Page images


company made us astonished, which were early at the bv. 9, 10. sépulchre; 23 and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 24 And certain of them c ver. 12. which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 4 ought not ver48. Acts Christ to have suffered these things, and to d enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29 But they 'constrained him, f Gen. xix. 3.


xvii. 3. 1 i. 11.

⚫ see Gen.

xlii. 7.
Mark vi. 48.

Acts xvi. 15.

d render, have entered.

enter into His glory. It was not the
entering into His glory, but the suffering,
about which they wanted persuading.
27.] beginning belongs to both the
following clauses. A similar expression is
found Acts iii. 24. He began with Moses
first;-He began with each as He came to
them. the things concerning himself.
De Wette remarks, "It were much to
be wished that we knew what prophe-
cies of the death and triumph of Christ
are here meant. There are but few that
point to the subject." But I take the
things concerning himself to mean some-
thing very different from mere prophetical
passages. The whole Scriptures are a
testimony to Him: the whole history of
the chosen people, with its types, and its
law, and its prophecies, is a shewing forth
of Him and it was here the whole,—all
the scriptures,-that He laid out before
them. This general leading into the mean-
ing of the whole, as a whole, fulfilled in
Him, would be much more opportune to
the place, and time occupied, than a direct
exposition of selected passages. the
things concerning himself is right: not,
'the parts concerning Him.'
serve the testimony which this verse gives
to the divine authority, and the Christian
interpretation of the Old Testament
Scriptures: so that the denial of the re-
ferences to Christ's death and glory in
the O. T. is henceforth nothing less than
a denial of His own teaching.
29. they constrained him] It is not
implied that He said any thing to in-
dicate that He would go further-but
simply, that He was passing on.


render, without understanding.


day: the words are spoken not with-
out a reference, in the mind of the
speaker, to His promise of rising on the
third day.
22.] Yea, and . . . or,
but, moreover-equivalent to, certainly,
thus much has happened, that'.
of our company-literally, of us:-'dis-
ciples, as we are.' The Apostles are dis-
tinguished presently as certain of them
which were with us, ver. 24.
23.] This agrees exactly with St. Luke's
own narrative, but not with St. Matthew's,
in which they had seen the Lord Him-
self. There seems however to be some
hint that the women had said something
of having seen the Lord, in the "him
they saw not," said below of the "cer-
tain of them which were with us."
24. certain] See ver. 12 and note.
It is natural, even in accordance with ver.
12, that the antithesis to "certain women
before, and the loose way of speaking to a
stranger, who (they believed) was not
acquainted with any among them, might
cause them here to use this word without
any reference to Peter being accompanied.
But what wonder, if the reports of such
a day of anxiety and confusion were them-
selves disjointed and confused?
25.] The word rendered fools is more
properly without understanding:-slow
of heart, i. e. sluggish-in disposition-
to believe: these were both shewn in their
not having apprehended, from the fulfil-
ment of the sufferings and death of Christ,
the sequel of that death, the resurrection.
26. to have suffered . . . and to
have entered] The sufferings were the
appointed way by which Christ should


saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he

xxvi. 26.

John viii. 59.

a Matt. xiv. 19: a took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and b see ch. iv. 30. heb vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn [within us], while he 8 talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. e read, now far. I omitted in some of the early MSS.

e1 Cor. xv. 5.

g render, spoke to us.


blessed Saviour pretended that He would pass forth beyond Emmaus; but if He intended not to do it, yet He did no injury to the two disciples, for whose good it was that He intended to make this offer: and neither did He prevaricate the strictness of simplicity and sincerity, because they were persons with whom He had made no contracts; to whom He had passed no obligation; and in the nature of the thing, it is proper and natural, by an offer, to give an occasion to another to do a good action: and in case it succeeds not, then to do what we intended not; and so the offer was conditional." Jer. Taylor, Sermon on Christian Simplicity. Works (Heber), vi. with us does not imply that they lived at Emmaus; merely in the same quarters with us. 30.] I believe that there was something in the manner of His breaking the bread, and helping and giving it to them, which was his own appointed means of opening their eyes to the recognition of Him. But we must not suppose any reference to, much less any celebration of, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, Neither of these disciples was present at its institution (but see Wieseler's conjecture, which is at all events worth consideration, in note on ver. 13); and certainly it had never been celebrated since. With this simple consideration will fall to the ground all that Romanists have built on this incident, even to making it a defence of administration in one kind only. The analogy of such a breaking and giving with His institution of that holy ordinance becomes lost, when we force the incident into an example of the ordinance itself. The Lord at their meal takes on Him the office of


the master of the house (which alone
would shew that it was not their house,
but an inn), perhaps on account of the
superior place which His discourse had
won for Him in their estimation :-and as
the Jewish rule was, that "three eating
together were bound to give thanks,"
He fulfils this duty. In doing so, perhaps
the well-known manner of His taking
bread, &c., perhaps the marks of the nails
in His hands, then first noticed, or these
together, as secondary means,—but cer-
tainly His own will and permission to be
seen by them, opened their eyes to know
31.] he vanished out of their
sight does not imply His Body to have
remained, though invisible to them: but
plainly indicates in the original, besides
the supernatural disappearance, a real ob-
jective removal from them. 32.] Was
there not something heart-kindling in His
discourse by the way, which would have
led us to suppose that it was none but the
Lord Himself?' not that they did sup-
pose it, but the words are a sort of self-
reproach for not having done so. Com-
pare Matt. vii. 29.
he spoke to us,
not merely, with us,' as A. V.: it was not
so much a talking with them, as a dis-
course delivered to them. 33.] "They
have now no fear of the journey at night,
from which they before dissuaded their un-
known companion." Bengel. The whole
eleven were not there-Thomas was not
present. Some have derived an argument
from this incompleteness in their number,
for the second of the travellers being also
an Apostle; see above on ver. 13.
Who them that were with them are, we
learn from Acts i. 14.
34.] This
appearance to Simon (i. e. Peter-the

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


36 And as they thus spake, i Jesus himself stood in the d1 Cor. xv. 5. midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they i had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, e Mark vi. 49. Why are ye troubled? and why do k thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh John xx. 20, and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, & Have m meat? here 42 And they g John xxi. 5. gave him a piece of a broiled fish [", and of an honey




h render, his breaking. j render, beheld.

1 render, their joy.

n omitted by almost all the ancient authorities: see note.

other Simon would not be thus named
without explanation; see ch. v. 3 ff.) is
only hinted at here-but is asserted again,
1 Cor. xv. 5, in immediate connexion with
that which here follows. It is not clear
whether it took place before or after that
on the way to Emmaus. 35.] And they
-the travellers, distinguished from the
others-not they also,' for thus we should
leave the clause without a copula.
known of them in his breaking of bread]
That this should have been
So, does not
exclude the supernatural opening of their
eyes see above, on ver. 31.


read, he.
krender, reasonings.
mi.e. food.

36-49.] APPEARANCE OF JESUS TO THE DISCIPLES. Mark xvi. 14. John xx. 19-23. The identity of these appearances need hardly be insisted on. On St. Mark's narrative, see notes there. That of St. John presents no difficulties, on one supposition, that he had not seen this of St. Luke. The particulars related by him are mostly additional, but not altogether so. 36.] stood in the midst of themwhile they were speaking of these things, -possibly not entirely crediting the account, as seems hinted at in Mark xvi. 13, -the Lord appeared, the doors being shut, in the midst (John xx. 19 and notes). Peace be unto you, the ordinary Jewish salutation, see ch. x. 5, but of more than ordinary meaning in the mouth of the Lord: see John xiv. 27. On account of His sudden appearance, and the likeness to one whom they knew to VOL. I.


have been dead.

a spirit is a ghost or spectre-an appearance of the dead to the living; not exactly as "a phantasm," Matt. xiv. 26, which might have been any appearance of a supernatural kind. 38.] Not merely thoughts,' as A. V., but reasonings, questionings. 39.] There seems to be some doubt whether the reference to His hands and feet were on account of the marks of the nails, to prove His identity,-or as being the uncovered parts of His body, and to prove his corporeity. Both views seem supported by the text, and I think both were united. The sight of the Hands and Feet, which they recognized as His, might at once convince them of the reality of the appearance, and the identity of the Person. The account of St. John confirms the idea that He showed them the marks of the nails, both by His side being added, and by the expressions of Thomas which followed. The same seems also implied in our ver. 40. The assertion of the Lord must not be taken as representing merely the popular notion concerning spirits' (Dr. Burton); He who is the Truth, does not speak thus of that which He knows, and has created. He declares to us the truth, that those appearances to which He was now likened by the disciples, and spirits in general, have not flesh and bones. Observe flesh and bones-but not blood. This the resurrection Body probably had not, as being the animal life::-see notes on John vi. 51,


[ocr errors]

h Acts x. 41. comb]. 43 h And he took it, and did eat before them. 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 and said unto them, piThus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise

i Acts xvii. 3. k Dan. ix. 24,

ver. 26.

Acts xiii. 38,

46. 1 John

ii. 12.

1 John xv. 27.

Acts 1. 8. 22: from the dead the third day: 47 and that repentance and

ii. 32: iii. 15.

m Isa. xliv. 3.

k remission of sins should be preached in his name among nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 [ And] 1ye are


Joel ii. 28. John xiv. 16,

25: xv. 20:

xvi 7.

Acts 1.4: i. witnesses of these things. 49 And, m behold, I send the

1, &c.

• read, my.

P read, Thus it is written that Christ should suffer, and should. . ¶ render, the nations.




and John xx. 27. 42.] This was done further to convince them of his real corporeity. The omission of the words and of an honeycomb in the best MSS. is remarkable see var. readd. It may possibly have arisen from an idea in some transcriber that this meal is the same as that in John xxi. 9. The words could hardly have been an interpolation. 44.] Certainly, from the form of the beginning of this verse, which implies immediate sequence, St. Luke, at the time of writing his Gospel, was not in possession of records of any Galilæan appearances of the Lord, nor indeed of any later than this one. That he corrects this in Acts i., shews him meantime to have become acquainted with some other sources of information, not however perhaps including the Galilæan appearThe following discourse apparently contains a summary of many things said during the last forty days before the ascension; they cannot have been said on this evening;-for after the command in ver. 49, the disciples would not have gone away into Galilee. Whether the Evangelist regarded it as a summary, is to me extremely doubtful. Knowing apparently of no Galilæan appearances, he seems to relate the command of ver. 49, both here and in the Acts, as intended to apply to the whole time between the Resurrection and the Ascension. These are my words . . . i. e. 'behold the realization of My words,' &c. which I spake: see ch. xviii. 31-33; xxii. 37; Matt. xxvi. 56 al.; but doubtless He had often said things to them on these matters, which have not been recorded for us. So in John x. 25, we have perhaps a reference


to a saying not recorded. This threefold division of the O. T. is the ordinary Jewish one, into the Law, Prophets, and Hagiographa, the first containing the Pentateuch;-the second Joshua, Judges, the four books of Kings, and the Prophets, except Daniel;-the third the Psalms, and all the rest of the canonical books:Daniel, Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah being reckoned as one book, and the Chronicles closing the canon. 47.] The substance of the preaching of the Gospel literally corresponded to this description— see Acts ii. 38: "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,”—were the words of the first sermon preached at Jerusalem. 48. ye] From what follows, Acts i. 22, if these words are to be taken in their strict sense, they must have been spoken only to the Apostles;-they may however have been more general, and said to all present. 49.] This promise is explained (Acts i. 5) to be the baptism with the Holy Ghost,-and the time is limited to not many days hence.' I send (the I is emphatic)] The procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son is clearly here declared, as well as that from the Father. And consequently we find St. Peter, in Acts ii. 33, referring back to these very words, in ascribing the outpouring of the Spirit to the now exalted Saviour. In that verse, the "I" of this is filled up by "being by the right hand of God exalted"-the proper supplement of it here also. The promise itself is not found in the three Gospels, but expressly and frequently in John xiv.-xvi. : see xiv. 16-26; xv. 26; xvi. 7—11, 13, 14.

11. Mark xvi. 19.

promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city [ of Jerusalem], until ye be tendued with power from on high. 50 And he led them out "as far as to Bethany, n Acts i. 12. and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it ° 2 Kings ii. came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from Eph. them, and carried up into heaven. 52 P And they wor- P Matt. xxviii. shipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 and were continually in the temple, praising and Arts. 20: blessing God. [ Amen.]

iv. 8.

9, 17,

v. 42.

s omit.

trender, clothed.

The present, I send, is not equivalent to a future, but implies that the actual work is done, and the state brought in, by which that sending is accomplished; -viz. the giving of the "all power in heaven and earth," Matt. xxviii. 18. The words "of Jerusalem" have probably been interpolated by some who, believing these words to represent the Galilæan discourse, placed it here for an explanation or perhaps Acts i. 4 gave occasion to it. This command must have been (historically) uttered after the return from Galilee: see above. be clothed with] The verb here has its full meaning, of abiding upon and characterizing, as a garment does the person. This, as Stier remarks, was the true and complete clothing of the nakedness of the Fall. 50.] The Ascension appears to be related as taking place after the above words were spoken-but there is an uncertainty and want of specification about the narrative, which forbids us to conclude that it is intended as following immediately upon them. This, however, can only be said as taking the other Gospels and Acts i. into account: if we had none but the Gospel of St. Luke, we should certainly say that the Lord ascended after the appearance to the Apostles and others, on the evening of the day of His resurrection. he led them out, i. e. probably, from the words "in the city just having occurred, outside Jerusalem: but the "out" might only apply to the house in which they were: see Matt. xxvi. 75. far as to Bethany-not quite to the village itself, but over the brow of the Mount of Olives, where it descends on Bethany see Acts i. 12. (The synonymousness of these two expressions may shew that the same is meant, when, Mark xi. 11, our Lord is said to have gone out at night to Bethany, and Luke xxi. 37, to the Mount of Olives.) 51.] he was




a omitted by several ancient authorities. parted from them-not,' He went a little distance from them previous to His ascension,'- -as Meyer would interpret it; but the two verbs belong to one and the same incident, he was parted from them and borne up into heaven. We need not understand, by an angel,' or 'by a cloud;' the absolute passive is best.


The tense is imperfect, signifying the continuance of the going up during the "worshipping" of the next verse. The more particular account of the Ascension is given Acts i. 9-12, where see notes. That account is in perfect accordance with this, but supplementary to it. 52. they worshipped him] This had been done before by the women, Matt. xxviii. 9, and by the disciples on the mountain in Galilee. This however was a more solemn act of worship, now paid to Him as exalted to God's right hand. 53.] continually,-not all their time;'-daily, at the hours of prayer: see Acts i. 13, 14; iii. 1.


A few words must be appended here in vindication of THE CIRCUMSTANCES THE ASCENSION. To those who doubt the fact of an Ascension at all, I have nothing to say, standing as I do altogether on different ground from them.

The Lord Himself foretold His Ascension, John vi. 62; xx. 17:-it was immediately after His disappearance from the earth expressly announced by the Apostles, Acts ii. 33, 34; v. 31:-continued to be an article of their preaching and teaching, 1 Pet. iii. 22; Eph. ii. 6; iv. 10; 1 Tim. iii. 16. So far should we have been assured of it, even had we not possessed the testimonies of St. Luke here and in the Acts:-for the fragment superadded to the Gospel of St. Mark merely states the fact, not the manner of it. But, to take first the à priori view,-is it probable that our Lord would have left so weighty a fact in His history on earth, without witnesses? And might we not

« PreviousContinue »