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The Commentary on the Whole Bible on Luke 24:13-35

Luke 24:13-35. Christ Appears to the Two Going to Emmaus.

13. two of them—One was Cleopas (Lu 24:18); 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 Lu 24:18-24.

drew near—coming up behind them as from Jerusalem.

eyes holden—Partly He was "in another form" (Mr 16:12), 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 traveler 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 wished.

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 it—"Himself."

28-31. made as though, &c.—(Compare Mr 6:48; 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.
Keble

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 gaze—THEIR RISEN 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 Mr 16:7). 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, true-hearted disciples!

Source: From the Commentary on the Whole Bible (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, 1871).

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