Luke 24 Commentary

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From Jensen's Survey of the NT by permission
John MacArthur's Introduction to the Gospel of Luke
Charles Swindoll's Introduction to Luke
Luke Overview Chart by Charles Swindoll

Click chart to enlarge LIFE OF CHRIST IN GOSPEL OF LUKE (See Shaded Areas)
Chart from recommended resource  Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

Ryrie Study Bible -Borrow

Source: ESV Global Study Bible

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.

Related Passages:

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.

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. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they *came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 Looking up, they *saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.

John 20:1-2  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. 2So 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.”


Note - Luke 24:1–12 recounts the discovery of the empty tomb and the announcement of Jesus’ resurrection.

The first day of the week at early dawn they came - Matthew has “as it began to dawn” (Mt. 28:1 - below); and Mark has “when the sun had risen” (Mark 16:2 - below).  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)."

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.

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.

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.

Early dawn (3721)(orthrios) means daybreak, early morning, literally of depth of early morning or at the first steak of dawn. Used 3x - Lk 24:1, John 8:2, Acts 5:21. Vine writes "Used with the adverb batheos, "deeply," in Luke 24:1, it means "at early dawn" (RV). In John 8:2 it is used in the genitive case, orthrou, "at dawn," i.e., "early in the morning." In Acts 5:21, it is used with the article and preceded by the preposition hypo, "under, or about," lit., "about the dawn," "about daybreak," RV (for AV, "early in the morning.")."

Gilbrant - This adjective is the older form of its related term, orthrinos (3720). It is found in such literature of antiquity as the hymns of Homer (Seventh–Sixth Centuries B.C.), the Septuagint, Josephus, and in nonliterary papyri. An example of this is found in an Egyptian papyrus of the First Century B.C. which speaks of a man’s orthrios, i.e., his “first deed” or “morning greeting” (cf. Moulton-Milligan).The New Testament shows only one usage in this form, and that in the Textus Receptus of Luke 24:22 (with the older texts giving orthrinos). Here the two from Emmaus are telling Jesus, whom they do not recognize, that on the morning of the first day of the week “certain women...which were early” (orthrios) discovered the tomb to be empty. This signifies that this occurred at the first dawning. (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)

Orthros - 34x in 34v in the Septuagint (Lxx) - Read some of the uses below as some very famous and fascinating events occurred early in the morning! Gen. 19:15; Gen. 32:26; Exod. 19:16; Jos. 6:15; Jdg. 16:2; Jdg. 19:25; Jdg. 19:26; 1 Sam. 9:26; Neh. 4:21; Est. 5:14; Ps. 57:8; Ps. 63:6; Ps. 108:2; Ps. 119:148; Ps. 139:9; Prov. 7:18; Prov. 23:35; Song. 6:10; Jer. 7:25; Jer. 25:4; Jer. 26:5; Jer. 32:33; Jer. 35:14; Jer. 44:4; Hos. 6:3; Hos. 10:15; Joel 2:2; Amos 4:13

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.

They came to the tomb - They refers to the women who Luke had described at the end of the previous chapter. Luke earlier had said 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." (Lk 23:54-56+) Clearly they knew exactly where the tomb was located because they had watched as Joseph and Nicodemus had laid His body in the tomb (Lk 23:54). This fact refutes skeptics who say they went to the wrong tomb and that is why it was empty. Scripture soundly refutes that weak argument. The names of those who traveled to the tomb are given in Luke 24:10+ (Mary Magdalene...Joanna...Mary the mother of James also the other women with them)  

J C Ryle comments "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." (Luke 24)

MacArthur adds that "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)

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. (Luke 24)

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.").” (Believer's Bible Commentary - borrow)

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 Gospels 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’ post-resurrection 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. (The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary - borrow)


The Bible has a lot to say about mornings. Just a few observations make that statement very clear.

  • Our Savior prayed early in the morning
  • Joshua is pictured as a man who rose up early in the morning
  • Think of that morning in Gen. 22 when Abraham rose up early and took Isaac to Mt. Moriah to sacrifice him. 
  • What a morning it was for Jacob when he awoke from sleep and set up a pillar of stones in honor of God at Bethel. 
  • It must have been a glorious morning for Daniel when the first rays of sunshine lit up the city of Babylon after that night in the lions den. 
  • Imagine how beautiful was the morning for the disciples after they spent that terrible night on the Sea of Galilee in that storm.  (Alan Carr)

Was It A Morning Like This?
Sung by Sandi Patty

Was it a morning like this
When the Son still hid from Jerusalem?
And Mary rose from her bed
To tend the Lord she thought was dead

Was it a morning like this
When Mary walked down from Jerusalem?
And two angels stood at the tomb
Bearers of news she would hear soon

Did the grass sing?
Did the earth rejoice to feel You again?

Over and over like a trumpet underground
Did the earth seem to pound "He is risen!"
Over and over in a never-ending round
"He is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!"

Was it a morning like this
When Peter and John ran from Jerusalem?
And as they raced toward the tomb
Beneath their feet was there a tune?

Did the grass sing?
Did the earth rejoice to feel You again?

Over and over like a trumpet underground
Did the earth seem to pound "He is risen!"
Over and over in a never-ending round
"He is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!"

Over and over like a trumpet underground
Did the earth seem to pound "He is risen!"
Over and over in a never-ending round
"He is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!"

When my Lord looked out on Jerusalem?
He is risen!

Harmony of the Gospel Accounts A T Robertson -


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...)


EVENT Mt 28:1-8 Mk 16:1-8 Lk 24:1-10 Jn 20:1-8


At Dawn

Just after sunrise

Very early in the morning

While it was still dark

Who comes first?

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary

Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome

Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and others

Mary Magdalene

What do they find?

earthquake with angel who rolls back the stone

stone rolled away

stone rolled away

stone removed from the entrance

Whom do they see?

angel sitting on the stone

young man in white robe, sitting on the right

two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning

no one

What do they do?

ran to tell his disciples

fled from the tomb, afraid to say anything

told what had happened to the Eleven and others

ran to tell Peter and the disciple, the one Jesus loved

What happens next?

Jesus met them


Peter goes to the tomb to investigate

Peter and the other disciple investigate

What is the third scene?

guards report to chief priests and are bribed


story of two disciples on Emmaus road

Mary sees two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been

When we examine these four accounts, we notice some similarities.

First, all agree that the events happened around dawn, although they disagree about whether it was already light. Given that the events happened over a period of time, this difference is hardly significant.

Second, all agree that Mary Magdalene was at least one of the ones discovering that the body had disappeared. The purposes of the individual narratives seems to determine how many other women are mentioned (with Luke, who has a special interest in women, noting the most women).

Third, all agree that the women find an open, corpseless tomb. Matthew seems to imply that they also saw the opening of the tomb, although he may narrate the opening of the tomb as something that happened while the women were traveling and before they arrived at the tomb. None of the other Gospels mentions the guards, so how the tomb gets opened is less of a problem for them.

Fourth, all agree that the women saw one or more angels (only Luke has two). However, the angel in John’s account appears to be functioning in a different narrative role than the ones in the other accounts. It is, perhaps, more accurate to say that John does not inform us if Mary saw anyone at the tomb before going to tell the disciples. What the angels say also differs, although in all cases the women are informed that Jesus is not there. In the various accounts they are told not to fear (and that they were afraid anyway), to report to the disciples and to meet Jesus in Galilee.

Finally, all agree that the women left the tomb, and three of the four accounts note that they did inform the disciples. (Mark breaks off with verse 8, the longer ending probably not being part of the original text; it is debated whether an original ending of Mark has been lost or whether he intended to break off with the women in fear and the question of whether they would follow Jesus into Galilee hanging in the air.)

Furthermore, two of the accounts agree that the woman or women met Jesus, that they tried to hold on to him, and that he sent them on their way. However, John appears to put this meeting after Peter and the beloved disciple investigate, and Matthew puts it before the women report to the disciples.

What can we conclude from this data?

First, it is possible to make this data into a coherent story. If we assume that the pre- or post-dawn timing depends on whether one gives the time of the women starting their trip or their arrival at the tomb, if we assume that the earthquake and angelic descent happened before the women arrived at the tomb, if we merge what the angels say into one account, if we assume that the angels moved around, and if we assume that Mary Magdalene remained behind at the tomb while the others went and reported (and thus had a separate meeting with Jesus), one can make a single coherent account out of the various stories. Obviously, if there were two angels, one writer could report only one. Not every writer has to report all of the details another mentions. In other words, these are different stories but not necessarily conflicting stories. All could be true at the same time.

Second, while it is possible to make the data fit into a coherent story, we cannot be sure that we have the right coherent story. We have a jigsaw puzzle of information and cannot be sure that we have all of the pieces. Thus, since the Scripture has not given us a single unified story, we must be careful or else we will end up believing that our reconstruction is the truth. A reconstruction may be the truth or it may distort the truth. Perhaps if we had some other critical pieces of information we would make quite a different reconstruction.

Third, these stories are exactly what one would expect to discover after a significant event like the resurrection. The chancellor of this author’s university died at the end of an address to the student body. Within an hour of the event a sociology professor had his thirty students each write down their own account of what had happened. Each was instructed to write as honest and detailed account as they could, given the limited time of the class period. When the accounts were later compared, there were numerous differences in detail, although all agreed that the chancellor had died at the end of his address. Presumably each Gospel writer had a series of stories about the resurrection to sort through. For example, we know that Matthew knows and values Mark’s account, but in the resurrection story he obviously has some independent information as well. The Evangelists selected and combined data to get the accounts that they give us. But even the beloved disciple in John is not an eyewitness of most of the events, so we are not surprised to find a lot of differences in their reporting what happened.

Finally, when we try to put the stories together, we miss the point of the authors. The church accepted into its canon four separate Gospels, viewing each as inspired by God. It did not put into the canon a harmony of these Gospels (although such existed). The fact is that each writer is trying to bring out his unique perspective and theological insights by the details he includes or leaves out (although, unless Matthew and Luke are differing from Mark, which we know that they knew, we often cannot be sure that the author actually knows a detail and so purposely leaves it out). Matthew wants to underline the miraculous and also explain a rumor that the body of Jesus was stolen. Luke stresses the fulfillment of the words of Jesus and yet the disbelief of the apostles. John, by focusing on a single character and her intimate discussion with Jesus, points out that in the resurrection and ascension of Jesus the promises of John 13–16 are fulfilled. Jesus cannot be held, for it is better for him to go to the one who is not only his Father but is now also our Father. It is when we look at the resurrection through such eyes, informed by the perspective of each Gospel writer, that we see not simply a miracle, nor even the fact of the resurrection, but the message the church has believed that God wanted to communicate in and through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (F F Bruce, et al - Hard Sayings of the Bible

Question - Can the various resurrection accounts from the four Gospels be harmonized?

AnswerThe events surrounding Jesus’ resurrection can be difficult to piece together. We must remember two things: first, the news of Jesus’ resurrection produced much excitement in Jerusalem, and in the ensuing chaos many people were going many different directions. Groups were separated, and several different groups paid visits to the tomb, possibly more than once. Second, the writers of the Gospels did not attempt an exhaustive narrative; in other words, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John had no intention of telling us every detail of the resurrection or every event in the order that it happened.

In the battle with skeptics regarding Jesus’ resurrection, Christians are in a "no-win" situation. If the resurrection accounts harmonize perfectly, skeptics will claim that the writers of the Gospels conspired together. If the resurrection accounts have some differences, skeptics will claim that the Gospels contradict each other and therefore cannot be trusted. It is our contention that the resurrection accounts can be harmonized and do not contradict each other.

However, even if the resurrection accounts cannot be perfectly harmonized, that does not make them untrustworthy. By any reasonable evaluation, the resurrection accounts from the four Gospels are superbly consistent eyewitness testimonies. The central truths - that Jesus was resurrected from the dead and that the resurrected Jesus appeared to many people - are clearly taught in each of the four Gospels. The apparent inconsistencies are in "side issues." How many angels did they see in the tomb, one or two? (Perhaps one person only saw one angel, while the other person saw two angels.) To how many women did Jesus appear, and to whom did He appear first? (While each Gospel has a slightly different sequence to the appearances, none of them claims to be giving the precise chronological order.) So, while the resurrection accounts may seem to be inconsistent, it cannot be proven that the accounts are contradictory.

Here is a possible harmony of the narratives of the resurrection of Christ and His post-resurrection appearances, in chronological order:

  1. Jesus is buried, as several women watch (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42).
  2. The tomb is sealed and a guard is set (Matthew 27:62-66).
  3. At least 3 women, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, prepare spices to go to the tomb (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1).
  4. An angel descends from heaven, rolls the stone away, and sits on it. There is an earthquake, and the guards faint (Matthew 28:2-4).
  5. The women arrive at the tomb and find it empty. Mary Magdalene leaves the other women there and runs to tell the disciples (John 20:1-2).
  6. The women still at the tomb see two angels who tell them that Jesus is risen and who instruct them to tell the disciples to go to Galilee (Matthew 28:5-7; Mark 16:2-8; Luke 24:1-8).
  7. The women leave to bring the news to the disciples (Matthew 28:8).
  8. The guards, having roused themselves, report the empty tomb to the authorities, who bribe the guards to say the body was stolen (Matthew 28:11-15).
  9. Mary the mother of James and the other women, on their way to find the disciples, see Jesus (Matthew 28:9-10).
  10. The women relate what they have seen and heard to the disciples (Luke 24:9-11).
  11. Peter and John run to the tomb, see that it is empty, and find the grave clothes (Luke 24:12; John 20:2-10).
  12. Mary Magdalene returns to the tomb. She sees the angels, and then she sees Jesus (John 20:11-18).
  13. Later the same day, Jesus appears to Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5).
  14. Still on the same day, Jesus appears to Cleopas and another disciple on their way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32).
  15. That evening, the two disciples report the event to the Eleven in Jerusalem (Luke 24:32-35).
  16. Jesus appears to ten disciples—Thomas is missing (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25).
  17. Jesus appears to all eleven disciples—Thomas included (John 20:26-31).
  18. Jesus appears to seven disciples by the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-25).
  19. Jesus appears to about 500 disciples in Galilee (1 Corinthians 15:6).
  20. Jesus appears to His half-brother James (1 Corinthians 15:7).
  21. Jesus commissions His disciples (Matthew 28:16-20).
  22. Jesus teaches His disciples the Scriptures and promises to send the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:4-5).
  23. Jesus ascends into heaven (Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:6-12).

ILLUSTRATION- There is a story relating that years ago in England, two men set out to disprove Christianity. One was a well-known English jurist and literary scholar named Lord Lyttleton. The other was Gilbert West. They agreed that if Christianity was to be discredited, two things were necessary: to disprove the Resurrection and to explain the conversion of Saul of Tarsus in a way that satisfied the skeptics. The two men divided these tasks between themselves, Lyttleton taking the problem of Saul and West agreeing to research the Resurrection. They invested over a year for their studies, then met together to compare notes. Each one was astonished to discover that the other had become a Christian. The evidence was too strong, the truth too undeniable. It still is. So whether the details of this illustration are exactly as stated, the principle is clear that an honest approach to examination of the evidence for and against the resurrection will leave one with little doubt that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a true, historical event. But such a glorious truth that Jesus has conquered death for all who believe in Him demands a response, the nature of which will determine a soul's eternal destiny! As Paul declared "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." (Acts 16:31)


All of us are familiar with the most exhaustive study of the epochal event of Paul's conversion by the parliamentarian, Lord Lyttleton, and his lawyer friend Gilbert West, both of whom were infidels persuaded that the Bible was an imposture. Lyttleton concentrated on Paul's Damascus experience, and West on the resurrection and as the result of their separate studies, they were both converted. In his published treatise Lyttleton wrote that, "The conversion and apostleship of Paul alone, duly considered, was of itself a demonstration sufficient to prove Christianity as a Divine Revelation." Countless thousands since Paul's remarkable conversion have experienced the same power to transform their lives instantaneously—this writer is one of them (Herbert Lockyer)! It needed a great, sudden crisis to affect a man like Saul of Tarsus who had "so clear a mind, so firm a will, so definite a purpose, so successful a part; a conscience which did not bear the burden of great sin upon it, but rather the satisfaction of duty done, and duty lived, and duty as before. Two things were needed in Saul. A total change of opinion as to Jesus of Nazareth was one; the other was a new revelation to God, not as an obedient servant, but as a forgiven sinner. The two things were to go together, the hated Nazarene was to be the way of approach to the Holy God."

Here are words from Lord Lyttleton taken from Lockyer's fascinating book "Last Words of Saints and Sinners" -- 

LORD GEORGE LYTTLETON, who died in 1773, was another British statesman who was not ashamed to own his Saviour's name and define His cause.....In his last testimony he affirmed that "The evidence of Christianity, studied with attention, made me a firm believer of the Christian religion. I have erred and sinned, but have repented."

Here is a quote actually found in Josh McDowell's book MORE THAN A CARPENTER (Chapter 7 Did You Hear What Happened to Saul?)....

Two Oxford-educated friends, author Gilbert West and statesman Lord George Lyttleton, were determined to destroy the basis of the Christian faith. West was going to demonstrate the fallacy of the Resurrection, and Lyttleton was going to prove that Saul of Tarsus never converted to Christianity. Both men came to a complete turnaround in their positions and became ardent followers of Jesus. Lord Lyttleton writes: “The conversion and apostleship of Saint Paul alone, duly considered, was of itself a demonstration sufficient to prove Christianity to be a Divine Revelation.” He concludes that if Paul’s twenty-five years of suffering and service for Christ were a reality, then his conversion was true, for everything he did began with that sudden change. And if Paul’s conversion was true, then Jesus Christ rose from the dead, for everything Paul was and did he attributed to his witnessing the risen Christ.

Harmony of Gospel Accounts Loraine Boettner -

THE RESURRECTION Matt. 28:1–15; Mark 16:1–11; Luke 24:1–12; John 20:1–18 Early Sunday Morning, April 9, A.D. 30

Related Resources:

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

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 dullness 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. (Luke 24)

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  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


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


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 16:2-4+ - size of stone?

Very early on the first day of the week, they *came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 3 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." (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

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. (Luke 24)

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.

Related Resource:

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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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


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 alone 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 on divine invitation, 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)

Christ's resurrection assures what Calvary secures.

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

Luke 24:22-23+ 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.” (Luke 24)

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 (See Luke Commentary)

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. By Henry G. Bosch  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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

Christ's resurrection assures what Calvary secures.

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. 

Related Resource:

Matthew 28:4-7 The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. 6“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.” 

Mark 16:5-7  Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. 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. 7 “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.’”


While they were perplexed (aporeo- 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)

Behold (idou), two men suddenly stood (ephistemi) near in dazzling (astrapto) attire -- Don't scan over the word behold too quickly for it should always cause one to pause and ask "What is there about which we should take special note?" Two men are angels if we compare Mt 28:2, 5 and Mk 16:5. Tow men reminds us of Lk 9:30 at the Mount of Transfiguration where Jesus' glorification was foretold. Recall that the Greek word for angel is aggelos/angelos which literally means a messenger (one who bears a message - Lk 1:11, 2:9, etc or does an errand), and these angels had to the privilege of announcing the greatest news fallen men and women would ever hear - He is Risen! Most of the NT uses of angelos refer to heavenly angels (messengers) who are supernatural, transcendent beings with power to carry out various tasks. All uses of aggelos that refer to angels are masculine gender (the feminine form of aggelos does not occur.)

Note that 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.  (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.") 

NET Note - "The brilliantly shining clothing (dazzling attire) points to the fact that these are angels (see Lk 24:23)."

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). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

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. (The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary - borrow)

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. (Luke 24)

Stood near (ephistemi) means to appear often as 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. 

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. (Exposition)

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!"

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. be at a loss by reason of, by means of something, Xen. IV.

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.

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? 


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 16:5-7+  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. (THEY HAD A SPECIAL WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR PETER)  16:7  “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.’” (OF COURSE, HE WOULD ACTUALLY SEE THEM THIS VERY EVENING AS THEY WERE HUDDLED TOGETHER BEHIND BOLTED DOORS FOR FEAR OF THE JEWS - Jn 20:19-20ff)

The women were (literally became - aorist) terrified and bowed (present tense) 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.

Terrified (1719)(see note below on emphobos) literally means in fear and pertains to one being extremely afraid, used only 5x - Lk. 24:5; Lk. 24:37; Acts 10:4; Acts 24:25; Rev. 11:13. Phobos (fear) is the normal response to the supernatural - see Luke 1:13, 30; 2:9, 10; 8:25, 35.

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). Used 6x - Matt. 8:20; Lk. 9:12; Lk. 9:58; Lk. 24:5; Lk. 24:29; Jn. 19:30; Heb. 11:34.

Note that at some point independent of this meeting with the women, Jesus met Mary Magdalene outside the tomb (John 20:11-17). 

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+. And thus it is likely for that reason that the angels did not tell them to get up as they did in the Revelation passages. It is not surprising that the appearance of angels often produced fear (Jdg. 13:19, 20+, Da 10:5, 6, 9+). Paul fell to the ground when he saw the heavenly vision of the risen Lord Jesus (Acts 9:4-5+, cf Acts 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. The living One is clear testimony that Jesus is not dead but alive. Read Luke 24:23; Acts 1:3; Acts 3:15; Ro. 14:9.

Acts 1:3  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.
Acts 3:15  but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.
Romans 14:9   For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 

Jesus Himself testifies in Revelation

Rev 1:18+ 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+ 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: 

(compare Heb 7:25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.)

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. (Borrow Luke Commentary)

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)." (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

I serve a risen Savior, He's in the world today;
I know that He is living, whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him He's always near.

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
along life's narrow way.

He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.  

Alan Carr writes

  • Because Jesus lives, You and I can be saved by the grace of God.
  • Because He lives, we can have our sins washed away forever.
  • Because He lives, we can go to Heaven when we leave this world.
  • Because He lives, the grave has no power over those who believe.
  • Because He lives, eternal live is our present possession.
  • Because He lives, one day we too will live with Him in that heavenly city.
  • Because He lives, I'll never have to take a step in this world alone.
  • Because He lives, there is hope, there is help and there is a home awaiting us in eternity.
  • Because He lives, I am alive.
  • Because He lives, my sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west.
  • Because He lives, my name is written in the Lamb's book of life.
  • Because He lives, God is my Father.
  • Because He lives, sin has no more dominion over me. Because He lives I am saved forever.
  • Oh, the list could go on forever. Until we had exhausted all the vocabulary and language of men. What we need to understand today is that HE LIVES!!

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. (See map)

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)


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

Related Passages:

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 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 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.”

Matthew 12:40  for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

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 17:22-23 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; 23 and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved.

Matthew 20:18-19 “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, 19 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.”

Mark 8:31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

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.’


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)

Related Resources:


Remember (mnaomai) how He told you While He was still in Galilee- See passages above. They should have known because He had repeated predicted His resurrection. Clearly they did not remember because they brought spices to anoint His body. 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.

THOUGHT - IMPORTANCE OF REMEMBERING - What were the to remember - "I will arise!" What are we to remember - "I will return!"

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,”  (Exposition)

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

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)

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."

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. 

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.

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). By Dennis Fisher (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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. 

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

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)  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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.  

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


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? 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! By Cindy Hess Kasper (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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.

Christmas and Easter—two chapters of the same Book.



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. 


Saying that the Son of Man must (dei) be delivered (paradidomi) into the hands of sinful (hamartolos) men, and be crucified (stauroo), and the third day rise again (anistemi) 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. Must be delivered 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." 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."  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

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!)

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). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Son of Man - Messianic Title. From Da 7:13. What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of Man? |

Son of man - 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 (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 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.

Paradidomi by Luke - 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;

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.

Hamartolos - 44v - Matt. 9:10; Matt. 9:11; Matt. 9:13; Matt. 11:19; Matt. 26:45; Mk. 2:15; Mk. 2:16; Mk. 2:17; Mk. 8:38; Mk. 14:41; Lk. 5:8; Lk. 5:30; Lk. 5:32; Lk. 6:32; Lk. 6:33; Lk. 6:34; Lk. 7:34; Lk. 7:37; Lk. 7:39; Lk. 13:2; Lk. 15:1; Lk. 15:2; Lk. 15:7; Lk. 15:10; Lk. 18:13; Lk. 19:7; Lk. 24:7; Jn. 9:16; Jn. 9:24; Jn. 9:25; Jn. 9:31; Rom. 3:7; Rom. 5:8; Rom. 5:19; Gal. 2:15; Gal. 2:17; 1 Tim. 1:9; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 7:26; Heb. 12:3; Jas. 4:8; Jas. 5:20; 1 Pet. 4:18; Jude 1:15

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).

Stauroo - 42v - Matt. 20:19; Matt. 23:34; Matt. 26:2; Matt. 27:22; Matt. 27:23; Matt. 27:26; Matt. 27:31; Matt. 27:35; Matt. 27:38; Matt. 28:5; Mk. 15:13; Mk. 15:14; Mk. 15:15; Mk. 15:20; Mk. 15:24; Mk. 15:25; Mk. 15:27; Mk. 16:6; Lk. 23:21; Lk. 23:23; Lk. 23:33; Lk. 24:7; Lk. 24:20; Jn. 19:6; Jn. 19:10; Jn. 19:15; Jn. 19:16; Jn. 19:18; Jn. 19:20; Jn. 19:23; Jn. 19:41; Acts 2:36; Acts 4:10; 1 Co. 1:13; 1 Co. 1:23; 1 Co. 2:2; 1 Co. 2:8; 2 Co. 13:4; Gal. 3:1; Gal. 5:24; Gal. 6:14; Rev. 11:8

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.

Anistemi - Lk. 1:39; Lk. 4:16; Lk. 4:29; Lk. 4:38; Lk. 4:39; Lk. 5:25; Lk. 5:28; Lk. 6:8; Lk. 8:55; Lk. 9:8; Lk. 9:19; Lk. 10:25; Lk. 11:7; Lk. 11:8; Lk. 11:32; Lk. 15:18; Lk. 15:20; Lk. 16:31; Lk. 17:19; Lk. 18:33; Lk. 22:45; Lk. 22:46; Lk. 23:1; Lk. 24:7; Lk. 24:12; Lk. 24:33; Lk. 24:46;  Acts 1:15; Acts 2:24; Acts 2:32; Acts 3:22; Acts 3:26; Acts 5:6; Acts 5:17; Acts 5:34; Acts 5:36; Acts 5:37; Acts 6:9; Acts 7:18; Acts 7:37; Acts 8:26; Acts 8:27; Acts 9:6; Acts 9:11; Acts 9:18; Acts 9:34; Acts 9:39; Acts 9:40; Acts 9:41; Acts 10:13; Acts 10:20; Acts 10:23; Acts 10:26; Acts 10:41; Acts 11:7; Acts 11:28; Acts 12:7; Acts 13:16; Acts 13:33; Acts 13:34; Acts 14:10; Acts 14:20; Acts 15:7; Acts 17:3; Acts 17:31; Acts 20:30; Acts 22:10; Acts 22:16; Acts 23:9; Acts 26:16; Acts 26:30

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. 


Luke 24:8  And they remembered His words,


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


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 (and what they had not seen - His body - see Matthew 28:5-8 below) 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


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.

John 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). (See Luke Commentary)

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.   

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 19:15 “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.


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).(Borrow The MacArthur 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. (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

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)

MacArthur points out "That the resurrected Christ appeared first to women, elevated women, who held an inferior position in Jewish society (ED: THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO TESTIFY IN COURT). 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). (See Luke Commentary)

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? By Herbert VanderLugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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.

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


But these words appeared to them (Literally "in their sight." enopionas nonsense, and they would not believe them - Nonsense (only used here)(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)

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.  (Borrow Holman Christian Standard Bible Study Bible)

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). (See 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. (The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary - borrow)

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.

Would not believe - They think the women are hysterical and besides themselves with grief.  Disbelieved is in the Imperfect meaning they kept on distrusting the story of the women, refusing to place confidence in it. This is quite amazing in view of (1) there were more than 2 witnesses (women yes but still witnesses) and (2) Jesus had told them He would rise from the dead and on what day this would take place. 

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." (See 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! (Exposition)

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! By David McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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.

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

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

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.


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 (parakupto), 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). (See The NKJV, MacArthur Daily Bible)

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. (ESV Study Bible - this resource can be borrowed)

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 (one Greek Word)(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 added support to the fact that Jesus body had risen (and passed through the wrappings as He later passed through closed doors - John 20:19, 20:26).

Linen wrappings (3608)(othonion is the diminutive of othone = linen cloth - Acts 10:11+ of Peter's vision of unclean animals) thus describes a smaller linen cloth or even a bandage. Orthonion is used in the NT only of the fine linens used to wrap the body of Jesus and remaining the tomb after His bodily resurrection (Lk. 24:12; Jn. 19:40; Jn. 20:5; Jn. 20:6; Jn. 20:7). Thayer adds that othonion was used in "Greek writings of ships' sails made of linen, bandages for wounds, and other articles." Three uses in the Septuagint - Jdg 14:13, Hos 2:5, 2:9.

John 19:40  So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.

John 20:5  and stooping and looking in, he (JOHN) saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. (20:6) And so Simon Peter also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, (20:7) and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.

Marveling (2296)(thaumazo) Most versions translate it as wondering and the NET Notecomments 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! (Exposition)

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 ?75 and the rest of the ms tradition."

Related Resources:

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

From The Word in Life Study Bible (online)
Click to enlarge


And behold (idou), two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem - A new pericope is identified by And behold which describes the walk to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35.  They were returning from their time at Jerusalem (Lk 24:33).  It was "toward evening" (Lk 24:29) and would have taken about 2 hours as the evening of this great day began to come to a close. 

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+)

Hendriksen points out that "Up to this point Luke has reported the empty tomb, the message of the two men in dazzling robes ("He is risen"), and Peter's visit to the tomb. He has not yet reported any appearance of the Risen Christ. Such an account follows now. It is a stirring and vivid report of the appearance of the Risen Savior to two men who belonged to the wider circle of disciples." (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

David Guzik - On this Sunday, these two disciples traveled to Emmaus from Jerusalem. As they walked together (probably returning from the Passover celebration in Jerusalem) it gave them opportunity to talk. These weren’t famous apostles, they were simple and half-anonymous followers of Jesus. “I take it as characteristic of the Lord that in the glory of His resurrection life He gave Himself with such fullness of disclosure to these unknown and undistinguished men…. He still reveals Himself to lowly hearts. Here is the Saviour for the common man. Here is the Lord who does not spurn the humble.” (Morrison) (Luke 24 Commentary)

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."  (Luke 24)

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

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) - He is continually trying to get our full attention!

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 (true believers in Messiah), only one of whom is named (Cleopas Lk 24:18) from the group Luke referred to earlier as "all the rest." (Lk 24:9)

Walter Liefeld - "Two witnesses (Simeon and Anna) bore testimony to the Messiah's arrival (Luke 2:25-38); now the two travelers testify to a particular resurrection appearance of Jesus (24:35)." (borrow The Expositor's Bible Commentary

Crawford on two - The number "two" is also significant, for a twofold witness was necessary in Jewish law (Deut 17:6; 19:15) and the NT also calls for two witnesses (Matt 18:16; Luke 10:1; 2 Cor 13:1; Acts 19:22; 1 Tim 5:19). Two witnesses, Simeon and Anna had borne witness to His birth (Lk 2:25, 36) and these two travellers are to bear witness to His resurrection. (What the Bible teaches – Luke)

That very day - Still on the first day of the week (Sunday) and toward the evening (compare the sequence of the time of events in Luke 23:54 - "preparation day" (the day before the Sabbath when everything had to be prepared for it), then Lk 23:56 = Sabbath; and finally Luke 24:1 = "But on the first day of the week"). 

Gilbrant - These travelers had probably remained in Jerusalem after the Crucifixion because they were unable to travel on the Sabbath more than a "sabbath day's journey" (approximately five-sixths of a mile) to their village, which Luke says was about seven miles (sixty stadia) from Jerusalem. They were traveling "that same day" as the tomb episode (first day of the week) and the "third day" since Jesus was crucified (verse 21). (Complete Biblical Library)

Emmaus ("warm springs") - 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. (Borrow According to Luke : a new exposition of the Third Gospel)

ILLUSTRATION - A five-year-old boy from Texas was told that the family would visit the Grand Canyon. They described it as much bigger than downtown Dallas. He could hardly wait to see it. When they finally got there, they asked him how it measured up to his expectations. With a little frown, he said, “I thought you said that it was a big cannon.” He was probably hoping to see them shoot it! When you’re hoping for the Grand Cannon, you can be let down even by something as spectacular as the Grand Canyon! (Told by Robert Pyne, Kindred Spirit, Winter, 1997).If your expectations are wrong, you can even be disappointed by God. It’s not that God was somehow lacking. He is far more glorious and perfect than we could ever conceive. But often, because of our limited perspective, we feel as if He let us down. We thought that He would do something, but He didn’t do it. We thought that we were trusting in the promises of His Word, but they didn’t come true. We thought that we were praying in line with His will, but He didn’t answer. God didn’t come through as we had hoped.That’s where two weary travelers were at as they walked the seven miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus one Sunday. They had been hoping that Jesus was the promised Messiah who would redeem Israel (24:21). But their hopes had been dashed when the Jewish religious leaders suddenly succeeded in crucifying Jesus. They were going home, dejected and disappointed. They were still in shock. They didn’t understand why God had let them down. (Disappointment and Hope)

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)


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


And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place - 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 which summarizes many of these things -  map of the events of the preceding Passion Week

Talking (conversing) (3656)(homileo) means to converse with or to to be in a group and speak. This verb is used only by Luke - Lk. 24:14; Lk. 24:15; Acts 20:11; Acts 24:26. Were talking is in the imperfect tense, over and over, an ongoing, back and forth dialogue. 

Robertson "Our word homiletics is derived from this word for preaching was at first largely conversational in style and not declamatory."

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. (Exposition)

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. (Exposition)

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 Bible)

Bruce Barton - IN OUR MIDST - The two disciples returning to Emmaus at first missed the significance of history's greatest event because they were too focused on their disappointments and problems. In fact, they didn't recognize Jesus when he was walking beside them. To compound the problem, they were walking in the wrong direction—away from the fellowship of believers in Jerusalem. Christians are likely to miss Jesus and withdraw from the strength found in other believers when they become preoccupied with their dashed hopes and frustrated plans. Only when looking for Jesus in their midst will believers experience the power and help he can bring. Be alert to his presence in every aspect of daily living. (Life Application Bible Commentary – Luke)

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)

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


While - "And it happened that while" The introductory phrase egeneto, "it happened that", common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), 

they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them - As they were deep in their intense discussions, someone drew up beside them and He was apparently walking in the same direction, as implied by the fact that they knew He had been "visiting Jerusalem" (Lk 24:18). 

Talking (conversing) (present tense) (3656)(homileo  from hómilos = a multitude, a crowd or company - English homiletics = art of preaching) means to be in company with,  and by implication to converse, commune, talk. Vine homileo "signifies to be in company, to associate with any one; hence, to have intercourse with."

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

Discussing (debating, arguing) (present tense - continually)(4802)(suzeteo from sun = together + zeteo = to seek, inquire) means to carry on a discussion, to inquire together and evolved to a negative meaning -  to dispute, debate or argue (Mk 1:27, etc). Plato used it to mean to examine together. Of Pharisees arguing with Jesus (Mk 8:11), of Scribes arguing with Jesus' disciples (Mk 9:14), of Jews arguing with Stephen (Acts 6:9+), of Paul (Saul at the time) arguing with the Hellenistic Jews (Acts 9:29+). Not in the Septuagint. 

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. 

John MacArthur (see Luke 1-24 MacArthur New Testament Commentary) rightly reminds us that "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+ ED: also 1Cor 15:8+), and several subsequent occasions (Acts 18:9; Acts 22:17-18; Acts 23:11). (John 12-21) (Luke Commentary)

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. (Borrow Luke Commentary

Gilbrant on drew near - The word eggisas ("drew near") has special connotations in several passages in Luke. For example, in Lk 10:9, 11 it is used of the coming of the kingdom of God; in Lk 19:41 it is used of Jesus' coming near to Jerusalem where He would die; and in Lk 21:28 it is used of His second coming and of redemption drawing nigh. All of these connotations—the kingdom of God, Jesus' death in Jerusalem which produced salvation, and the final redemption—are present in Lk 24:15. (Complete Biblical Library)

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)

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. (Exposition)

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. (Exposition)

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. (Exposition)

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’. (Exposition)

Bruce Barton - HOPE LOST AND REGAINED - God seems to specialize in allowing our dreams to die, only to bring them back around again in rather surprising ways. Job's fortunes and even his family were restored to him many times over. Abraham and Sarah were blessed with a child long after nature would have made that impossible. And the ultimate example is the death and resurrection of Jesus himself. The hopes of many, including the two dejected pilgrims on the way to Emmaus, seemed to have died on the cross with him. Little did they understand that even the Cross was all part of God's sovereign plan to make a way of salvation for everyone. Have you lost hope in God's deliverance and even his goodness? Learn a lesson from these two believers: Wait for the Lord to redeem your situation and give you hope once more. (Life Application Bible Commentary – Luke)

Hymns Related:

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


But - Term of contrast. What's the contrast? Seeing but not seeing, i.e., not with recognition.

Their eyes were prevented from recognizing (epiginoskoHim - (cf Matt. 28:17; John 20:14; 21:4). Luke does not further explain. We do not need to know how but by Whom. God prevented them from recognizing Jesus. Prevented is the verb krateo which has the basic meaning of to be strong or possess power and here means that they were supernaturally held back, restrained or prevented from recognizing Jesus. Krateo is in the passive voice indicating the effect of "restraining" their vision was from without and is an example of the "divine passive" just as is the verb indicating the opposite effect in Lk 24:31+ when "their eyes were opened (passive voice) and they recognized (epiginosko) Him." 

MacArthur makes an interesting observation noting that "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." Constable says "The key to recognizing Jesus for Who He was would be the illumination of God through the Scriptures." Spurgeon adds that "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." (See Luke Commentary)

Steven Cole on their eyes were prevented comments that "this seems unlike God! Isn’t it His kind will that His people have assurance, comfort and hope? Why then would He shut their eyes from seeing the risen Savior? The answer is, because He had a better reason and a better time. God also closed the disciples’ minds so that they could not understand Jesus’ frequent references to the cross (Lk 9:45; 18:34). God knew that it was best for them to go through the despair and confusion of the cross before they came out into the full light of the resurrection, and so He closed their minds from grasping the plain statements about Jesus’ death. Even so, God knows what is best for us, and so He sometimes closes our minds to the plain teaching of Scripture for a time, so that we will learn lessons that we never would have learned if we had understood and embraced it from the start. Spurgeon pointed out that we all are born by nature as Arminians and that God must open our eyes to the glorious truth of His sovereign grace. He tells of his own experience, as a young believer, of sitting in church and not paying much attention to the sermon. Suddenly the thought struck him, How did you come to be a Christian? He said, “I sought the Lord.” But how did you come to seek the Lord? The truth flashed across his mind, “I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him.” He realized in a moment that God was at the bottom of it all, that He was the Author of his faith. From that day Spurgeon ascribed his conversion wholly to God (C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography [Banner of Truth], 1:164-165; italics his). "I have believed and taught wrong things, such as using psychology along with the Bible. At the time, I defended myself, saying that I only used that which was in line with biblical truth. When God opened my eyes, He used it to help me grow in repentance, humility, and grace toward others who are in error. But sometimes we can experience disappointment with God because He has closed our eyes to the truth because He has a deeper lesson to teach us later." - See Spurgeon's Testimony) (Luke 24:13-35 Disappointment and Hope)

Spurgeon applies their eyes - 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. (Exposition)

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 actions 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.

Prevented (2902)(krateo from kratos = strength) has basic meaning be strong or possess power and thus means to take hold of, grasp, hold fast. Krateo is used most often in the sense of “take hold of forcibly” as when Pharisees wanted to “take hold of” Jesus  (Mt 21:46; Mark 12:12). Krateō can also mean “hold fast” with the idea of being loyal to or closely united with someone or something. The Pharisees were admonished for holding the traditions of the elders (Mark 7:3ff.), while Christians are encouraged to hold to the traditions of Christianity (2 Th 2:15)

Gingrich 1. take into one's possession or custody—a. arrest, apprehend Mt 26:4, 48, 50, 55, 57; Mk 3:21; 6:17; Ac 24:6; Rv 20:2.—b. take hold of, grasp, seize w. acc. or gen. Mt 12:11 ; 22:6; 28:9; Mk 1:31; 9:27; Lk 8:54. Attain Acts 27:13.—2. hold Ac 3:11; Rev 2:1. Hold back, restrain 7:1; pass. be prevented Lk 24:16. Hold fast Mk 7:3f, 8; Ac 2:24; Col 2:19; Rv 2:13–15. Keep Mk 9:10. Retain Jn 20:23. [democratic, demos   kratein]

Friberg -  (1) take hold of (forcibly), seize, grasp (Mt 9.25); (2) take into custody, seize, arrest (Mt 14.3); (3) take control of, hold (fast) (Acts 2.24); (4) hold back, restrain from, hinder, prevent (Lk 24.16); (5) of following a doctrine, creedal confession, or course of life hold fast to, keep hold of, continue firmly in (Heb 4.14); of causing a state to continue retain, keep (Jn 20.23)

Vine on krateo

(1) is most frequently rendered "to lay or take hold on" (a) literally, e.g., Matt. 12:11; Matt. 14:3; Matt. 18:28; Matt. 21:46, RV (AV, "laid on hands on"); Matt. 22:6, (AV, "took"); Matt. 26:55, AV (RV, "took"); RV, "took hold of" (AV, "held by"); Mark 3:21; Mark 6:17; Mark 12:12; Mark 14:51; Acts 24:6, (AV, "took"); Rev. 20:2+ = "he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years." (b) metaphorically, "to take hold of the hope set before us." Heb. 6:18;

(2) also signifies "to hold" or "hold fast," i.e., firmly, (a), literally, Matt. 26:48, AV ("seize Him"); Acts 3:11; Rev. 2:1; (b) metaphorically, of "holding fast a tradition or teaching," in an evil sense, Mk 7:3, 4, 8; Rev. 2:14, 15+; in a good sense, 2 Th 2:15; Rev. 2:25+; Rev. 3:11+; of "holding" Christ, i.e., practically apprehending Him, as the head of His church, Col. 2:19; a confession, Heb. 4:14; the name of Christ, i.e., abiding by all that His name implies, Rev. 2:13+; of restraint, Luke 24:16; Rev. 7:1+ = "holding back the four winds of the earth"; of the impossibility of Christ's being "held by death, Acts 2:24+ = "putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power."

Gilbrant - Classical Greek - Krateō, “to be strong, to possess power, to rule, to hold, to take (as in ‘to arrest’), to grasp,” appears in classical Greek to describe an inherent power. The mythical gods, for example, had a force which was theirs by virtue of their identity or position. The same applied to world rulers. Krateō occurs often in the sense of “winning or seizing by force.” The idea of “arresting” or “imprisoning” is also a common usage of the word. In the legal context krateō is used to describe the right of possession (cf. Liddell-Scott). Septuagint Usage - The Septuagint employs krateō about 170 times. It occurs in all of its classical uses except for the legal sense. Most often krateō is used for chāzaq which means “to be strong.” Chāzaq also is used in the sense of “to grasp.” In Genesis 19:16 the angels “laid hold” of the hand of Lot to hasten his departure from Sodom. In this case the angels exercised their inherent power to deliver Lot. In Isaiah 42:6 God promises to hold Christ by the hand (empower Him) for the purpose of fulfilling His ministry in establishing the new covenant. There may be some theological significance to the usage of krateō in Judges 16:26 where a lad held Samson by the hand. The boy was using the inherent power of this assigned role of holding the prisoner. That power was shown to be minimal when a moment later Samson used the power given him by God to push out the pillars of the building causing the whole structure to collapse. God’s power supersedes all inherent power given to man. (Ibid)

Krateo - 47x in 46v -  arrested(3), attained(1), clinging(1), held(1), hold(4), hold fast(4), holding back(1), holding fast(1), holds(1), laid hold(1), observe(1), observing(1), prevented(1), retain(1), retained(1), seize(8), seized(7), take custody(1), take hold(2), taking(2), took(3), took hold(1).

Matt. 9:25; Matt. 12:11; Matt. 14:3; Matt. 18:28; Matt. 21:46; Matt. 22:6; Matt. 26:4; Matt. 26:48; Matt. 26:50; Matt. 26:55; Matt. 26:57; Matt. 28:9; Mk. 1:31; Mk. 3:21; Mk. 5:41; Mk. 6:17; Mk. 7:3; Mk. 7:4; Mk. 7:8; Mk. 9:10; Mk. 9:27; Mk. 12:12; Mk. 14:1; Mk. 14:44; Mk. 14:46; Mk. 14:49; Mk. 14:51; Lk. 8:54; Lk. 24:16; Jn. 20:23; Acts 2:24; Acts 3:11; Acts 24:6; Acts 27:13; Col. 2:19; 2 Thess. 2:15; Heb. 4:14; Heb. 6:18; Rev. 2:1; Rev. 2:13; Rev. 2:14; Rev. 2:15; Rev. 2:25; Rev. 3:11; Rev. 7:1; Rev. 20:2

Krateo in the Septuagint - Gen. 19:16; Gen. 21:18; Deut. 2:34; Deut. 3:4; Jos. 18:1; Jdg. 7:8; Jdg. 7:20; Jdg. 8:12; Jdg. 16:21; Jdg. 16:26; Jdg. 16:29; Jdg. 19:29; Jdg. 20:6; Ruth 3:15; 1 Sam. 15:27; 1 Sam. 17:35; 2 Sam. 1:11; 2 Sam. 2:16; 2 Sam. 3:6; 2 Sam. 3:29; 2 Sam. 6:6; 2 Sam. 20:9; 2 Ki. 4:8; 2 Ki. 12:5; 1 Chr. 19:12; 2 Chr. 25:5; Neh. 3:6; Neh. 3:8; Neh. 3:9; Neh. 3:10; Neh. 3:11; Neh. 3:12; Neh. 3:13; Neh. 3:14; Neh. 3:16; Neh. 3:17; Neh. 3:18; Neh. 3:19; Neh. 3:20; Neh. 3:21; Neh. 3:22; Neh. 3:23; Neh. 3:24; Neh. 3:27; Neh. 3:28; Neh. 3:29; Neh. 3:30; Neh. 3:31; Neh. 3:32; Neh. 4:17; Neh. 4:21; Neh. 5:16; Est. 1:1; Est. 4:17; Job 9:19; Job 26:9; Ps. 56:1; Ps. 73:6; Ps. 73:23; Ps. 137:9; Prov. 8:16; Prov. 12:24; Prov. 14:18; Prov. 16:32; Prov. 17:2; Prov. 18:21; Prov. 26:17; Prov. 28:22; Prov. 30:4; Eccl. 2:3; Cant. 3:4; Cant. 7:8; Isa. 32:17; Isa. 41:13; Isa. 42:6; Isa. 45:1; Jer. 6:23; Jer. 20:7; Ezek. 7:13; Ezek. 21:11; Ezek. 22:14; Dan. 4:1; Dan. 4:31; Dan. 5:12; Dan. 10:8; Dan. 11:2; Dan. 11:6; Dan. 11:43; Amos 2:14; Nah. 2:1; Hab. 1:10;

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 -  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.’

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? 

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.


And He said to them, "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?" - Jesus opened the conversation by asking what they were talking about? 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!

These two disciples were exchanging ideas, talking back and forth, still in a state of bewilderment over all that had just happened in Jerusalem. Wuest paraphrases words that you are exchanging as an "animated heated conversation"

Exchanging (only in Lk 24:17) (present tense - continually) (474)(antiballo from anti = against, facing, opposite + ballō = to throw) means literally to "throw back and forth" (like a ball). The inherent idea is to discuss with the implication of conflicting opinions. Liddell-Scott says antiballo means "to throw against or in turn, return the shots, Thuc. II. to put one against the other, to exchange words in conversation. To practice by striking against the sack in the gymnasium (ED: VIVID WORD PICTURE OF THESE TWO THROWING VERBAL PUNCHES!) " Friberg says "figuratively, of words or ideas argue about, discuss together." Gilbrant adds antiballo describes "a fervent or excited exchange of words and ideas (perhaps even some disagreement) as they recalled and even sought to understand the events of the past few days."

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. (Exposition)

And they stood still, looking sad (skuthropos- When they heard Jesus' question, they stopped in their tracks! They could hardly believe this Stranger did not know about Jesus Who was the talk of Jerusalem! And the thought of Him stirred up their sorrow which was visible to Jesus.

David Guzik - Jesus knew both what they already knew (that they were sad) and what they did not yet know (that they had no reason to be sad).

These two were discouraged but would soon discover that they 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.  (Exposition)

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 only other NT use = “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites"), 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 (“Why are your faces so sad today?”). It would be natural for them to look sad for the events of the last few days had filled them with sorrow and disappointment.

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?


One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him - The only mention of Cleopas by name, his name meaning "the whole glory," "famed of all," or "very renowned". Cleopas answered Jesus' question with a question.

Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days? -The point is that the Crucifixion of Christ had "gone viral" as we say in the internet era. Notice the striking irony. The truth be told, Jesus seems to be the ONLY ONE Who really understands what happened in Jerusalem!

Albert Barnes on the only one visiting - This denotes one who had come to reside at a place only for a time, not a permanent inhabitant. Many Jews came up from all parts of the world to Jerusalem, to keep the Passover there. They appear to have taken Jesus to be such a stranger or foreigner. The meaning of this verse may be thus expressed:

"The affair concerning which we are sad has been well known, and has made a great talk and noise, so that all, even the strangers who have come up to remain there but a little time, are well acquainted with it. Art thou the only one of them who has not heard it? Is everybody so well acquainted with it, and thou hast not heard of it? It is a matter of surprise, and we cannot account for it."

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:”  (Exposition)

Visiting (3939)(paroikeo from para = beside + oikeo = to dwell; see related paroikia) describes living in a place without holding citizenship be an alien, live as a stranger, dwell temporarily. The only other NT use is Heb 11:9 "By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise." Vincent says paroikeo means "to dwell as a stranger, is used in later Greek of strangers who have no rights of citizenship, and no settled home." Robertson adds "The verb paroikeō means to dwell beside one, then as a stranger like paroikoi (Eph. 2:19)."

Gilbrant on paroikeo - In classical Greek the primary meaning is “sojourn” or “live in close proximity.” The Septuagint uses paroikeō almost exclusively to translate the Hebrew term gûr, although in a few passages it translates yāshav meaning “dwell” or “settle down” (Genesis 24:37; Exodus 12:40; Judges 17:11; Psalm 56:6). The basic idea of the former word throughout the Old Testament is to live among a people who were not blood relatives or of the same religious faith. This especially relates to Israel in Canaan or to the Israelites who were temporarily living outside the land; for example, Abraham (Genesis 12:10) and Israel (Genesis 47:4) in Egypt. (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)

Paroikeo in the Septuagint - Gen. 12:10; Gen. 17:8; Gen. 19:9; Gen. 20:1; Gen. 21:23; Gen. 21:34; Gen. 24:37; Gen. 26:3; Gen. 32:4; Gen. 35:27; Gen. 37:1; Gen. 47:4; Gen. 47:9; Exod. 6:4; Exod. 20:10; Num. 20:15; Deut. 5:14; Deut. 18:6; Deut. 26:5; Jdg. 5:17; Jdg. 17:7; Jdg. 17:8; Jdg. 17:9; Jdg. 17:11; Jdg. 19:1; Jdg. 19:16; Ruth 1:1; 2 Sam. 4:3; 2 Ki. 8:1; 2 Ki. 8:2; 1 Chr. 16:19; 1 Chr. 29:15; 2 Chr. 15:9; Ezr. 1:4; Ps. 5:4; Ps. 15:1; Ps. 31:13; Ps. 56:6; Ps. 61:4; Ps. 94:17; Ps. 105:23; Ps. 120:6; Prov. 3:29; Isa. 16:4; Isa. 52:4; Jer. 6:25; Jer. 44:14; Jer. 50:40; Lam. 4:15; Ezek. 21:12; Ezek. 47:22; Hos. 10:5; 

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,


And He said to them, "What things?" - Jesus was a good inductive Bible study Teacher asking a "What" question! Instead of answering their question, He followed their question with His Own question, a tact He often did in the Gospels.  Jesus was referring to the "things which happened" (Lk 24:18) and wanted to hear from their own lips how they viewed the events of the past few days.

As J C Ryle says "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." 

Warren Wiersbe adds that "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 (Ro 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)." (Borrow Be courageous)

Spurgeon comments "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?" (Luke 24)

And they said to Him "The things about Jesus the Nazarene - The plural they indicates Cleopas' companion has now joined in the conversation. 

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

Note -  Why is Jesus often referred to as Jesus of Nazareth?

Who was a prophet (prophetes) mighty (dunatosin deed and word (logos) - As a prophet, Jesus would be a spokesman for God speaking forth God's Word with authority (forth-telling) and also speaking of things before they came to pass (foretelling). And while they called Jesus a prophet, clearly He was a Prophet Whose deeds and words were mighty. Jesus was the Prophet about which Moses prophesied (Dt 18:15+). These two disciples were correct in answering that Jesus was a "prophet" but Jesus was not only a Prophet, but a Redeemer and Savior.  Jesus is frequently referred to as a prophet by Luke (Lk 4:25–27+; Lk 9:35+; Lk 13:31–35+.)  Of all the words they could have used to describe Christ–Master, Savior, Lord, Redeemer–they called him a prophet. When Jesus revealed his true identity, he called them foolish for failing to believe all that the prophets had spoken. 

Spurgeon has an interesting comment - "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."

A prophet mighty -

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 presumptuously 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 (SAMARITAN) 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

Gilbrant adds that "It is important, however, to go beyond an understanding of Jesus as a prophet. Many people of different religions acknowledge Jesus to be a prophet, but prophets do not forgive sins. The story of the Samaritan woman (John 4) provides a useful illustration. When she meets Jesus she addresses Him as "Sir" (John 4:15), then as "a prophet" (John 4:19). Later, she tells the villagers that she may have found "the Christ" (John 4:29). However, only at the end of the story do she and the other villagers "believe" and confess Him as "the Christ, the Saviour of the world" (John 4:42). Similarly in this story, Jesus moves the disciples' understanding of Him beyond that of prophet so that they can announce that "the Lord is risen indeed" (Lk 24:34)." (Complete Biblical Library)

Mighty (dunatos) in deed - Jesus did countless miracles. Some writers say He did so many healings in Israel that disease was almost completely banished! The greatest miracle He did of course was His resurrection from the dead, ironically the very "mighty...deed" that Cleopas and his companion were witnessing and yet not yet comprehending! Sadly despite all of Jesus' miracles, most of the nation of Israel did not believe in Him, John writing that "He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him." (Jn 1:11+). The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the one miracle that you must believe in to be saved, to be born again (Jn 3:3,7+), for Paul wrote "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.(Ro 10:9-10+)

Mighty (dunatos) word (logos) - For example...

  • "The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” (John 7:46).
  • And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” (Lk 4:22+)
  • They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Mk 1:22+)
  • "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+)

Mighty (1415) (dunatos from dunamai = power one has by virtue of inherent ability; see dunamis translated "miracle/miracles" 19x) is an adjective which describes that which has sufficient or necessary power, means, skill, or resources to accomplish an objective. In this context is describes Jesus Who possessed the supernatural power to perform miracles.  

Dunatos 32v - able(6), could(1), impossible*(1), influential men(1), man of power(1), mighty(3), mighty one(1), possible(12), power(1), powerful(1), strong(3), strong enough(1). Matt. 19:26; Matt. 24:24; Matt. 26:39; Mk. 9:23; Mk. 10:27; Mk. 13:22; Mk. 14:35; Mk. 14:36; Lk. 1:49; Lk. 14:31; Lk. 18:27; Lk. 24:19; Acts 2:24; Acts 7:22; Acts 11:17; Acts 18:24; Acts 20:16; Acts 25:5; Rom. 4:21; Rom. 9:22; Rom. 11:23; Rom. 12:18; Rom. 15:1; 1 Co. 1:26; 2 Co. 10:4; 2 Co. 12:10; 2 Co. 13:9; Gal. 4:15; 2 Tim. 1:12; Tit. 1:9; Heb. 11:19; Jas. 3:2

Herbert Lockyer - During His public ministry it was as a prophet that He was recognized and revered (Matt. 21:11; Luke 7:16). He was described by His own disciples as "a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people" (Luke 24:19). Jesus designated Himself as a prophet (Matt. 13:57; Luke 13:33), after His entrance into such an office (John 2:13; 4:54). His quotation from Psalm 69:17 proves that He saw in Himself the fulfillment of such a forecast as a patriot and reformer. From the outset of His ministry, He knew that the nation would reject Him as prophet, crucify Him as king, and that thereafter His perpetual ministry would be priestly. Like the ancient prophets, Jesus functioned both as a forth-teller and as a fore-teller. Preaching to His own time, predicting the future for His own, the Jews, and the nations, constituted His oral ministry. Jesus declared the mind and will of God to the World. "I have declared... thy name, and will declare it" (John 17:26). Here we have a compendium of all that He proclaimed and prophesied. As the great preacher, His constant theme was "the righteousness of God by faith." Truth, faithfulness, salvation, lovingkindness, were some of the things which He made touching the king. Truly, His tongue was the pen of a ready writer. Jesus, however, not only witnessed to those of His own time, but to the future as we have already seen. As the "Father of Eternity," He emphasized future truth, as well as truth related to the present. The consummation of the Gentile age, the Second Advent, the tribulation and ultimate glory of Israel, the destiny of nations, the blessed future of the church, the millennium, heaven and hell, these were themes He predicted with divine authority, and which must be fulfilled, since the prophet who foretold them is the Truth (John 14:6). "I have foretold you all things" (Mark 13:23). (All Messianic Prophecies

Related Resources:

In the sight (enantios) of God - Note the order, first before God, then men. Before the face of God first - Coram Deo. In John 8:29 Jesus declared "And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him." At Jesus' baptism “a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased’” (Lk 3:22+). Then again at His transfiguration God declared, “This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well-pleased” (Mt. 17:5, cf Lk 9:35+).

THOUGHT - As His followers we should strive (enabled by His Spirit) to imitate His pattern (1 Pe 2:21+). To often I fear we reverse the emphasis, looking for approval first from men before we strive for approval from God! 

In the sight (enantiosof ...all the people - He spoke His mighty words and performed His mighty deeds publicly (all the people), a truth Peter alluded to in his sermon on Pentecost  declaring "Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst." (Acts 2:22+). Jesus was admired by the people, who praised God for the miracles He performed. For example Luke 18:43+ says "Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God."

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

Related Passage:

Matthew 27:20  But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death.


And how the chief priests (archiereus) and our rulers (archon) delivered (paradidomi) Him to the sentence of death (thanatos), and crucified (stauroo) Him - These two knew who was behind the plot to kill Jesus. No wonder they were sad and dejected. If you cannot trust the leaders, then who can you trust? 

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). (See Luke Commentary)

Hendriksen adds 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)." (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

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. (Exposition)

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).

Stauroo - 42v - Matt. 20:19; Matt. 23:34; Matt. 26:2; Matt. 27:22; Matt. 27:23; Matt. 27:26; Matt. 27:31; Matt. 27:35; Matt. 27:38; Matt. 28:5; Mk. 15:13; Mk. 15:14; Mk. 15:15; Mk. 15:20; Mk. 15:24; Mk. 15:25; Mk. 15:27; Mk. 16:6; Lk. 23:21; Lk. 23:23; Lk. 23:33; Lk. 24:7; Lk. 24:20; Jn. 19:6; Jn. 19:10; Jn. 19:15; Jn. 19:16; Jn. 19:18; Jn. 19:20; Jn. 19:23; Jn. 19:41; Acts 2:36; Acts 4:10; 1 Co. 1:13; 1 Co. 1:23; 1 Co. 2:2; 1 Co. 2:8; 2 Co. 13:4; Gal. 3:1; Gal. 5:24; Gal. 6:14; Rev. 11:8

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)

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.


But - Term of Contrast. Not just a prophet but more than a prophet, a Redeemer, but not the kind of Redeemer Jesus turned out to be as explained below.

We were hoping (elpizo) that it was He who was going to redeem (lutroo) Israel - They are referring to a political not spiritual redemption, a setting of Israel free from Roman oppression and rule. Ryle adds that "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." Norman Crawford points out that the "use of the imperfect tense (were hoping) with a verb of wishing indicates hopelessness because the desire can never be realised. The death of the Lord Jesus had shattered their hopes that the Kinsman Redeemer had come to buy back Israel's lost inheritance. They knew a price must be paid for such a redemption, but they had no understanding that the shame and suffering of the cross was that price. (What the Bible teaches – Luke)

Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened - These two disciples mentioned the day, but clearly had missed Jesus' repeated teaching that He would rise from the dead on the third day. As 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." (Luke 24MacArthur is kind in suggesting that "Perhaps Cleopas recalled the Lord’s promises of Lk 9:22+; Lk 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." Not only did they miss the truth Jesus had repeatedly stated in the NT, they also missed the allusions to His death and resurrection in the Old Testament - see  Where do the Hebrew Scriptures prophesy the death and resurrection of the Messiah? As A W Tozer said "The gospel is light but only the Spirit can give sight." Cleopas and his companion had not yet been granted spiritual eyesight!  

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. Most of the uses of "hope" in the NT refer to not a "hope so" (as in this present context), but to a "hope sure!" Had these disciples really understood the Old Testament prophecies about Messiah such as Isaiah 53:1-12+, they would have understood that the events of the last few days had in fact accomplished a "hope sure!" Listen to several of the testimonies by modern Jews who now believe in Yeshua and you will notice that there are several that make reference to Isaiah 53 and the impact that it had on their conversion. For example listen to this testimony by a Jewish man who describes Isaiah 53 as if it were something from the New Testament (to his astonishment)!

Redeem (3084)(lutroo) releasing of someone held captive, such as a prisoner or a slave, on receipt of a ransom payment. As discussed above their Messianic hope was that the Expected One would bring national redemption in a political sense. They missed 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+). Peter uses the truth of lutroo to motivatie us to conduct ourselves with fear during the short time of our stay on earth (1 Pe 1:17+) "knowing (BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT) that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. (1 Peter 1:18,19+).

Related Resources:

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,

But - Term of contrast, while they were dazed (in prior passages), they were still amazed by the women. 

Also some women among us amazed us - Cleopas and companion are referring to the report of the women described in Luke 24:9–11+. They were "driven out of their senses," because although they were not convinced by the women's report, neither could they explain it! 

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.

When they were at the tomb early in the morning - "on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared." (Lk 24:1+). This sentence continues in next verse.

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.


As someone has well said - Jesus’ earthly life is framed by two impossibilities, a virgin’s womb and an empty tomb.

And did not find His body  -  Luke repeats Lk 24:3+  "they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus." But even with the news of the empty tomb these two disciples still failed to understand this news pointed to the great news that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead!  

They came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive - A description of the "Two men (who) suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing." (Lk 24:4+)

Bruce Barton - These disciples knew that the tomb was empty, but they didn't understand that Jesus had risen, and they were filled with sadness. Despite the women's witness, which was verified by other disciples, and despite the biblical prophecies of this very event, they still didn't believe. Today the Resurrection still catches people by surprise. In spite of two thousand years of evidence and witness, many people refuse to believe. What more will it take? For these disciples it took the living, breathing Jesus in their midst. For many people today, it takes the presence of living, breathing Christians. Are you willing to be that witness to others? (Life Application Bible Commentary – Luke)

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.  (Exposition)

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.


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."

NET  Luke 24:24 Then some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see him."


Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said -  Peter and John (see Lk 24:12-note) corroborated the women's testimony that the tomb was empty, but this was still not enough to open the eyes of their understanding, possibly because Peter and John did not report actually seeing Jesus alive (as suggested by the context).

Him they did not see - Their testimony validated that of the women but they did not see Jesus. Stories of resurrection but no resurrection sightings. What did one do? What could one think? Could one believe?  "Again, the sight of the empty tomb alone did not produce faith." (Gilbrant)

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. (Exposition)

David Guzik - Jesus wanted to know from them what He wants to know from us today: can we believe without seeing with our own eyes? We can believe and must believe based on the reliable eyewitness testimony of other people.

Vance Havner - Report or Reality? But Him they saw not. Luke 24:24.
The Emmaus disciples had the testimony of the women, the angels and other disciples, but, like these other disciples, they had not seen the risen Lord Himself to know Him. Something had happened. Jesus was not in the grave. But they had not seen Him. There is a lot of talk about the resurrection that gets no farther than that. Something happened. The grave is empty. But there is lacking the vibrant witness, "We have seen the Lord!"  Much is said about the return of Christ that lacks the warmth of His person. We discuss the program of events, what is going to happen, "but Him we see not." That goes for all the great truths about Him. We tell what others have said. We discuss the matter. But Him we see not. Our eyes are holden. A few minutes later these Emmaus disciples were not like the same persons. They had a glowing testimony, and as they related it He appeared again! His resurrection was no longer a Report but a Reality!

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,


And He said to them, "O foolish (anoetos) men and slow (bradus) of heart (kardia("spiritual bradycardia!") to believe (pisteuo) in all that the prophets have spoken - Don't miss Jesus' emotional reaction. The interjection "O" (Gk - o) is used at the beginning of clauses most often to express emotion (cf Mt 15:28, 17:17, Lk 9:41+) The knew some of the prophecies, especially those that spoke of Messiah as ruler (cf Ps 2:4-12), but not the ones that spoke of the Suffering Servant. (See Messianic Prophecies and The Jewish Tradition Of Two Messiahs) "The rebuke is for failure to believe the promise of scripture, a theme that will appear in Lk 24:43–47 as well." (NET) 

Lenski suggests the tone of Jesus is "one of pained surprise and plain rebuke...."O dullards" reproves their intellect and intelligence. Unbelief often lays claim to great intellectual powers and penetration; it is in reality the most pitiful and painful ignorance. These two Jews should have known their Scriptures better." (See The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel)

Spurgeon comments "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!” - I feel sure that He 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,”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? 

Constable - A fool in the Old Testament is a person who does not allow the Scriptures to influence his thinking or behavior. These disciples had failed to do that. They were also slow to believe what they did know that the former prophets had revealed. They had overlooked the prophecies about the Messiah having to suffer preferring rather to focus only on those that predicted His glorification. Their error constitutes a warning for all subsequent disciples. All Scripture is profitable. We should not slight any part of it but should strive for a comprehensive understanding of its teaching. If these disciples had understood and believed what the Old Testament revealed, they would not have felt depressed but would have been full of joy.

Barnes on foolish men - The word fool sometimes is a term of reproach denoting wickedness. In this sense we are forbidden to employ it in addressing another, Matthew 5:22+. That, however, is a different word in the Greek (moros - gives us Eng moron) from the one which occurs here. The one there used implies contempt, but the one employed in this place denotes weakness or dulness. He reproached them for not seeing what he had himself so clearly predicted, and what had been foretold by the prophets. The word used in the original does not imply as much reproach as the word fool does among us. It was not an expression of contempt; it was an expression denoting merely that they were thoughtless, and that they did not properly attend to the evidence that he must die and rise again.

Foolish men (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.  (Luke 24)

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). 

Foolish is the same thing Paul said to the Galatians rebuking them for trying to live the supernatural life without dependence on the Supernatural Source (O, how many churches today would Paul chastise? Just a thought to ponder!)...

You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?...(3:3) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Gal 3:1, 3+

And slow of heart to believe - "Spiritual bradycardia!" This means they were not quick to perceive that their OT Scriptures had taught Messiah must suffer, die and arise. Barton adds that "they were blind to God's Kingdom values—that the last will be first, and that life grows out of death." (LASBVance Havner quips "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.

Lenski explains their heart problem - In the Scriptures kardia is the seat of the personality, of the ego, and thus of the thinking, the feeling, and especially also the willing. The avenue into the heart is, indeed, through the intelligence, but the intelligence will see or not see what the inner personality desires. So both are here rebuked, but the full weight of the rebuke falls on these hearts that are so "slow to be believing," etc., epi with the dative stating "on" what the confidence of faith should rest. "Slow," sluggish, means unresponsive to the prophetic words that ought to awaken faith (cf Ro 10:17). This is the resistance to the gracious power in the divine words. See how Jerusalem resisted to the last, and now hear the Savior's complaint regarding even his disciples. (See The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel)

Ryle on slow of heart - 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. The writer of Hebrews made a similar statement regarding the Jews inability to understand how Melchizedek was a foreshadowing of the Messiah writing "Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food." (Hebrews 5:11-12+).  (Luke 24)

Gilbrant makes an excellent point - Faith in the Resurrection comes not from seeing an empty tomb, but from believing the Scriptures and Jesus' words about His mission. This is an important lesson, a lesson that Jesus had been trying to teach throughout His earthly ministry. Belief is not a matter of evidence, it is a matter of faith. No amount of evidence or proof can convince a sinful or unbelieving heart. To "see" requires not eyes, but eyes of faith. Many people had seen Jesus perform miracles by multiplying bread, healing the crippled and the lame, and even raising people from death. But even though these people saw the miracles with their eyes, they saw only with natural eyes, not with eyes of faith. Jesus' efforts during His ministry to get people to see or hear with faith was constantly underscored by His words, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Lk 8:8). (Complete Biblical Library)

Slow (1021)(bradus) means literally slow (opposite of quick or prompt), but figuratively (as in our present passage) describes mental and spiritual slowness, thus 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. The heart of their problem was their heart. 


All that the prophets have spoken - The prophets had not "stuttered" but had spoken plainly enough. Since Jesus says "all" presumably they believed (as alluded to earlier) some of what the prophets spoke of the Messiah (especially the predictions of His glory, but not His suffering). Peter was a slow learner, but he did learn, for later he taught..

“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.” (Acts 10:43+)

Gilbrant on all that the prophets have spoken, the little word all is critical - The word "all" (pasin) is important because the disciples, like most of the Jews of the time, had concentrated on the parts of the Old Testament which promised a time of blessing, prosperity and deliverance when the Messiah came, but they had ignored the parts which spoke of a Suffering Servant who must lose His life to get it. Large portions of Isaiah 42-53 speak of this Servant who must suffer at the hands of His enemies in order to bring redemption. (Complete Biblical Library)

Kistemaker - Only when we see how all the Scriptures are centered in Christ (ED: AS BEST WE CAN ON THIS SIDE OF VEIL), as the revelation of the Triune God, so that in the Old Testament everything points forward to him, and in the New everything proceeds from him, will we be able to understand the Bible.

As Leon Morris says "We should not understand this as the selection of a number of proof-texts, but rather as showing that throughout the Old Testament a consistent divine purpose is worked out, a purpose that in the end meant and must mean the cross.” (The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary - borrow)

Prophets (4396) See prophetes - discussion at Lk 24:27+ where Jesus begins "with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures." Note the two uses of "ALL" - Prophecies concerning Messiah are in every OT prophetic book and and in fact in all of the Scriptures which means all without exception. In other words, whether we can see it or comprehend it, Jesus Christ is in some way portrayed in EVERY OT Scripture. One day in eternity future we will be allowed to see this clearly "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known." (1 Cor 13:12)

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. (Exposition)

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?)

Lenski on slow to believe - They believe some of the things that had been written by the prophets, e. g., that the Messiah would come and establish his kingdom; but they did not believe all that had been written, they overlooked the very things that were so essential to this Messiah and his kingdom, the things which Jesus now expounds. That was their great inconsistency, their great lack of intelligence. (See The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel)

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. 

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. (ED: Why is it important to believe in Biblical inerrancy?) 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 if's, and's, or but's. 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! (Luke - can be borrowed)

Related Resources:

Luke 24:25 Folly of Unbelief (full sermon) - 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’! 

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? 


Was it not necessary (dei) - This phrase in Greek expects an affirmative answer. It speaks of "divine necessity." Yes, the suffering of our Messiah was necessary so that (1) He would perfectly fulfill prophecy, but more importantly (2) that He might be the atoning sacrifice for our sins, paying the price in full (Jn 19:30+). 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 (Isa 53:4, 5, 11, 12+). Suffering must precede glory (Lk 17:25+).  Therefore this is a reference to the God’s sovereign plan "that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”(Lk 24:7+).

Steven Cole adds that " Twice in our chapter it is emphasized that God decreed the death of Jesus Christ. The risen Savior tells these two men that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer these things (Lk 24:26). Earlier (Lk 24:7+), the angel reminds the women at the tomb of Jesus’ earlier prediction, “that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified.” The Greek word translated must and necessary is a favorite term for Luke (18 times in his Gospel) that points to God’s sovereign purpose (ED: What does it mean that God is sovereign?). Luke wants us to know that God is in charge of history, moving it along according to His sovereign purpose. This is especially true of the greatest tragedy in history, the crucifixion of the sinless Savior. Although it was the worst crime that could ever be committed, and the men who did it were responsible for their wicked deed, God sovereignly ordained it (Lk 24:7+; Acts 2:23+ = Jesus was "delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God"; Acts 4:27-28+ = "to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur."). It did not thwart His plan; it fulfilled it. (Luke 24:13-35 Disappointment and Hope)

Albert Barnes gives another reason it was necessary for Messiah to suffer for our sins - "The reason why it was predicted, and why it was necessary that it should occur, was that it was proper that God should manifest His justice, and do honour to His law, and secure the due regard for His government, while He pardoned the guilty."  In other words to follow up on Barnes' comment, Christ's suffering allowed God to "be just and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (Ro 3:26+). 

Criswell explains that "The entire significance of the atonement is nowhere more succinctly or wonderfully stated than in this verse (Ro 3:26). The divine dilemma consisted of the love and grace of God leading to God's pardon of man, while at the same time providing this pardon without a catastrophic breach of justice in the universe. Christ's death on the cross propitiated ("satisfied") God and reconciled man. Because of that atoning death, God is the "Justifier" of those who believe in Jesus, and He has maintained justice in the pardon by paying the price of sin's punishment Himself." (Believer's Study Bible) Is this not the quintessence of Amazing Grace?!

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 to fulfill every prophecy and to open a way so that we might one day experience glory with Him. 

For the Christ (Messiah) to suffer (pascho) these things - The cross before the crown is God's pattern, not just for Jesus but all His disciples. What things? The suffering Cleopas described in Lk 24:19, 20+ 

The Christ (5547)(Christos from chrio = to anoint as one would do to a Prophet, King, Priest) 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. Pascho in the context of the passion clearly means the suffering Savior's supplication in Gethsemane, the sextuplet of false trials, the slaying on the Cross and the incomprehensible mysterious separation from His Father for those three dark hours on the Cross (Mt 27:45, 46). 

Zechariah prophesied of the sufferings of the Messiah

“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate,” Declares the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered (THE DISCIPLES "RAN FOR COVER" AFTER HIS ARREST IN THE GARDEN.); And I will turn My hand against the little ones. (Zec. 13:7+)

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. (Luke 24)

“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. His glory is His own personal, eternal glory, the glory which is intrinsic to His deity. This verse is in essence the answer to Jesus' great prayer just before His crucifixion...

Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3“ This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.  (John 17:1-5)

Messiah's sufferings were indescribable, but as they say you "can't keep a Good (God) Man down!" for God is undefeatable! (Play God Undefeatable!)

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? (Exposition)

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.

David Guzik summarizes what Jesus may have told the two disciples (but remember He said in ALL the Scriptures so it probably was not just these that are so well known)...

  • The Seed of the Woman, whose heel was bruised.
  • The blessing of Abraham to all nations.
  • The High Priest after the order of Melchizedek.
  • The Man who wrestled with Jacob.
  • The Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
  • The voice from the burning bush.
  • The Passover Lamb.
  • The Prophet greater than Moses.
  • The captain of the Lord’s army to Joshua.
  • The ultimate Kinsman-Redeemer mentioned in Ruth.
  • The son of David who was a King greater than David.
  • The suffering Savior of Psalm 22.
  • The Good Shepherd of Psalm 23.
  • The wisdom of Proverbs and the Lover of the Song of Solomon.
  • The Savior described in the prophets and the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53.
  • The Princely Messiah of Daniel who would establish a kingdom that would never end.

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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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.

BGT  Luke 24:27 καὶ ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ Μωϋσέως καὶ ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν προφητῶν διερμήνευσεν αὐτοῖς ἐν πάσαις ταῖς γραφαῖς τὰ περὶ ἑαυτοῦ.

KJV  Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

NET  Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things written about himself in all the scriptures.

CSB  Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted for them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

ESV  Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

NIV  Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

NLT  Luke 24:27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

NRS  Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

YLT  Luke 24:27 and having begun from Moses, and from all the prophets, he was expounding to them in all the Writings the things about himself.

GWN  Luke 24:27 Then he began with Moses' Teachings and the Prophets to explain to them what was said about him throughout the Scriptures.

NKJ  Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

NAB  Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.

MIT  Luke 24:27 He began in the writings of Moses, and then passing through all the prophets, he interpreted for them throughout all the Scriptures the data concerning himself.

NJB  Luke 24:27 Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.

ASV  Luke 24:27 And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

DBY  Luke 24:27 And having begun from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

BBE  Luke 24:27 And he made clear to them all the things in the Writings, from Moses and from all the prophets, which had to do with himself.

NIRV  Luke 24:27 Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures. He began with Moses and all the Prophets.

RSV  Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

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


Beginning with Moses and with all the prophets (prophetes) - 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! Note that the end of this passage says "in all the Scriptures," (Young's Literal - he was expounding to them in all the Writings the things about himself) the implication being that the entire OT, every word, in some way spoke about the Messiah! 

Warren Wiersbe on beginning with Moses and with all the prophets (prophetes) - “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....The key to understanding the Bible is to see Jesus Christ on every page. (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

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

The prophets had some of the more detailed prophecies of the Messiah (See also Messianic Prophecy) -

His suffering for our justification (Isaiah 53:3-5, 11-12 see commentary) - Little wonder that Isaiah 53 is not read in Jewish Synagogues!

He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.  4Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.  5But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

(Isa 53:11-12) As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.

The date of His arrival in Jerusalem to be "cut off" or hung on a Cross (Daniel 9:25, 26+, cf Lk 19:42+),

“So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. (9:26) “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. (Daniel 9:25, 26+)

Luke 19:42   saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. (Lk 19:42+)

One-third of the nation of Israel will finally (at the end of this age when Messiah returns to defeat all evil and wipe out anti-Semitism) recognize Jesus as their Messiah (Zech 12:10-14+, Zech 13:1+, Zech 13:9+, cf Ro 11:26, 27+)

Zechariah 12:10-14+ “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. 11“In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12“The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves; 13the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves; 14all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves.

Zechariah 13:1+  “In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity. 

Zechariah 13:9+ “And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”


Albert BarnesThey expected a temporal prince; they were perplexed because Jesus had not assumed the regal power, but had been put to death. He showed them that according to the prophecies he ought to suffer, and that his death, therefore, was no argument that he was not the Messiah.

He explained (diermeneuo) to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures - He explained to them that the Messiah was written about in "all the Scriptures."  Robertson somewhat sarcastically adds that "Jesus found Himself in the Old Testament, a thing that some modern scholars do not seem able to do!" 

MacDonald adds that " It was a wonderful Bible study, and how we would love to have been with Him then! But we have the same OT, and we have the Holy Spirit to teach us, so we too can discover in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." (Believer's Bible Commentary - borrow.)

Spurgeon says "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."

Hendriksen makes a fascinating comment - Jesus may have interpreted such passages as Gen. 3:15; 9:26; 12:3; 22:18; 49:10; Exod. 12:13; Num. 24:17; Deut. 18:15, 18; II Sam. 7:12, 13; Ps. 2:2; 22:1, 18; 45:11; 68:18; 69:20, 21; 72:8, 9; 110:1; 118:22; 132:11; Isa. 2:4; 7:14; 8:8, 10; 9:1, 2, 6, 7; 11:10; 25:8; 28:16; 35:5, 6; 42:1; 49:6; 52:14; ch. 53; 55:4; 59:16; Jer. 23:5; Ezek. 17:22; Dan. 2:24, 35,44; 7:13, 14; 9:25; Mic. 5:2; Hag. 2:6-9; Zech. 3:8; 6:12 f.; 9:9; 11:12; 12:10; 13:7; Mal. 3:1. But the Old Testament picture of the Messiah is not confined to a number of specific passages. As I have shown earlier, there are, as it were, four lines, which, running through the Old Testament from beginning to end, converge at Bethlehem and Calvary: the historical, typological, psychological, and prophetical. It is reasonable to believe that our Lord, in interpreting in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself, showed how the entire Old Testament, in various ways, pointed to himself. See also Acts 10:43+. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke) (Bold added)

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. (Luke 24)

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. (Exposition)

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)

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)

Scriptures (1124)(graphe  from grapho = to write; English = graphite - the lead in a pencil!) means first a writing or thing written, a document (which is logical as printing was not yet invented). 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!

Christ’s actual citations from the prophets given in the gospels are:

  • (1) Mt 9:13 w Hos 6:6.
  • (2) Mt 10:35, 36 w Mic 7:6.
  • (3) Mt 11:10 w Mal 3:1.
  • (4) Mt 11:28-30 w Jer 6:16.
  • (5) Mt 12:7 w Hos 6:6.
  • (6) Mt 12:18 w Isa 42:1-3.
  • (7) Mt 12:21 w Isa 42:4.
  • (8) Mt 12:39-42 w Jonah 1:17.
  • (9) Mt 13:14 w Isa 6:9, 10.
  • (10) Mt 15:8 w Isa 29:13.
  • (11) Mt 21:5 w Zec 9:9.
  • (12) Mt 21:13 w Jer 7:11.
  • (13) Mt 24:15 w Da 9:27.
  • (14) Mt 27:9 w Zec 11:13.
  • (15) Mk 7:6 w Isa 29:13.
  • (16) Mk 9:44 w Isa 66:24.
  • (17) Mk 11:17 w Isa 56:7.
  • (18) Mk 13:14 w Da 9:27.
  • (19) Mk 14:27 w Zec 13:7.
  • (20) Lk 4:18 w Isa 61:1, 2, Isa 58:6.
  • (21) Lk 7:27 w Mal 3:1.
  • (22) Lk 12:53 w Mic 7:6.
  • (23) Lk 19:46 w Isa 56:7 and Jer 7:11.
  • (24) Jn 6:45 w Isa 54:13. 

Bruce Barton - JESUS' STYLE OF WITNESSING - Christians can learn better ways to reach friends and neighbors with the gospel by studying the Lord's methods on the road to Emmaus. (1) Jesus walked with them, joining them in their activity and context. (2) Jesus talked with them, inquiring about their discussion. (3) Jesus utilized the truth of Scripture to deal with their unbelief. (4) Jesus shared a meal with them for the sake of friendship. (Life Application Bible Commentary – Luke)

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.  (Luke 24)

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  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


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


And they approached (eggizo) the village where they were going, and He acted (prospoiéomai) as though He were going farther - In other words, Jesus did not say He would not go further, but simply kept on as if it were not His intention to stop. Had they not sought Him to stay, doubtless He would have kept on. While Jesus is omnipresence today, He will not force Himself on us. If we desire His fellowship daily, all through the day, we must beseech Him to walk with us and stay with us. Then we are abiding in the Vine and He in us. We are communing with Him via His Spirit. Jesus desires to abide. The hindrance is us. We are too often like the church at Laodicea which Jesus describes in the Revelation

Behold (idou), I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev 3:20+). 

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. (Exposition)

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.” (Where is Jesus When We Need Him?)

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. (Exposition)

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! (Exposition)

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. (Exposition)

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

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.


Hendriksen explains that "When the three neared Emmaus Jesus acted as though he would go farther. And he would have done so, had they not prevailed upon him to stay with them. The plan of God for our lives does not cancel decision-making on our part....But by now, for a very understandable reason, they could not think of letting Him go. So, He allowed Himself to be persuaded. And having entered their home, the two even honored their unknown but very remarkable guest by asking Him to perform the duties of a host." (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

Jamieson, Faussett, Brown on they urged - But for this, the whole design of the interview had been lost; but it was not to be lost, for He who only wished to be constrained had kindled a longing in the hearts of His travelling companions which was not to be so easily put off. And does not this still repeat itself in the interviews of the Saviour with His loving, longing disciples? Else why do they say,

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

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) They "pressingly invited him." (Barnes)

Spurgeon on parabiazomai - It is a very strong word that, ‘they constrained him’; it is akin to the one which Jesus used when he said, ‘The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence.’ They not only invited him, but they held him, they grasped his hand, they tugged at his skirts, they said he should not go.”  

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.  (Luke 24)

  Yes, life is like the Emmaus road, and we tread it not alone
  For beside us walks the Son of God, to uphold and keep His own.
  And our hearts within us thrill with joy at His words of love and grace,
  And the glorious hope that when day is done we shall see His blessed face.
—Avis Christiansen

Stay (aorist imperative)(3306)(meno) is a plea to abide or remain (as the branch abides in the Vine - Jn 15:5, 7), even as Jesus said to Zaccheus "I must stay in your house." (Lk 19:5+). Their earnest request was granted. Do you feel close to Jesus today? Perhaps you need to request Him to "stay," making sure of course that you have no unconfessed sins. You may not experience any feelings, but you can be confident that He is there, walking through your day with you. O that the prayerful song of our heart each day would be the words of this great old hymn (take a moment and Play and pray this beautiful hymn to Him...He will answer!)...

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.” 

THOUGHT - HERE IS BACKGROUND FOR THIS GREAT HYMN WRITTEN IN 1847: In 1818 minister Henry Francis Lyte found himself in a curious position: he was giving comfort to a dying clergyman and found, to his shock, that the clergyman was unsure of his own salvation. Lyte was painfully aware that he himself was in the same position. Both men began to search the Bible, and both underwent a conversion. Lyte from that time on began to take his duties as a pastor more seriously. The typical Church of England pastor of that time was content to baptize, marry, bury, and preach a brief Sunday sermon for which he had little enthusiasm. Lyte could not be satisfied with this: he became a devoted spiritual counselor to his parish in a coastal town in southwest England. He wore himself out for this church, composed of fishermen and their families, counseling with them, organizing Sunday schools, training teachers, and writing hymns, many of which are still popular. The most famous of his hymns was written just a few weeks before he died. On September 4, 1847, Lyte took a walk along the seashore and contemplated the sunset. Returning home, he quickly wrote down “Abide with Me” with its memorable first lines: “Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide; / The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.” The hymn was based on the scripture he had preached on earlier that day, Luke 24, the story of the risen Jesus encountering two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Luke 24:29 reads, “They constrained him, saying, ‘Abide with us, for it is toward evening; the day is far spent.’ And he went in to tarry with them” (KJV). Lyte’s health had been failing for several years, and it is possible that when he wrote “Abide with Me,” he knew it would be his last hymn and that he would soon be abiding with the Lord forever. He died on November 20 that same year.

HERE IS ANOTHER VERSION BY KENNETH OSBECK FROM "AMAZING GRACE - 366 HYMN STORIES" - The author of this text, Henry F. Lyte, was an Anglican pastor. Though he battled tuberculosis all of his life, Lyte was known as a man strong in spirit and faith. It was he who coined the phrase “it is better to wear out than to rust out.” During his later years, Lyte’s health progressively worsened so that he was forced to seek a warmer climate in Italy. For the last sermon with his parishioners at Lower Brixham, England, on September 4, 1847, it is recorded that he nearly had to crawl to the pulpit. His final words made a deep impact upon his people when he proclaimed, “It is my desire to induce you to prepare for the solemn hour which must come to all, by a timely appreciation and dependence on the death of Christ.” (WHAT GREAT LAST WORDS!)

Barnes - They did not yet perceive that it was Jesus, but they had been charmed and delighted with his discourse, and they wished to hear him farther. Christians are delighted with communion with the Saviour. They seek it as the chief object of their desire, and they find their chief pleasure in fellowship with him.

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.  (Exposition)

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:-“  (Exposition)

Now The Day is Over

Now the day is over, Night is drawing nigh, Shadows of the evening Steal across the sky.

Jesus, give the weary Calm and sweet repose; With thy tend'rest blessing May our eyelids close.

Grant to little children Visions bright of thee; Guard the sailors, tossing On the deep blue sea.

Comfort ev'ry sufferer Watching late in pain; Those who plan some evil From their sin restrain.

Through the long night watches May thine angels spread Their white wings above me, Watching round my bed.

Glory to the Father, Glory to the Son, And to thee, blest Spirit, Whilst all ages run.

Thomas Goodwin on their call to stay - Whereas otherwise he would have gone further, and certainly would. When the keys are laid aside that should unlock the cupboard, whence the children should have bread, they are like to lose their suppers. Now these keys are prayers. If Paul be given them, it must be by prayer, Philemon 1: 22.

Richard Sibbes - Beg of Christ likewise that he would stay with us; as they in the gospel, when he made as if he would have gone forward from them, Luke 24:29, constrained him to stay, saying, ‘Abide with us: for it is towards evening, and the day is far spent;’ and he went in to tarry with them. So, lay we hold on Christ, by the means of salvation; stay him with us by prayer and importunity, especially when the night of death, and error, and superstition comes. Say, ‘Lord, night is near, stay with us, depart not from us.’ Lay an holy violence upon God, as Jacob did: ‘Thou shall not go hence.’ Lay hold on him by prayer, and do not leave him till we have drawn virtue and got some blessing from him; he must be kept by entreaty.

Charles Erdman - No story tells us more impressively the truth that a divine Saviour walks beside us all the way of our earthly journey. It is pathetic that our eyes are so often dimmed by unbelief that we fail to realize his presence. We walk and are sad while we might be rejoicing in his companionship. It may be as the Scriptures are opened to us, or as we meet to break bread in his name, that our blindness will be removed; and surely when the journey ends and we enter the home toward which we are moving, we shall see him face to face, and the vision will not fade in deepening twilight, but grow more glorious through the eternal day. (Gospel of Luke)

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.  (Luke 24)

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!


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.

Painting above - Supper at Emmaus with candlelight by Matthias Stom
Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio, 1601
Christ at Emmaus by Rembrandt, 1648, Louvre


When He had reclined ()kataklino at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed (eulogeo) it, and breaking (klao) it, He began giving it to them - Notice that the two disciples let Jesus act as the host by blessing and breaking the bread. Luke says He began giving (imperfect tense, again and again) the the bread to the disciples. While this is speculation, what do we know was on His hands or wrists? The imprints (? scars) marking where the nails pierced through to impale Him on the Cross. Did the two disciples see these marks as He handed them the bread? It is an interesting thought, because one who have expected they would have been the ones handing Him the bread, but in that scenario, they would probably not have seen His hands. Just a thought to ponder. We'll ask Cleopas when we get to Heaven! 

Hendriksen asks "How was it that in the breaking of the bread they suddenly recognized him? Did they see the marks of the nails in his hands? Was it the manner in which he broke the bread and gave it to them that opened their eyes? Or was it the way he spoke to his Father that refreshed their memories? Whatever may be the answer, the body of his resurrection now possessed qualities enabling him to appear at will and also, as here, to vanish at will. So, almost before they fully realized what had happened, he was gone." (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

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. (Exposition)

Albert Barnes - This was not a sacramental, but a common supper; yet our Saviour sought a blessing on the food, and thus set an example to all his followers to acknowledge God in their daily gifts, and to seek his benediction in all their enjoyments.

J Vernon 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. (Luke - can be borrowed)

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. (Exposition)

Breaking (2806)(klao) means to break, break off, break in pieces and in the NT refers only to the breaking of bread. By metonymy klao means to share a meal, since by Jewish custom a host or head of household thus began the main part of the meal. Jesus acted as the Host in this case. This verb is used to describe the Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:24), but most commentators do not think that was the significance in this case. At this time the Lord's Supper had only been shared with the eleven the night before His crucifixion. 


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


Then - When? NLT paraphrases it "Suddenly." The NET Bible has "At this point" "to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative." (NET Note

Their eyes were opened (dianoigo) and they recognized (epiginosko) Him and He vanished (aphantos) from their sight - This passage is the "antithesis" of Luke 24:16! Were opened is a so-called "divine passive," in this context the passive voice indicating that the opening was caused by an external, supernatural source. 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+ (see devotional below, cp the vision described in 2 Cor 4:18+) not only for ourselves but for other believers in our sphere of influence. Recognized is epiginosko where the prefix "epi-" intensifies their knowing. The idea is that now they knew Him fully and with certainty. A reversal of the use of epiginosko in Lk 24:16. The veil had fallen. The scales fell from their eyes. Now they fully recognized Jesus as their Resurrected Messiah. There was now not even a shadow of a doubt! But even as He handed them the bread and the scales fell from their eyes, in that very moment, He was gone!

THOUGHT - O, how I (we) need to pray before I open the word, asking the Lord to "Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law." (Psalm 119:18+)

One cannot help but see the striking contrast of the opened eyes of these two seeing their Savior from sin and the first two souls whose eyes were opened to see their sin! 

Then the eyes of both of them were opened (Lxx also uses same verb dianoigo!), and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves (NOTE THE IMMEDIATE AND POWERFUL EFFECT OF SIN! WE RUN FROM JESUS! O, FOR THE GRACE TO CONFESS AND REPENT QUICKLY!) from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (Ge 3:7-8+).

David Guzik - Morrison suggested several ways that they might have recognized Jesus in the breaking of bread:

  • The way He took the place of host with “the quiet air of majesty”
  • The way He gave the blessing over the meal they would eat
  • The pierced hands that gave them the bread

“However it was, whether by word or hand, they felt irresistibly that this was He. Some little action, some dear familiar trait, told them in a flash this was the Christ.” (Morrison). Jesus may be right in front of you, walking with you and sitting down with you at every meal – and your eyes could be restrained from seeing Him. We therefore should pray that God would open our eyes to see Jesus as He is, as being with us all the time. (Luke 24)

No man saw Christ rise;
but many saw the risen Christ.
- Erdman

Henry Alford suggests that the marks of the nails of our Lord’s hands may have been first noticed as he was breaking bread.

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

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 (Lk 24:12) 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 (Lk 24:34). 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. (Borrow The MacArthur Study Bible)

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 related noun epignosis) means to know fully, to know with certainty, to become thoroughly acquainted with or to know thoroughly, exactly, fully, or completely. Epiginosko means to possess more or less definite information about, and can imply a degree of thoroughness. It speaks of full or added knowledge. To be fully acquainted in a discerning, recognizing manner. (e.g., 1Co 13:12 twice uses "fully known," Lk 1:4; Col 1:6; 2Cor 6:9, et al) To ascertain (find out with certainty) (Acts 23:28, 24:8). To recognize a thing to be what it really is.

Vanished (855)(aphantos from a = without + phaino = to appear) is an adjective that means not appearing or invisible. It is used only here (hapax legomenon) (no uses in Septuagint) and literally reads He "became unseen to them!" Jesus suddenly “became invisible” to the eyes of the two disciples.

Liddell-Scott adds - made invisible, blotted out, forgotten, Il.: hidden, Aesch., Soph. to disappear, Trag. 2. in secret, Pind. 3. obscure, Id. 

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.

  1. The tomb is empty. Jesus is alive.
  2. We are not alone.
  3. 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.

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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Reader! have you enjoyed the presence of Jesus today? (James Smith, "A Help to Devotion" 1859)
"Abide with us — for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent." Luke 24:29

The presence of Jesus, is the life and the joy of the saints. When we enjoy it — we dread the thought of losing it; and when we have lost it — we cannot rest until we have regained it. That is a gloomy day — in which the presence of Jesus is not enjoyed; and that is a dreary night — when Jesus is absent from us. 

Reader! have you enjoyed the presence of Jesus today? Has He communed with your spirit, thereby . . .
  strengthening your faith,
  exciting your hope, and
  deepening your comfort? 

If so, I know that your prayer tonight will be, "Abide with me! Yes, precious Lord Jesus, we do beseech You to visit us, converse with us, open up the Scriptures to us, and abide with us. Let us feast our eyes on Your glory — and our hearts on Your grace. With You, we can feel at home — we can be happy anywhere. Without You, we cannot rest, we cannot feel satisfied, we cannot enjoy repose — let us have whatever we may. You have won our heart's love — You have made yourself the center and source of our comfort. Come, then, and abide with us this evening — and then a blessed evening it will be. Your presence will free us from all our cares, and raise us above all our troubles. Your presence will feast us, refresh us, and make us satisfied with our lot, be it what it may!"

James Smith also has a similar note on the Holy Spirit - O Holy Spirit, give us clear views of your distinct personality, divine nature, and essential glory! Let us see you in your Word, feel you in our hearts, and enjoy sweet communion with you day by day! Breathe on us, we beseech you; abide with us, and work in us both to will and to do of your good pleasure. Pull down every stronghold of Satan, pull up every root of bitterness, and conform us in all things to our Divine Example. Amen

Hortius Bonar - THE DISCIPLES’ INVITATION TO THE MASTER “Abide with us.”—LUKE 24:29.

HERE it is not the Master to the disciple, but the disciple to the Master, that is saying, Come. It is not the Lord that is standing at the door and saying, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me”; it is the disciple that is saying, “Come in thou blessed of the Lord.” As of old, He said to Jacob at Peniel, “Let me go for the day breaketh,” so here it is said, “He made as though He would have gone further”; but as Jacob said, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me,” so do the two disciples here, “they constrained Him, saying, Abide with us”; and as He blest Jacob ere He parted from him, so here He does go in and sit down with them, and when He quits them He leaves a blessing behind Him, for the house seems filled with the odour of the ointment, doubtless to retain its fragrance for many a day.
The request seems to have been made for two reasons,—on their own account and on his. They had enjoyed his converse and fellowship by the way so much that they are unwilling to part; and, besides, the evening is coming on, and He must not expose Himself to the dews, and cold, and darkness of the night.
The latter of these reasons we cannot use now in the sense in which they were used by the disciples. The risen Christ is now far beyond the days and nights of time; beyond the mists and clouds of earth; far beyond the chills and the gloom of this world. He needs no earthly roof to shelter Him, and no earthly table to sit at. He is now in his Father’s house, and on his Father’s throne, compassed about with light, and majesty, and glory, and honour.
But in his members He is now passing through the same hardships, and sufferings, and privations as when He was here. “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me” is still his expostulation; and still He so identifies Himself with his saints that we may use the words which originally meant Him personally in reference to ourselves as one with Him. Without, however, confining it to this sense, let us meditate as follows upon these words, “Abide with us.”
1. Abide with us, for past days have been so pleasant. Since first we apprehended Thee, or rather since Thou didst apprehend us,—since thou didst overtake us on the way, we have found such blessedness, that we cannot bear the thought of parting. Thy fellowship has been so sweet that we must have more of it. The little that we tasted in the past, makes us long for more. Abide with us.
2. Abide with us, for the world would be a blank without thee. Life would not be life if thou wert gone. We should be like the disciples on the stormy sea,—“It was night, and Jesus had not come to them.” Night and tempest, without moon and stars, would be nothing to this world without thee. A house left desolate without an inmate, without a sound, or a voice, or footstep, would be nothing to the dreariness of our earth and of our homes without thee. All would be blank and chilling. It is Thou who fillest hearts, and lightest up homes, and gladdenest even wildernesses with thy presence.

         A wilderness is populous enough
         So had I but thy heavenly company;
         For where thou art, there is the world itself,
         With every several pleasure in the world;
         And where thou art not, desolation.

Oh abide with us.
3. Abide with us, for we know not what our future is to be. We know the past, we know the present, but the future is hid. For that future and all its uncertainties, we need a guide and a protector; one who will light up our path, who will fight for us, who will deliver us and keep us to the last, in all changes, trials, sorrows, joys. Abide with us. Leave us not, neither forsake us, O God of our salvation, O rest of the weary, O light of the dark, O Saviour of the lost, O joy of the sorrowful, O helper of the helpless,—unchanging companion, friend and kinsman, with whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning,—the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever! Lead us out, leads us in, lead us along the way, lead us by the still waters, lead us into thy banquetting house, and let thy banner over us be love!
4. Abide with us, for earth’s night is at hand. Time’s shadows are lengthening; its sun is going down behind the hills of earth. The end of all things is at hand; the day of the Lord hasteth greatly; the time of vengeance and judgment cometh; Satan is about to do his worst; Antichrist will rage; evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse; perilous times will come; wars and rumours of wars will disquiet us; earthquakes shall be in diverse places, the sea and its waves roaring, men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after the things that are coming on the earth. Oh abide with us! Abide with us in all thy love and grace; in all thy strength and help; in all thy joy and peace. Abide with us for evermore. 

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?"


They said to one another, "Were not our hearts (kardia) burning (kaio) within us while He was speaking (laleo) to us on the road, while He was explaining (opening) the Scriptures (graphe)  to us?" - Burning hearts were ignited by the Living Words spoken by the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ (cf Jn 1:1, Heb 1:2, 1 Jn 1:1). 

Receiving knowledge of the Word - big heads
Walking with the Word - burning hearts
Lord, give us "burning hearts" when we read Thy living Word. Amen

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. (Exposition)

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. (Luke 24)

John MacArthur - When the truth of Scripture becomes clear, the heart is set on fire for joy and for testimony. It was that blazing joy that prompted Henry Martyn to exclaim, “Now let me burn out for God”; David Brainerd to write in his diary, “Oh that I could be a flame of fire in the service of my God!”; and John Wesley to say of his conversion, “I felt my heart strangely warmed.” (See Luke Commentary)

Someone once said "Sermons from burning hearts, set others aflame!" And that was likely the effect on the "eleven" and those with them!

And as Amy Carmichael said "I would rather burn out than rust out."  She also penned this powerful poem which was a prayer God honored in her life. Is there anyone reading this note who would have the Holy Spirit boldness to pray such a prayer? I pray so! 

Give me the Love that leads the way
The Faith that nothing can dismay
The Hope no disappointments tire
The Passion that'll burn like fire
Let me not sink to be a clod
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.

Explaining (dianoigo) is the same word used in the phrase "their eyes were opened" (dianoigo) in Lk 24:31 and opened their minds in Lk 24:45 (cf similar use in Acts 17:3+) Jesus opened the the Scriptures to them and opened the eyes of their heart to see Him in the Scriptures. 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!) We too need to see Jesus in the Scriptures!

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. (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Vincent - The Authorized Version (KJV), as usual, pays no attention to the graphic imperfects here (speaking, explaining are both in the imperfect tense). 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?”

Hearts (2588)(kardia) describes the seat of physical, spiritual and mental life, which was common in Classic Greek where the heart was described as "as the source of emotions, including intellect, will, anger, passion, joy, and so on." (Gilbrant) 

Burning (2545)(kaio) means to light or ignite something (Mt 5:15), to literally burn (Jn 15:6) and is used here figuratively to describe their fervent emotions or strong feelings as Jesus spoke. It is notable that the Septuagint uses kaio in the prophet Jeremiah's description of his reaction to the Word of God...

But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it (THE WORD OF GOD) becomes like a burning (Lxx = kaio) fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it. (Jer 20:9)

Comment - NLT paraphrases it "His word burns in my heart like a fire" (Jer 20:9NLT). Jeremiah was discouraged by rejection of his message and was being tempted to jettison his prophetic call to rebellious Judah, but it was to no avail. As Henry Morris said "The Word of God simply cannot be quenched for one who truly loves God and understands what God's Word has done for him and what it means for the world. Even though man is the object of reproach and derision because of it (Jeremiah 19:8), he must proclaim it to others in whatever way he can." (Defender's Study Bible)

Speaking (2980)(laleo) means to make a sound and then to utter words. Kenneth Wuest adds that "Laleo (was) used originally just of sounds like the chatter of birds, the prattling of children, (but was also used) of the most serious kind of speech. It takes note of the sound and the manner of speaking. One thinks of the words in the song In the Garden; “He speaks, and the sound of His voice is so sweet, the birds hush their singing.” Robertson adds "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."

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

Bruce Barton - HEARTS AFLAME - One of the marks of true conversion is the way a person's heart is changed by the indwelling Christ. Truth and events that once seemed unimportant or even irrelevant take on new significance, new meaning. A cold, dead heart that was completely wrapped up in self-centered pursuits begins to thaw and warm to the realities of the Spirit and the needs of others. John Wesley described it by saying his heart was "strangely warmed"; the Emmaus-bound disciples asked, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" Does your heart burn for the realities of God? Has it grown cold due to neglect or sin? Only by spending time in the presence of the living Christ can you reverse the cooling process. Make a commitment to spend some time with him—today. (Life Application Bible Commentary – Luke)

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

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.

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

By Bill Crowder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


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,


And they got up that very hour and returned (hupostrepho) to Jerusalem - That very hour (at the hour itself) is when it was dark outside (probably around 9PM), but they had received light inside (their hearts) and now had good news to announce. This time phrase is a favorite idiom only used by Luke - Lk. 12:12; 20:19; 24:33; Acts 16:33. Returned (hupostrepho) means they turned back to the city retracing the 7 mile journey. But this time they did not gloomily trudge along, but they returned with joy and with a spring in their step! 

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.... 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."...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.  (Exposition)

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. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

R C H Lenski - We now see why Luke reported the distance. It was not so far but what the two could easily retrace their steps. We take it that they got back to Jerusalem by about nine o'clock. Two facts are notable: they knew just where to go, and they found not only the apostles but also others together in one place. This is what the morning's news of the resurrection had done in spite of the disbelief with which it was received. (The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel)

Found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them - The eleven is because they were minus Judas the traitor where "the eleven" is a technical term for the disciples after his departure. Strictly speaking when the two disciples from Emmaus found the eleven, there actually were only 10, because Thomas was not present at this time (cf Jn 20:24). 

The eleven -  occurs 6 times in the NT - Matt. 28:16; Mk. 16:14; Lk. 24:9; Lk. 24:33; Acts 1:26; Acts 2:14.

Gathered together is athroizo only here in the NT and derived from athroos meaning assembled in crowds. The passive voice (probably divine passive) is interesting suggesting that their gathering was the result of exertion of an outside force (? Spirit). 

MacArthur agrees noting that the verb is in the passive voice "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."... 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) (See Luke Commentary)

Albert Barnes - This was natural and proper, and it shows how quick and ready they who have found the Saviour are to tell it to others. Comp. John 1:41-45. Young converts to Christ should hasten to tell their joy, and should not shrink at self-denial to proclaim to others what God hath done for the soul, Psalm 66:16 "Come and hear, all who fear God, And I will tell of what He has done for my soul."

My lips and cheerful heart, prepare
To make his mercies known:
Come, ye that fear my God, and hear
The wonders he hath done.

"When on my head huge sorrows fell,
I sought his heavenly aid;
He saved my sinking soul from hell,
And death's eternal shade.

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."

Related Passage:

Mark 16:7+  “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.’”


Saying, "The Lord (kurios) has really risen and has appeared to Simon." - Before the two huffing and puffing disciples who have scurried back from Emmaus can shout "He is risen!" the eleven usurp them with the glorious news that Jesus had really risen. And they explain how they knew -- they had not seen Him yet themselves, but they believed Simon Peter's report. The only other mention of Jesus specifically appearing to Peter is by Paul who wrote that Jesus "appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve." (1 Cor 15:5+). 

THOUGHT - Think about this for a moment - the one who had denied Him three times, is the one to whom Jesus made His first public appearance. Peter experienced what David had penned "He restores my soul." (Ps 23:3) Have you backslidden? Have you denied Him? Have you become entangled in some heinous sin? Confess and repent and just as with Peter, He will be there for you and He will restore your soul. As Solomon wrote "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion." (Pr 28:13+) The resurrection should motivate all saints to redeem the time and to live as if Christ died yesterday, arose this morning, and is coming back tomorrow!

Let us go tell others "The Lord has really risen!"

Has risen (1453)(egeiro) literally means to rise from sleep and metaphorically to rise from the dead (cf of Jesus' resurrection = Mt 27:63, 64, 28:6, 7, Mk 14:28, 16:6, 14, Lk 24:6, Jn 2:19, 22, Jn 21:14, Acts 3:15, 4:10, 5:30, 10:40, 13:30, 37, et al)

Hendriksen reconstructs the drama of this scene -  We picture it as follows: The two men, having completed their seven-mile trip—was it about 9 o'clock by now?—arrive at the door of the room in which The Eleven (and probably others with them) are gathered. When the door opens, they are ready to shout the news. But before they even get a chance they hear the blessed tiding, "The Lord has risen indeed and has appeared to Simon." Cf. I Cor. 15:5. Finally, they too get a chance to tell their story. What an asking and answering of questions! What ecstasy! What a foretaste of "joy unspeakable and full of glory"!A new beginning! Light in the darkness! Life conquering death! The Lord is risen indeed! Here all changes. The Cross, the very instrument of despair, becomes an object of glory. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the source of a living hope. Listen to the message of exuberant joy, praise, and thanksgiving. (Borrow Exposition of the Gospel of Luke)

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+).

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.

Norman Crawford on Jesus' meeting with Simon - The silence about this meeting manifests the grace of the Lord to him. There are experiences with the Lord that are completely intimate and are not to be told in detail in public testimony. It is enough to know that Peter had the private meeting and all was right between him and the Lord he had denied.(What the Bible Teaches)

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. (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

H A IronsideSimon! the one who had denied Him, taken an oath that he did not even know Jesus; yet somewhere on that resurrection day the Lord had sought him out, and He had revealed Himself to him; and Simon knew that he was forgiven. Peter must have felt, of all the apostles, the most forlorn and wretched, as he recalled in bitterness of spirit his sad failure to stand the test in the hour of trial. What a relief to his heart when Jesus appeared to him alone, to restore his soul and console his spirit! It is but one sample of the grace He ever manifests toward His erring followers. A little later we find the Lord giving Peter the commission, "Feed My lambs... feed My sheep."

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. (Luke 24)

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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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

By M.R. DeHaan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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.


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,


They began to relate (exegeomai) their experiences on the road - Finally, the two disciples from Emmaus had their opportunity to confirm the Resurrection. They told of how Jesus opened the Scriptures and then opened the eyes of their understanding. One can imagine that the atmosphere in this room was electric! And though the risen Jesus was not yet physically in their midst, His resurrection was now confirmed by two more witnesses! Surely their faith soared! (cf Ro 10:17+). In essence they gave an "exegesis" (from Greek exegeomai), which is an explanation or critical interpretation. Relate is in the imperfect tense indicating that they related this again and again, over and over. You can picture their excitement at giving first hand explanation of the Scriptures to the disciples. 

Ironside - What an experience they had and what joy must have been theirs as they knew for certain that He who had died was alive again. And, thank God, He lives to die no more!



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 (Used in 6v - Lk. 24:35; Jn. 1:18; Acts 10:8; Acts 15:12; Acts 15:14; Acts 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.

H A Ironside - In the Old Testament it was plainly predicted that the Saviour was to die for our sins and that He would rise from the dead and take His seat on the right hand of God in Heaven. For Him the path of life lay through the regions of death, but His soul was not to be left in Sheol, the unseen world, nor His body see corruption (Ps. 16:9-11). After His soul was made an offering for sin, He was to "see His seed," and "prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord" should prosper in His hand (Isa. 53:10.) In the prophets we have prediction; in the Gospels, fulfillment. Christ is risen. He has "become the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. 15:20). Through His name, the name of the One who was dead and is alive again (Rev. 1:18), mighty signs and wonders have been wrought during all the centuries since He vanquished death and "brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10).

And how He was recognized () by them in 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!). As alluded to above, as He broke the bread, His hands and wrists would have been visible. It is certainly conceivable that at this moment their eyes were opened, but even then there must have been a supernatural component to this revelation. 

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. (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

    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! 

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;'

From The Word in Life Study Bible (online)
Click to enlarge


JOHN'S ACCOUNT GIVES SOME DETAILS NOT IN LUKE - (JOHN GIVES US THE TIME) So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week (SUNDAY), 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.”  (John 20:19-25 )

Thomas Constable makes an interesting observation regarding the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus in Lk 24:36-49 - Luke arranged his accounts of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances to give the impression that an ever increasing audience learned of this great event. First, he recorded an announcement of it with no witnesses (Lk 24:1-12). Then he told of Jesus appearing to two disciples (Lk 24:13-35). Next he presented Jesus materializing in the presence of the Eleven minus Thomas (cf. Mark 16:14; John 20:24). Perhaps he meant this presentation to represent the ever widening circle of witness that the disciples were to give in the world. The arrangement does suggest this to the reader especially since the third incident contains Luke's version of the Great Commission. (Luke 24)

While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them - ESV, KJV have "Jesus Himself," but the best manuscripts omit "Jesus." The context (they were startled in Lk 24:37) suggest Jesus' appearance was sudden. None of the Gospel records say that He walked through the walls. The disciples did not see Him take steps from the door or from the wall to be in midst! No, He was just there (see Luther's comment below). He is emphatic. Note the detail added by John's account Jn 20:19 "the doors were shut," or locked for fear of the Jews (cf Jn 7:13, 9:22, 19:38) (And they were locked again 8 days later! Jn 20:26).

John 20:19 also adds that "Jesus came and stood in their midst." Lenski comments on the phrase "Jesus came" -- "Among the strange ideas connected with these words are these: Jesus climbed up a ladder and through a window; or descended from the roof down a stairway; or sneaked into the house before the doors were locked; or slipped in when the two from Emmaus were let in; or was allowed to come in through the connivance of the doorkeeper. All these agree in denying a miracle." Amazing how far one can go to try to hide a miracle!) In fact the only way into the room would have been first to knock. Jesus did not knock but simply appeared. Mark 16:14 adds the detail that the disciples "were reclining at the table" indicating they were having a meal. (Although not everyone accepts this section of Mark as authentic).

One can envision the scene in this room, with excitement and hope now in the air, as these Jewish men with considerable animation and gesticulations "were telling these things," the things reported by Simon and by the two disciples from Emmaus.

It is interesting that when Peter was released from jail by the angel, the gate had to be opened for him to pass through, but Peter's body was not in the same state as that of the risen Savior. (Acts 12:10)

I love R C H Lenski's comments on Jesus' appearance - In his risen and glorified state time, space, the rock of the tomb, the walls and the doors of buildings no longer hamper the body of Jesus. He appears where he desires to appear, and his visible presence disappears when he desires to have it so. This is wholly supernatural, wholly incomprehensible to our minds. Nor may we ask or seek to comprehend where Jesus stayed during the intervals between his appearances during the forty days. When our bodies shall eventually enter the heavenly mode of existence, we may know something of these supreme mysteries, but we doubt if even then we shall really comprehend the profundities of the divine omnipresence of which the human nature of Jesus partakes and which he exercised since his vivification in the tomb as in these wondrous appearances. "He came and stood in their midst" is all that human thought and language can say. He did not walk through anything. The disciples did not see him take so many steps from the door or the wall to their midst. He was there, and that was all. (See The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel)

Spurgeon on peace - “About the Lord there were the air and style of one who had peace himself, and loved to communicate it to others. The tone in which he spake peace tended to create it. He was a peace-maker, and a peace-giver, and by this sign they were driven to discern their Leader.”    (Exposition)

Peace (eirene) be to you - Peace was used as a common oriental greeting which implies only a kind wish, and was a greeting or farewell corresponding to the Hebrew word Shalom - "peace to you". How often we say something similar to what Jesus said to them, but when Jesus says "Peace," He actually is able to give the disciples what the word means! "It is not a lovely-looking package that is empty inside but one that is filled with heavenly reality that is far more beautiful than the covering in which it is wrapped." (Lenski) Jesus is the Prince of Peace, the Source of peace, so when He says "Peace," it is powerful, for in Jn 14:27 He defines it as "My peace", a real, objective peace, not just a subjective feeling of peace, although the latter may well flow from the former! Can we not apply these truths to our struggles and trials and times of doubt, etc? Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8) and He still desires to declare to His disciples "Peace be to you," in circumstances which are anything but peaceful. Will you hear His words? Will you receive and rest in His offer of peace that passes all human understanding? (cf Php 4:7+). Perhaps, we have not because we ask not. Let us not hesitate to beseech Him to bestow on us the precious gift of "His peace." 

Martin Luther wrote that the resurrected Jesus "is no longer bound to bodily, visible, tangible, mundane substance, time, place, space, and the like, but wants to be known and believed as ruling by His power everywhere present, having the will to be with us and help us in all places and at all times, when and where we need it, unfettered and unhindered by the world and all its might."

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.  (Exposition)

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.  (Exposition)

J C Ryle on peace be to you -   Peace be unto you.] I am quite unable to regard this expression as being nothing more than the ordinary salutation of courtesy. It seems to me to be full of deep and comfortable truth. It implied that the great battle was fought and the great victory won over the prince of this world, and peace with God obtained for man according to the old promise. It implied that our Lord came to His disciples with peaceful, gracious, and forgiving feelings, and with no resentment for their having forsaken Him.   Let it be noted, that “peace” was the last word in the prophetical hymn of Zacharias,—“peace on earth,” part of the good news proclaimed by angels when Christ was born,—“peace” the proclamation which the seventy disciples were ordered to make in every house which they visited,—“peace” the legacy which our Lord left and gave to the apostles on the night before He was crucified,—and “peace” was the first word which He spoke when He appeared among them again after His resurrection. (Luke 1:79; 2:14; 10:5. John 14:27.)   Peace, in short, is one main ingredient of the Gospel (Eph 6:15+). Every one of St. Paul’s epistles...begins with a gracious wish of “peace” to those to whom it is addressed. Stella has a long and excellent passage on this expression. (Luke 24)

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.Lenski adds that eirene "is both the condition of peace, when our sins are gone, salvation is ours, and God is our friend, and the feeling of peace that results from this condition. The feeling may fluctuate and even be absent at times, but the condition abides unchanged as long as faith and salvation abide. The feeling will blossom again and again out of the condition and grow in intensity." (Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel) Because of Jesus' atoning death, men can have peace WITH God (Ro 5:1+) and the peace OF God (Php 4:6-7+). 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; 

He Stood in the Midst
He stood in the midst of His chosen,
At Easter He stood at e’en;
The wounds that were made by the iron
In the hands and the feet were seen.
And he showed where the barbarous spearhead,
Transfixing His heart, had been.

He stood as the sun ’mid the planets,
Enriching their orbs with light;
He stood as a captain inspiring
His soldiers to brave the fight;
And He stood as a rose in a garden,
Its ornament and delight.

He stood to revive the drooping,
He stood to sustain the frail;
He stood to infuse fresh courage
In those that begin to fail;
As a guide and a help to the pilgrims
Who traverse this tearful vale.

In the midst of the Church He standeth,
A fountain whence virtue flows;
He lightens, He leads, He pastures,
His sheep by their name He knows;
And wherever His flock He leadeth,
Before them the Pastor goes.

In the midst of the fiercest battle
He standeth with succor near;
In the blackest and wildest tempest,
A beacon the tossed to cheer.
I walk through the valley of shadows;
I see Him, and I have no fear.

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.

Our greatest privilege is to enjoy Christ's presence.

By Mart DeHaan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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. (From Jehovah's Witnesses : answered verse by verse - borrow this book. See other related books by this American lawyer dealing with cults - including Mormonism).


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

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!


But - Term of contrast. Always pause to ponder what is Luke contrasting? Jesus had just said "Peace be to you," even repeating the blessing of John 20:19-20, BUT this did not deflect their frightened reaction. Normally when one said "Peace to you," there would be a response, but Luke records none, for they were struck speechless from fear! The reaction of the disciples reminds us of a similar reaction when they were on the sea in the midst of a raging storm for "When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear." (Mt 14:26) Of course, no one even cried out. 

It is worth noting that we have no details from the Gospel writers regarding whether Jesus post-resurrection form differed from His appearance in His earthly life (except we can be sure of the scars on His hands and feet). 

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+).

They were startled and frightened - So striking is the reaction of the disciples that Luke uses two words to describe the effect of His appearance. And keep in mind that they had believed that Jesus had risen from the dead (Lk 24:34, 35). 

J C Ryle on startled and frightened - It is striking to remark, both here and elsewhere in Scripture, how invariably the appearance of any supernatural being, or any inhabitant of another world, appears to strike terror into the heart of man. It seems an instinct of human nature to be afraid on such occasions, and is a strong indirect proof of man’s utter inability to meet God in peace without a mediator. If man is afraid of spirits and ghosts, what would man feel if he saw God Himself? (Luke 24)

Envision the transition of this scene - one moment the disciples are filled with joy and talking about the fact that Jesus was alive, but then, in a moment, fear overwhelms them when they actually see Him. It makes me ponder what it will truly be like for us when one day we pass from this life to the next and we finally and fully see our risen, glorified, majestic Lord Jesus Christ? I can remember the very first time I listened to Mercy Me's classic Christian song "I Can Only Imagine," and as I listened all I could do was cry and sob almost the entire song. We will see Him some day! But I can only imagine...

Pause and Ponder the great day
when your eyes first see
His glorious face as you listen to...
"Will I sing Hallelujah or will I even be able to speak at all?"
"I Can Only Imagine"

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

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;

Frightened (1719)(emphobos from en = in + phobos = fear) literally means "in fear" and then alarmed, startled, terrified, thrown into fear, very afraid. All five uses are associated in some way with supernatural manifestations. Used in 5 verses - Of 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) Of the 11 disciples who were frightened when Jesus suddenly stood in the room as the 2 on the road to Emmaus were relating what had occurred (Lk 24:33-36). Of Cornelius reaction to the angel. Of the reaction of Felix fearful reaction as Paul "was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come." (Acts 24:25) Felix's reaction was not misplaced and one wanders if this man ever bowed the knee to Jesus and was saved? Finally 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).There are no uses in the Septuagint. 

Emphobos is used only 5x in the NT (no uses in Lxx).  

Thought that they were seeing a spirit -  NET = "thinking they saw a ghost"!  This is surprising because the disciples believed that Jesus had risen from the dead in Luke 24:34. But when He now suddenly stood in the room before their very eyes, they were terrified. Thought (Supposed) is in the Imperfect active = they kept on thinking so (again and again, over and over).

Lenski adds that the disciples "were like so many today who seek to apply to the body of the risen Lord some of the notions they associate with bodies in the natural state and with conceptions of spirit beings. These notions still produce all manner of unbelief as regards the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Because the mind is too small and puny to take in the infinitely great it resorts to denial of what lies beyond and above its grasp. Yet even finite nature is full of mysteries too great, too intricate, too profound for the mind ever to grasp and to penetrate; shall we, therefore, come with denials?" (Ibid)

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 (see below) suggests that the condition of their hearts had something to do with the expression of their fears. (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Mark 16:14 - Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached (a mild rebuke or criticism - oneidizo) them for their unbelief (apistia) and hardness of heart (sklerokardia - a stern word - used in Mt 19:8, Mk 10:5 of Pharisees' attitude toward divorce!), because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. 

Comment - Luke omits Jesus' gentle rebuke of His disciples.

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. (The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary - borrow)

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? 

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?


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."

Spurgeon - 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.    (Exposition)

And He said to them, "Why are you troubled - The first part of Jesus double question. Perhaps He would see their troubled state on their faces. And as noted below clearly He could read their minds, and the message was not inner "peace" but "disturbance." Luke had just mentioned one of the thoughts was that they thought Jesus was an apparition

Ryle - Here, as elsewhere, our Lord shows His knowledge of the inward man. The reasonings and questionings of the apostles were all known to Him. (Luke 24)

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.

Tarasso is in the perfect tense - they are in a state of agitation. The disciples became shaken when He appeared and remain in a shaken state.

And why do doubts arise in your hearts? - Jesus of course could read their minds and knew what they were thinking. All manner of foolish thoughts were coursing through their minds.

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 (2588) (kardia) literally is the main source of physical life (Acts 14:17), but more often used to describe the center and source of the whole inner life (Mt 18:35; Lk 16:15; 2 Cor 5:12; 1 Th 2:4; 1 Pt 1:22; 3:4.). It is like the "control center" of our being (emotions - Jn 16:6, 22, will Acts 11:23).

Lenski comments - Did they think that only the spirit of Jesus had returned to them from the other world? That notion, too, Jesus dispels at once. Luther takes occasion in this connection to explode the spiritistic superstitions as though the spirits of the dead are able to return from the other world and are able to communicate with us in some way. The Bible denies this throughout. God refuses to send one from the dead to warn us or to preach to us, 16:31, and has forbidden us to try to talk with the dead, Deut. 18:11; Isa. 8:19. Jesus calls the disciples to calm, sensible consideration. (The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel)

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  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


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. 

NET  Luke 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet; it's me! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones like you see I have."

NLT  Luke 24:39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it's really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don't have bodies, as you see that I do."

ESV  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."

NIV  Luke 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

Related Passage:

John 20:20   And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.


There is an old 1987 commercial that says "Reach Out and Touch Someone." The idea was that there was someone who cared. Here we see the Good Shepherd calling His sheep to reach out and touch Him! Jesus cared enough for them (and for us) that He died an agonizing death, so we might be able to live an abundant life! (cf Jn 10:10b). We can't touch Him physically (not yet at least), but we can "stay in touch" with Him through His Word and prayer! 

John adds that Jesus showed them also his side (Jn 20:20), where the wound that had been left by the soldier's spear (Jn 19:34).

See...touch...see - Here is a direct appeal to two senses, touch and sight. All three are commands in the aorist imperative calling for immediately response. While Luke does not say they actually touched Him, we can assume that they obeyed His clear commands. 

Lenski on hands...feet (and side) -  Hands, feet, side—these bear the five holy wounds of his crucifixion. By them they know him to the exclusion of the least doubt. Jesus makes the disciples learn what a resurrection body is like: it is the body of the same person, the same body of that person, and yet both the person and the body are in a new and wonderful state. (The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel)

G Campbell Morgan - He distinctly denied that His resurrection was of His Spirit only, for He invited them to touch His hands and His feet. The evidences of a material body are abundant.”

See My hands and My feet - Jesus gives a command (perhaps they were hesitant to touch Him). Notice Jesus draws their attention to His hands and feet the very sites by which He was impaled to the old rugged cross (cf Ps 22:16) and where He now had scars from His crucifixion (I am making the assumption these were scars but supposedly they could have been some other type of identifying marks for the text is not clear). As an aside, as a physician the fact that these sites were not still in the early stages of healing is also evidence of a miracle for it takes a more than two weeks to develop a scar! Jesus showed them "evidence that demands a verdict"! He died and He is alive and healed, but with imprints on His hands and feet marking the covenant which He cut with all who enter the New Covenant by grace through faith (See also Covenant defined; Hebrew word for covenant - Beriyth). The imprints testify to the fact that once an individual enters into the New Covenant in His blood, the covenant marks on His hands "seal the deal" for eternity. So much for those who think you can lose your salvation! Jesus' imprints will never be removed! In fact in the Revelation John sees Jesus in glory and our Lord still has the evidence of His Crucifixion...

And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain (sphazo in the perfect tense), having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.....12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain (sphazo in the perfect tense) to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”  (Rev 5:6, 12+)

NET Note on "as if slain" - This phrase does not imply that the Lamb "appeared to have been killed" but in reality was not, because the wider context of the NT shows that in fact the Lamb, i.e., Jesus, was killed.

Comment - And to substantiate the NET Note interpretation, slain in Rev 5:12+ has no "as if," but is stated as a fact. The use of the perfect tense in both descriptions is significant because it conveys the fact that there has been a past completed act [crucifixion] which has ongoing or permanent effect In other words, the imprints (whether scars or some other imprint) of Jesus crucifixion will endure throughout eternity! In short there is a Man with imprints on His body in Heaven today and throughout eternity Who was not present in that form in from eternity past!

One more point - Luke has a passage that is mind boggling - Jesus declares "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them."(Lk 12:37+)

Many (including myself) interpret this as a prophecy that Jesus Himself will gird Himself and serve us one day in the future! Oh my! If this doesn't cause you to bow down low, nothing will. And when He serves us the bread, guess what we will see? You guessed it, those imprints in His hands! Amazing grace indeed! 

Spurgeon writes "This always seems to me to be one of the most remarkable of our Lord’s utterances while he was here upon the earth. His whole life was one of condescension, which was never more clearly manifested than it was when he, the Lord and Master of all, took the position of servant of all, and washed his disciples’ feet; yet he here tells us that, if he finds us watching when he comes again, he will once more take his place as our servitor." 

Warren Wiersbe agrees that "the remarkable thing in this story is that the master serves the servants! In Jewish weddings, the bride was treated like a queen and the groom like a king; so you would not expect the “king” to minister to his staff. Our King will minister to His faithful servants when He greets us at His return, and He will reward us for our faithfulness." (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

That it is I Myself - Jesus tells them plainly that He was the one that they had ministered with for three years. Jesus' declaration that "it is I Myself" (autos egō eimi - see  eimi for discussion of "ego eimi") is a Christological statement (cf. Lk 21:8; 22:70 ) that recalls for us the great I AM declaration of the Old Testament (Ex 3:14 which in the Septuagint is "ego eimi"; cf. also the "I am" statements in John's Gospel). In Jn 8:58 when Jesus said to the Jews who had professed belief in Him (Compare Jn 8:30, 31 with Jesus' own assessment of their "profession of belief" = Jn 8:45 - Point - There is a "belief" that DOES NOT save a soul. cf 2 Cor 13:5+

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 - Jesus is patient with his proof. They were convinced before he came into the room, but that psychological shock had unnerved them all. 

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+). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

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.   (Exposition)

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 is the same challenge Jesus would later make to Thomas, who was not present on this occasion and who said "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.” (John 20:24-28).

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." (1 John 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.

For (hoti) is a term of explanation

A spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have - This refutes the false notion that Jesus arose only in spirit. 

J C Ryle has an interesting comment - Let it be noted that our Lord spoke here of “a spirit,” and the qualities of “a spirit,” in such a manner that it is impossible to deny the existence of incorporeal beings. To believe every idle story about ghosts and apparitions is foolish and unreasonable. But we must take care that we do not go into the other extreme, and deny the existence of spirits altogether. Our Lord’s words about them are clear and unmistakeable. (Luke 24)

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). (Ibid)

David Guzik on flesh and bones - Some make much of the fact that Jesus said His body had flesh and bones and not the more normal phrasing of flesh and blood. The idea is that perhaps the resurrection body of Jesus did not have blood, and perhaps neither will ours. It is also possible that Jesus said flesh and bones because blood could not be felt, but bones can be discerned by touch. (Luke 24 Commentary)

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. (Exposition)

Beloved, this section of Scripture is important because it is a preview of what awaits us in the future, for we as believers will have resurrection bodies just like Jesus' resurrected body (see Phil. 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2; 1 Cor. 15:35-44).

Related Resource:

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. (borrow Mormons : answered verse by verse)


Luke 24:40  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. 

And when He had said this, He showed (deiknuo) them His hands and His feet - The old saying is "Seeing is believing," but notice the first part of the next verse "while they still could not believe it." So seeing did not yet totally convince them. Notice He had commanded them to touch Him, but Luke does not state whether they actually did touch Him. In any case they were still not absolutely certain He was not a "spirit." 

In John 20:20 we read "And when He had said this (“Peace be with you.”- Jn 20:19), He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord." 

Clearly at some point they touched Jesus (but recall they were with Him 40 days before ascending - Acts 1:3). For example, John records "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands (of course this could refer to the preceding 3 years with Jesus), concerning the Word of Life." (1 Jn 1:1)

Showed (1166)(deiknuo gives us English deictic) means to show something that can be apprehended by the senses, making clear by evidence, in this case the scars in His hands and feet. Friberg -  (1) as drawing attention to something point out, show, cause to see (Acts 7.3); (2) as exhibiting something show, cause to be seen (Jn 2.18); (3) as indicating something verbally teach, explain, demonstrate (Acts 10.28)

Deiknuo - 11v - Matt. 4:8; Matt. 8:4; Matt. 16:21; Mk. 1:44; Mk. 14:15; Lk. 4:5; Lk. 5:14; Lk. 20:24; Lk. 22:12; Lk. 24:40; Jn. 2:18; Jn. 5:20; Jn. 10:32; Jn. 14:8; Jn. 14:9; Jn. 20:20; Acts 7:3; Acts 10:28; 1 Co. 12:31; 1 Tim. 6:15; Heb. 8:5; Jas. 2:18; Jas. 3:13; Rev. 1:1; Rev. 4:1; Rev. 17:1; Rev. 21:9; Rev. 21:10; Rev. 22:1; Rev. 22:6; Rev. 22:8

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)

Gilbrant - At least one of them, John, had been present at the Crucifixion. John 19:25-27 tells of Jesus' asking "the disciple... whom he loved" to take care of His mother. John had watched as the Roman soldiers drove the crucifixion nails through the hands and feet of his Master. Now he could observe the fresh scars caused by His death on Calvary. The "hands" would include the wrist area, through which the nails would have been driven, attaching the hands to the wood of the cross. Some scholars believe the feet were nailed separately; others, that the feet were crossed, and one nail put through them. At any rate, both feet would bear the scars. (The Complete Biblical Library – Luke)

QUESTION - What is Docetism?

Docetism was an early Christian heresy that promoted a false view of Jesus’ humanity. The word Docetism comes from the Greek dokein, which meant “to seem”; according to Docetism, Jesus Christ only seemed to have a human body like ours.

Docetism allowed that Jesus may have been in some way divine, but it denied His full humanity. Hardcore Docetists taught that Jesus was only a phantasm or an illusion, appearing to be human but having no body at all. Other forms of Docetism taught that Jesus had a “heavenly” body of some type but not a real, natural body of flesh. Docetism was closely related to Gnosticism, which viewed physical matter as inherently evil and spiritual substance as inherently good.

The problem with Docetism is that it denies the core truths of the gospel, namely, the death and resurrection of Christ. If Jesus did not have a real body, then He did not really die (Docetism teaches that His suffering on the cross was mere illusion). And, if Jesus had no physical body, He could not have risen bodily from the dead. Without the actual death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have no salvation, we are still in our sins, and our faith is futile (1 Corinthians 15:17). Docetism also denies the ascension of Christ (since He had no real body to make the ascent).

On the matter of Jesus’ humanity, the Bible could not be clearer. Jesus went out of His way to prove His bodily resurrection to the disciples who thought at first they were seeing a ghost: “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have” (Luke 24:39).

The apostle John warned the early church against the false doctrine of Gnosticism, which embraced Docetism’s error: “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist” (1 John 4:1–2). Note the apostle’s emphasis on Jesus being “in the flesh.” Denial of Jesus’ humanity was heresy. John repeats the warning in another epistle: “Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2 John 1:7, emphasis added).

Early church fathers fought valiantly against Docetism, especially Ignatius of Antioch (c. AD 35–107). Ignatius rightly taught that, if Jesus had not actually shed His blood on the cross, then His death was meaningless. Ignatius saw that there was no possible way to align the deception of Docetism with the truth of Christianity.

Docetism must be rejected because it is not a biblical view of Jesus’ nature. In fact, Docetism stands in flat denial of biblical truth. Jesus Christ did not simply appear human; He was truly human, as well as truly God. He came from heaven and took on human flesh and bone, and He lived the life of a normal man in this world—a Spirit-filled man, to be sure, and a man who always obeyed the Father, but a man nonetheless. His suffering on the cross was real, and His death was an actual death. He shed real blood to pay the real price for our real sin in order to grant us real forgiveness.

He's Alive by Don Francisco

The gates and doors were barred and all the windows fastened down,
I spent the night in sleeplessness and rose at every sound,
Half in hopeless sorrow half in fear the day,
Would find the soldiers crashing through to drag us all away.
Then just before the sunrise I heard something at the wall,
The gate began to rattle and a voice began to call,
I hurried to the window and looked down to the street,
Expecting swords and torches and the sound of soldiers feet,

There was no one there but Mary so I went down to let her in,
John stood there beside me as she told us were she'd been,
She said they moved him in the night and none of us knows where,
The stones been rolled away and now his body isn't there.
We both ran toward the garden then John ran on ahead,
We found the stone and the empty tomb just the way that Mary said,
But the winding sheet they wrapped him in was just an empty shell,
And how or where they'd taken him was more than I could tell.

Something strange had happened there but what I did not know,
John believed a miracle but I just turned to go,
Circumstance and speculation couldn't lift me very high,
Cause I'd seen them crucify him and then I'd watched him die,
Back inside the house again all the guilt and anguish came,
Everything I'd promised him just added to my shame,
But at last it came to choices I denied I knew his name,
Even If he was alive it wouldn't be the same.

But suddenly the air was filled with a strange and sweet perfume,
Light that came from everywhere drove shadows from the room,
Jesus stood before me with his arms held open wide,
And I fell down on my knees and clung to him and cried,
He raised me to my feet and as I looked into his eyes,
Love was shining out from him like sunlight from the sky,
Guilt and my confusion disappeared in sweet release,
And every fear I'd ever had just melted into peace.

He's alive, He's alive, He's alive and I'm forgiven,
Heavens gates are open wide.
He's alive, He's alive, He's alive and I'm forgiven,
Heavens gates are open wide.
He's alive, He's alive, He's alive and I'm forgiven,
Heavens gates are open wide.

He's alive!
He's alive!
He's alive!

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?” (1Co 15:55)

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?"


While they still (present tense - continually) could not believe  it - Still is in a sense a "time phrase." After all the witnesses and now even the ultimate witness of His body before them. Still they could not!  We've all experienced receiving good news of something when we had expected bad news and our first reflex is "This is too good to be true!" 

Not believe (569)(apisteo from a = without + pistós = believing, faithful) means literally without believing. To disbelieve, to doubt. Perhaps they still did not "trust" their eyes! 

Robertson on could not believe - a quite understandable attitude. They were slowly re-convinced, but it was after all too good to be true.

Geldenhuys comments that "Their joy was so great that for a moment it was even an impediment to their faith."

NET NoteThey 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). (See Luke Commentary)

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,”- 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,” (Exposition)

Morrison - Then a great joy, like a tide, swept over them. And they could not believe, they were so glad. Not long ago Christ found them sleeping for sorrow (Luke 22:45), and now He found them disbelieving for joy. Do not forget, then, that joy can hinder faith. It may be as great a foe to faith as sorrow sometimes is.” 

Wiersbe - Jacob had this same feeling when he got the news that Joseph was alive (Gen. 45:26-28), and the nation of Israel experienced it when God gave them a great deliverance (Ps. 126:1-3). Jesus had told His disciples that they would rejoice when they saw Him again, and the promise was fulfilled (John 16:22). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Matthew Poole remarks on because of their joy and amazement, “If they had not believed now, they would doubtless not have rejoiced, for faith was the cause of their joy. Yet the excess of their joy was the hindrance of their faith. So dangerous are the excessive motions of our affections!”

David Guzik - There were several times previous to this when joy hindered faith, in the sense of something being too good to be true.

  • In Genesis 45:25-26, Jacob could not believe that Joseph was alive because the news seemed to be too good.
  • In Job 9:16, Job said that if God would have answered him he would not have believed it.
  • In Psalm 126:1 it seemed too good to be true that God turned again Israel’s captivity.
  • When Peter was set free from prison in Acts 12, the church didn’t believe it (Acts 12:13-14). (Luke 24 Commentary)

Because (term of explanation) of their joy (chara) and amazement (thaumazo) - 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)

He said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" This event is reminiscent of the Lord's visit to Abraham in  Ge 18:1-8 before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

NET Note on Do you have anything here to eat? - Recall the disciples had been dining. 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.

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).

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!”

C H 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!” By David Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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?

Though we cannot see Him with our eyes, we can believe with our heart—He is Lord!

Luke 24:42  They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish;


They gave Him a piece of a 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 (sphazo), 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.

Related Resources:

John 21:13-15 (POST-RESURRECTION APPEARANCE IN GALILEE) Jesus came and took the bread and *gave it to them, and the fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead. 15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.”

Acts 10:40-41+ (APOSTLE PETER'S EYEWITNESS 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.


And He took it and ate it before them - Compare John 21:13–15; Acts 10:41. In sight of them. In front of them to show He was not a phantom or "ghost." This deferential act by Jesus was so that the doubting "Thomas's" among them (the real doubting Thomas would see Jesus a week later) would see this act as proof that He had a physical body. NLT paraphrases "as they watched." The point is that not only does it demonstrate Jesus had a real body but that this was the same Jesus, doing something with them that He did many times before.

J C Ryle on ate it before them - The speculative questions raised on this circumstance, about the capacity of our Lord’s resurrection body really to eat and really to drink, are most unprofitable and vain Let it suffice us to believe that it was a real eating and drinking, and not a mere optical delusion, or apparent eating and drinking, as some have ventured to insinuate. We need not inquire further. That it was so, Peter’s words in another place appear to prove plainly. (Acts 10:41.) The same remarks apply to the eating of the angels who appeared to Abraham. (Gen. 18:8.) (Luke 24)

Before (1799)(enopion from en = in + ops = the eye/see [cp optanomai = see, perceive with eyes, look at, implying not only the mere act of seeing but actual perception of what one sees]) means literally in sight, in front of, in the presence of. 

Spurgeon - That was proof positive that he was still composed of flesh and bones, a real person, and no phantom.  (Exposition)

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." (See Luke Commentary)

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+)

THOUGHT - A mighty practical lesson is involved in our Lord’s dealing with the disciples, which we shall do well to remember. That lesson is the duty of dealing gently with weak disciples, and teaching them as they are able to bear. Like our Lord, we must be patient and longsuffering. Like our Lord, we must condescend to the feebleness of some men’s faith, and treat them as tenderly as little children, in order to bring them into the right way. We must not cast off men because they do not see everything at once. We must not despise the humblest and most childish means, if we can only persuade men to believe. Such dealing may require much patience. But he who cannot condescend to deal thus with the young, the ignorant, and the uneducated, has not the mind of Christ. Well would it be for all believers, if they would remember St. Paul’s words more frequently, “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak.” (1 Cor 9:22.) (See Luke 24)

Charles Erdman - The appearances and disappearances of Jesus after his resurrection may have been mysterious or miraculous as was his walking upon the sea in the days of his previous ministry; but he gave his disciples to understand by every conceivable, sensible sign that he had risen from the dead in his actual, physical, human body. The theory that the resurrection can be explained as a hallucination, a vision, or an apparition is forever silenced by the testimony of Luke, the careful historian, the intelligent physician. Upon the foundation of the established fact of a literal, bodily resurrection, this superstructure of our Christian faith firmly stands.

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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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 24:44-49

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 (dei) be fulfilled (pleroo) - All things... must be fulfilled. No exceptions. Written is grapho in the perfect tense indicating they were penned in the past and stand written and remain in effect forever! This statement applies to all Scripture, for as Jesus declared “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." (Lk 21:33+). It follows that we can stake our life on the Scriptures. Note Law...prophets...psalms indicating that there is no part of Scripture that does not bear its witness to the Messiah. All Scriptures points to Him. This is the only place where this threefold division of the Old Testament is mentioned. 

THOUGHT - Have you begun to discover Jesus in the Old Testament or are you simply reading to complete your through the Bible in a year program. Stated another way, the entire Old Testament is like a giant "finger" pointing to the Messiah. J Vernon McGee used to say his goal was to discover Jesus on every page of the Old Testament. J C Ryle adds "There is a depth of meaning in the Old Testament, I suspect, with reference to Christ, which no one has yet fully fathomed." To which I say "Amen" for I was saved in the Minor Prophets!  (Luke 24)

Bruce Barton notes that "Many days may have elapsed between Lk 24:43 and Lk 24:44 because Jesus and His followers traveled to Galilee and back before he returned to heaven (Matthew 28:16; John 21). Acts, Luke's second book, reveals that Jesus spent forty days with his disciples between his resurrection and ascension. (Life Application Bible Commentary – Luke)

David Guzik - Jesus almost said, “I told you so” by reminding them that all had happened just as He said it would. (Luke 24 Commentary)

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. (The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary - borrow)

J C Ryle on these are My words - “You now see actually fulfilled, the words which I so often spake to you, saying that the predictions about my sufferings must be accomplished. You could not then believe that I was really going to suffer and afterwards rise again. You see now that it was true.”  (Luke 24)

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. (Borrow The Defender's Study Bible)

The Law of Moses - The Pentateuch, the first five books, Genesis-Deuteronomy. J C Ryle adds that "When our Lord speaks of the things in the “law of Moses” concerning Himself, there can be little doubt that He points to all the types and figures which were emblems of Himself, and specially to the sacrifices." (Luke 24)

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 prophets have some of the most striking prophecies of the Messiah - His suffering for our justification (Isaiah 53:1-12+), the date of His arrival in Jerusalem to be "cut off" or hung on a Cross (Daniel 9:25, 26+, cf Lk 19:42+), one-third of the nation of Israel will finally recognize Jesus as their Messiah (Zech 12:10-14+, Zech 13:1+, Zech 13:9+, cf Ro 11:26, 27+), etc.

The psalms - This would represent the wisdom literature - Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon. (e.g., Ps 2:6-12:, Ps 22:16, etc)

Life Application Study Bible on Law...prophets...psalms being fulfilled - His role as prophet was foretold in Deuteronomy 18:15-20; his sufferings were prophesied in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53; his resurrection was predicted in Psalm 16:9-11 and Isaiah 53:10, 11.

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.

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). (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

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). (Borrow The Defender's Study Bible)

Notice not "WILL be fulfilled" but MUST be fulfilled. God's Word prophesied it and therefore it must be fulfilled as He declared!

Steven Cole adds "The word “must” is the same Greek word that we found in Lu 24:7 and Lu 24:26, pointing to the necessity of God’s sovereign plan being fulfilled. Luke wants us to know that the death of Jesus was not an accident, nor ultimately the result of sinful men getting the upper hand. It was God’s sovereign purpose, in fulfillment of many Old Testament Scriptures." (Our Mission and How to Fulfill It)

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!   (Exposition)

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." (See Luke Commentary)

Must (1163)(dei) speaks of that which is under the necessity of happening, in this case describing a "divine necessity." God said it and that settles it -- it will happen! This is the same verb Luke used earlier quoting Jesus' declaration “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” (Lk 24:26) (Ed: Implies an affirmative response). 

Dei in Luke and Acts - 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

Fulfilled (complete) (4137)(pleroo) means  to make complete in every particular. Every jot and tittle will be fulfilled. 

Pleroo in Luke and Acts - Lk. 1:20; Lk. 2:40; Lk. 3:5; Lk. 4:21; Lk. 7:1; Lk. 9:31; Lk. 21:24; Lk. 22:16; Lk. 24:44; Acts 1:16; Acts 2:2; Acts 2:28; Acts 3:18; Acts 5:3; Acts 5:28; Acts 7:23; Acts 7:30; Acts 9:23; Acts 12:25; Acts 13:25; Acts 13:27; Acts 13:52; Acts 14:26; Acts 19:21; Acts 24:27

Related Resource:

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, 

Related Passage:

Psalm 119:18+ Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. 


Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures - Not only could Jesus read their minds but He could open their minds, both of which are proof of His deity. This verse also is a good reminder that we too must have our mind opened by the Spirit in order to understand these supernatural writings. (See topic Illumination of the Bible)

William MacDonald points out that 'Jesus opened their understanding to comprehend all these Scriptures. In fact, this is a chapter full of opened things: opened tomb (Lk 24:12), opened home (Lk 24:29), opened eyes (Lk 24:31), opened Scriptures (Lk 24:32), opened lips (Lk 24:35), opened understanding (Lk 24:45), and opened heavens (Lk 24:51). (ED: This would make a great sermon outline!)  (Believer's Bible Commentary - borrow)

J C Ryle on He opened their minds - We must not misapprehend these words. We are not to suppose that the disciples knew nothing about the Old Testament up to this time, and that the Bible is a book which no ordinary person can expect to comprehend. We are simply to understand that Jesus showed His disciples the full meaning of many passages which had hitherto been hid from their eyes. Above all, He showed the true interpretation of many prophetical passages concerning the Messiah. We all need a like enlightenment of our understandings. “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (1 Cor. 2:14+) Pride, and prejudice, and love of the world blind our intellects, and throw a veil over the eyes of our minds in the reading of the Scriptures. We see the words, but do not thoroughly understand them until we are taught from above. He that desires to read his Bible with profit, must first ask the Lord Jesus to open the eyes of his understanding by the Holy Ghost. Human commentaries are useful in their way. The help of good and learned men is not to be despised. But there is no commentary to be compared with the teaching of Christ. A humble and prayerful spirit will find a thousand things in the Bible, which the proud, self-conceited student will utterly fail to discern. (Luke 24)

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 Lk 24:31,32 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. (Word Pictures).

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!  (Exposition)

Henry Morris on open minds to understand - The Bible is not like any other book. While it is easy enough to be understood by the sincere and diligent believer, it is often incomprehensible foolishness to the unbeliever, for "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: … they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14). When Christ, by His indwelling Holy Spirit, opens our understanding, only then do we "understand the scriptures."

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.

Suniemi is in the present tense which "points to a continuous and thus lasting understanding. This means that the disciples now saw that the Old Testament stated prophetically the very things they had witnessed and were now witnessing." (Lenski) 

Keep on putting together the pieces until you see Jesus.
We'll never graduate from Spirituality 101 on this earth.

Matthew Poole -  'He did not open their understanding without the Scripture: he sends them there. He knows that Scripture would not give them a sufficient knowledge of the things of God without the influence and illumination of his Spirit. They are truly taught by God who are taught by his Spirit to understand the Scriptures. Christ gives great honour to the Scriptures. The devil cheats those whom he persuades to drive away from the Scriptures in expectation of a teaching by the Spirit. The Spirit teaches by, not without, not contrary to, the holy Scriptures.'

J C Ryle has an interesting comment - Cornelius à Lapide tries in vain to argue from this verse that the laity cannot understand the Bible without the teaching of the Church, that the Bible is not suited for the laity, and that the apostles had the knowledge of the Scriptures specially intrusted to them.—There is not the slightest proof that the apostles alone had their “understandings opened” on the present occasion. On the contrary, the context distinctly tells us that those who were here assembled were the apostles and “they that were with them.”—Moreover, the fact that our Lord opened the understandings of all, is a plain proof that all, whether apostles or not, require teaching from above, and that Christ is able, ready, and willing to give it to all, whether apostles or not, as long as the world stands. (Luke 24)

Scriptures (1124graphe from grapho = to write) is literally a "representation by means of lines" (Liddell-Scott) and in the NT refers to writing, all uses referring specifically to the inspired Word of God. There are 51 uses in the NT, and 21 are in the plural referring to the Holy Scriptures, while 30 are in the singular referring to portions of the Holy Scripture (Mt 21:42, 22:29, Mk 12:10, 24, 15:28, Jn 5:39, 10:35, Acts 1:16, 8:32, Ro 1:2, 9:17, James 2:23, etc). It is worth noting that the phrase "Holy Scriptures" conveys a meaning we dare not miss -- the Scriptures being holy themselves are the instrument the Holy Spirit uses to produce holiness in the readers, setting them apart from defiling sin and the profane world system and to the Holy God. It follows that no sinner can long read these living and active words without having some change in their life! Either they will be attracted to the supernatural "scent" of the Savior or they will not read the Scriptures for long. Since the Scriptures are the authoritative Word of God, one will either submit to Him or resist His authority (at their eternal peril). 

Luke uses graphe 11x but 3x in this one chapter -  Lk. 4:21; Lk 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. Remember that when you open the Scriptures, ask God to open your mind and remember what when Scripture speaks, God speaks!

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)." (See Luke Commentary)

Here are some parallel passages related to opening 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.” 

Adrian Rogers - Once your eyes are opened and your heart is stirred by claiming and embracing the Word of God, your mind is going to be enlightened. Psalm 119:73 says, "Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding so that I can learn Your commands." How often in my sermon preparations have I put down my pencil and bowed my head to say, "O, my God, help me to understand this. Lord, give me Your understanding." When we pray like this, our hearts are moved and our minds are enlightened to grasp, apply, and understand the Word of God.

Ian Paisley - Entrance Requirements for Christ's College 

       "Then opened He their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures" Luke 24:45

We have looked at the Crash Course in Christ's College. Today we ponder the entrance requirements for that best-of-all schools. All schools have their entrance requirements but Christ's College, is unique.

No education standards will open its doors. The most scholarly of humans, loaded with parchments and degree certificates cannot enter here.
No financial standard will give you enrolment. Money cannot buy either admittance to its halls or guarantee of instruction within its gates.

No testimonial will smooth the way to your enrolment. In fact human ability, instead of opening the doors will only bar the entrance.

The doors of the college only open to those who have first their understandings opened by Christ.

This is the prime prerequisite. Only the spiritual can learn Christ's College lessons. Only those who are spiritually quickened will be in Christ's college learning. Those with dull wits and feeble understandings opened by Christ become honours scholars in this school, while the learned of the world are debarred from entering and remain forever ignorant of eternal things.

Pray that Christ Himself today will open your understanding that you may understand the Scriptures. Such an opening will open the Bible mysteriously, miraculously and marvellously for you. Its Old Testament will become a New Testament and its New Testament a newer Testament. (A Text A Day Keeps the Devil Away)

Hebert Lockyer - To appropriate to the full all the promises associated with Scripture, certain definite, positive attitudes toward it must be constantly observed. For instance—
    • Our steps must be ordered by it. Psalm 119:133 
    • We must not be mere hearers of it. James 1:22 
    • It must be fully believed. John 2:22 
    • Obedience to its demands must be given. Psalm 119:158; Luke 8:21; 11:28 
    • The Spirit alone can unfold its truths. John 18:13; I Corinthians 2:10-11; Luke 24:45 
    • It must be grasped as a whole. I Peter 1:20 (Scofield margin) 
    • It must be accepted as the divine Word. I Thessalonians 2:13; Psalm 119:42 
    • We must daily search it. John 5:39; 7:52 with Acts 17:11 
    • Its awesomeness must be recognized. Psalm 119:161 
    • Remembrance of it is enjoined. Isaiah 66:2; Psalm 119:16 
    • It must not be handled deceitfully. II Corinthians 4:2; 2:17 
    • Its truths must not be twisted. II Peter 3:16; Jeremiah 36:29-32: I Peter 2:8 (All the Promises of the Bible)

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. 

Richard Mayhue - Turning On the Light

Scripture tells us that we need God's help to understand God's Word.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words (1 Cor. 2:12-13). 

Theologians call this 'illumination.' We use the expressions, 'It just dawned on me' or 'The light just came on' to describe darkened thoughts which later take on new understanding. God's Spirit does that for us with Scripture.

One of my favourite and most often uttered prayers as I study Scripture is, 'Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law' (Ps. 119:18). It acknowledges that I need God's light in Scripture. So do verses like, 'Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law, and keep it with all my heart' (vv. 33-34; see also v. 102).

God wants us to know and understand and obey. So He gives us all the help we need through His Holy Spirit. We, like the men to whom Jesus spoke on the road to Emmaus, need God's help: 'Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures' (Luke 24:45).


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.

To understand the Word of God,
Rely on the Spirit of God.

By Vernon C. Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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.


Illumination is the act of making understood, a lighting up or supplying with light, infusion of intellectual light; an enlightening of the mind by spiritual light. Simply put, illumination in the spiritual sense is “turning on the light” of understanding in some area.

Adrian Rogers - You can have a divinely inspired Bible in your hand and not understand it apart from (divine) illumination.

Martin Luther - If God does not open and explain Holy Writ, no one can understand it; it will remain a closed book, enveloped in darkness....Proper understanding of the Scriptures comes only through the Holy Spirit.

Tozer - The Bible is a supernatural book and can be understood only by supernatural aid.

Vanhoozer “The Spirit’s work in interpretation is not to change the sense [of scripture] but to restore us to our senses”

ENLIGHTENMENT - the giving of spiritual insight, freeing from ignorance and misinformation. (See Job 33:30, Ps 19:8)

Spurgeon - All the illumination in the world will not make a man see spiritual things unless the Holy Spirit opens his eyes

Spurgeon - The best interpreter of a book is generally the man who wrote it. The Holy Spirit wrote the Scriptures. Go to him to get their meaning, and you will not be misled.

John Piper - If God does not open our eyes, we will not see the wonder of the Word. We are not naturally able to see spiritual beauty. When we read the Bible without the help of God, the glory of God in the teachings and events of the Bible is like the sun shining in the face of a blind man. Not that you can’t construe its surface meaning, but you can’t see the wonder, the beauty, the glory of it such that it wins your heart.

Piper - We will never see the beauty of spiritual reality without God’s illumination. We will never see the wonder and glory of what the Word teaches without God’s opening the eyes of our hearts and giving us a spiritual sense of these things. The point of teaching this and knowing this is to make us desperate for God and hungry for God, and to set us to pleading and crying out to God for his help in reading the Bible

Piper - You can see many things when you come to the Word without God’s opening the eyes of your heart. You can see words and grammatical constructions. You can see logical connections. You can see historical facts. You can see an author’s rational intention. You can see some human emotions. None of that requires that God open your eyes in a special spiritual way. But what you cannot see is the spiritual beauty of God and his Son and their work in the world. You cannot see that God is infinitely desirable above all things. A blind person cannot see the sun, though he can know many facts about the sun and pass a test in astronomy with a score higher than a person who can see the sun. Knowing about and knowing by sight are not the same. Knowing that honey is sweet and tasting honey are not the same.)....In Ephesians 1:18 Paul prays this way. He says, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling …” In other words, “I’ve taught you these things and you have received them with your external senses, but unless you perceive the glory of them with your spiritual sense (“the eyes of your heart”) you will not be changed. (See also Ephesians 3:14–19; Colossians 1:9 with Col 3:16). Now these are Christians he is writing to, which shows that we need to go on praying until we get to heaven for spiritual eyes to see.


O blessed holy book, the Bible, for there is no other book one can read in which the Author Who wrote it is present with (in) you and ready and willing to explain what He wrote!

The Holy Spirit and the Holy Word operate together.

Spurgeon - If you do not understand a book by a departed writer you are unable to ask him his meaning, but the Spirit, Who inspired Holy Scripture, lives forever, and He delights to open the Word to those who seek His instruction”

Alexander Maclaren - He who has the Holy Spirit in his heart and the Scriptures in his hands has all he needs.

Thomas Manton - God’s mind is revealed in Scripture, but we can see nothing without the spectacles of the Holy Spirit.

Moule -  The blessed Spirit is not only the true Author of the written Word but also its supreme and true Expositor.

(Jn 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.

(John 16:13) “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

1Cor 2:10 “to us God revealed them through the Spirit” = Revelation was given to Paul by the Spirit. While there is no longer any new revelation, the selfsame Spirit gives illumination to all believers, and without His illumination we cannot understand the Word.

(1Cor 2:12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,

1Cor 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

(1John 2:20) But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.
(1John 2:27) As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

John 1:9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.

The Spirit illumines or sheds light on the Scripture.

Roy Zuck - Illumination is the Spirit's work, enabling Christians to discern the meaning of the message and to welcome and receive it as from God. Hodge states that obedience in the believer's life is the inevitable result of the illuminating work of the Spirit.

Adrian Rogers - When the Holy Spirit of God moves upon our heart, and He helps us to understand these things, then Bible study becomes personal communion with God…. It took a supernatural miracle to reveal it; it took a supernatural miracle to write it; and, it'll take a supernatural miracle for you to understand it.


(Ps 119:18) Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.

Piper - we must pray for it—“Open my eyes.” And if we would stay alive in God and be real and authentic and intense in our love for Him, we must be desperate to have this enabling every day. So pray, pray, pray.

(Ps 119:34) Give me understanding, that I may observe Thy law, And keep it with all my heart.
(Ps 119:73b) Give me understanding, that I may learn Thy commandments.
(Ps 119:125) I am Thy servant; give me understanding, That I may know Thy testimonies.
(Ps 119:144) Thy testimonies are righteous forever; Give me understanding that I may live.

Eph 1:18-19a “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, 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, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”

A. T. Pierson - If you want to understand the Bible, get on your knees … You will learn more in one hour of prayerful communion with the Spirit than in a thousand years in all the schools of human culture.

(Col 1:9-10) For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

(Ps 18:28) For You light my lamp; The LORD my God illumines my darkness.

Spurgeon - Oh, that Thy words, like the beams of the sun, may enter through the window of my understanding, and dispel the darkness of my mind!

Piper - We should pray …
1. That God would teach us his Word. Psalm 119:12b, “Teach me Your statutes.” (See also Ps 119:33, 64b, Ps 119:66, 68b, Ps 119:135). True learning of God’s Word is only possible if God Himself becomes the Teacher in and through all other means of teaching. 
2. That God would not hide his Word from us. Psalm 119:19b, “Do not hide Your commandments from me.” The Bible warns of the dreadful chastisement or judgment of the Word of God being taken from us (Amos 8:11). (See also Ps 119:43).
3. That God would make us understand his Word. Psalm 119:27, “Make me understand the way of Your precepts” (Ps 119:34, 73b, Ps 119:144b, 169). Here we ask God to cause us to understand—to do whatever He needs to do to get us to understand His Word.
4. That God would incline our hearts to His Word. Psalm 119:36, “Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to [dishonest] gain.” The great problem with us is not primarily our reason, but our will—we are disinclined by nature to read and meditate and memorize the Word. So we must pray for God to incline our wills.
5. That God would give us life to keep his Word. Psalm 119:88, “Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, so that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth.” He is aware that we need life and energy to give ourselves to the Word and its obedience. So he asks God for this basic need. (See also verse 154b)
6. That God would establish our steps in his Word. Psalm 119:133, “Establish my footsteps in Your word.” (Ed: First pray Ps 119:38) We are dependent on the Lord not only for understanding and life, but for the performance of the Word. That it would be established in our lives. We cannot do this on our own.
7. That God would seek us when we go astray from his Word. Psalm 119:176, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant.” It is remarkable that this godly man ends his psalm with a confession of sin and the need for God to come after him and bring him back. This too we must pray again and again....
How earnest was he in these kinds of prayers? How earnest should we be? One answer is given in Psalm 119:147, “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.” He gets up early! This is top priority. Would you make it that? (Open My Eyes That I May See)


2Ti 2:7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Ps 19:8b The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 

"The unfolding (opening, unveiling giving understanding of something otherwise difficult) of Thy words gives light. It gives understanding to the simple." (Ps 119:130)

(Luke 24:45) Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures

Adrian Rogers - When you begin to read the Bible, here's a prayer that you ought to pray - Psalm 119:18. When God opens your eyes you're going to see things you never saw before, you're going to hear things you never heard before, you're going to know things you never knew before because God the Holy Spirit is going to teach you.

Spurgeon - God, by his Spirit, brings old truth home to the heart, gives new light to our eyes, and causes the word to exercise new power over us, but He reveals no new facts, and He utters no words in any man’s ears concerning his condition and state. We must be content with the old revelation and with the life and power and force with which the Holy Spirit brings it to the heart. Neither must any of us seek to have any additional revelation, for that would imply that the Scriptures are incomplete.

Order out of Chaos (Tony Evans) – In Genesis 1:2 the Spirit hovered over “the surface of the waters.”Ge 1:3 God said, “Let there be light.” Light was not present until the Spirit of God hovered. Why is that important? When the Spirit of God hovers and the Word of God speaks, order comes out of chaos. That’s what happened in creation. The earth was “formless and void” before the Spirit and the light came (Genesis 1:2). Does your life ever feel formless and void? Ever feel empty, chaotic in your life? Guess when you move from chaos to order? You do so when the Word of God is mixed with the hovering Spirit. That’s not just reading your Bible; that’s asking God to illumine what you read and submitting your heart to it. Then God brings order out of chaos.  

Behold that Spirit of the Lord, who first of all moved upon chaos, and brought forth order; who now visits the chaos of your soul, and creates the order of holiness. Behold him as the Lord and giver of spiritual life, the Illuminator, the Instructor, the Comforter, and the Sanctifier.


The Word is the chariot of the Spirit, the Spirit the Guider of the Word.--Stephen Charnock

Warren Wiersbe - Illumination is the work of the Holy Spirit, and we must depend on him to teach us new truths and to remind us of truths we may have forgotten. When a congregation is “in the Spirit,” the Word comes forth with power and penetration. We experience what the little girl in London meant when she said to her mother, “Mother, is Mr. Spurgeon speaking to me?” The Word becomes personal....The blessing doesn’t come because we hear the Word; it comes because we do the Word. Anything else is pure deception. (God Isn’t in a Hurry: Learning to Slow Down and Live)


OUR NEED FOR ILLUMINATION - Tony Evans writes that "Before cable television came into my neighborhood, I used a television antenna. I had a workman come out one time because I was having problems with my reception. He said, “Your signal is strong, but your antenna is not pointed in the right direction.” The Word of God is strong. There’s no problem with the “signal.” But our heart’s antenna is often not pointed in the right direction. A lot of us are fiddling with our lives trying to fix them when the problem is that our spiritual antenna is not pointed toward God. Therefore, we cannot pick up the Spirit’s signal.

INTELLECTUAL KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT ILLUMINATION - While studying in the Holy Lands, a seminary professor of mine met a man who claimed to have memorized the Old Testament-in Hebrew! Needless to say, the astonished professor asked for a demonstration. A few days late they sat together in the man's home. "Where shall we begin"? asked the man. "Psalm 1,? replied my professor, who was an avid student of the psalms. Beginning with Psalm 1:1, the man began to recite from memory, while my professor followed along in his Hebrew Bible. For two hours the man continued word for word without a mistake as the professor sat in stunned silence. When the demonstration was over, my professor discovered something even more astonishing about the man-he was an atheist! Here was someone who knew the Scriptures better than most Christians ever will, and yet he didn't even believe in God. (Taking The Guesswork Out of Applying The Bible, Jack Kuhatschek, IVP, 1991, p. 16)

PARAKEET OR PARACLETE? M R DeHaan tells the story of visiting a retired pastor who had a parakeet named Gibby who would say things like “Gibby is the prettiest bird in all the world” but of course without any understanding of what he was saying. Many Christians go through the motions of Bible reading without the slightest idea of the actual meaning of the text. The truth is that it is better to read one verse in prayerful dependence on the guidance of your Paraclete (Greek for the Holy Spirit in John 14:16), than to rattle off a whole book from memory like a parakeet! We should all willing to ask ourselvslike Philip asked the Ethiopian eunuch “Do (I) understand what (I) am reading?” (Acts 8:30) When we read the Bible, we  should always ask the Holy Spirit, our Paraclete, to guide us and lest we read it like a parakeet!

Jesus As Prophet-part 2
Understanding Jesus
Jan 16, 1994

Pastor Tim Keller speaks of dianoigo as describing spiritual illumination

Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:45)

The reason he does it is because we’re spiritually blind. Let’s take a moment to define that. In Lk 24:45, it says, “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” The word opened is significant. As you know, this was originally written in Greek. The word opened is a translation of a particular Greek word. There were two different Greek words that could be used here. One is anoigo. One is dianoigo. The little word dia is the word for through. Anoigo means to open something like a door, something that already has a latch, something that already has a provision for opening. You use the Greek word anoigo with a door. Dianoigo doesn’t just simply mean to open. It means to break open. It means to bust open. It means to break in. You wouldn’t use the word dianoigo with a door unless it was a locked door. You use the word dianoigo with something like a mountain. “I opened the mountain with my tunnel.” It means to break through. Two different Greek words. Which one do you think Luke uses? You can just take a guess.

He will not talk about the human mind or the human soul like a door. He talks about the human mind or the human soul like a mountain: layers and layers of obstacles to the truth, impenetrable. What Luke is saying is the natural human mind, until Jesus gets to it, is spiritually blind. What does that mean? One illustration you can use is you think of the eye itself. Very often, as a person gets older, something develops on the eye called a cataract. A cataract is a clouding up or a misting up, an opaqueness that develops where there should be transparency.

That’s a perfect analogy, a much better analogy than other kinds of analogies to explain the human soul. God made the human soul with a transparency. We are different than the animals. We are different than the plants. We honor the animals, and we honor the plants as part of God’s creation, but they’re not in the image of God. What does that mean? They don’t have a spiritual faculty. They don’t have a capacity for truth. They don’t have a capacity for reason. They don’t have a capacity for a real, personal connection with Jesus, with God.

The Bible says naturally, because of sin, there is an opaqueness over top of our soul so that it has to be broken through. Another way to put it is we have cataracts on our soul. You can rub your eye all you want. That will not get rid of cataracts. You can rub it and rub it and rub it. You can wash it and wash it and wash it. That will not get rid of cataracts. There needs to be a medical intervention. Somebody who has skills you don’t have. There needs to be a surgeon. That’s exactly what Jesus is.

You think all you need is the truth. You say, “I just need somebody to inform me. That’s all I need.” You don’t realize the depth of your blindness. You don’t just need the light. You need eyes. You need someone to take the opaqueness off. That’s what the surgeon does. That’s what the medical intervention does. That’s what you need more than anything else. You say, “What do you mean by opaqueness? What is it?” The spiritual blindness is not a lack of reason. It’s very possible for a person who is totally spiritually blind to read the Bible and accept it, to say, “Yes, I see Jesus died for my sins. I think that’s great. I like that. That’s important. I believe it.”

To be spiritually blind doesn’t mean you can’t intellectually comprehend something from the Bible. In fact, it’s natural and normal for people, when they become Christians, to say, “Last year I became a Christian, but there was never a time in my life where I didn’t actually believe in the basic propositions of the Christian faith.” It’s very typical for a person to say, “I became a Christian last year, but there was never a time in which I didn’t believe in the resurrection, I didn’t believe in the crucifixion, I didn’t believe in the basic propositions of the Christian faith.” What do they mean when they say they became a Christian?

Here’s what they mean. The opaqueness is not an inability to comprehend. It’s not an inability to reason. It’s not a rational inability. It’s not some kind of operation of the mind. Jean Piaget talks about the various operations that develop as a kid gets older. You have sensorimotor development, six stages of it. You have concrete operations and abstract operations. He’s talking about the various sorts of mental abilities and logical operations and transactions you do mentally. When we talk about spiritual blindness, we’re not talking about any of that.

Spiritual blindness is not the inability to see the truth, but it’s the inability to value it, to appreciate it. The problem with that word is, in English, appreciate is a fairly wimpy word. There’s a song where it says, “Heavenly Father, we appreciate you.” Have you ever sung it? It sounds so wimpy, “We appreciate you,” but it’s not. It’s a good word, and here’s why. I’m going to keep with it. This is the heart of what this opaqueness is and what spiritual blindness is. The word depreciate means something loses its value. Therefore, it loses its economic power. It loses its clout. It loses how much it can influence.

If you get a diamond, it’s valuable. What does that mean? You can get things done with it. There’s value to it. You have a diamond, and you can go places. You can do things. You can get things for it. That’s valuable. When something depreciates, it loses value. When something appreciates, it gains value. The word appreciate, in the English language, can also mean what increases is your realization of the value of something, your realization of the power of something, your realization of the influence of something.

When a person says, “I became a Christian last year, though I’ve always believed, intellectually, in the Bible and, intellectually, in the Christian faith. Last year, I saw.” What does she mean when she talks like that? Here’s what she means. “I always knew Jesus died for me,” says a new Christian. “But I never realized I need to know Jesus loves me more than anything else in the world. I need to know that deep down underneath it I didn’t believe I’m loved. One day, last year, I realized what Jesus did for me is the thing I need most of all. It revolutionized me when I realized it. When I saw the value of what he’s done for me, I suddenly realized I don’t have to be like this. This is the root of all my problems.”

That kind of language means the cataracts have come off. She saw, but she didn’t see. Suppose I could send you back in a time machine. There’s nothing a stock analyst would rather have than a trip back about five years. Isn’t that right? Just go back five years, ten years, whatever. You’re back in time now, and sit down with the Wall Street Journal. You start to read the stock stuff. You’re sitting alongside your stock analyst friends. Of course, they’re there from their own time, and they don’t know what you know. They don’t know anything about the future.

You’re going down the list and, all of a sudden, you come to Microsoft. You say, “Oh my gosh, it’s selling for that! Hmm, if I buy a thousand shares of that, I’ll be a ‘quadrillion-zillionaire’ in seven years. I will do everything I can. I’m going to borrow. I’m going to beg. I’m going to do anything I can to buy everything.” You know what they don’t know. They go down all these little lines, and one of the jumps out at you. It says Microsoft. Why?

You can appreciate it. You know the value of it. You know the influence of that information. There’s information on that line. Nobody else can see what it means. Nobody else can see the significance of the information. Nobody can see that knowing that will make all the difference. They can’t appreciate it. They’re blind. They don’t have eyes, but you do. What does it mean to become a Christian? It means to look at stuff you’ve looked at for years and, suddenly, it jumps out at you.

You say, “What’s the matter with me? How could I have never seen the power of this? How could I have never seen the meaning of this? How could I have never seen the value of this?” That’s what spiritual blindness is. I know there are people in this room who say, “Of course I’m a Christian. I’ve always believed,” yet that’s never happened to you. You have no idea what that experience is like. You’re spiritually blind. You need to have someone break through. Break through, dianoigo, open.

Some years ago, there were two women I was counseling back in my first church in a little town. I didn’t know much about counseling. They both came to me within a week of each other, and they had the same problem. They were facing a very devastating loss in their lives. They came to a pastor. Actually, there were no counselors in town. People came to pastors back then because there was nobody else to talk to about their problems. They came in at various times. In both cases, I laid out a passage of Scripture and then I gave them a book. Same passage, same book, same basic theme.

Maybe a month later, I saw both of them. The one woman came back and said, “Do you know what? When I began to see what God has given me, what I have in Jesus, I began to realize if I have that, then I can bear the loss of this.” I could see she was healing. The other woman, same age, same situation, same Bible passage, same book. I remember she came back and she said, “Yeah, that’s very nice. I guess I believe it. But what good is that if I have lost the thing I’ve lost?” She was inconsolable. She was broken, from what I can tell, permanently.

What was the difference between them? Illumination. The same truth, but the one woman was able to appreciate the truth. She was able to see the value of the truth. She was able to sense the power of the truth. The other woman did not. Let me tell you what illumination means. You say, “I want peace.” Friends, until the goodness of God is more real to you than all of the threats around you, you will never have peace. You’ll be worried sick. You say, “I wish I could forgive the person who’s hurt me.” Until the forgiveness of God is more real to you than all of the injustice that’s been done to you, you will never be able to overcome your bitterness.

It’s a matter of illumination. It’s a matter of appreciation of the truth, because we’re blind. Do you want to overcome guilt? The truth of what he’s done for you has to break through. Do you want to overcome worry? The truth of how good he is has to break through. Do you want to deal with boredom? The truth has to break through, and so on, and so on. We’re blind. (Jesus As Prophet-part 2 - Understanding Jesus-Jan 16, 1994)

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, 


and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day - Undoubtedly this time the words "compute," for Jesus has suffered and He has risen on the third day. Indeed, fulfilled prophecy was standing in their very presence! 

J C Ryle on thus it was written - This is a general expression, signifying “It was written in Scripture that things concerning me should take place in the way in which they have taken place.” It was “written” that it should be so, and it was necessary, or “behoved” therefore that so it should be. If Christ had not suffered and risen again, Scripture would not have been fulfilled. The chief reference here, no doubt, is to Isaiah 53:1-12+. Psalm 22 and Dan. 9:26+. (Luke 24)

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. (Exposition)

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.

J C Ryle exhorts us to "ever glory in the cross of Christ (Gal 6:14+). Let us regard it as the source of all our hopes, and the foundation of all our peace. Ignorance and unbelief may see nothing in the sufferings of Calvary but the cruel martyrdom of an innocent person. Faith will look far deeper. Faith will see in the death of Jesus the payment of man’s enormous debt to God, and the complete salvation of all who believe." (Luke 24)

Related Resources:

Michael Ryedelnik - Jesus and the Message of the Old Testament

Plainly, Jesus considered the central message of the Old Testament to be messianic. Jesus revealed His view of Old Testament messianic prophecy in two postresurrection encounters: teaching the two disciples on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:25-27), and teaching "the Eleven" gathered in Jerusalem (Luke 24:44-46). On those two occasions, it was Luke's intention to demonstrate that Jesus understood the Old Testament to point to the Messiah.

It is evident in Jesus' emphasis on the word "all" in both those encounters that He believed the entire Old Testament predicted the Messiah. Jesus rebuked the men on the road to Emmaus for being slow to believe in "all that the prophets have spoken" (epi pasin hois elalēsan hoi prophētai, Luke 24:25). He explained the Scriptures about the Messiah beginning with Moses and "all the Prophets" (pantōn tōn prophētōn, Luke 24:27). He interpreted the message about the Messiah "in all the Scriptures" (en pasais tais graphais, Luke 24:27). He affirmed that He had to fulfill "everything written about Me" (panta ta gegrammena... peri emou) in the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (Luke 24:44). Jesus' emphasis on "all" shows that He saw the Messiah not merely in occasional isolated texts but in all the Scriptures. As Ellison observed, based on this passage, "The whole Old Testament, and not merely an anthology of proof passages, was looked on as referring to Christ Jesus." 

In reviewing these two encounters, two concepts become evident. First, Jesus believed that the messianic prophecies were sufficiently clear that the two disciples on the Emmaus Road should have understood their meaning. He chided them, "How unwise and slow you are to believe in your hearts all that the prophets have spoken!" (Luke 24:25). The implication was that the disciples should have recognized the events of the crucifixion and the reports of the resurrection as fulfillments of Old Testament prophecies. The prophecies were not so unclear that the disciples could be excused for their failure to understand. He did not say, "O poor men of faith, you could not understand what the prophets had spoken of me because they had not yet been given their full sense of meaning, their sensus plenior, until this very moment as I am explaining them to you!" As A. T. Robertson said, "Jesus found himself in the Old Testament, a thing that some modern scholars do not seem to be able to do." 

A second truth evident from these two encounters is that Jesus believed spiritual insight was necessary to understand messianic prophecy. "He opened their mind to understand the Scriptures" (Luke 24:45), demonstrating that divine enlightenment was essential to an accurate understanding of messianic prophecy. In addition to diligent study of messianic texts, the disciples could not understand messianic prophecy without divine enablement. (See The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic?)

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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Luke 24:47  and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

BGT  Luke 24:47 καὶ κηρυχθῆναι ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ μετάνοιαν εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη. ἀρξάμενοι ἀπὸ Ἰερουσαλὴμ

KJV  Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

NET  Luke 24:47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

CSB  Luke 24:47 and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

ESV  Luke 24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

NIV  Luke 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

NLT  Luke 24:47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: 'There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.'

NRS  Luke 24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

YLT  Luke 24:47 and reformation and remission of sins to be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem:

GWN  Luke 24:47 Scripture also says that by the authority of Jesus people would be told to turn to God and change the way they think and act so that their sins will be forgiven. This would be told to people from all nations, beginning in the city of Jerusalem.

NKJ  Luke 24:47 "and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

NAB  Luke 24:47 and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

MIT  Luke 24:47 and that repentance as a condition for the forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

NJB  Luke 24:47 and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

ASV  Luke 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

DBY  Luke 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all the nations beginning at Jerusalem.

BBE  Luke 24:47 And that teaching about a change of heart and forgiveness of sins is to be given to Jerusalem first and to all nations in his name.

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. 


And that... - Clearly this opening signifies that this verse is intimately associated with the previous passage and specifically with the words "Thus it is written..." (Lk 24:46), the writing Jesus refers to including His words in this passage. And so the NET Note observes that the "Three Greek infinitives are the key to this summary: (1) to suffer, (Lk 24:46) (2) to rise, (Lk 24:46) and (3) to be preached (Lk 24:47). 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.

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. (The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary - borrow)

Steven Cole comments that "Spurgeon has an excellent sermon called, “Christ’s First and Last Subject” (Or listen to the audio version) in which he points out that Jesus began His ministry preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 4:17) and He ends it by telling the disciples to proclaim repentance (Lk 24:47).  Thus repentance is the keynote of His ministry. Some argue that to preach repentance to sinners is to add works to faith alone. They say that all that is necessary for salvation is to believe in Christ; repentance may come later, but we cannot demand it before faith. Others define repentance as simply changing one’s mind about Christ. Before the person did not think that Jesus was God; when he repents, he changes his mind to thinking that He is God. Both of these views are inadequate. Repentance means to turn to God from our sin. It is not separate from saving faith, but it is the flip side of saving faith, so that it is often used interchangeably for it (here; Ac 2:38; Ac 3:19; Ac 5:31; Ac 11:18; Ac 20:21; Ac 26:18, Ac 26:20). Spurgeon (in the sermon mentioned) draws out four aspects of true repentance: illumination, where God opens our eyes to the horrible enormity of our sin; humiliation, where we lay aside our pride in our own merit and plead with God for mercy; detestation, where we begin to hate our sin; and, transformation, where we leave the sin we formerly loved, not just outwardly, but in our hearts. While God imparts repentance and saving faith at the point of salvation, we do not leave it there. It is a lifelong process for the believer. As J. C. Ryle puts it, "Repentance and remission are not mere elementary truths, and milk for babes. The highest standard of sanctity is nothing more than a continual growth in practical knowledge of these two points. The brightest saint is the man who has the most heart-searching sense of his own sinfulness, and the liveliest sense of his own complete acceptance in Christ (Expository Thoughts on the Gospels,Luke 24). How can a person who has a hard heart toward God, a person who is blinded by pride in his own goodness, a person who is dead in transgressions and sins, repent? Is he supposed to turn inward and work it up somehow? That would be impossible! The Bible clearly states that while it is our duty to repent (Ac 17:30), God must grant repentance (Ac 5:31; Ac 11:18). If you lack a repentant heart, ask God to give you one. Keep asking until He grants it. When He does, you will not boast in your repentance, but only in God’s free grace. (Luke 24:44-49)

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 Resource

Disciple's Study Bible - Repentance and forgiveness of sins go together. God forgives only those who repent.

MacArthur - 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).

Steven Cole - Forgiveness of sins is the first and foremost need of every person who has sinned against God. Sinners do not first need to know how to patch up their broken marriages. They don’t first need to know how to succeed in life. They certainly do not first need to know how to improve their self-esteem! Sinners need to know how they can obtain forgiveness from God. God’s answer is, sinners will be forgiven when they repent of their sins and trust in Christ’s blood that was shed on the cross. Such forgiveness is not partial; it is total. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1Jn 1:7; Heb 10:10-18). The forgiven sinner who has trusted in Christ’s shed blood need never fear that God will bring up some hidden sin at the judgment. As Paul proclaims, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (Ro 8:33-34). Thus nothing can separate us from God’s great love in Christ (Ro 8:35-39)! God’s forgiveness in Christ is granted instantly at the moment the sinner repents and turns to Jesus Christ for pardon. It is not based on our earning it by our penance or merit over time. It is granted by His free and abundant grace. Because God grants it by His grace and because He has promised never to take back His gift, it will never be rescinded. You don’t have to worry about a recall! Further, God’s forgiveness is offered to the worst of sinners. Jesus told the disciples to proclaim this message of forgiveness “beginning from Jerusalem” (Lu 24:47). What had just happened in Jerusalem? They had killed their Messiah! In spite of repeated warnings and the evidence of repeated miracles, the religious leaders in Jerusalem had wickedly murdered the Lord of glory! Surely the disciples weren’t hearing the Lord correctly? “Jerusalem? You want us to proclaim forgiveness of sins in this sinful city?” Yes, thank God, His judgment on that city was delayed! The Lord’s words, “beginning at Jerusalem,” tell us that there is no sinner that God cannot save. Our mission is to offer forgiveness of sins to the worst of sinners if they will repent.  (Luke 24:44-49)

J C Ryle on repentance for forgiveness - “Repentance and remission of sins” are the first things which ought to be pressed on the attention of every man, woman, and child throughout the world.—All ought to be told the necessity of repentance. All are by nature desperately wicked. Without repentance and conversion, none can enter the kingdom of God. All ought to be told God’s readiness to forgive every one who believes on Christ. All are by nature guilty and condemned. But any one may obtain by faith in Jesus, free, full, and immediate pardon.—All, not least, ought to be continually reminded, that repentance and remission of sins are inseparably linked together. Not that our repentance can purchase our pardon. Pardon is the free gift of God to the believer in Christ. But still it remains true, that a man impenitent is a man unforgiven. He that desires to be a true Christian, must be experimentally acquainted with repentance and remission of sins. These are the principal things in saving religion. To belong to a pure Church, and hear the Gospel, and receive the sacraments, are great privileges. But are we converted? Are we justified? If not, we are dead before God. Happy is that Christian who keeps these two points continually before his eyes! Repentance and remission are not mere elementary truths, and milk for babes. The highest standard of sanctity is nothing more than a continual growth in practical knowledge of these two points. The brightest saint is the man who has the most heart-searching sense of his own sinfulness, and the liveliest sense of his own complete acceptance in Christ. (Luke 24)

Spurgeon - They were told by their great Master what to preach, and where to preach it, and how to preach it, and even where to begin to preach it.”

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+)! 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+). 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+)

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.

J C Ryle on in His Name - This expression is the leading one in the whole sentence (ED: LITERAL ORDER IS "And preach upon the Name His"). It signifies, “By the authority of Christ,” and “Through the merit and mediation of Christ.” Both ideas are included. (Luke 24)

Steven Cole says in His Name means "by His authority and by virtue of everything that He is and everything that He did in His death and resurrection in fulfillment of the Scriptures. If you are sharing Christ and someone tries to argue with you, don’t join the argument as if it is your word against his word. Rather, point them to God’s Word. You cannot raise a dead sinner to life, but the name of Jesus can! “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12+). We are to go in Jesus’ authority, proclaiming who He is and what He has done. The subject of our mission is the person and work of Jesus Christ, who offers forgiveness of sins to every repentant sinner in His name."(Luke 24:44-49)

David Guzik on in His Name - preach the gospel in Jesus’ name means to:

  • Preach it under His orders
  • Preach it on His authority
  • Preach it knowing repentance and remission of sin come by the virtue of His name
  • Refusing to preach it in our own name (Luke 24 Commentary)

To all the nations - The Good News of salvation was for all the nations from the beginning (cf Ge 12:3 "in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."). 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)

Nations (1484)(ethnos) is used over 151 times in the NT and is most often translated Gentiles (93x), then nation or nations (67x). Ethnos is the Greek word for nations in Mt 28:19. 

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+)

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. (Exposition)

Steven Cole - Our Mission and How to Fulfill It (Luke 24:44-49)

A young boy asked his mother and grandmother to play with him in his new sandbox in the front yard. He equipped each of them with a shovel and pail, which they promptly put to use at his request. As the two women became involved in conversation, they began to notice that people passing by seemed very interested in what they were doing. It was then they realized that they had become so busy in talking, they had not noticed that the little boy had gone into the back yard to play—leaving them alone in the sandbox. (In Reader’s Digest, 9/86, p. 25).

It’s easy, as time goes by, to lose your focus on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. But if you forget what your purpose is, you can look awfully silly. It’s not uncommon for churches to forget what their mission is and to get involved in all sorts of activities and programs that do not serve that mission. Thus we must be clear about our mission as a church and how we are to fulfill it.

The risen Lord Jesus spells this out in our text. These words may have been spoken on the first Resurrection Sunday or they may represent a summary of what Jesus taught the disciples over the 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension. It was this teaching that transformed these men from being confused, discouraged, and fearful into bold, courageous witnesses who were willing to die for their faith and mission. Our Lord’s teaching here is not just for the apostles or for those in full-time ministry. Every member of Christ’s church is to be involved in seeking first the kingdom of God. We all must make Christ’s purpose our purpose. Here He spells out what our mission is and how we are to fulfill it. (Luke 24:44-49)

Steven Cole on The Scope of our Mission to the Whole World - We are to proclaim this message “to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem.” The word “nations” is the Greek ethne, from which we get our word “ethnic.” As you probably know, in the past 25 years there has been a radical new focus in missions, the “people-group” approach. Ralph Winter, who pioneered this concept, defines a people group as “the largest group within which the Gospel can spread as a church planting movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance” (Mission Frontiers, June, 2000, p. 25). In 1974, approximately one-half of the world’s population lived in unreached people groups. Today, just one-third are in that category. So progress is being made, but there is much work left to be done. One-third equals two billion people!

How this concept works, for example, is that rather than viewing the nation of Mexico as one nation, it is viewed as consisting of many different people groups who have different primary languages, customs, and cultural characteristics. To evangelize Mexico, we must see churches planted in each of these people groups. To that end, our church has adopted one group, the Durango Nahuatl, as an unreached group that we are committed to reach through prayer, finances, and other means.

To be obedient to Christ’s command, we need to send missionaries to these many unreached groups around the world. Even if we saw thousands come to Christ in Flagstaff, unless we cross linguistic and cultural barriers with the gospel, there will still be two billion unreached people who have no opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ. So we must have our focus on the lost people groups of the world. Pray for them to be reached. For years, our family has used the “Global Prayer Digest” (available from the U.S. Center for World Mission), a monthly prayer guide for the unreached peoples of the world. Support missionaries committed to reaching these unreached groups. Instill a vision for missions in your children. Be open to God’s leading you to go. We should begin in our Jerusalem, but our eyes should be on the whole world. By the way, we have a unique opportunity in Flagstaff, with over 400 international students in our town. If we neglect reaching out to them, we are not obeying our Lord’s command here.

Admittedly, it is an overwhelming task! How can we possibly do it? The Lord tells us in verse Lu 24:49: (Luke 24:44-49)

YOUR PRAYERS ARE SAFELY STORED IN A BOWL - Revelation 5:8+ which describes "golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." Now observe carefully that the next verse (Rev 5:9+) describes "men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation." Can you not see the relationship between supplications in verse 8 and saved souls in verse 9? Clearly and mysteriously, our prayers for hidden people groups (see Ralph Winter in 1980 when there were 16000 hidden people groups) today will be effective in bringing souls to eternal salvation. Would you not consider storing up for yourself treasure in heaven daily for the rest of  your life (Mt 6:20+)? Can I encourage you to take a step of faith and believe that God will hear your prayers for hidden people groups and that one day in eternity you will meet those for whom you have been praying day after day, year after year? And here is an easy way to pray for the hidden people groups daily - bookmark Joshua Project or download the APP from Joshua Project and select daily notifications and you will receive a daily text reminder with the name of the hidden people group for that day. (see also Global Prayer Digest) Now even if I forget to read the full entry for the people group of the day, the APP allows me to never miss a day praying for lost souls who have never heard the Name of Jesus (Acts 4:12+) and His saving Gospel (Ro 1:16+). This is your "once in a lifetime opportunity!" Praying for souls is something we can only do now on earth and is an exciting, rewarding way to redeem the time on earth for heaven! Indeed, if you (energized by the Spirit) pray now, your time in time eternal will be marvelously impacted by the presence of those you took time to pray for in time temporal! Don't procrastinate! Don't delay! Bookmark the site and/or download the  Joshua Project APP today. If Paul were speaking to us today he might say something like this "So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith." (Gal 6:10+) Today is your "opportunity of a lifetime!" May our Father in Heaven grant you amazing grace by His Spirit to be energized and motivated to intercede for peoples you have never seen but will one day see in the presence of the Lamb Who Alone is Worthy (1 Th 2:19-20+). Amen.

Faith asks no signal from the skies,
To show that prayers accepted rise,
Our Priest is in his holy place,
And answers from the throne of grace.

“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven,
and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 

(Daniel 12:3+)

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.

J C RyleThey were to begin “at Jerusalem.” This is a striking fact, and one full of instruction. It teaches us that none are to be reckoned too wicked for salvation to be offered to them, and that no degree of spiritual disease is beyond the reach of the Gospel remedy. Jerusalem was the wickedest city on earth when our Lord left the world. It was a city which had stoned the prophets and killed those whom God sent to call it to repentance. It was a city full of pride, unbelief, self-righteousness, and desperate hardness of heart. It was a city which had just crowned all its transgressions by crucifying the Lord of glory. And yet Jerusalem was the place at which the first proclamation of repentance and pardon was to be made.—The command of Christ was plain;—“Begin at Jerusalem.”

We see in these wondrous words, the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of Christ’s compassion toward sinners. We must never despair of any one being saved, however bad and profligate he may have been. We must open the door of repentance to the chief of sinners. We must not be afraid to invite the worst of men to repent, believe, and live. It is the glory of our Great Physician, that He can heal incurable cases. The things that seem impossible to men are possible with Christ. (Luke 24)

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


Luke 24:48  You are witnesses of these things.


You are witnesses (martus) -  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.

Privilege always brings responsibility. The disciples were privileged to be in Jesus' inner circle but are now charge to be His witnesses as He declared shortly before He ascended stating that "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+)

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+)

THOUGHT- 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

As Warren Wiersbe says "A witness is somebody who sincerely tells what he has seen and heard...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. (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Steven Cole reminds us that we must ever be mindful of "our total dependence on the Lord if we want to fulfill the mission He has given us. Those who do not know Christ are spiritually blind, unable to see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2Co 4:4). No amount of clever salesmanship or persuasive arguments on our part can lift that spiritual blindness. We may be able to talk a person into making a decision (ED: I DID THAT ONCE WITH AN ATHEIST WHO CRIED AND CRIED AT THE NEXT DAYS EASTER SERVICE, BUT 3 MONTHS LATER WANTED NOTHING TO DO WITH ME OR MY JESUS! IT WAS A PAINFUL LESSON REMINDING ME OF Jn 15:5 and Acts 1:8!), but only Christ can impart sight to spiritually blind eyes. So as we share the gospel, we must pray that God would open the person’s mind to the truth of His Word. (Our Mission and How to Fulfill It)

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. (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

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.

These things - What things? In context the things that He has just stated - His death and resurrection and proclamation of repentance for forgiveness of sins (Lk 24:46-47)

Steven Cole adds that "Faithful witnesses don’t make up a story; they tell what they have seen and heard. And what they saw and heard in Jesus Christ was completely in line with what God had revealed in His written Word. Even so, our message is contained in the Bible. It is God’s revelation to us about Himself, about our sin and need for a Savior, and about the Savior whom He sent, Jesus Christ. We are not free to modify the message if it isn’t to our liking. We are not free to take part of it that appeals to us and skip the parts that step on our toes. Yet many popular preachers do just that. One of them tells us that if Jesus could speak to us today, He would not tell us that we are miserable sinners. Rather, He would tell us to be proud of who we are, to stop putting ourselves down, and to start enjoying the dignity that is our God-intended destiny. He says that God wants all of us to feel good about ourselves and that to be born again is to be changed from a negative to a positive self-image (Robert Schuller, Self Esteem, the New Reformation [Word] pp. 47, 58, 68). This man sells millions of books in Christian bookstores, and yet he is making up his own message, not proclaiming the message of the Bible. God’s Word is the source of our mission and message. (Our Mission and How to Fulfill It)

J C Ryle on You are witnesses of these things - If we are true disciples of Christ, we must bear a continual testimony in the midst of an evil world. We must testify to the truth of our Master’s Gospel,—the graciousness of our Master’s heart,—the happiness of our Master’s service,—the excellence of our Master’s rules of life,—and the enormous danger and wickedness of the ways of the world. Such testimony will doubtless bring down upon us the displeasure of man. The world will hate us, as it did our Master, because we “testify of it, that its works are evil.” (John 7:7.) Such testimony will doubtless be believed by few comparatively, and will be thought by many offensive and extreme. But the duty of a witness is to bear his testimony, whether he is believed or not. If we bear a faithful testimony, we have done our duty, although, like Noah and Elijah, and Jeremiah, we stand almost alone. What do we know of this witnessing character? What kind of testimony do we bear? What evidence do we give that we are disciples of a crucified Saviour, and, like Him, are “not of the world?” (John 17:14.) What marks do we show of belonging to Him who said, “I came that I should bear witness unto the truth?” (John 18:7.) Happy is he who can give a satisfactory answer to these questions, and whose life declares plainly that he “seeks a country.” (Heb. 11:14.) (Luke 24)

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  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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? By Marvin Williams (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Lord and Savior, Christ divine,
Reign within this heart of mine;
May my witness ever be
Always, only, Lord, for Thee.

God has left us in the world to witness to the world.

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.

"And behold, (idou) 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." - 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 (idou) 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. 

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 these 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+) (See The Holy Spirit-Walking Like Jesus Walked!)

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+ “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+ “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+. The first part of the verse is God's Sovereign work of grace -- He will cause us to walk obediently (Php 2:13NLT+ 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+ 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 - 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)

Steven Cole - To be clothed with the Spirit is a word picture that describes being surrounded and marked by the Spirit, just as your clothes cover your body and identify you to others.

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…


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)


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)


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)


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.


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…


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. (The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary - borrow)

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). 

Steven Cole - Here we are looking primarily at the power of the Holy Spirit that we need to bear witness of Christ. It is significant that the apostle Paul asked the Ephesian church to pray for him, so that he could proclaim the gospel boldly (Eph 6:19-20+).

and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (ED: WHO GIVES BOLDNESS? THE SPIRIT - cf Acts 4:31+, et al)

I wouldn’t have guessed that Paul was lacking in boldness, but he knew his own weakness and asked for prayer in that area! He asked the Colossians to pray that he could make the gospel clear (Col 4:4+).

 that I may make it clear in the way I ought (GK = DEI = MUST = HE FEELS OBLIGATED) to speak. 

Again, I would have thought that Paul of all people could make the gospel clear! Yet he knew that he must depend on the Holy Spirit when he proclaimed the gospel. He also asked for prayer that God would open doors for the word.

If Paul needed prayer for these things, how much more should we be praying for the Holy Spirit to empower us and provide openings so that we can proclaim the gospel to those who are lost! You have probably seen things on TV where they said, “Do not try this at home!” They mean, you could get hurt since this is a dangerous activity. The warning regarding witnessing is, “Do not try this in your own strength!” You need the Holy Spirit’s power!

Three concluding applications:

(1) Make sure that you can present by memory the basic plan of salvation, with appropriate Scripture references. If you do not have in mind a basic outline of the gospel, along with the Bible verses to support it, you cannot be an effective witness. If you’d like training, sign up for the Evangelism Explosion class. Get a copy of the tape by Bill Fay.

(2) Ask God to keep you focused on your mission. Don’t get sidetracked into the sandbox of secondary things while souls around you need to hear about the Savior. Ask God for opportunities to bear witness. Pray for world missions. Give to missionaries. Pray about being involved yourself in missions. All the junk we work so hard to collect is going up in smoke someday. The souls that we reach for Christ will be with us in heaven for eternity.

(3) Remember, your mission is to be a witness. Jesus didn’t call us to be champion debaters or brilliant orators or astute philosophers. He called us to be witnesses. The job of a witness is simple: he tells what he has seen and heard. Like the man born blind whom Jesus healed, you may not be able to debate theology, but you can say, “One thing I do know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (Jn 9:25). You can tell people, “I know that if you will repent of your sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, He will forgive all your sins. He did that for me. He will do that for you.”

Our mission: To proclaim repentance for forgiveness of sins in Christ’s name to all the nations. How we fulfill it: In the power of the Holy Spirit. (Sermon Luke 24:44-49)

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 (Lk 24:50), and as He was blessing them He was “carried up into heaven” (Lk 24:51). Mark recorded, “He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mk 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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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.


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. 

Related Passages:

Acts 1:9-12+  Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 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 as you have watched Him go into heaven.” 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.

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.

And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up (epairo) His hands and blessed (eulogeo) them - Where did He lead them from? Presumably they were in Jerusalem, possibly the "upper room." Bethany would be in the vicinity of the Mount of Olives which does not conflict with Acts 1:12. He lifted His hands was a common gesture associated with blessing (cf. Lev. 9:22; Ps. 134:2) that pointed toward heaven, from where all blessing descends.

David Guzik on lifted His hands - Nothing but blessing had ever come from those hands; but now, Jesus stands as the High Priest over His people to bless them. “Thus He remains until He comes again, His hands uplifted, and His lips pronouncing the blessedness of His own.” (Morgan) (Luke 24 Commentary)

Spurgeon - “If He has blessed you, you shall be blessed, for there is no power in heaven, or earth, or hell, that can reverse the blessing which He gives.”  (Exposition)

G Campbell Morgan - “While we see those uplifted hands, there can be no room for doubt or fear, when other menacing hands are stretched out to harm us or vex us. Whether in life or death, in adversity or prosperity, in sorrow or in joy, we know by that token that we are safe.” 

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. (The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary - borrow)

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)." (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

Bethany Bethany was village on the eastern slope of 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.

Lenski on Bethany - (This) does not, of course, mean that Jesus went to Bethany but only to that point on the Mount of Olives where the road forks, one branch going on to Jericho, the other to Bethany. It is noteworthy that both the agony and the ascension took place on the Mount of Olives; the places are located some distance apart but are still on the same ridge. Our humiliations and our exaltations often lie close together. Jesus and the disciples had often walked over this piece of road during these past days—think how they were walking it now! (Ibid)

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. (Exposition)

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.  (Exposition)

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.

Eulogeo - 38v - bless(9), blessed(25), blessing(3), giving a blessing(1), praise(1), praising(1), surely*(1). Matt. 14:19; Matt. 21:9; Matt. 23:39; Matt. 25:34; Matt. 26:26; Mk. 6:41; Mk. 8:7; Mk. 11:9; Mk. 11:10; Mk. 14:22; Lk. 1:42; Lk. 1:64; Lk. 2:28; Lk. 2:34; Lk. 6:28; Lk. 9:16; Lk. 13:35; Lk. 19:38; Lk. 24:30; Lk. 24:50; Lk. 24:51; Lk. 24:53; Jn. 12:13; Acts 3:26; Rom. 12:14; 1 Co. 4:12; 1 Co. 10:16; 1 Co. 14:16; Gal. 3:9; Eph. 1:3; Heb. 6:14; Heb. 7:1; Heb. 7:6; Heb. 7:7; Heb. 11:20; Heb. 11:21; Jas. 3:9; 1 Pet. 3:9

He blessed the disciples as He ascended to Heaven and now His disciples continue to be blessed from the heavenly places. 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+).

Steven Cole on blessed them -  The picture is that of the Old Testament priest blessing the people after offering the sacrifice for them (Le 9:22). We tend to think of a blessing as a nice gesture that doesn’t mean much in terms of actual consequences. But Jesus wasn’t just wishing the disciples well when He blessed them. His blessing was absolutely essential for them and for us, if we are to carry on His work. Without Jesus’ blessing, we can have large and successful ministries that will come to nothing in the end. We can build huge buildings and have thousands of people flocking to our church, but if we lack Jesus’ blessing, it’s all just wood, hay, and stubble that will be consumed by the fire of His judgment. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Ps 127:1). Do you covet God’s blessing on your life and ministry? Like Jacob wrestling with the angel of God, we should lay hold of Him and say, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Ge 32:26). God’s blessing means that the results of our labors are not in proportion to our abilities or efforts. The results have lasting spiritual impact that we never could have achieved in our own strength. In God’s work, His blessing means everything. Wrestle with Him until you have it! (Luke 24:50-53 Why the Disciples Rejoiced at Jesus’ Ascension)

Matthew Henry Concise - Lk 24:50-53. Christ ascended from Bethany, near the Mount of Olives. There was the garden in which his sufferings began; there he was in his agony. Those that would go to heaven, must ascend thither from the house of sufferings and sorrows. The disciples did not see him rise out of the grave; his resurrection could be proved by their seeing him alive afterwards: but they saw him ascend into heaven; they could not otherwise have a proof of his ascension. He lifted up his hands, and blessed them. He did not go away in displeasure, but in love, he left a blessing behind him. As he arose, so he ascended, by his own power (ED: ACTUALLY THE VERB IS PASSIVE, MOST LIKELY DIVINE PASSIVE, SO IT WAS POWER FROM WITHOUT). They worshipped him. This fresh display of Christ's glory drew from them fresh acknowledgments. They returned to Jerusalem with great joy. The glory of Christ is the joy of all true believers, even while they are here in this world. While waiting for God's promises, we must go forth to meet them with our praises. And nothing better prepares the mind for receiving the Holy Ghost. Fears are silenced, sorrows sweetened and allayed, and hopes kept up. And this is the ground of a Christian's boldness at the throne of grace; yea, the Father's throne is the throne of grace to us, because it is also the throne of our Mediator, Jesus Christ. Let us rely on his promises, and plead them. Let us attend his ordinances, praise and bless God for his mercies, set our affections on things above, and expect the Redeemer's return to complete our happiness. Amen. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly. 

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." 


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. 


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 - Parting is such sweet sorrow, but this parting came with a promise of "He will come again!" It is not surprising that the apostles had great joy instead of great sadness! "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. (The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary - borrow)

Charles Erdman - Jesus then withdrew from the sphere of the seen and physical to the sphere of the unseen and spiritual. He did not pass up or down through vast spaces of the skies. We are not to think of him as far away. He is an unseen, divine Presence, superior to the limitations of time and space, and capable of being manifest in any period or place. The ascension should make us feel that Jesus is near rather than far away. Jesus then assumed universal power; not at the time of his resurrection, but at the time of his ascension, he was seated “ on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” This indicates divine omnipotence. It is the continual representation of the New Testament that Jesus Christ has all authority in heaven and on earth. The ascension should therefore remind us of the limitless power of Christ. It was therefore at the time of the ascension that Jesus entered “ "into his glory.” Then it was that his body was transformed, made deathless, “spiritual,” celestial, immortal; and then he again began to share the divine glory which he had with the Father “ before the world was.” The ascension, therefore, is a pledge and type of the glory which yet awaits his followers. It is an assurance that he yet will fulfill his promises and will again appear; emerging from the sphere of the unseen he will be manifested to all mankind as both the ideal Man and as the Saviour of the world. (Luke Commentary)

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. (See Luke 1-24 MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

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). Carried away is imperfect and divine passive, "and was being borne into heaven," which pictures Him going up and up and up! 

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."

Parted...carried (1339)(diistemi from dia + histemi - stand) Friberg - (1) transitively (first aorist), strictly set at an interval from a former position; idiomatically literally set (the ship) at an interval, i.e. sail a little farther ( Acts 27.28); (2) intransitively (second aorist) go away, depart from someone (LkU 24.51); of a time interval pass (Lk 22.59) (Borrow Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament by Friberg, Timothy) BDAG - 1. to move from, separate from, or take leave of, go away, part; 2. to cause separation through movement, go on 3. to mark the passage of time, pass.

Only 3x in NT - Lk. 22:59; Lk. 24:51; Acts 27:28.

Uses in Septuagint - Ex 15:8; 2Ki. 2:14 (Elijah dividing the waters); Esther 8:12; Pr 17:9 ("separates intimate friends"); Isa. 59:2; Ezek. 5:1.Note that diistemi is used in Exodus 15:8 to describe the parting of the Red Sea ("the waters were piled up"). In Isaiah 59:2 it says " your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God."

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:

Jamieson, Faussett, Brown on He blessed...parted - Sweet intimation! Incarnate Love, Crucified Love, Risen Love, now on the wing for heaven, waiting only those odorous gales which were to waft Him to the skies, goes away in benedictions, that in the character of Glorified, Enthroned Love, He might continue His benedictions, but in yet higher form, until He come again! And oh, if angels were so transported at His birth into this scene of tears and death, what must have been their ecstasy as they welcomed and attended Him “far above all heavens” into the presence-chamber, and conducted Him to the right hand of the Majesty on High! Thou hast an everlasting right, O my Saviour, to that august place. The brightness of the Father’s glory, enshrined in our nature, hath won it well; for He poured out His soul unto death, and led captivity captive, receiving gifts for men, yea for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them. Thou art the King of glory, O Christ. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, be lifted up, ye everlasting doors, that the King of glory may come in! Even so wilt Thou change these vile bodies of ours, that they may be like unto Thine own glorious body; and then with gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought, they shall enter into the King’s palace!

QUESTION - What is the meaning and importance of the ascension of Jesus Christ? See video

ANSWER - After Jesus rose from the dead, He "presented Himself alive" (Acts 1:3) to the women near the tomb (Matthew 28:9-10), to His disciples (Luke 24:36-43), and to more than 500 others (1 Corinthians 15:6). In the days following His resurrection, Jesus taught His disciples about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).

Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus and His disciples went to Mount Olivet, near Jerusalem. There, Jesus promised His followers that they would soon receive the Holy Spirit, and He instructed them to remain in Jerusalem until the Spirit had come. Then Jesus blessed them, and as He gave the blessing, He began to ascend into heaven. The account of Jesus’ ascension is found in Luke 24:50-51 and Acts 1:9-11.

It is plain from Scripture that Jesus’ ascension was a literal, bodily return to heaven. He rose from the ground gradually and visibly, observed by many intent onlookers. As the disciples strained to catch a last glimpse of Jesus, a cloud hid Him from their view, and two angels appeared and promised Christ’s return "in just the same way that you have watched Him go" (Acts 1:11).

The Ascension of Jesus Christ is meaningful for several reasons:

1) It signaled the end of His earthly ministry. God the Father had lovingly sent His Son into the world at Bethlehem, and now the Son was returning to the Father. The period of human limitation was at an end.

2) It signified success in His earthly work. All that He had come to do, He had accomplished.

3) It marked the return of His heavenly glory. Jesus’ glory had been veiled during His sojourn on earth, with one brief exception at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9).

4) It symbolized His exaltation by the Father (Ephesians 1:20-23). The One with whom the Father is well pleased (Matthew 17:5) was received up in honor and given a name above all names (Philippians 2:9).

5) It allowed Him to prepare a place for us (John 14:2).

6) It indicated the beginning of His new work as High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16) and Mediator of the New Covenant (Hebrews 9:15).

7) It set the pattern for His return. When Jesus comes to set up the Kingdom, He will return just as He left-literally, bodily, and visibly in the clouds (Acts 1:11; Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7). (ED: AND TO THE MOUNT OF OLIVES - Zech 14:4+).

Currently, the Lord Jesus is in heaven. The Scriptures frequently picture Him at the right hand of the Father-a position of honor and authority (Psalm 110:1; Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 8:1). Christ is the Head of the Church (Colossians 1:18), the giver of spiritual gifts (Ephesians 4:7-8), and the One who fills all in all (Ephesians 4:9-10)

Related Resource:

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  (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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.

Jesus ascended to heaven that He might continue His work on earth.

By Herbert VanderLugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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,


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 disciples 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. (Exposition)

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. (The Gospel According to St. Luke: An Introduction and Commentary - borrow)

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 .

Steven Cole comments on our need for worship noting that "Christ’s representatives must worship Him before they work for Him. As I said, this is the first reference in Luke to the disciples worshiping Jesus. Worship should always precede work. Any work we do for the Lord should be the overflow of our hearts being full of adoration and love for Him. We hear a lot about burnout in ministry. One major cause of burnout is when our work gets ahead of our worship. When we feel that we’re just cranking out whatever we do to serve the Lord, we need to stop and get our hearts right before Him. The hands that Jesus lifted up in blessing were pierced hands. As the disciples gazed upward at Jesus, lifting up His hands, they would have been reminded that He gave Himself for them on the cross. That is the motivation for all that we do for the Lord (Ga 2:20). I’ll never forget the only time I heard the late Alan Redpath speak. He told us of a time when his ministry seemed to be prospering. He had speaking opportunities pouring in from around the world. It seemed that all that he dreamed about in ministry was coming true. Right in the middle of this time, he was laid up in the hospital with a stroke. His ministry came screeching to a halt. He couldn’t accept any speaking engagements. He couldn’t write any books. All he could do was lie there in bed. He cried out, “Lord, why this? Why now?” He said that the Lord impressed on him, “Alan, you’ve gotten your work ahead of your worship.” I thought, “This man’s work was the Lord’s work! He isn’t some slick TV preacher, with a shallow, self-serving ministry. He is a godly man.” But he said that he realized that he needed to put his worship of the Lord back in priority over his work. In a similar vein, Dr. John G. Mitchell wrote, “Just as much as we really worship, just that far will we bear testimony for Him. We cannot divorce real testimony from real worship” (Moody Monthly [12/79], p. 41). (Luke 24:50-53 Why the Disciples Rejoiced at Jesus’ Ascension)

Returned to Jerusalem - Which is what Jesus commanded the disciples (Lk 49:49; Acts 1:4). What does this teach us? The 11 were obedient to their Master, giving us a great example to imitate - obeying joyfully and praising continually, a good pattern to practice! They returned to wait for the Promise from the Father. Surely they returned not as fearful, trembling saints but as expectant, confident saints, fully convinced that every other promise Jesus had made to them had been fulfilled just as He had said. 

THOUGHT - Sometimes the Lord says wait as He instructed the eleven. Our pattern should always be God's work done in God's power in God's timing, and for God's glory. Let it be so in our lives Lord of Hosts, in Thy Son's great Name. Amen

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.”) (Exposition)


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. 

Steven Cole on joy - Luke begins with great joy at the announcement of Jesus’ birth and he ends with the disciples filled with great joy after seeing Jesus ascend into heaven. Joy is a theme throughout Luke, but no where it is emphasized more than in Lu 15, where there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents (Lu 15:7, Lu 15:10), and where the father of the prodigal says, “But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found” (Lu 15:32). As believers, we should be filled with great joy as we think often on the fact that Jesus Christ has forgiven us all our sins. Our joy is multiplied every time we hear of another sinner coming to repentance. As we saw last week, our mission is to proclaim among the nations the good news that if people will repent of their sins, they will experience God’s complete forgiveness. Our joy in knowing the Lord Jesus is the basis of our witness for Him. If you lack joy, I encourage you to read the Psalms every day and write down on 3 by 5 cards all of the verses about joy, gladness, and praise. Set your mind on the things above, where Christ is at God’s right hand (Col 3:1-4). He is there, having made forgiveness for all your sins, interceding for you, with all power and authority in the universe. Don’t rest until He gives you His joy. When He does, that joy will draw others to the Savior through you.

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.

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. 

Steven Cole - Usually good-byes are sad times. Thankfully, modern technology has lessened the impact of being separated from loved ones. A hundred years ago, if your loved one went to Africa, he would get on a boat and you would not see him again for months, if not years. But today, even if he goes half way around the world, he is still just a day’s flight from home. A hundred years ago, a letter would take months to go by boat to another continent, whereas now by email you can have daily interaction with someone almost anywhere in the world.

The most difficult good-byes, however, are those that are final in this life. When you know that you will not be seeing your loved one again this side of heaven, you are filled with sorrow at the parting. For this reason, it seems strange that the disciples’ response to Jesus’ final parting from them as He ascended into heaven was not grief and sorrow, but great joy. Luke began his gospel with the angels announcing to the shepherds concerning Jesus’ birth, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people” (Lu 2:10). Now Luke leaves his readers to ponder the thought, “Why did the disciples have great joy when Jesus ascended?” He wants us to ask ourselves, “Is my life filled with great joy because Jesus is ascended? Am I continually blessing God because Jesus ascended on high?” Jesus’ ascension should cause us to worship Him and rejoice because it signifies the completion of His earthly ministry....

Jesus’ ascension into heaven was the fulfillment of the prophecy that He made to the Jewish leaders during His trial, “But from now on the son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God” (Lu 22:69). There, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, He awaits the time that the Father has ordained to make His enemies a footstool for His feet (Ps 110:1; 1Co 15:25; Heb 10:12-13). As the writer of Hebrews (Heb 1:13) states, God never told any of the angels that they should sit at His right hand until He made their enemies a footstool for their feet. But of Jesus, the Son of God, He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of Your kingdom” (Heb 1:8). Jesus, the eternal God, took on human flesh for our salvation. The fact that He is now ascended on high, seated at the right hand of the Father, shows us that He accomplished His mission on earth. And that should fill our hearts with worship for Him and great joy. This is the first time that Luke has stated specifically that the disciples worshiped Jesus. And if Jesus is truly risen and ascended into heaven, as they witnessed, then we can join them in adoration and great joy. It means that our sins are forgiven in His name. We now enjoy reconciliation with God through Jesus’ blood. We now have hope both in this life and beyond the grave, because Jesus is at the right hand of the Father on our behalf, waiting that day when He will come again in power and glory to receive us unto Himself. We can worship Him and rejoice because His earthly ministry is completed.

Jesus’ ascension should cause us to worship Him and rejoice because it signifies the commencement of His heavenly ministry....The fact that Jesus is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, and that He has resumed His preincarnate glory, but now in a human body, gives us hope that He will take us to be with Him. In our resurrected bodies, one day we will share His glory. Jesus is the first man in glory, and thus we have the assurance that He will transform our bodies and take us to heaven to be with Him. 

Jesus’ ascension began His intercessory ministry for His people. Jesus is now at the right hand of God where He intercedes for us (Ro 8:34; Heb 7:25). This intercession involves not only presenting our petitions and needs before the Father. Also, He presents His blood in the very presence of the Father as the propitiation for our sins (Heb 9:24; 1Jn 2:1, 1Jo 2:2). Therefore we have continual access to God through Jesus our Advocate. Have you ever needed to get something done through a high government official? If so, you know that having a connection can greatly speed the process. If you know someone who has access to the top official you need to see, you can gain a hearing. The ascended Lord Jesus Christ is our connection in the very presence of God! Through Him we have access in the Spirit to the Father (Eph 2:18). Jesus’ ascension to the Father should cause us to worship Him and rejoice because He is there interceding for us. 

Jesus’ ascension began His preparation of a place for His people. He told His disciples that He went to prepare a place for them and that He would come again and receive them unto Himself, that where He is, there they may be also (Jn 14:1-3).

Jesus’ ascension began His present and future dominion over heaven and earth. Peter tells us that Jesus is now “at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him” (1Pe 3:22). Paul says that Jesus is seated at God’s “right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet” (Eph 1:20-22). And, yet there is a sense in which all things are not yet subject to Him (1Co 15:27-28; Ps 110:1; Heb 10:13). His kingdom is both present and yet future. Presently His enemies are not all yet subject to Him. But when He comes again in power and glory, He will conquer every foe and reign forever and ever.

Jesus’ ascension resulted in the pouring out of His Holy Spirit on His people. He told the disciples, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (Jn 16:7). Through the Holy Spirit, the disciples were empowered to carry on the work of Jesus, extending the good news of salvation to the ends of the earth. As Paul also teaches in Eph 4:8, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.” Thus the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to the church for the building up of the body of Christ (Eph 4:11-16). The disciples could rejoice at Jesus’ ascension because of His present heavenly ministry, which included the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on His people. (See the full sermon Luke 24:50-53 Why the Disciples Rejoiced at Jesus’ Ascension)

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 (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

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.


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.

And they were continually in the Temple - Note how this marks the transition of Judaism to Christianity, as it would not be long and they would no longer be meeting in the Temple but in homes. 

THOUGHT - Now where is the Temple today? Our body of course (1 Cor 3:16+ = speaks more of the local body of believers, 1 Cor 6:19-20+ = speaks of individual believers)! 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 us by His Spirit to praise the Name of Jesus throughout the day and see what difference that makes in our day?

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.  (Exposition)

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? (Borrow Be courageous Luke 14-24)

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.

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)

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)

TECHNICAL NOTE - The Western text (D it) has αἰνοῦντες (ainountes, “praising”) here, while the Alexandrian MSS (?75 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 ? 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)

"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. (Believer's Bible Commentary - borrow)

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 ? 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 (?75 א C* D L W 1 33 pc it co), it is evidently not original.

Steven Cole - The disciples went away from these 40 days of fellowship with the risen Lord, culminating in His ascension, with a new vision of the glory of Christ. John Owen, the Puritan theologian, makes the point that in some measure, all true believers have the eyes of their understanding opened to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ as declared in the gospel. He says, “Our apprehension of this glory is the spring of all our obedience, consolation, and hope in this world” (The Person of Christ [Sovereign Grace Publishers], p. 243, italics his). To the extent that we see the glory of the risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ, we will be filled with worship, great joy, and thanksgiving toward God for His abundant mercies to us. If you lack these things, ask God to reveal Christ to your soul. Seek Him in His Word and don’t rest until you find yourself continually gathering with God’s people, blessing God. (Luke 24:50-53 Why the Disciples Rejoiced at Jesus’ Ascension)


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.

2. WAITING (Luke 24:49).
3. THIRSTING (Isa. 44:3).

III. The Results which follow—

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.


  • 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.

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.

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 possib