Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
ANNOUNCEMENT TO THE
VISIT TO THE
5. Why, &c.--Astonishing question! not "the risen," but
"the Living One" (compare
and the surprise expressed in it implies an incongruity in His
being there at all, as if, though He might submit to it, "it was
impossible He should be holden of it"
6. in Galilee--to which these women themselves belonged
7. Saying, &c.--How remarkable it is to hear angels quoting a whole
sentence of Christ's to the disciples, mentioning where it was uttered,
and wondering it was not fresh in their memory, as doubtless it was in
"seen of angels," and
10. Joanna--(See on
12. Peter, &c.--(See on
APPEARS TO THE
13. two of them--One was Cleopas
who the other was is mere conjecture.
Emmaus--about seven and a half miles from Jerusalem. They probably
lived there and were going home after the Passover.
14-16. communed and reasoned--exchanged views and feelings, weighing
afresh all the facts, as detailed in
drew near--coming up behind them as from Jerusalem.
eyes holden--Partly He was "in another form"
and partly there seems to have been an operation on their own vision;
though certainly, as they did not believe that He was alive, His
company as a fellow traveller was the last thing they would expect,
17-24. communications, &c.--The words imply the earnest discussion
that had appeared in their manner.
18. knowest not, &c.--If he knew not the events of the last few
days in Jerusalem, he must be a mere sojourner; if he did, how could he
suppose they would be talking of anything else? How artless all this!
19. Concerning Jesus, &c.--As if feeling it a relief to have someone
to unburden his thoughts and feelings to, this disciple goes over the
main facts in his own desponding style, and this was just what our Lord
21. we trusted, &c.--They expected the promised Deliverance at His
hand, but in the current sense of it, not by His death.
besides all this--not only did His death seem to give the fatal blow
to their hopes, but He had been two days dead already, and this was the
third. It is true, they add, some of our women gave us a surprise,
telling us of a vision of angels they had at the empty grave this
morning that said He was alive, and some of ourselves who went thither
confirmed their statement; but then Himself they saw not. A doleful tale
truly, told out of the deepest despondency.
25-27. fools--senseless, without understanding.
26. Ought not Christ--"the Christ," "the Messiah."
to suffer . . . and enter--that is, through the gate of suffering
(and suffering "these things," or such a death) to enter into
His glory. "Ye believe in the glory; but these very sufferings are the
predicted gate of entrance into it."
27. Moses and all the prophets, &c.--Here our Lord both teaches us
the reverence due to Old Testament Scripture, and the great burden of
28-31. made as though, &c.--(Compare
Ge 18:3, 5; 32:24-26).
29. constrained, &c.--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.
30, 31. he took . . . and blessed . . . and their eyes were opened--The
stranger first startles them by taking the place of master at their own
table, but on proceeding to that act which reproduced the whole scene of
the last Supper, a rush of associations and recollections disclosed
their guest, and He stood confessed before their astonished
LORD! They were going to gaze on Him, perhaps embrace Him, but
that moment He is gone! It was enough.
32-34. They now tell each to the other how their hearts
burned--were fired--within them at His talk and His expositions of
Scripture. "Ah! this accounts for it: We could not understand the glow
of self-evidencing light, love, glory that ravished our hearts; but now
we do." They cannot rest--how could they?--they must go straight back
and tell the news. They find the eleven, but ere they have time to tell
their tale, their ears are saluted with the thrilling news, "The Lord
is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon." Most touching and
precious intelligence this. The only one of the Eleven to whom He
appeared alone was he, it seems, who had so shamefully denied
Him. What passed at that interview we shall never know here. Probably
it was too sacred for disclosure. (See on
The two from Emmaus now relate what had happened to them, and while
thus comparing notes of their Lord's appearances, lo! Christ Himself
stands in the midst of them. What encouragement to doubting, dark,
APPEARS TO THE
36. Jesus . . . stood--(See on
37, 38. a spirit--the ghost of their dead Lord, but not Himself in
thoughts--rather, "reasonings"; that is, whether He were risen or no,
and whether this was His very self.
39-43. Behold, &c.--lovingly offering them both ocular and
tangible demonstration of the reality of His resurrection.
a spirit hath not--an important statement regarding "spirits."
flesh and bones--He says not "flesh and blood"; for the
blood is the life of the animal and corruptible body
which "cannot inherit the kingdom of God"
but "flesh and bones," implying the identity, but with
diversity of laws, of the resurrection body. (See on
41. believed not for joy, &c.--They did believe, else they had
not rejoiced [BENGEL]. But it seemed too
good to be true
(Ps 126:1, 2).
42. honeycomb--common frugal fare, anciently.
43. eat before them--that is, let them see Him doing it: not for His
own necessity, but their conviction.
44-49. These are the words, &c.--that is, "Now you will understand
what seemed so dark to you when I told you about the Son of man being
put to death and rising again"
while . . . yet with you--a striking expression, implying that He
was now, as the dead and risen Saviour, virtually dissevered from this
scene of mortality, and from all ordinary intercourse with His mortal
law . . . prophets . . . psalms--the three Jewish divisions of the
Old Testament Scriptures.
45. Then opened he, &c.--a statement of unspeakable value; expressing,
on the one hand, Christ's immediate access to the human spirit and
absolute power over it, to the adjustment of its vision, and
permanent rectification for spiritual discernment (than which it is
impossible to conceive a stronger evidence of His proper divinity); and,
on the other hand, making it certain that the manner of interpreting the \
Old Testament which the apostles afterwards employed (see the Acts
and Epistles), has the direct sanction of Christ Himself.
46. behoved Christ--(See on
47. beginning at Jerusalem--(1) As the metropolis and heart of the
then existing kingdom of God:--"to the Jew first"
(2) As the great reservoir and laboratory of all the sin and crime of
the nation, thus proclaiming for all time that there is mercy in Christ
for the chief of sinners. (See on
Ac 1:8, 22).
49. I send--the present tense, to intimate its nearness.
promise of my Father--that is, what My Father hath promised; the
Holy Ghost, of which Christ is the authoritative Dispenser
Re 3:1; 5:6).
endued--invested, or clothed with; implying, as the parallels show
Col 3:9, 10),
their being so penetrated and acted upon by conscious supernatural
power (in the full sense of that word) as to stamp with divine
authority the whole exercise of their apostolic office, including,
of course, their pen as well as their mouth.
50-53. to Bethany--not to the village itself, but on the "descent"
to it from Mount Olivet.
51. while he blessed . . . parted, &c.--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!
52. worshipped him--certainly in the strictest sense of adoration.
returned to Jerusalem--as instructed to do: but not till after
gazing, as if entranced, up into the blue vault in which He had
disappeared, they were gently checked by two shining ones, who assured
them He would come again to them in the like manner as He had gone into
heaven. (See on
Ac 1:10, 11).
This made them return, not with disappointment at His removal, but
"with great joy."
53. were continually in the temple--that is, every day at the regular
hours of prayer till the day of Pentecost.