poetic, not psychic, and not physical.

It was to be an afflatus from above. It was to be something that was to come to them out of the world beyond them, over the threshold of their beings, into the sanctum sanctorum, into the deep of their spirits. The Comforter would live there and teach them and lead them and make them holy and give them power.

Jesus taught that all the way through!

As He came nearer to the end of His earthly life, He intensified this teaching as revealed in John 14, 15 and 16. He told them that there was a new and superior kind of life coming, and He told them that it was to be an infusion, an outpouring of spiritual energy. Then He left them.
Do you know that if we could get together today a congregation as spiritually minded as the disciples were before Pentecost we would feel that we had an intensely spiritual church? We would make bishops out of the leadership of that kind of group. We would elect them to boards and write the stories of their lives and name churches after them.

But in that period of promise, the disciples were just getting ready. They had not yet received the promise. Jesus was creating an expectation within them.

The second period outlined is THE PERIOD OF PREPARATION.

In some measure, they were being prepared while Jesus was with them, but after He was gone, they actually began to prepare. They stopped their activities, and this is one of the great lessons for us in our hectic day.

I think we are the busiest bunch of eager beavers ever seen in the religious world. The idea seems to be that if we are not running in a circle, breathing down the back of our own neck, we are not pleasing God!

When Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world and preach to. every creature,” Peter probably leaped to his feet and, no doubt, scooped up his hat on the way out. He was going to go right then!

But the Lord said, “Peter, come back, and tarry in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.”

I heard a Christian leader warn recently that we are suffering from a rash of amateurism in Christian circles. Christianity has leveled down and down and down. We are as light as butterflies—though we flit, flit, flit around in the sunshine and imagine that we are eagles flapping our broad wings.

Sometimes I think the church would be better off if we would call a moratorium on activity for about six weeks and just wait on God to see what He is waiting to do for us. That’s what they did before Pentecost. We spend time praying for the Holy Spirit to unite us, but at Pentecost the Spirit of God came upon the disciples because they were already united—“they were all with one accord in one place.”

Many are trying to work for God when they are not really prepared to work. There needs to be some preparation, some getting ready. I think we often make mistakes with our newest converts. We think nothing of taking one of our babes in Christ, pushing a bunch of tracts into his hands, and saying, “Now, Bud, get going!” Perhaps we ought not to forget that in the Old Testament the priests in the service of God were born priests but they had to be anointed before they could serve. Not only was blood placed on their ears, on their thumbs and toes, but fragrant sweet oil, the type of the Holy Ghost, was put on the blood.

The third period indicated was that of THE PERIOD OF REALIZATION, and I read that the Holy Spirit came upon them suddenly.

I have noted that this word “suddenly” as found in the book of Acts occurs often in places in the Scriptures.

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” I have to smile to myself because of that word “suddenly.” God’s people in our day are so afraid of the implications of “suddenly.”

Most of us in the church want things to slip up on us gradually, a little bit at a time—slowly, not suddenly. Everyone is willing to be filled with the Holy Spirit providing God does it very gingerly, very slowly, and doesn’t embarrass or frighten them!

The Scriptures say that “suddenly they were filled with the Holy Ghost.” The Scriptures also declare that “suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host.” It is amazing that we will find that word “suddenly” whenever God did a wonderful thing. He did it suddenly—but we are afraid of that. We want to “grow” in grace because we know that we can grow and not be embarrassed.

It seems to be an embarrassment to believers to get down on their knees to seek Almighty God, to have to get out a handkerchief to wipe away the tears, and then to find themselves saying, “Thank God, the Comforter has come!” It might take something away from their reputation—chairman of the board, Sunday school teachers, workers in the ladies’ aid.

The result of this kind of embarrassment is that we go on year after year and learn to live with death. We find ourselves able to live with a spiritual corpse. Our breath is frosty, our cheeks are pale, our toes are frostbitten, and we haven’t any spirituality. We learn to live with that—and we imagine that is “normal.” We even write books to prove that it is normal, but the Holy Ghost isn’t on us, and that’s our trouble.

The period of the realization came suddenly, and the Father fulfilled His promise. The expectations were fully met and more!

Now, I am concerned about anything that hinders God’s people and keeps them from their full privileges in the Christian life. Sometimes I have to tear into things that I cannot believe are right, and which I feel become a hindrance to the people of God. Some have said that it is none of my business, but it is my business. I have been anointed of God to make this concern my business!

One of these things is an error often presented to the Church in this form: that the individual Christian is not concerned with this promise by the Father that He would send the Holy Spirit, that this already happened once in the Christian Church, and that it is not to be repeated. Therefore, this position holds that the Church need no longer be concerned about the Holy Spirit. So, they try to brush us off.

Well, here I would like to ask you some questions and let you do your own teaching as you answer them.

  Is it true that the Father’s promise was valid only to the Christians of the first century?

Now, I think we are living in the period of the “last days,” which began with Pentecost and continues until Christ returns. That makes the Prophet Joel’s text active and efficacious and applicable to you and me. We are now living in the latter days when God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh.

Recall what Peter said in Acts 2:38–39: “… Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

It wasn’t just that first generation crowd—“you and your children and as many as are afar off”—that’s the promise. Many of us believe and know the witness of the Spirit—and this takes the place of a lot of argument. If you can argue a man into believing he is filled, someone else will come along who can argue him out of believing that he is filled. I point to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world and the promise of the Father for a holy and fruitful life in the Spirit—if anything happens to me, he will have the promise of the Father. He won’t be cast back on man’s uncertainty.

  A second question: Does the new birth of the first century make my new birth unnecessary?

The Lord said that we would have to be born again, and He said we were to be filled with the Spirit. Yet someone comes along and tells us that what it really means is that they were to be filled with the Spirit back there—and not us.

That leaves us high and dry hanging on a wire, without any hope, born a long time too late. But, wait! Peter was born again. Does Peter’s experience of being born again suffice for me? Peter was filled with the Spirit. Does Peter’s being filled with the Spirit suffice for me? Would the breakfast that Peter ate in 33 A. D. nourish and suffice me in the twentieth century?

No, or course not. I have to eat now if I’m going to be nourished now. Peter being born again won’t help me now. I must be born again as he was born again then. Peter’s being filled that day won’t help me now. I must be filled now as he was filled then. Is there any difference between that and the outpouring of the Spirit?

  A third question: Have you ever seen anyone in the Christian church today that received at conversion what Peter received in the upper chamber?

I am asking this because some would teach that we now receive at conversion what the disciples received back there at Pentecost.
When you were converted, did you have the power Peter had when he was filled? Bring it down farther—down to the common folk around Peter. Doesn’t the Scripture make it pretty plain that they received something and had something that we apparently don’t have in this day in which we live? I think they did!

  Now, a final question: Is modern fundamental belief a satisfactory fulfillment of the expectation raised by the Father in Christ, and does your heart personally witness that what you now enjoy is what our Lord promised to His people?

Brethren, our Heavenly Father promised the gift of the Holy Ghost to come upon His children. Jesus Himself promised that we should have the Spirit, that He would take the things of Christ and make them known to us, and that we should have power from on high.

Now, I look around at cold, dead, dried-up, fundamental textualism hanging out to dry. Then they want me to believe that what they have now is what those early Christians had back there. I just can’t believe it!

They were thoroughbreds in those early days. Something from God had come to them, and they blazed with light and power and life. Most of us are “scrubs” compared with those early-day Christians.

When I was a boy on the farm in Pennsylvania, we had scrub chickens. Occasionally, my mother would try to improve the strain, bringing in some Plymouth Rocks or some other good breed. But just let the hens go awhile. In five or six years, they will revert back to type. They will go back to scrub, and you can’t figure out what they are—just old, dried-up clucking biddies that lay little eggs, and not too many of them!

We Christians have just reverted back to old Adamic type. Just look at us, and then try to say that we automatically have the same spiritual life of those thoroughbreds. Think it over!

Do you have the witness in your being now that what you possess in spiritual life and victory is all God meant when He painted that wonderful picture of the fullness of the Spirit?

Let me remind you of Mother Cook, a nice little old lady who lived in her modest home on Chicago’s southside and who knew the blessing of the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

A young man got converted in this city, and he would have made a good salesman. He was very busy—he loved to run in circles, and he did. He went everywhere running in circles, and his name was Dwight Lyman Moody.

One day Mother Cook saw Dwight and said, “Son, I’d like to have you come over to my house sometime—I want to talk to you.” So, Moody went over, and she set him down on a chair and said something to this general effect:

“Now, Dwight, it’s wonderful to see you saved so wonderfully and to see your zeal for the Lord, but do you know what you need? You need to be anointed with the Holy Ghost.”

“Well,” he said, “Mother Cook, I want whatever God has for me.”

“All right,” she said, “get down here.” So he knelt down on the linoleum, and they prayed. Mother Cook prayed, “Oh, God, fill this young man with Thine own Spirit.”

Moody died out right there, opened his heart, yielded himself as an empty vessel, and took the promise by faith—but nothing happened. But a few days afterward, he was in another city, and he said, “As I was walking down the street, ‘suddenly’ God fulfilled the promise He had made to me in that kitchen.”

Down onto him came a horn of oil, and the Holy Ghost came on him. He said he turned up an alley and raised his hand and said, “Oh, God, stay your power, or I’ll die!”

Later he said, “I went out from there preaching the same sermons with the same texts, but oh, the difference now—the Holy Ghost had come!”

Yes, the Holy Ghost had been there. The Holy Spirit was there causing him to be born again, for “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his.”

But, it is quite a different thing to have the Spirit as the agent in my regeneration than to have the horn of oil poured out on my head—quite a different thing—and that was Moody’s testimony and appeal concerning the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Where did we get this idea that because the disciples were filled with the Spirit back there in the first century, it is unnecessary for us to be filled with the Spirit now?

There was a time when the Holy Ghost came upon the Church, and it went forth in a blaze of fire to preach the gospel to the known world in the first 100 years.

Then came the long death.

Now, here we are in our time, and we have teachers that are so infinitely silly as to tell us that all we have to do is just go quietly along until the Lord comes and makes us to rule over many cities. I only ask that you search the Scriptures and see whether these things be so. Pray and yield and believe and obey—and see what God will do for you!


A W Tozer - The Holy Spirit Makes the Difference!

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. (Luke 24:49)

Here we have a very simple and very plain and very forceful truth—the Holy Spirit makes a difference! Our Lord told His disciples that they had a world-shaking job before them. The job was to preach the gospel of Christ and His redemption and transformation to every creature. Yet, having told them to go and preach the good news that men could be saved through faith, He forbade them to go. There must have been a most compelling reason for His instructions to wait.

In order for us to assess the great difference in men to whom the Holy Spirit has come in power, we will look first at these disciples to whom Jesus spoke. Remember that they were His called and chosen disciples. The Scriptures plainly tell us who they were, and it tells about the long course of instruction by no less a teacher than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In this sense, they had graduated from the greatest Bible school in the world. Jesus Himself had taught them for more than three years. Notice, too, that they had received and possessed a divine authority. These disciples had an authority that very few people would dare to try to exercise now. Jesus said to them, “Go everywhere. When you cast out devils, when you heal the sick—take all My authority!” He does not give His authority to persons who have had no spiritual experience, you may be sure of that!

These persons to whom Jesus said, “tarry ye … until ye be endued with power,” (Luke 24:49) actually knew Jesus Christ in a warm and intimate way. They had been with Him throughout the three years; they had seen Him die on a cross; they had seen Him after He had risen from the dead; they knew Him living, dead and living again! They had shown evidence of being truly converted persons. I know that some people teach that the disciples were converted when the Spirit came upon them at Pentecost. Frankly, I do not believe that at all. That is a modern twist that people have given doctrine in order to make room for their own cold carnality. I believe the disciples had shown evidence of being truly converted men, and Christ had declared them to be such. If you doubt that, read from the prayer that Jesus made about these disciples in John 17:7–9:

Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them.…

Then in verse 12, Jesus prayed, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition.…” Then He said, in verse 14, “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” These were the things that Jesus said to His Father about His disciples. That doesn’t sound at all like the Lord talking about a bunch of sinners still needing to be converted.

Let me remind you again that Jesus Christ had outlined a program of world evangelization for the disciples and promised that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit in order to witness effectively unto the uttermost parts of the earth. He said they were to enter a new era. God was about to introduce a change of dispensation, but He was not to introduce a change of dispensation apart from a stepped-up and elevated spiritual experience.

God has His dispensations in dealing with men, but He doesn’t have calendars so He can just pull off January and put up February and thus shift and change dispensations in that way. His dispensations have to do with people—not with calendars. They have to do with spiritual experience, not a measure of time. When they were to enter a new era, it was not only a changeover from one dispensation to another, but it was to be introduced by the coming down of a new afflatus and enabling from above. A power was to be introduced which had not been available before. It was to enter into them and possess them and was to bring God to them in a new way. The power was actually to be a Person—He was to enter them and dwell within them.

That is the difference between Christianity and all the Oriental cults and religions. All cult religions try to wake up what you already have, and Christianity says, “What you have is not enough—you will need the enduement which is sent from above!” That is the difference. The others say, “Stir up the thing that is in you,” and they expect this to be enough.

By way of illustration, if there were four or five lions coming at you, you would never think of saying to a little French poodle, “Wake up the lion in you.” That would not work—it would not be enough. They would chew the little fellow up and swallow him, haircut and all, because a French poodle just isn’t sufficient for a pack of lions. Some power outside of himself would have to make him bigger and stronger than the lion if he were to conquer.

That is exactly what the Holy Spirit says He does for the Christian believer, but the cult religions still say, “Concentrate and free your mind and release the creative powers that lie within you.”

The plain fact is, such creative powers do not lie within us. We begin to die the moment we are born. I have often wondered why babies cry just as soon as they are born—could it be that they don’t want to die? They start to die the minute they are born. All of this teaching about hidden potentials and creative impulses and waking up your true self is hard to defend, for we walk around on the earth barely able to keep going. And as we get older, gravitation will pull and slowly drag us down and finally bump over us. We finally give up with a sigh and go back to mother earth. That’s the kind of potential that the human race has—the potential to be a corpse.

God Almighty is saying to us, “I am not wanting to wake up the power that lies in you. You shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you!” That is a different thing altogether. If we had only to be awakened, the Lord would simply have gone around waking us up—but we need more than this. We need to be endued with power from on high.

So, they were to enter a new era, and it was to be marked by something grandly new—an enriched spiritual condition. What, then, are the differences that we see in these disciples as a result?

First, in order to clear the ground, we will take a look at some of the things that these disciples possessed before the Holy Spirit came, and therefore, obviously, there were blessings that He did not have to bring at Pentecost.

For instance, they were true disciples, and they possessed the consciousness of their discipleship and their authority from Christ. They were the Lord’s own loving disciples. That did not come at Pentecost. They were converted, forgiven and had fellowship with Christ, and they had something a lot of ministers do not have now—they had the gift of preaching: “They … went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where” (Luke 9:6)!

Again, they had the power to work miracles, so that when they came back reciting the manifestations of their power, the Lord rebuked them for pride and told them they should be glad, rather, that their names were written in heaven. But He did not deny that they had exercised His power, for He knew they did. He gave it to them! Some teach that if you are filled with the Spirit, you will have miracles, forgetting that the disciples had the power of miracles before they were filled with the Spirit.

The power of the Holy Spirit is not necessary to make miracle workers. The power of the Holy Spirit is something infinitely higher, grander and more wonderful than that. They worked miracles before the Spirit ever came.

Now, consider the difference in their lives and experiences when the Holy Spirit came upon them, when they were no longer in the pre-Pentecost days, but when they were in the post-Pentecost era after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.


MISSIONARY POWER - BARON STOW

  • Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. LUKE 24:49.

GREAT enterprises require strong men. The missionary enterprise is by far the greatest in which human agency was ever employed, and, for its effective execution, demands the strongest men which the churches can furnish.

It was upon this principle, I suppose, that the Saviour, when about to ascend, gave to his disciples that extraordinary direction, “Tarry ye in Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” He had already appointed them as his missionaries, and charged them to preach “repentance and remission of sins in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” But the undertaking was one of immense magnitude, environed with appalling difficulties, and involving peculiar personal hazards; and he well knew that, notwithstanding all the instruction which they had received, and all the discipline to which they had been subjected, and all the examples which they had witnessed in himself, as the faultless model of missionary excellence, they were but imperfectly qualified for the arduous labors and weighty responsibilities, which the service would impose.

They needed the ability to speak the languages of the people whom they might visit; and this, if they should proceed immediately to their work, must be miraculously supplied. They were to commend to an infidel world a system of religion, whose claims to credibility must be established by some extraordinary manifestations of its divine origin; and they needed the power of working such wonders, as should carry conviction to the most incredulous, that their message was no fable, their apostleship no imposture. Besides, they needed a large increase of intellectual and moral strength, such as should qualify them for any exigency. They needed clearer and more comprehensive views of that scheme of redemption, whose mysteries they were to unfold to the ignorant nations. They needed to have the narrow, selfish prejudices of their remaining Judaism entirely removed; and their hearts expanded by a benevolence that should encompass the world; and their whole moral natures more deeply impregnated with the spirit of their mission—the spirit of him who came, “not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” They needed a faith, that should embrace all the promises; a boldness, that should fearlessly encounter any opposition; a courage, that should be terrified by no danger; a fortitude, that should quietly endure any suffering; a wisdom, sufficient for any emergency; a love, that should make them inexpressibly tender, and melt before them a pathway through the ice and the iron of human depravity.

All this the Saviour knew and appreciated; and, with a prudence in which kindness and wisdom were richly blended, he directed them to remain where they were, until the requisite qualifications should be imparted. He was about to take his place upon the Mediator’s throne; and one of his first acts, after receiving the joyous welcome of the heavenly choir, who had long been rehearsing for the occasion, and were then waiting in mid heaven for his triumphant arrival, would be the fulfilment of the glorious promise—the sending of that Spirit, which should work in them every needed transformation, and clothe them with the required energies.

They obeyed his command, and, ten days afterwards, while engaged in social devotion—the very employment which Heaven loves especially to sanction—the promised Influence descended, and enveloped them, and penetrated them, and wrought such changes, as that each of them became at once a man of strength, “thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Emerging from this baptism, they were conscious of the transition through which they had passed; and, “strengthened with might,” they went forth to their work, assaulting the strongest defences of sin, grappling with Satan’s veteran phalanxes, and winning for their prince a thousand bloodless victories.

How soon, and how surely, did the nations feel and confess the power of these evangelical giants! Divinely illuminated, supported, protected, they said what no others could say, they did what no others could do, they endured what no others could endure; and, passing from province to province, we hear them ever and anon exclaiming, “Thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us, in every place.”
The Romans, in the days of their national vigor, constructed magnificent roads, commencing all at the Forum, and extending to the frontiers of the empire, thus making every portion of the realm accessible to their arts and their arms. These disciples of Jesus, who, “out of weakness were made strong,” proceeding all from the cross, as the point of departure, cut each his way right onward, through the domains of sin, to the outermost limit of the known world; and then, with the columns of converts which lined these radii—the right of each column resting upon Calvary—they swept the intermediate segments of the circle; and thus was executed, as has never since been done, the behest of the ascending Saviour, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.”

Salutary, indeed, was the transformation which every where appeared in the track of these moral conquerors. Not more surely can the eye, from the summit of the pyramid, trace the meanderings of Egypt’s river, by its line of velvet verdure, through the brown and sterile desert, than the observer of apostolic movements could discover the progress, from week to week, of these mighty ones, by the improvement,—moral, intellectual, political, and physical,—which was uniformly the result of their labors, and which denoted, unequivocally, the accompaniment of a superhuman influence. No candid one has ever doubted that they were strong men.

At no time since the apostolic period, has the Head of the Church considered it as necessary to qualify his missionary servants for their work, by the intervention of miracles; and with some of the elements of power, which he then deemed to be requisite, he very soon dispensed, giving no intimation that they would ever again be required or conferred. But the necessity that the missionary to the heathen should be a strong man, is by no means suspended. The command just quoted, for the disciples to wait until endued with power from on high, I take to be an explicit recognition of the principle, that the enterprise requires agents of more than ordinary ability; and though, as a specific injunction, it pertained to the few who were personally addressed, yet, in its spirit; I suppose, it inculcates a lesson suited to all their successors.

The term power, when applied to men, even to missionaries, you will of course understand me as using in a subordinate and qualified sense, differing widely from the acceptation in which we employ it, with respect to their Almighty Ally, the Holy Spirit. We use it, as denoting those qualities which adapt them to the accomplishment of the proposed end; constituting them—not the mere instruments—a term which ought never to be applied, in such a connection, to moral beings—but the qualified agents, through whose voluntary and well-directed efforts, God may gather into one his chosen who are scattered abroad. There is such a thing as special adaptation to usefulness in the missionary work, and this adaptation we denominate Power.

The Saviour was pleased to increase the ability of the few missionaries whom he had selected, rather than to multiply their number; and thus he established for us the principle, not only that this class of laborers should be well qualified men, but also, that, while “the laborers are few,” we render an important service, by enlarging their qualifications for their appointed and peculiar work. If, by any means, the ability of a missionary candidate to be useful can be doubled, then, by doubling his ability, we do essentially the same as to call into the field an additional laborer. If we increase his power ten-fold, then we render him ten times as capable of effect, without any addition to the expense of his support. Who of us has not seen this practically demonstrated—an individual, with faculties and affections all thoroughly trained, moving through the world with a consecrated momentum, which fifty others, destitute of his qualifications, could never equal?

It would be but common-place, if I were to consider the elements of this desirable power under the bi-fold classification of Intellectual and Moral; and yet, to manufacture any other distinction, or adopt any other names, would be sheer affectation. Let these, then, be the simple designations of the two kinds of ability, which, united in suitable proportions, constitute MISSIONARY POWER.

I. INTELLECTUAL POWER.
This department includes a number of important particulars.

1. Native talent.

This I mention first, for it is fundamental. Without it, you cannot, by any process, make a strong man. Neither education nor grace supplies constitutional defects. A man may have the requisite piety, and he may have been favored with the best facilities for extended intellectual culture, and yet not possess the kind or measure of native talent appropriate to a work so formidable as the evangelizing of a world that lieth in the wicked one. The missionary should have a mind that is originally vigorous and well balanced, with no faculty unduly protuberant, and no one greatly depressed—a mind susceptible of harmonious and well proportioned development—a mind naturally strong, and capable of being made, by judicious training, a hundred fold stronger. The churches contain multitudes of good men, whose moral feelings and principles can be trusted, and whose desire to be useful is worthy of all commendation, but whose intellectual natures are so cast and constructed, as that by no training can they be qualified to make much impression upon their race. The men we need for effective service among the heathen, are not those whom nature has modeled upon a small scale—men of puny minds, whose predestination is intellectual dwarfishness and imbecility;—but men whose mental structure includes no weak timbers—men whose inward architecture partakes largely of the sturdy and magnificent Doric—men who, by the simple majesty of their native qualities, would anywhere command the respect of the multitude. There are fields in which men of slender capacity may labor, and not without effect; but those fields are at home. To send such men to convert the pagan world, is more than inexpedient.

2. Practical good sense.

Every one is acquainted with ministers of talent, intelligence, and piety, whose influence is feeble, and who can never accomplish much for Zion, because of a deficiency of that indefinable, and yet invaluable quality, denominated common sense—an element of character that is not quite as common as its name imports. In the estimation of all men,—Jew and Gentile, ignorant and learned,—nothing is a substitute for it, or can make amends for its absence. Where it is wanting, respect and confidence are wanting, and the man’s influence is almost a nullity. But where it exists, in happy combination with other qualities, it is always an element of power, rendering its possessor considerate and discreet, not only in selecting his mode, but in applying his means, of usefulness. No where is this quality so important as in the missionary, and especially the missionary pioneer, whose least indiscretion might jeopard interests of the greatest magnitude.

Experience has taught some lessons upon this subject, which it is undesirable should be repeated, and the question,—“Has he good sense?”—is sure to be propounded, respecting every candidate for missionary service. And they who know the most of the peculiar character of that service, having been the longest on the high places of the field, and become the most deeply interested in the success of the enterprise, are pressing this question the most closely, and insisting upon an unqualified and unequivocal answer. Has he good sense?—practical wisdom? Is he careful, circumspect, judicious? Is he one whose footsteps may safely be trodden by his successors, and whose influence none may have occasion to deplore? The man who discards prudence as a superfluity, or discretion as an incumbrance, even under the pretext of being guided by the Spirit, is tolerable no where; in the missionary field he is a nuisance, from which the heathen may well pray, “Good Lord, deliver us!”

3. Extensive Knowledge.

Lord Verulam said, and so, parrot-like, have said a million others, that “Knowledge is power.” Trite as may be the expression, yet how just is the sentiment. It is as true in morals as in physics, in religion as in philosophy, in the missionary of the cross as in the artisan, the civil engineer or the statesman. The possessor of truth can exercise a species of sovereignty, that approaches nearer than any other in resemblance to the divine. Not only is he stronger than any other man, but stronger than many others who have it not. for he can accomplish things to which they are inadequate. He has the true Archimedean lever, with which the world is heaved.

The great object of the Christian missionary is such, in a a variety of aspects, as that the unintelligent are not suited to its accomplishment. We prescribe not the measure of his necessary knowledge, nor how, nor where, it must be acquired; but we hesitate not to say, that, other things being equal, the more copious his intellectual acquirements, the greater is his ability to do good. It is a singular fact, that the most learned apostle was the one whose history fills the largest space in the evangelical record, and whose productions a careful Providence has preserved, for the benefit of subsequent generations. In all the circle of the missionary Anakim, he was the Saul,—head and shoulders above the most prominent of his comrades. His intellectual power was the greatest, his influence the most extensively felt, his impression upon society the deepest and the longest perpetuated. The world has seen but one Paul; and, in selecting him as a model missionary, and giving him such extraordinary success, and transmitting to us so largely and minutely his instructive history, the great Superintendent of missions has authorized the conclusion, that the missionary enterprise demands strong men.

That a man may hare power over the minds of others, for useful purposes, he must be well acquainted with his own mind, its structure, functions, capacity, susceptibilities, and projectile force. “Know thyself,” is an injunction of both divine and human wisdom, which no religious teacher can with impunity disobey, but which is preëminently important to him who assumes the high responsibilities of a missionary to the heathen. Whatever else he may know, if he be ignorant of himself, he will perpetrate many mistakes, and be the victim of a thousand mortifications. The lightest penalty which he will have to pay, will be the humiliating necessity of witnessing his own inefficiency. Self-knowledge is power.

He must also be thoroughly acquainted with mind in general, and especially with the mind which he is to instruct and elevate. If supremacy over matter requires knowledge of matter’s constitution and laws, so is knowledge of the human mind indispensable to supremacy over mind. He who would control it, must know it, and know it not only in its anatomy, but also in its physiology; and this knowledge, derived from patient observation and careful analysis, is always an element of intellectual power. The Great Teacher had a perfect acquaintance with mind, and when he preached, “his word was with power.” “He knew what was in man,” and therefore could address others’ thoughts, as we address their words, so that the concession was extorted from unexpected sources, “Never man spake like this man.” Knowledge of human nature is power.

Nor is it less important that the missionary should be intimately familiar with the instruments of his service, which are nothing less and nothing else, than the truths of divine revelation. He has a specified message to the guilty and perishing, and with that message he must be well acquainted; not only with its cardinal doctrines, and more important precepts, but with its secondary principles and requirements, its implications and influences, its extensions and limitations. The ability to ring a hundred changes upon a few consecrated phrases and favorite illustrations, is an inferior attainment. There must be that familiarity with the Gospel, which is obtained only by personal investigation, and which will enable him to exhibit truth in detail; for it is by descending from generals to particulars, rather than by ascending from particulars to generals, that the human mind is best affected, so as to be impressible and persuasible. The power of the Saviour, as a preacher, resided very much in his happy facility at analysis, developing and spreading out truths in their individuality, rather than in their relations and dependencies. It was when he opened the Scriptures, and not when he classified and put them under the screws of systematic divinity, that the hearts of his hearers burned within them. Knowledge of the Gospel is power.

4. Correct Discipline.

This is but the result of all right education. Hence, Plato, when asked what he meant by education, replied by the single word, “discipline.” And a greater than Plato, an intellectual Goliath of our own age and country, has justly said, that “a man is not educated, until he has the ability to summon, in an emergency, all his mental powers into vigorous exercise, to effect a given object.” In the author of this sentiment we have an illustration of the meaning of the word discipline, as denoting an element of intellectual power. He has acquired the mastery of his own mind, and thus attained to a supremacy, next to sovereign, over the minds of others. “The greatest of all warriors,” he adds, “who went to the siege of Troy, had not the preeminence because he possessed superlative strength, and carried the largest bow, but because self-discipline had taught him to wield it.” A man of one idea, who can apply it to a hundred uses, is wiser and more efficient in practical life, than he whose head is a warehouse of knowledge, of which he knows not how to avail himself for any useful purpose.

If I were solicited to mention an individual, in whom resided the intellectual power that is desirable in the Christian missionary, I could furnish from the annals of missions no better specimen than the apostle Paul. He possessed native talent, common sense, extensive knowledge, and correct discipline; and, in all these respects, he was especially adapted to the work assigned him. He could suit his temper, his manner, and his labor, to all varieties of mind, and address all classes, with a fitness, and propriety, and energy, that made them feel and confess his superiority. Often was he called to grapple with men of might, who, in disputation, had never known defeat, and who looked upon him, as the champion of Gath looked upon the shepherd of Judah. But such was his power, as that he never retired from the conflict other than a victor. His arguments swept through their hollow sophistries, like cannon shot among egg-shells.

We shall not be required to send a very large number of men to the heathen. The conversion of the Pagan, and Mohammedan, and nominally Christian world, is to be effected mainly through the labor of native preachers. But such as we must depute, should be strong men; for only such can accomplish what, in the incipient stages of the enterprise, is indispensable to future and enlarged success. The primary work, including the translation of the Scriptures, the formation of model churches, the commencement of trains of far-reaching influence, and the imparting of correct, permanent impressions, is indeed most difficult, and involves responsibilities of the weightiest character. For such a service, the ablest men are needed. The Saviour acted on this conviction, and therefore endued his missionary pioneers with special power, that they might commence the work with vigor, and clear away the most formidable obstacles, and set the whole machinery in energetic operation; well assured, that afterwards the enterprise could advance with an agency of ordinary ability.

II. MORAL POWER.
By moral power, I understand the possession of those moral qualities, which enable a man to influence the moral feelings and moral conduct of other men. With this the missionary to the heathen needs to be largely supplied; for upon this, immensely more than upon Intellectual ability, will his useful efficiency depend. The elements of this kind of power are so numerous, that I must limit myself to a selection.

1. Personal holiness.

It is to be taken for granted, that he who proposes to enter this service is a Christian; that he has for himself, and furnishes to others, the most satisfactory evidence of a spiritual union with the Saviour. If serious doubts exist upon this point, whether in his own mind or in the minds of such as he would benefit, his ability will be essentially crippled. No man needs, so much as he, to be relieved from the fettering embarrassment of unassured hope. Let him, therefore, settle this matter as the antecedent of every other inquiry, and thus save, for the good of the heathen and the glory of Christ, the time which would otherwise be given to the frequent reconsideration of the primary question, “Am I a Christian?” He will have enough to do to watch against temptation, and keep himself in the love of God, and so endure unto the end, without the necessity of inspecting often and minutely the validity of his original experience.

But simple conversion, however clearly ascertained as a fact, does not necessarily invest an individual with moral power. Eminent piety is essential to eminent usefulness in the work of missions; and this necessity grows out of the nature of the enterprise. Consequently, we find that those who have been the most distinguished for deep, consistent piety, have ordinarily been the most efficient laborers. Need I mention more than the names of Brainerd, Schwartz, Martyn, Boardman? These men were preëminently spiritual. They walked with God, were filled with his Spirit, dwelt upon the sides of eternity, and thought, felt, spake, and acted with reference to that day which shall conclude time, and commence the everlasting awards of heaven and hell. Thus breathing a heavenly atmosphere, and imbued with a heavenly unction, their deportment and spirit, as well as their teachings, combined to render them powerful, commanding for them the respect of the vilest, and giving them influence over minds, which none of inferior holiness could ever have moved. Their piety set them off so far, in holy separation, from an ungodly world, as that they occupied in morals the true Archimedean position—the που στω—from which their whole ability could be most advantageously applied.

Holiness is power; for it gives unity, symmetry, and compactness to character, combining in one harmonious, well-proportioned whole, the excellences which insure for their possessor the confidence of mankind, however degraded or unprincipled. It gives purity and elevation to the motives, direction and energy to the active powers, robustness and elasticity to the moral constitution. It makes the life consistent, and carries to every beholder the conviction of undissembied sincerity, and, by the consciousness which it begets, that the heart and the life are in full sympathy with the calling, imparts to the mind a power of projection that renders influence far-reaching and effective. “Which of you convinceth me of sin?” was the challenge of the holy Saviour. His energy was debilitated by no consciousness of discrepancy between his life and his doctrine.

Holiness is power; for, by softening and subduing one’s own soul, it softens and subdues the souls of others. Opening the deep fountains of sensibility, it sends forth a stream of tender influence, before which the heart of adamant yields and becomes as unresisting as the mellowest of substances.

Such is the godliness needed by the missionary—a piety distinguished for substance rather than show, for steadiness and uniformity rather than impulse and excitement; not like the Geysers of Iceland, heated by volcanic fires, and discharging in periodical jets the waters that scald and excoriate, but like the living stream, deriving its supplies from an exhaustless reservoir, pouring forth a noiseless and equable current, and diffusing, wherever it meanders, the richest and loveliest productiveness. The piety needed, is that which brings the soul within the circle that encloses heaven’s favorites, and, by giving near access to the throne, and familiar intimacy with him that sitteth thereon, best qualifies for the work of intercession. Our heavenly Advocate is a prevalent Pleader, because he is “Jesus Christ, THE RIGHTEOUS;” for within the veil, as every where else, holy character is power; and he who resembles Him the most perfectly in moral qualities, will ever be the most effective in his pleadings at the footstool of the great Hearer of prayer. Like Jacob, he will have “power with God,” for “the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much.”

The holy missionary is a powerful missionary. In his intercourse with men, in his intercourse with God, his power is felt and acknowledged, and eternity only can develop the extent and the beneficence of its results.

2. Entire devotedness to the work.

It is but little, comparatively, that a man can accomplish in any department, during the short life that is allotted to him upon earth. But, ordinarily, he is the most effective who consecrates himself to one pursuit, and faithfully identifies with it his whole temporal existence, and his entire ability. The work of the Christian missionary is surely large enough and important enough to justify the exclusive application of his time and energies. So the first missionaries viewed the subject; and such was the entireness of their consecration to their grand enterprise, as that each of them could say, and say it uncontradicted, “This ONE thing I do.” Ask them, ask their successors in every age who have trodden most closely in their steps, the secret of their success, and, while they refer you to the Holy Spirit, as the primary cause, they will tell you that, secondarily, their efficiency is attributable to the singleness of their aim, the unity of their purpose, the complete devotedness of their lives to their great object, counting every thing else, compared with the salvation of the heathen, “one grand impertinence.”

He who understands the nature of the human mind, knows that its full energies are never put forth unless its object be single as well as great. He who comprehends the legitimate object of the Christian missionary, is aware that it deserves and must have his undivided attention, and the intense application of all his powers. He who is familiar with the history of the enterprise, needs not to be told that those who have effected the greatest good in their own age, and whose impression upon posterity has been the deepest, were distinguished for the simplicity and entireness with which they gave themselves to the duties of their vocation. And of the fifteen hundred evangelical missionaries now in the field, who are affording the most conclusive proofs of useful efficiency? Are they not the men who, with the proper qualifications, are confining themselves to their appropriate work?

Am I mistaken, then, in specifying this devotedness as an element of power? It gives concentration to talents which would otherwise be scattered and wasted, and which now produce effect, upon the simple principle that combination is strength. Rays of knowledge are thus collected into a focus, and made to illuminate and burn. The faculties and affections all move in one direction, for the production of a single result; and, moving together in obedience to one common impulse, they acquire a momentum that is not easily resisted; and, digging a channel for themselves, they leave permanent traces, by which coming generations may know that some agent of extraordinary power has been there.

3. Deep sympathy with the object.

In every department of practical life, success is dependent, not merely upon acquaintance with the theory of one’s business, but also upon the spirit with which the service is undertaken and prosecuted. There must he interest as well as understanding, heart as well as head, feeling as well as action. If your employment be agricultural, or mercantile, or mechanical, or political, or literary, or scientific, your spirit must correspond with the nature of the object, and so deeply sympathize with it, as that you and your object shall seem to be joined by a living union, one and inseparable.

In every vocation it is indeed necessary that we should distinctly perceive what is to be done, and how it is to be effectuated. “Wisdom is profitable to direct.” But it is quite as essential that we should have warm sympathy with the end to which our efforts are to be directed. What is it that often renders some one person more effective than a hundred others in modern enterprises of moral reform? Is it extraordinary genius? Is it profound erudition? We have seen the strong men of all the learned professions stand up in the high places, and lecture with ability upon particular vices, and with most eloquent pleadings call upon wrong-doers to repent, and we have seen them expend their intellectual energies without effect. They reclaimed not, for they reached not, the wretched victims of imbruted appetite. They lacked this element of moral power—the sympathy that embraces the guilty and degraded. We have seen others enter the service, in whom this quality was the presiding spirit. Charged with pity for the miserable outcast, and yearning with tenderest solicitude for his recovery, they descend to his low level, and exhibit in his welfare an affectionate interest, and thus secure his confidence, until the sympathy becomes reciprocal, and the elevation mutual; as the humane sailor goes down for his drowning ship-mate, and feels after him in the mud and seaweed, until he finds him, and then, seizing each other with the death-grasp, they come up together.

This sympathy was one of the elements of the Saviour’s moral power. He came to seek and to save the lost; and, understanding perfectly the philosophy of reform, he descended, and placed himself alongside of the lowliest of the race, and showed himself to be really what he was reproachfully styled, “a friend of publicans and sinners.” And it was by means of this condescension, and this tender interest in their welfare, that he had such power over the multitude. “The common people heard him gladly.”

Who are the men that accomplish the most for Zion’s enlargement? Who but they whose souls are interpenetrated with the spirit of their enterprise—they in whose bosoms sympathy with man’s recovery and eternal life is an all-absorbing, all-controlling passion? You see them at their work, and feel assured that they are not performing a heartless service. They labor not coldly or mechanically, but are in devout earnest, with all the soul alive, thrillingly sensitive to every thing that bears upon their object, and intent upon the salvation of as many as possible. Read the published sermons of Whitefield, and you see not there the secret of his wonderful efficiency. From the depth of his moral nature, there gushed a spirit of which language was never the medium—a spirit which not even he could transfer to the written or the printed page—a spirit which he threw, like net-work, over and around an audience, holding them as by enchantment, whilst he employed every faculty and affection in communicating to their hearts the benevolent pulsations of his own.

Yes, my brother, there is such a thing as a transfusion of that moral influence with which the holy man is endued by the grace of God. His sympathy with heaven connects him with the upper Reservoir of spiritual blessings; his sympathy with man connects him with the souls that fill the circle of his influence; and this double sympathy becomes a consecrated channel for the conveyance of the richest boon of heaven to the perishing of earth. We may not know how it was that the body of the dead man, when it touched the bones of the long buried prophet, revived and stood up animated, resuming life’s functions and life’s duties. But we do know, more than theoretically, that dead souls are quickened by a heavenly influence, of which Christian sympathy is the medium. Elisha sent his staff to be laid upon the face of the deceased child of the Shunamite, but the expedient failed. He must go and stretch himself upon the cold, pulseless frame,—eyes to eyes, mouth to mouth, hands to hands,—and then the flesh of the lad waxed warm, and the prophet delivered him alive to his mother.

The missionary who would be efficient, must have a sympathy as close and all-embracing. His object must be to save the souls of the people to whom he is sent, and, to accomplish this, he must throw around them his warm affections, and bring his living heart into contact with their dead hearts, and keep it there until they are resuscitated by the power of the Holy Spirit, which worketh in him and through him mightily. In this way millions of the deadest of all beings, the dead in trespasses and sins, have been made alive.

4. Strong faith.

Upon this principle, as an element of moral influence, the Saviour, when teaching his missionaries, constantly insisted; and he availed himself of every fitting occasion to summon it into lively exercise. If opportunity offered for the relief of suffering by miracle, he proposed to them the inquiry, “Believe ye that I am able to do this?” When his disciples, foiled in their attempt to expel a demon, asked him to explain the cause of their failure, he promptly replied, “Because of your unbelief.” And how strongly did he assure them of the wonders which they might accomplish, if they only had “faith as a grain of mustard seed.” The smallest conceivable quantity would increase their power; and every addition to their stock of faith, would be so much added to their moral resources, until the feeble should become as David, and David be endued with superhuman energy. Was it the language of hyperbole, or of sober truth, when Jesus said, “All things are possible to him that believeth?” And when he so frequently said to his candidates for missionary, appointment, “According to your faith be it unto you,” what did he intend them to understand, but that the amount of their faith should be the measure of their success?

Every man is endowed by his Creator, with a certain amount of physical ability, a portion of which is available on all occasions that may require it, while the remainder is intended only for special exigencies. When circumstances demand, he can draw upon this reserved fund, and thus accomplish what would otherwise be impracticable. Let his house take fire, and he will lift and bear away burdens with a facility that astonishes himself.

Much of the mind’s energy lies retired, as reserved capital, to be employed only in extraordinary emergencies. Faith is the principle that has access to this private fund, and whose draft upon it is never dishonored; and, therefore, faith increases the available, if not the actual, power of the soul. He who believes a thing can be done, is generally the man to do it, for he is under the influence of a principle that calls forth the latent ability, and enables him to achieve results, which, without faith, would be impracticable. In all the camp of Saul, there was not a veteran who could safely have encountered the champion of Philistia, for not a man of the host had faith in God sufficient to brace up his courage and nerve his right arm for the conflict. Such faith was found only in the youthful shepherd; and as he believed, so he proceeded. His confidence lifted him above the fear of peril that made the sternest warriors quake, and called forth all his inward energies to one sublime effort; and the headless trunk of his antagonist soon lay stretched in the valley which had rung with his boastings.

Sacred history is, to a large extent, a record of the achievements of faith. In the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, we have a summary and graphic sketch of the cases mentioned in the inspired narratives, which no one can read without the conviction that the writer regarded faith as an element of power. He understood perfectly well that incredulity benumbs and paralyzes the soul, cutting its very sinews, and laying it prostrate, helpless, strengthless. He also knew, by what he had seen and felt, that faith gives to the mind nerve, elasticity, steadiness, and right onward force. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even your faith.”

There is something in the confidence that we do not stand alone, but are befriended and succored by another and mightier, that gives determination and vigor to the soul. A Puritan writer has quaintly said, that, “If a man meet a dog alone, the dog is fearful, though ever so fierce by nature; but if the dog have his master with him, he will out upon that man from whom he fled before.” And hence he reasons, that if lower natures, when backed by higher, increase in courage and energy, certainly man, backed by Omnipotence, is a kind of omnipotent creature. A timid child, in company with his father, so long as he feels the warm pressure of the paternal hand, will walk unanxious by night through pathless forests, or on the beetling precipice. So the servant of God, with simple reliance upon a promising Father, will fearlessly press his way through difficulties and dangers the most appalling. Though called to walk through the valley across which death, has thrown his gloomiest shadow, he triumphantly says, “I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.”

In the world’s transactions, faith is important to efficiency. Weaken it, and you enfeeble the springs of secular enterprise. Destroy it, and you unnerve the community. Quite as indispensable is it in the cause of missions, which is preeminently a “work of faith,” and of faith of the highest order. What could the first preachers of Christianity have accomplished without it? What but confidence in their Master’s promise and presence could have given them such heroic boldness, such indomitable courage, such unfaltering perseverance, such power of endurance? Sustained by it, they did and suffered what impostors never could have done and suffered. They were “men that hazarded their lives for the name of the Lord Jesus,” and the assurance, ever fresh in their recollection, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end,” was their unfailing support. They believed that the world could be and would be converted to Christ, and this faith rendered them bold and energetic as agents in the difficult service. They made no experiments. They proceeded not upon probabilities, but upon certainties; and confidence in the promises made them strong, so that “with great power gave they witness,” and thrones trembled, and idols tumbled, and truth and holiness were welcomed by a subjugated world.

When faith is really brought into action, the magnitude of an obstacle, even were it increased a hundred fold, is a matter of little moment. “Difficulties heaped upon difficulties can never rise to the level of the promise of God;” and, formidable as they may appear, the power of faith brings in the divine sufficiency, and we overcome them with ready facility. “In the history of the heroes of this world,” says Dr. Merle D’Aubigné,—“of such men as Charles XII., or Napoleon,—there is always a critical moment which shapes their career and insures their future glory; it is that in which a consciousness of their own strength is suddenly imparted to them. And a moment not less decisive than this, though stamped with an impress altogether different, is to be found in the life of every heroic servant of God;—it is that moment in which he first recognizes his absolute helplessness and nothingness: then it is that the strength of God is communicated to him from on high.”* There is a link which connects the impotence of the creature with the omnipotence of Jehovah, so that the creature is encouraged to attempt the greatest things, while conscious of personal inability to do the least things. A weak faith lays hold of a strong Christ; and, lying low and looking high, the believer declares, “when I am weak, then am I strong.” Thus allied to the mighty, he is endued with power; and he can meet unmoved the shock of any trial; for, as Leighton well says, “The firmest thing in this lower world is a believing soul;” and he cen execute any service, however difficult, for his faith enables him to feel and say, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me.” What can interfere with the efficiency of him who goes forth to publish salvation, obeying his Saviour’s command, trusting his Saviour’s promise, favored with his Saviour’s presence? Intimidated by no opposition, discouraged by no perplexities, he presses forward to the achievement of his purpose, winning a revolted world to Christ by the attractions of the cross.

5. An affectionate spirit.

Need I multiply proofs that love is power? What is the efficiency of God’s moral government, but the efficiency of love? Wherein consists the energy of the cross, if not in the matchless love which it develops? What is a Christian but a living witness to the all-subduing efficacy of love, overcoming, as it has, the spirit of rebellion, reconciling the alienated heart, reforming the wayward conduct, and giving to the soul a heavenward tendency? And what is the song of the redeemed in glory, but a grateful recognition of their indebtedness to One who loved them, and proved the strength of his love by giving himself for them, and washing them in his blood—the blood of Love?

Love is the grand distinctive quality of the Christian system, and especially of its ministry, which is eminently the “ministry of reconciliation.” And this is the quality which, above all others, should pervade the tone of the ministry both at home and abroad. The cause of truth may be weakened by a false manifestation of its spirit, as well as by an inaccurate exhibition of its principles. The temper of the ministry is quite as important as its matter; and a primitive missionary assures us, in his own case, that if he were to “speak with the tongues of men and of angels,” yet without love, his message would be destitute of music,—harsh, dissonant, and repulsive. The heathen sophists insisted upon kindness in an orator as indispensable to success; and one of them illustrates the sentiment by reference to the fabulous stories of Amphion and Orpheus, the moral of which, he thinks, teaches the extraordinary power of the tender and the affectionate over insensible and unyielding hearts. Homer introduces his hoary Nestor pleading in the most gentle, insinuating strain, and thus prevailing where threats and steel were ineffectual. We find it true in civilized lands, and it is quite as true of the barbarous and savage, that men do not open their hearts to the preacher, unless the tone of his instructions, and his whole manner have impressed them with the conviction that he sincerely regards their best interests. The spirit of depravity rouses itself to resist and resent whatever is harsh and denunciatory.

         “Leviathan is not so tamed.”

But where love is the presiding spirit—love, that sympathizes, on the one hand, with the cross of Christ, and, on the other, with man’s degradation and doom, there is power that disarms prejudice, conciliates affection, and conquers the heart. We wonder not at the success of the apostle Paul, when we read that he ceased not to warn the people “night and day with tears.” We are not surprised at the efficiency of another man of God who seldom addressed sinners without an overflow of tender emotion, and whom we hear saying, “You blame me for weeping, but how can I help it, when you will not weep for yourselves, though your immortal souls are upon the verge of destruction, and for aught you know you are hearing your last sermon, and may never have another opportunity to have Christ offered to you.” It has been said of another, that, when warning the impenitent of their danger, and inviting them to the gracious Saviour, he was often so overcome by the gush of his feelings as to be unable to proceed—a testimony far more creditable than any applause for originality, taste or genius. “I have not wept but once these forty years,” said a veteran military officer, “and that was when I heard Jesse Bushy head, the Cherokee preacher, address his countrymen from the parable of the prodigal son, the tears flowing faster than he could wipe them away.” Love is the key to the human soul, and he who takes it with him, may go to any part of the world, and gain access to hearts, and open the most secret doors, and walk unforbidden through every chamber of the moral nature. When the infuriated Seminoles attacked a settlement, butchering, scalping, burning, whom did they spare—whom but a family which they recognized as the friends of the red man, residing there in the self-denying spirit and practice of Christian missionaries?

LOVE IS POWER; for it renders the servant of God gentle, tender, earnest, persuasive. His manner is winning, and his spirit melting. The smile of heaven plays upon his features, and the tones and inflexions of his voice approach nearer to the angelic than the human. More than gratuitous would it be in him to assure his hearers that he loves them, and desires their salvation. The fountain of tears unsealed and gushing, the quivering lip, the tremulous voice, the heaving bosom, are proofs which the stupidest pagan would interpret more easily than a thousand professions and protestations. It may sometimes be necessary for him to declare most awful and terrific truths, but he does it with holy tenderness, mingling no wrath of his own with the wrath of God. The meek, the gentle Redeemer foretold, with all plainness, the doom of the wicked, and pronounced wo! wo! wo! until he could utter it no longer, and his pent-up compassions then burst forth like a food—“O Jerusalem! Jerusalem!” Powerful, irresistible is he who is baptized into the affectionate spirit of Jesus. His words, bathed in his heart’s sensibility, soften whatever they touch, and souls, hard and cold as the Alpine glacier, melt under their influence like snow in a summer sun.

Such, brethren, are some of the elements of that power with which it is desirable the Christian missionary should be endued. The whole of these combined, in due proportion, make up a strong character, which wants little else than a physical frame of corresponding strength, to complete the sum of missionary excellence. Happy for the heathen, happy for the interests of Christianity, when the missionary field shall be supplied with laborers who possess the intellectual and moral power required by so grand an enterprise. Some such are already there, and in the character of their labors, and the measure of their efficiency, we perceive not only occasion for devout gratitude to God, but the most valid reasons for the prayer from the church universal—Lord, multiply them a thousand fold.

COMMUNION PRESERVED
Luke 24:29
C H SPURGEON

THESE disciples knew not their Lord, but they loved the unknown stranger who spake so sweetly of him. Blessed are the men who discourse of Jesus; they shall ever find a welcome in the hearts and homes of the elect. His name to our ears is ever melodious, and we love that conversation best which is fullest of it. We would willingly afford the chamber on the wall, the table, the stool, and the candlestick, to all those who will talk continually of Him. But, alas! there are too many who would blush to answer our Saviour’s question, “What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another?”* Too great a number of professors forget the words of the prophet, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”* We will not be censorious, but we believe with an old author, that “the metal of the bell is known by the sound of the clapper; what is in the well will be found in the bucket; what is in the warehouse will be shown in the shop; and what is in the heart will be bubbling forth at the mouth.”
We often miss our Lord’s company, because our conversation does not please him. When our Beloved goes down into his garden, it is to feed there and gather lilies; but if thorns and nettles are the only products of the soil, he will soon be away to the true beds of spices. When two walk together, and are agreed in solemn discourse concerning heavenly things, Jesus will soon make a third. So here, on this journey to Emmaus, the Saviour, though they “knew him not, because their eyes were holden,” did so wondrously converse with them, that their “hearts burned within them.” He who would stay a man in the street would naturally call out his name; and he who would bring Jesus into his soul must frequently pronounce his charming name.

The Lord having graciously conversed with these favoured travellers, essays to leave them, and continue his journey, but they constrain him to remain, and at their earnest suit he does so. From this pleasing little incident let us glean one or two lessons.

I. When we have the Saviour’s company for a little while, we shall not be content until we have more of it. These holy men were not content to let him go, but would have him tarry with them all night. There are certain liquors which men drink that are said to increase thirst; it is most true of this rich “wine on the lees,” that the more we drink of it the more we desire. Nor will the draught be forbidden us, or prove in any way injurious, for the spouse bids us “drink, yea, drink abundantly.” The soul which has enjoyed communion with Jesus will never agree that it has dwelt long enough on the mount: it will far rather build a tabernacle for itself and its master. Never is a Christian tired of his Redeemer’s society, but, like Abraham, he cries, “My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant.” Any plea will be urged to persuade our Lord to remain. Is it evening? we will plead that the day is far spent, and we shall need him to cheer our midnight hours. Is it morning? we will tell him that we fear to begin the day without a long visit from him. Is it noon? we will urge that the sun is hot, and we shall faint unless he allows us to sit beneath his shadow. We will always find some reason for his remaining, for love’s logic is inexhaustible. If he would become our constant guest we should never weary of his company. A thousand years would seem but as one day if all the time we might lay our head upon his bosom; yea, eternity itself shall need no other source of joy since this perennial stream is ever running. When our wondering eyes have admired the beauties of our Saviour for millions of years we shall be quite as willing to continue the meditation, supremely blest with that Heaven which our eyes shall drink in from his wounded hands and side. The marrow of heaven is Jesus; and as we shall never be surfeited with bliss, so we shall never have too much of Jesus. Fresh glories are discovered in him every hour; his person, work, offices, character, affection, and relationships, are each of them clusters of stars which the eye of contemplation will view with unutterable astonishment as they are in their order revealed to the mind. The saint who has longest tenanted the mansions of glory will confess that the presence of the Saviour has not ceased to be his bliss, nor has the freshness of the pleasure been in the least diminished. Christ is a flower, but he fadeth not; he is a river, but he is never dry; he is a sun, but he knoweth no eclipse; he is all in all, but he is something more than all. He that longs not for Christ hath not seen him, and by just so much as man has tasted of the sweetness of Jesus will he be hungry and thirsty after more of him. Men who are content with a manifestation once in a month will soon become so dull that once a year will suit them; but he who has a visit from the Saviour very frequently will be panting for fresh views of him every day—yea, and every hour of the day. He will never lack appetite for spiritual things who lives much on them. The poor professor may be content with a few of Christ’s pence now and then, but he who is rich in grace thinks so small an income beneath his station, and cannot live unless he has golden gifts from the hand of his Lord; he will covet earnestly this best of gifts, and be a very miser after the precious things of the cross. John Owen, the most sober of theologians, falls into a perfect ecstasy when touching on this subject. In expounding Cant. 8:6, 7, he gives us the following glowing passage: “The intendment of what is so loftily set out by so many metaphors in these verses is, ‘I am not able to bear the workings of my love to thee, unless I may always have society and fellowship with thee. There is no satisfying of my love without it. It is as the grave, that still says, Give! give! Death is not satisfied without its prey. If it have not all it has nothing.’ Let what will happen, if death hath not its whole desire it hath nothing at all. Nor can it be withstood in its appointed season; no ransom will be taken. So is my love; if I have thee not wholly I have nothing. Nor can all the world bribe it to a diversion; it will be no more turned aside than death in its time. Alas! I am not able to bear my jealous thoughts; I fear thou dost not love me—that thou hast forsaken me, because I know I deserve not to be beloved. These thoughts are hard as hell; they give no rest to my soul. If I find not myself on thy heart and arm, I am as one that lies down in a bed of coals.” The absence of the Saviour deprives the believer of more than joy or light; it seems to destroy his very life, and sap the foundations of his being. Let us seek then to hold the king in his galleries.

II. We remark, in the next place, that if we would keep the Saviour with us, we must constrain him. Jesus will not tarry if he is not pressed to do so. Not that he is ever weary of his people, but because he would have them show their sense of his value. In the case before us, it is said, “he made as if he would go further.” This he did to try their affection. “Not,” says Ness, “that he had any purpose to depart from them, but to prove them how they prized him, and accounted of his company. Therefore this ought not to be misimproved to countenance any kind of sinful dissimuation. If Solomon might make as though he would do an act that in its own nature was unlawful (to slay an innocent child),* sure I am our Saviour might do that which is but indifferent in itself (whether to go or stay) without being charged with the sin of dissembling. But when Christ makes to be gone, the two disciples would not let him go, but one (as it were) gets hold on one arm, and the other on the other; there they hang till they constrain him to continue with them.” These were wise men, and were, therefore, loath to part with a fellow-traveller from whom they could learn so much. If we are ever privileged to receive Jesus under our roof, let us make haste to secure the door that he may not soon be gone. If he sees us careless concerning him, and cold towards him, he will soon arise and go hence. He will not intrude himself where he is not wanted; he needs no lodging, for the heaven of heavens is his perpetual palace, and there be many hearts of the contrite where he will find a hearty welcome.

When we have the honour of a visit from Prince Immanuel let everything be done to protract it. Angels’ visits are few and far between: when we have the happiness of meeting therewith, let us, like Jacob, manfully grasp the angel, and detain him, at least until he leaves a blessing. Up, Christian, with a holy bravery, and lay hold on the mercy while it is within reach! The Son of Man loves those who hold him tightly. He will not resent the familiarity, but will approve of thine earnestness. Let the loving bride of the Canticles teach thee by her example, for she glories in her deed when she sings, “I found him whom my soul loveth, I held him, and I would not let him go.” True, ’tis amazing grace which can allow such a liberty with the person of so exalted a being; but seeing that he invites us to lay hold on his strength, and has sanctioned the act in others, shall we, like Ahaz, when he declined to ask a sign, refuse the favour which our Lord allows? No—

         “We will maintain our hold;
         ’Tis his goodness makes us bold.”

How can we then prolong our communion with the Saviour? Let us reply to the question by sundry directions, which, by the aid of the Spirit, we will labour to follow.

1. Allow no rivals to intrude. Jesus will never tarry in a divided heart. He must be all or nothing. Search then thy heart; dethrone its idols; eject all interlopers; chastise all trespassers; yea, slay the Diabolians who lurk in thy soul. If we would enjoy uninterrupted fellowship with the Son of God, we must institute a rigid inquisition against all kinds of sin. A little evil will at times mar our peace, just as a small stone in the shoe will spoil our walking. Tender are the shoots of this vine of communion, and little foxes will do no little injury. “The Lord thy God is a jealous God,” and Jesus thy husband is jealous also. Sorely did he smite Jerusalem, because she sought affinity with other gods, and chose to herself many lovers. Keep then thy house and heart open to him, and shut to all others. With sin he cannot dwell. Canst thou expect the “angel of the covenant” to dwell with the prince of darkness? Can there be concord with Christ and Belial? Awake then, and cry “Away, ye profane,” my heart is the temple of Jesus, and ye must not defile its hallowed places. If they retire not, get to thyself the scourge of repentance and self-mortification, and if it be laid on lustily they will not long abide the blows.

It behoves us to remember, also, that there are other things besides sins which may become offensive to the Saviour. The nearest friend, the partner of our bosom, or the offspring of our loins, may excite the Lord’s jealousy. If these become the objects of an affection which ought to be wholly his, he will be moved to anger with us. The calf was no less an idol because it was made of gold. The brazen serpent, despite its original service, must be broken when men worship it. All things are alike cause of jealousy to Jesus if they are exalted to his throne, since no creature can in the least possess anything deserving of worship. The very mention of a rival’s name will suffice to drive our blessed Lord away. He will have the name of Baali taken utterly out of our mouth; and he alone must be our Ishi.

Oh! true believer, is there no strange god with thee? Make a thorough search. Bid even thy beloved Rachel rise, for the teraph is often concealed beneath the place where she sitteth. Say not in haste, I am no idolater. The approaches of this sin are insidious in the extreme, and ere thou knowest it thou art entangled in its iron net. The love of the creature has a bewitching power over men, and they seldom know the treachery of the Delilah until their locks are shorn. Oh, daughters of Zion, let King Solomon alone have your love; rehearse his name in your songs, and write his achievements on your memories; so will he dwell in the city of David and ride through your midst in his chariot paved with love for you: but if ye pay homage to any save himself, he will return unto his place and make your beauteous city a byword with the enemy. Have no fellowship with strangers, if you desire manifestations of love from the adorable Jesus. “Let none be your love and choice, and the flower of your delights, but your Lord Jesus. Set not your heart upon the world, since God hath not made it your portion; for it will not fall to you to get two portions, and to rejoice twice, and to be happy twice, and to have an upper heaven and an under heaven too. Most of us have a lover and idol besides our husband, Christ; but it is our folly to divide our narrow and little love; it will not serve for two. It is best then to hold it whole and together, and to give it to Christ; for then we get double interest for our love, when we lend it to, and lay it out upon, Christ; and we are sure, besides, that the stock cannot perish.”

Let us muse on the words of the writer of The Synagogue—

    “Peace, rebel thought, dost thou not know the king
         My God is here?
    Cannot his presence, if no other thing,
         Make thee forbear?
    Or were he absent, all the standers by
         Are but his spies;
    And well he knows, if thou shouldst it deny,
         Thy words were lies.
    If others will not, yet I must, and will,
         Myself complain.
    My God, even now a base, rebellious thought
         Began to move,
    And subtly twining with me would have wrought
         Me from my love:
    Fain he would have me to believe that Sin
         And thou might both
    Take up my heart together for your inn,
         And neither loathe
    The other’s company; a while sit still,
         And part again.”

2. Give the Saviour a goodly entertainment, fit for so great a prince, and thus he may be persuaded to make a longer stay. His rank, his honour, and his benevolence, entitle him to the most respectful treatment. Shall the Son of God be entertained in any but the best room of the house? Shall we offer on his altar any save the fattest of the flock and the herd? Shall we spare ourselves when he is our guest? Shall gentlemen spend all their estates that they may sumptuously feast an earthly monarch? and shall we penuriously count the cost of our love to him? Beloved, we shall have but brief glimpses of Jesus if he does not perceive our souls affected by it. A slight from his friends grieves his spirit, and he withdraws himself. We ought to count it a cheap bargain if we could give our all to win the constant indwelling of Jesus. Princes have melted pearls into the wine wherewith they entertained monarchs, let us do the same. Let us make rich offerings to Jesus; let our duties be more faithfully discharged, our labours more willingly performed, and let our zeal be more eminently fervent. If the altar cease to smoke with incense, the heart will be made empty and void by the departure of its Lord. Self-sacrifice is sweet to our Redeemer, he loves to see his dearly-purchased people confessing that they are not their own. Oh, brethren in the Gospel, do more if ye would receive more; give more largely and ye shall be cheered more abundantly. The self-denying missionary, the laborious pastor, the earnest evangelist, and the indefatigable church member, are generally the persons invited to the royal banquets of Jesus. He delights to honour the men who wait at his gates with diligence, and watch for his coming with vigilance. Faithful service shall never be unrewarded by the master’s notice, and continuance in well-doing shall receive as its recompence a perpetuity of approbation. Hold thou the Saviour, oh believer! by hands ready for service and happy to obey.

3. Trust the Lord much while he is with you. Keep no secrets from him. His secrets are with you; let your secrets be with him. Jesus admires confidence, and if it be not afforded him, he will say, “Farewell,” until we can trust him better. So long as we put our lips to the ear of Christ, and tell him all, he will never let us be alone. When we reveal every whit, and hide nothing from him, he is pleased with us; but when we conceal our designs, our troubles, or our fears, he frowns at our want of confidence. If thou desirest Christ for a perpetual guest, give him all the keys of thine heart; let not one cabinet be locked up from him; give him the range of every room, and the key of every chamber; thus you will constrain him to remain. True faith holds the feet of Jesus and prevents his departure: when he rises to continue his journey, she cries, “Not so, my Lord, hear one more word, listen to the wants of thy servant, let at least another of my griefs find a tomb in thy loving heart. Listen to me this once, for I have somewhat to say unto thee which so deeply concerns me, that if thou dost not regard me, I know not whither to resort.” Thus she will hold her confidant by one continued series of confessions. We doubt not that our loving Lord frequently hides his face from us because we rely not enough upon him. It would be the part of wisdom to transfer our cares to him who careth for us; thus should we imitate David, who urges us to “pour out our hearts before him.” Make Christ manager of thine affairs, and so please him. An old writer somewhere says, “He who runs before the cloud of divine direction goeth a fool’s errand:” let us then desist from self-serving, and give ourselves up like children to the loving care of a tender parent, to be led, guided, directed, and supplied by our great Covenant Head; so will he always have business to do at our house, and will make our soul his settled rest.

4. Another method of retaining the company of our Beloved, is to bring in others of his friends to sit with us. It may be if he cometh not to us alone, he will come with them, and if perchance some ill word of ours might urge him to depart, yet, for the sake of others who sit with him, he will remain. One of these disciples migh not have constrained Christ, but the two effected it. Fire will not tarry in a single coal, but if many be laid together it will be long before it is clean gone. A single tree may not afford much shelter for a traveller, but he will rest beneath the thick boughs of the grove: so will Jesus often sit longer where many of “the trees of the Lord” are planted. Go to the assemblies of the saints, if you would keep the arm of the King of saints. Those who dwell most with the daughters of Jerusalem are most likely to have a goodly share of Emmanuel’s company. Cannot my reader add his own testimony to the fact that fellowship with the saints is conducive to a continuance of fellowship with Jesus?

5. Earnest prayer is the most potent means of winning continued communion. We have found it true, that the mercy-seat is the place where the Lord meets his servants. Full often our souls have risen from depths of distress to heights of delight, by the simple appeal to heaven, which we by supplication have been allowed to make. We will speak well of the exercise of prayer; we can endorse all the titles which old divines have given it, such as—the key of heaven, and of all God’s cabinets, the conduit of mercy, faith flaming, Jacob’s ladder, an invisible and invincible weapon, a victory over the Omnipotent, the sweet consumption of cares, a box of ointment broken on the head of Christ, the perfume of heaven, the mount of transfiguration, the soul’s messenger, and Satan’s scourge: but we will add another—it is a golden chain which holds the Saviour, and secures him to his people. Christ never lingers long with dumb souls; if there be no crying out to him, he loves not silence, and he departs and betakes himself to those hearts which are full of the music of prayer. What a marvellous influence prayer has upon our fellowship with Jesus! We may always measure one by the other. Those pray most fervently and frequently who have been constant attendants on the kind Intercessor; while, on the other hand, those who wrestle the hardest in supplication will hold the angel the longest. Joshua’s voice stayed the sun in the heavens for a few hours; but the voice of prayer can detain the Sun of righteousness for months and even years.

Christian Brethren, will you slight this exhortation? Shall none of these means be tried? Are you content to suffer your Saviour to depart? Are ye careless as to his company? Then you have grave cause for fear; there is something vitally wrong. Pass not by this sad admonitory symptom; search your heart, for a sad disease is there. May the great Physician heal thee.

But surely, as joint-heir with Jesus, thou hast longings after him and sighings for his presence. Then let it be thy concern to find him, and, having found him, to constrain him to abide with thee for ever.

      “Oh, that we could for ever sit
      With Mary, at the Master’s feet;
         Be this our happy choice,
      Our only care, delight, and bliss,
      Our joy, our heaven on earth be this,
         To hear the Bridegroom’s voice.

      “Oh, that we could with favour’d John,
      Recline our weary heads upon
         The dear Redeemer’s breast!
      From care, and sin, and sorrow free,
      Give us, O Lord, to find in thee
         Our everlasting rest.”

In a short time it will be our joy to hold further converse with each other, upon various important points of our knowledge of Christ. We trust we shall then be privileged to enter more fully into the mysteries of communion, and in the mean time we commend our humble effort to the blessing of Heaven, trusting that some beginners will here read and learn what are the elements of that wondrous experience which falls to the lot of a Christian.

 

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