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Luke Twenty Four

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

Luke 24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

Luke 24:3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

Luke 24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

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). There is also the intriguing possibility that these “two men” who “stood by” at the tomb were also the “two men” who “stood by” at the ascension (Acts 1:10) and are God's “two witnesses” in the last days who “[stand] before the God of the earth” (Revelation 11:3-4).

See also Zechariah 4:14, which notes that the two witnesses are “the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” These witnesses cannot be angels, since they will be slain, then rise again (Revelation 11:7, 11). But if they are men, waiting in heaven and standing by God, they could well be Enoch and Elijah. See notes on Revelation 11:3-12 for further discussion of this possibility.

Luke 24:5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

Luke 24:6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

Luke 24:7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

Luke 24:8 And they remembered his words,

Luke 24:9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.

Luke 24:10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

Luke 24:11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

Luke 24:12 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.

Luke 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

furlongs. A “furlong” was originally a “long furrow,” considered about two hundred yards. The Greek word is stadia.

Luke 24:14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

Luke 24:15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

Luke 24:16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

Luke 24:17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

Luke 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

Cleopas. The second of the “two of them” who lived in Emmaus (Luke 24:13) was evidently “Mary the wife of Cleophas” (John 19:25), for the two evidently had a home in Emmaus where they could invite this “stranger” in for supper and rest (Luke 24:28-30). She had actually observed the crucifixion, and may have been among the women who had gone to the tomb that morning.

Luke 24:19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

Luke 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

Luke 24:22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

Luke 24:23 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.

Luke 24:24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

believe all. The resurrected Lord Jesus thus confirmed the doctrine of plenary inspiration; it is foolish and wrong-hearted to reject anything written in the Old Testament.

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

enter in to his glory. The Messianic Scriptures clearly teach that Christ would be crucified (e.g., Psalm 22, Isaiah 53), and then be raised (Psalm 16) and enter into His glory (e.g., Psalm 110), so that those who knew and believed the Scriptures should have been expecting these events.

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

beginning at Moses. It is very significant that, when the greatest Bible teacher—in fact the Author of the Book—taught Biblical truths, He began at the beginning! Genesis is the foundational book of the Bible, and it is essential that we understand and believe God's revelation in Genesis if we would understand the rest of Scripture.

concerning himself. Jesus here confirms that all the Scriptures point, in one way or another, to the person and work of the Savior.

Luke 24:28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

Luke 24:29 But 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.

Luke 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

blessed it, and brake. There are nine occasions recorded in the gospels when Jesus took bread, blessed, broke and fed it to His disciples. No wonder they recognized Him “in breaking of bread” (Luke 24:35).

Luke 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

Luke 24:32 And 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?

our heart burn. “Christian heartburn” results when the Lord—through the indwelling Spirit—opens the Scriptures today as we read and obey God's Word. “His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay” (Jeremiah 20:9).

opened to us. Note the order of this passage. When the Scriptures were opened, first their eyes were opened (Luke 24:31) and then their understanding was opened (Luke 24:45).

Luke 24:33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

Luke 24:34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

Luke 24:35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

Luke 24:36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Luke 24:37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

Luke 24:38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

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.

my feet. It seems the Lord Himself answers modern liberals 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 then 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.

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).

Luke 24:40 And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet.

Luke 24:41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

Luke 24:42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

Luke 24:43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

did eat before them. Although Jesus now was in His glorified spiritual body, it was clearly also a real physical body, capable of receiving and assimilating food. Since our resurrection bodies will be like His (Philippians 3:20-21), we also shall continue to eat food in the ages to come (Revelation 2:7; 19:9; 22:2).

Luke 24:44 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.

must be fulfilled. Every promise of God concerning the person and work of Christ must be fulfilled, either at His first coming or His second coming. “The Scripture cannot be broken,” Jesus has assured us (John 10:35).

the psalms. 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.

Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

their understanding. 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.”

Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

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

repentance and remission of sins. The gospel of salvation which Christ has commanded us to preach involves “repentance” as a prerequisite to “forgiveness.” Repentance is not merely sorrow for past sins, but a complete change of mind toward God and toward sin, which is then proved real by a changed life. Note Acts 26:20. True saving faith is not what has been called “easy believism.” Note that “repentance” was to be preached along with “remission of sins,” both of them “in His name.” In Acts 10:43, Peter said that “through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.” Thus, “repentance in His name” is essentially synonymous with “believing in Him.” Either (or both) receive remission of sins. Believing and repenting are thus like two sides of the same coin. Both are part of the real coin, but only one side is seen at a time.

Luke 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

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.

promise of my Father. This promise was the promise of the Holy Spirit, a promise made to the disciples in the upper room before the crucifixion (John 14:16-17). Christ also had told them He was sending them out into the world (John 20:21), but first they must be cautioned to wait until the promised Spirit is sent to empower them for that service. These concluding verses of Luke's gospel correlate with the first section of his continuing narrative in the book of Acts (see Acts 1:1-11).

Luke 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

Luke 24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

Luke 24:52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

Luke 24:53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.