Luke Chapter 24 [KJVwc]

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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. The first day of the week – Sunday morning. This day is reckoned as the third day and night which Christ spent in the tomb. R4212:5*

Our Lord was crucified on Friday, the sixth day, too late to complete the embalming, which would be hindered by the seventh day. If our Lord had been crucified on Thursday afternoon, there would have been all day Friday to complete the embalming. R2796:2, 2477:5

The Church, very early in its history, decided that the first day of the week would be very appropriate to observe, since on it Jesus arose from the dead, met with them and caused their hearts to burn as he expounded unto them the Scriptures. R543:4; F383

Apparently fully one-half of his post-resurrection appearances were on the day of the Lord's resurrection. NS322:6

Very early – "God shall help her, and that right early." (Psa. 46:5) R3375:3

In the morning – Typifying the beginning of the seventh thousand-year day, when the Church shall be raised. "Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (John 2:19) R3375:1,3, 2795:2

They came – Illustrating woman's love and tenderness, specially endearing charms of the sex. R2477:5

The women lived in various parts of the city and did not all arrive at the same hour. Mary Magdalene arrived first. R2797:5, 2477:5

Joining the various accounts of the resurrection morning, a suggested order of events is given. R4176:3

Bringing the spices – For a more thorough embalming of the Lord's body than was possible on the night of our Lord's burial, on account of the lateness of the hour and the approach of the Passover. R3905:1

How great was the reward of these devoted women, last at the cross and first at the sepulcher, anxious to bestow upon the lifeless remains of their beloved Lord the last tokens of their esteem and love. R1816:6

Which they had prepared – The seventh day closed at sundown, and we may presume that immediately the preparation of spices began, and that all arrangements were completed. R2795:6


2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. The stone rolled away – By the earthquake. R3905:1; B111

3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. They entered in – The other women, not including Mary Magdalene, who had run with haste to make the matter known to Peter and John. R2477:3; B112

The sentries had fled in terror from the manifestation of the angel's presence. R3905:1, 2477:5


4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: As they were much perplexed – This is when Mary hastened to the home of John, with whom Peter was lodging, and related the facts. R4176:3

Returning, she looked again into the sepulchre, and saw the two angels. R4176:4

In shining garments – So that they might not be understood to be men, but might at once be recognized as heavenly messengers. R2797:6


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?
6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, He is not here – The removal of the crucified body from the tomb was necessary to establish in the minds of the disciples the fact of the resurrection. Had he remained there it would have been an insurmountable barrier to their faith. R1817:4

We incline to the opinion that the flesh, which was man's ransom-price, will never see corruption, but that it will be preserved by divine power as an everlasting testimony. R2478:6

He is no longer dead, but alive; no longer a man, but a spirit. R5579:1, 2081:2

Remember how he spake – No doubt it was in order to better prepare them for seeing Jesus that the angels appeared and drew attention to the fact that Jesus had foretold his crucifixion, and also his resurrection on the third day. R2795:6

Forgetting entirely the Master's words, they evidently had no expectation of a resurrection. NS322:4; R2476:3


7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. Third day rise again – Having been dead portions of three 24-hour periods, and not three full days and nights. R5191:6, 2796:2, 2271:3, 1289:6

He rose from the dead; he did not come back from paradise. Q523:6; F670


8 And they remembered his words,
9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
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. Mary Magdalene – Not an unchaste woman, but a miracle of grace (Luke 8:2), from Magdala, on the sea of Galilee. Not only had she come from Galilee to Judea, but she was near the cross at the time of his death and the first at the tomb on the morning of the resurrection. R2797:5

Joanna – The wife of Chuza, Herod's steward. R4176:3


11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Idle tales – The majority of the disciples evidently regarded their story as superstitious excitement, but Peter and John said, We will go and see for ourselves. B112

Believed them not – Even after hearing of his resurrection, they were seemingly slow to connect it with what he had previously told them. R5415:6

Forgetting entirely the Master's words, they evidently had no expectation of a resurrection. NS322:4


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. Ran unto – Peter and John, the two most energetic apostles, vied with each other to get to the sepulcher with speed. But they saw merely the empty tomb. R5415:3

John, the younger, outran Peter and arrived there first. Awestricken, he stooped down and looked in, but Peter, on arrival, still more courageous, went in, followed by John. R4176:3, 2477:6


13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. Two of them – One of them apparently was Simon Peter (verse 34). R2800:3, 2478:3

Not apostles (see verses 18, 33). R1823:2

That same day – Our Lord instituted the observance of the first day of the week, in the same manner that he instituted the Memorial Supper and Baptism: by example, not command. R1942:3; Q608:T

Emmaus – The home of Cleopas who would entertain Peter, whose home was in Galilee. R2800:3

A suburban village. R2478:3

Threescore furlongs – About eight miles distant. R2800:3


Threescore furlongs – About 7½ miles.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. Talked together – Discussing in animated conversation the likelihood and unlikelihood of the reports they had heard, and in general the Messianic hopes of themselves and their nation. R2800:6

Those who have opportunities for meeting together and speaking together, and who fail to use the opportunities, are manifesting a lack of interest in our great salvation. R2802:1

The solitary should look about them to see what provision the Lord has made whereby at least two can meet and discuss his Word together, perhaps through the regular visits of the Watch Tower. The written word is not different from the spoken one. R2802:1


15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. Jesus himself drew near – His fourth appearance--on Sunday afternoon, the day of the resurrection. R3905:3

The appearances were infrequent. In all the forty days the records would not indicate that he appeared to them, at the very outside, more than ten times, and his interviews with them would appear to have been very brief. R2081:3, 1995:6; NS6:5, 32:5

The entire time that he was manifest to them would probably have been less than twelve hours, or one eightieth of the entire time. B125

Being a spiritual body, it was simply a question of expediency which way he could best appear to them--i.e., in which way his object in appearing be best accomplished. B124; R262:2, 122:4

It is not possible for us to comprehend the power which can create and dissolve human bodies, but we have abundant evidence along this line. Did not the angels of old appear and then vanish? NS323:1

Went with them – Illustrating our Lord's promise that where two or three are together in his name, he will be in the midst. "Forget not the assembling of yourselves." R2801:6, 1823:2

These forty days were very necessary for teaching the Jewish disciples, and all of the Lord's followers since, two lessons: (1) that he was no longer dead, but alive; and (2) that he was no longer a man, but a spirit. R5579:1, 5417:4, 1996:1


16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. Their eyes were holden – Because in his resurrection Jesus was so different, we are prepared to understand why he conducted himself so differently after his resurrection from what he had done before. R5578:6

Not shocking them by a vision of his glorious presence as he smote down Saul of Tarsus, but assuming a body of flesh and traveler's clothing and talking sympathetically with the two sorrowing ones. NS795:4

Appearing in so many different forms to guard against the idea that he was a fleshly body. R122:6

It was necessary that our Lord, a spirit being, should manifest himself as a man. He must lead their minds step by step, and their thoughts link by link, from the cross and the tomb to the appreciation of his present exaltation as a spirit being. R2797:4

Although alive and the same person with the same individuality, yet now his conditions were entirely altered. R2081:2; B111

If Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples after his resurrection as the angel did to Daniel, the glory of the spiritual body would undoubtedly have been more than they, as earthly beings, could bear. B124; R262:1

The body of flesh he had assumed as a garment for the occasion appeared as a stranger to them. It was not the same body that was crucified; our redemption price was not taken back; for Jesus said, "My flesh I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:51) B123, B125, B127, B129, B131

In our Lord's appearances after his ressurection, it is not once intimated that they knew him by the familiar features of his face. B125

Should not know him – Even his clothing was different, for his previous clothing had been parted amongst the soldiers. R5579:1, 5222:6, 2800:6

He did not appear in shining garments, but in ordinary apparel, assumed for the purpose, in order that he might have the better opportunity for giving the instructions which his followers needed. R2797:6

Had he borne the prints of the nails in his hands and his feet, they surely would have noticed them during their long walk. R2801:5, 2478:4; NS177:2


17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? What manner of communication – It is sometimes the part of wisdom not to tell all that we know, if we can the better help others by inquiring of them. R2801:1

And are sad – Their sad and perplexed faces were indexes of their minds. R1823:2

How favorable is a time of adversity and perplexity in which to approach those whom we desire to assist, but how necessary, as the Master, to approach with such sympathy in word and act as to gain the hearts of those whom we would serve and bless. R2800:6


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? Name was Cleopas – The other probably being Peter. R2800:3, 2478:3

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: Concerning Jesus – This general review furnished the best foundation for our Lord's exposition of the meaning of, and the reason for, the things which perplexed them. R2801:1

Mighty in deed – However much their confidence might have been shaken respecting our Lord's Messiahship, they still believed in him as a great Teacher. This good confession was all that could have been asked and quite sufficient for our Lord to use in rebuilding their confidence in his Messiahship on a surer and more positive foundation. R2801:1


20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. Crucified him – To the surprise of the typical people, Israel, instead of assuming the office of Priest and King in conjunction, he merely died. R5391:3

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. We trusted – Notwithstanding the fact that Jesus had told them repeatedly of his death, nevertheless his disciples seem to have been unable to receive his words in their true meaning. R2745:5

Apparently their confidence in him had been misplaced. They failed to see that the death of their leader was a surety for the New Covenant under which the blessings were to come. However, when they found that he had risen from the tomb, their withered hopes again began to revive. A80

They expected earthly glory, instead they saw suffering and death. It was not merely this disappointment, but there must have been coupled with it a terrible fear that he had deceived them, that they had loved and trusted an imposter. R102:2*

Their hope that he was the Messiah had been crushed. R5416:3

Redeemed – Greek, lutroo, to set free by payment of a price. They had expected that the Lord would have set Israel at liberty from the Roman yoke by the payment of a price. E431

Delivering them from the Roman yoke, and making of Israel the Kingdom of God in power and glory. A274

That Israel should be exalted in the earth in name and fame and power and authority to bless and to instruct "all the families of the earth." NS795:1

Not yet endued with the holy Spirit, they did not understand that not only Israel, but the whole world, was redeemed, not only from the Roman yoke, but from Satan's yoke, by the ransom price which our Lord gave. E431

Recovered, delivered. R2085:1

Israel – They recognized no "lost" tribes, but a reunited Israel. C293; R2085:2

The third day – Here they were probably calling to mind John 2:19,21,22. B114

He had told them he would be crucified, "and the third day rise again." (Matt. 20:19) R5415:6, 2745:5


22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
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 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: Then he said – While expedient to start the matter by questioning them, it would not have been wisdom to have continued thus to any great length; for he had the message and they needed the instruction. R2801:1

This gave Jesus the opportunity to explain that their experiences were part of the divine plan. R5416:3

O fools – O thoughtless, foolish men. R1393:2, 5416:3

Slow of heart – These great lessons required time, and evidently the forty-day period was none too long. NS655:5

To believe all – They had been willing to believe something of what the Prophets had spoken, the glorious things. NS795:5

We have no right to throw away any book of the Bible; even more, no right to throw away any one word that he has commanded us to believe. R4230:5*


26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? Ought not – What else should be expected? Did he not foretell his own death? And did he not foretell his own resurrection? NS795:5

"Was it not necessary?" R1393:4

Necessary because it was a feature of Jehovah's plan for human redemption, and was so expressed by the prophets. R1393:3

If not "necessary" it would have proved: (1) that God is a changeable God; (2) that either in the first or the second case he was unjust; and (3) such a variable course would unsettle all confidence in God. R1393:5

Showing them that the very things which had so disheartened them were the things which the prophets had foretold concerning the true Messiah. B114

According to the Scriptures. R1829:3

To have suffered – Showing them from the Scriptures that his sacrifice was needful first of all before the Kingdom could be established. A274

To be fitted for the priestly office to which he was called, Our Lord must be proved beyond all peradventure. Through suffering he learned obedience to the perfect will of God to the lowest depth of self-abnegation. And so also we must suffer. R4767:3

The prophets have foretold the sufferings of The Christ, which has now lasted for nearly nineteen hundred years. NS697:6

So St. Paul has declared in respect to all who will be Jesus' associates in the Kingdom--they must suffer with him if they would reign with him, they must be dead with him if they would live with him. (2 Tim. 2:12) R5495:5

To develop and manifest that perfection of character worthy of his high exaltation. R4767:3

These things – Death. R5495:5

And – We feel the necessity of a mighty deliverer as well as of a loving redeemer. R1393:6

Both the humiliation and the exaltation meet our necessities. R1394:1

Enter into his glory – There could have been no Kingdom glory without the redemptive work. R2289:1

The full exaltation could not have been experienced until the sacrifice had been not only made, but presented as well. R1829:3

He did suffer death, "the just for the unjust," and thus made atonement for our sins. He did enter into his glory and is fully prepared to give forth the vivifying blessing so much needed by the whole groaning creation. R3234:3

The reward is two-fold: (1) personal exaltation to heavenly glory; (2) the Kingdom glory, the joy of being divine agents for human restoration. R5495:5

The Millennial glory--on the heavenly plane--the Head, and then his foreknown Members. NS697:6

After giving the ransom, he was made alive again on the spiritual plane, which he had previously left. R2081:2

"Became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; wherefore God also hath highly exalted him." (Phil. 2:8,9) R1829:3


27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Beginning at Moses – Moses spoke of the sufferings of Christ in all the arrangements of the Law and its sacrifices. R2659:3

Higher Critics and evolutionists, denying any special inspiration of Moses and the prophets, ignore them and offer instead, as of superior value, their own conjectures. R2801:2

Who gave the Law (John 7:19), not a fraud and deceiver who had palmed off Hammurabi's law for a new divine code. R3177:4

We claim no infallibility but, after the manner of the great Teacher, we seek to present to the minds of those interested the teachings of Moses and the prophets, and to voice the testimony of Jesus and the apostles, and to show the harmony of the Scriptures. R2802:2

All the prophets – Who declared not only the coming glories, but also the sufferings which must precede them. R2659:3

He expounded – Showing their true meaning and fulfillment. R2801:2

We are not told what these expositions were which opened their eyes of understanding, but we can surmise that he probably explained the significance of the Passover lamb and of the antitypical Atonement Day. R5587:2, 5416:4, 2801:3, 1394:2

Probably reminding them of how Isaac had been offered up by Abraham, explaining that Abraham typified the heavenly Father and Isaac typified himself. R5416:4, 2801:3, 1394:4

He doubtless told them about the smitten rock from which gushed the waters, that that rock represented himself, who must be smitten in order to give the water of life to the dying world. R5416:4

He doubtless told them how Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, and explained that the serpent represented sin; and that he, in being crucified, was made to take the place of the sinner. R5416:4

Calling attention to the various Psalms, which prophetically spoke, not only of his glorious reign, but also of his sufferings and death. R2801:3

Speaking of the utterances of Daniel, respecting Messiah being cut off in death, but not for himself; and of Isaiah, that Messiah should be led as a lamb to the slaughter. R2801:3, 1394:5

A wonderful sermon! It started new ideas and opened new expectations and hopes. B114

The special light in both the Jewish and Gospel age harvests is for the Israelites indeed. B27

In all the scriptures – So we should not be content with offering our views and opinions, but should search the Scriptures and should be able from that source to give every man a reason for the hopes that are within us. R2801:2


28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. Would have gone further – He then proceeded to the other prophets, explaining the passages relating to the sufferings of Christ and the glory that would follow. R5416:5, 2801:3

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. They constrained him – We have every reason to suppose that if they had not urged, he would not have stopped with them. R5416:6, 2801:4

He had ministered to them so much spiritual joy, they delighted to show him every courtesy. R5416:6

When the Lord teaches us, if we do not constrain him to abide with us we lose the chief blessing. R2801:4


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. Sat at meat – He had materialized in the same way that he appeared to Abraham. (Gen. 18:1,2) R5222:3, 3910:2, 2082:1, 1995:5

And blessed it – Recognizing their new acquaintance as a great teacher or prophet they requested that he should return thanks for their evening meal. R2801:4

Certainly no one will claim they were then eating the Lord's Supper. R839:6, 466:3


31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. They knew him – By the simple act of blessing and breaking bread in the old familiar way. B115

Perhaps the language used in the blessing was such as they had heard him use before or perhaps in some other way their understanding was opened. R2801:5

If our candid, thoughtful endeavor is always to find the purest principles and the exact truth to the end that we may conform our lives thereto, then the Lord will be pleased to dwell with us and to manifest himself to us, as he does not unto the world. R1823:6

This was on the first day of the week, and was one of the reasons for the Early Church's observance of that day. F384

He vanished – Greek, ginomai aphantos, became non-manifest, i.e., invisible. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. R5222:6

He gave them an evidence of his resurrection and at the same time an evidence of his change. NS322:5

He showed them by this vanishing that he was no longer the man Christ Jesus, that he was changed, that the resurrected Jesus was a spirit being, who could come and go like the wind, as he had explained to Nicodemus. (John 3:8) R2801:5, 2455:3, 2081:3

Dissolved the flesh and bones and clothing in which he had manifested himself to them. B127; R5579:1, 5417:1, 2478:5, 2455:3

Out of their sight – Though doubtless he was still with them--invisibly present. R5222:6


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? Heart burn within us – In proportion as the heart burns within, as one realizes the fulfillment of God's promises in the past, does one develop faith in the fulfillment of those promises which relate to the future. R5416:5

He talked with us – Our hearts burn while he talks and we listen, more than when we talk even with him. R2800:3

His expounding of the Scriptures had driven away their fears and enkindled hope. R1787:1

Opened to us – Our Lord, while dismissing the self-satisfied, fault-finding quibbles of the Pharisees with dark or evasive answers, took time and care in making truth clear and plain to the humble, earnest seekers. B27


33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, The same hour – The news was too good to be kept, even until the next morning. R2802:4

Their joy was too great to permit them to sleep. R5417:1

And returned – How different their feelings as they set out in return from those when they had left the brethren in Jerusalem, their hearts sad and their mind full of questionings. Now they were full of joy. R2802:4

The eleven – Except Thomas. The term "eleven" is used in a general sense, and not in a particular sense, as referring to the apostles in general and not the exact number. R2802:5

Gathered together – In the upper room, the doors being shut for fear of the Jews--barred, we may be sure. NS795:6


34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. Appeared to Simon – His third appearance after his resurrection. R3905:3

Alone near Jerusalem, or perhaps on the way to Emmaus. R2800:3


35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread. In breaking of bread – No wonder they desired to meet together on the first day of every week after that, to talk the matter over and to call to mind the circumstances connected with this wonderful event of the Lord's resurrection, and to have their hearts "burn" again and again. B115

Doubtless it was this experience that led subsequently to the custom of the disciples having a meal in common on every first day of the week at which they again in imagination recognized the Lord present in their midst. R2802:5, 2771:4, 2265:6, 1942:3, 1787:1, 1421:2, 1382:4, 1014:2, 840:1, 466:3

The Church met every first-day of the week to celebrate the Lord's resurrection, and united in a common meal in remembrance of the Lord's first meeting with them, manifesting himself in the blessing and breaking of bread. This has no reference to the Memorial supper. F384; R2932:1, 2771:4, 2265:6, 1942:3, 1382:4, 1014:2

They neither used wine, no less important than bread in the celebration of the Lord's Supper, nor did they call it the Lord's Supper, nor observe it with special solemnity, but rather with thankfulness and joy. R1014:2, 839:6, 466:3; F384


36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. Stood in the midst – Verses 36 to 53 present the fifth and eleventh manifestations of the risen Messiah to his faithful apostles. R3910:1

Still further preparing the apostles, his chosen witnesses, to bear reliable testimony to the whole Church. While he appeared to many other disciples, he was specially careful to clearly establish the fact of his resurrection to the apostles. R1522:4; F214

The manner chosen by our Lord for revealing himself was the most favorable for the disciples. He wished to gain their attention, and to avoid anything that would unnecessarily excite them, and hinder them from learning the lessons which he wished to impart. R1995:3

As when the Lord and the angels appeared to Abraham, "He lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him." He did not see them coming, but, apparently, it was just there, at his side, they took on visible form. HG29:4

When the doors were shut, "Where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews." (John 20:19) B115

Peace be unto you – Calming their fears and assuring them of his resurrection. NS322:5

One of the Lord's last messages to his disciples before his crucifixion was, "My peace I give unto you." (John 14:27) R2804:1

The spirit of peace is contagious amongst the Lord's people, even as the spirit of anger is contagious in the flesh. R2804:1 24:37

Affrighted – They were nervous, not only fearing apprehension by the rulers, but perplexed by the day's incidents. R3910:2, 2478:3

Although the disciples had been informed concerning our Lord's resurrection, they seem to have but imperfectly comprehended his words. Our Lord foreknew this and chose the most favorable manner for manifesting himself, and communicating to them the wonderful fact of his resurrection. R1995:2

They had not yet learned the lesson that our Lord, in his resurrection, was a spirit being and no longer a human being, and that like the angels he now had power to appear and disappear. R2478:3

Seen a spirit – What else could they think? How could any other come in while the doors were shut? R3910:2

Although the Lord was put to death in the flesh, he was made alive in the Spirit. (1 Pet. 3:18) R3910:2, 1995:6, 1416:2, 578:5


37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Why are ye troubled? – The disciples did not know whether the object before them had tangible flesh and bones like their own. They thought they saw a phantom, and Jesus said this to inspire their confidence. Q595:6

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. Behold my hands – Wishing to emphasize the identity of his risen self with the crucified one. R2478:5, 2081:3

Nothing in this implies of necessity that the flesh which they saw was the identical flesh which had hung on the cross. R2478:5

He was ready to give any demonstration that was necessary, because, unless his disciples really believed in the resurrection, they could not do the work that was before them, nor could they even receive the holy Spirit at Pentecost. R5579:5

Only twice did he appear in a form similar to that which they had seen, bearing the marks of his crucifixion. On both of these occasions he appeared while the doors were shut, and later vanished while the doors were still shut. R5417:4

I myself – He was appearing in the flesh. To have appeared as a spirit being would not have served his purpose as well. Paul fell down as dead when he glimpsed our Lord's spiritual body. Suppose all the disciples had fallen down as dead? What proof would that have been that it was Jesus? Q669:1

A spirit hath not – Impressing upon them that they were not seeing a spirit body. They saw a materialized body. The Lord was a spirit all the time, however, and the flesh and bones were merely agents of appearance. R5222:5

But spirit beings had assumed flesh and bones as Jesus did, and had thus appeared to men to deliver divine messages. R3910:2, 2082:4

But as to what a spiritual body is made of, we know not. "It doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we shall be like him." (1 John 3:2) R578:5; B128

"Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (1 Cor. 15:50) B128; R5222:5

Flesh and bones – He avoided the expression "flesh and blood," for that would have meant, A spirit hath not human nature, as ye see me have; and this would have been untrue, for he was changed and was no longer human but highly exalted. R1856:6

As ye see me have – Have, or to possess. R1856:6

What they saw was not spirit, but matter. This does not mean that our Lord was not a spirit being at the time. It merely means what it says, that what they saw was not spirit, and hence that they had no cause for affright. R2478:4, 1995:5, 1952:3, 1856:6, 554:6*; PD70/85; NS177:3

The next instant he showed that he was now highly exalted and different from flesh and blood, by dissolving the flesh and bones and clothes before their eyes and vanishing out of their sight. R1416:4

The resurrected bodies of the Church are described in 1 Cor. 15:42-44, as spiritual. So if our Redeemer has a scarred and fleshly body, while we have glorious spirit bodies, the Body of Christ would eclipse the Head in glory. R1952:5


40 And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish. Broiled fish – And not a vegetable diet. R1855:6

43 And he took it, and did eat before them. And did eat – Evidencing the fact that they were not being addressed by an illusion, but by a corporeal being. NS795:6

The manifestations in the flesh during the forty days correspond exactly to those manifestations which Jesus had made long previously, one of which was to Abraham, who knew not the Lord but knew him only as a man. R5579:4, 2082:1, 1995:5; NS6:6, 32:6, 177:3

Spiritual beings will, when appearing under a veil of flesh, eat and drink the food of men. HG29:3


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. Was yet with you – While I was yet the man Christ Jesus, before my resurrection change. R5587:2

Which was written – Jesus does not refer to any pre-arranged plan beyond that mentioned in the Holy Writings. All that is said upon the subject of the foreknowledge of God seems to refer to that which was written. R486:4*

In the law of Moses – Doubtless showing them that the sacrifice of the Law typified his own sacrifice, that natural Israel was not the Kingdom class, and the work expected of them, but evidently not that the Gentiles were to be fellow-heirs. R3910:6

In the prophets – The signs of our Lord's second presence will be found in harmony with, and corroborated by, the testimony of the prophets, as was the case at the first advent. D598


45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, Then – These things could not properly have been given previously. These truths would not have been meat in due season to the household of faith earlier. R3910:5

The secret is that they were not previously prepared. Other lessons must be learned before the deeper truths could be appreciated. R3910:5

Bible prophecies are rarely understood much in advance of their fulfillment. This was so at the Lord's First Advent. Prophecies were fulfilling on every hand, yet the disciples did not perceive them until later. R5824:3

Opened he their understanding – Their mental eyes. B116

Carrying with it the thought that these Scriptures had been closed previously. R3130:3

Not that our Lord worked some miracle upon the minds of his followers to open their understanding; rather he operated upon them as he still operates in giving instruction, using natural means and reasoning with them. R3910:5

The special theme of the Master in the instruction of the forty days was "the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." (Acts 1:3) R1415:3

Moses rehearsed all the words of the Law unto the people; the Prophet like unto Moses not only rehearses the Law, but opens the minds and hearts of the people to receive it. Moses carried the Law to the people in his hands; Christ carries the Law to the people in his heart. R1322:4*

The word "opened" carries with it the thought that these Scriptures had been closed previously. R3130:3

Today, as one by one the Lord's people are ready for it, he is pleased to give them more light of "Present Truth." (2 Pet. 1:12) R3910:5

Understand the scriptures – While removing the natural obstacles to faith by assuming human form, our Lord convinced the disciples, and made them witnesses to others, not by their natural sight and touch, but by reasoning with them out of the Scriptures. B123

His words served as a Bible Key, bringing order out of their previous confusion. The fact that the Scriptures are so written that they cannot be understood without divine assistance is incomprehensible to the world. R3910:3


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: Thus it is written – The signs of our Lord's second presence are in accordance with the testimony of the prophets, as was the case at the first advent. D598

It behoved Christ to suffer – There could be no resurrection without the ransom sacrifice first being given. R3706:6

As Aaron's priesthood did not typify the glory of the Kingdom, so Christ must suffer to enter into his glory as the Melchizedek Priest. SM143:3

The third day – Not three days later, but on the third day, in fulfillment of the antitype of the barley sheaf of first-fruits. (Lev. 23) R5191:3, 2

The phrase used by Jesus in Matt. 12:40, "three days and three nights," is purely idiomatic and implied that he would be in the heart of the earth "till the third day." (See Esth. 4:16; 5:1; Gen. 42:17,18; 2 Chron. 10:5,12) R3574:5*, 2796:2, 2271:3, 1289:6


47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Repentance – As the Gospel was not intended to convert all the Jews, but only to take from the a remnant, so likewise it was intended to take from the Gentiles only a remnant, that the entire company is properly termed a "little flock." R3005:1

Sowing, rather than harvesting. R885:2*

Remission of sins – This was never preached before, because, until then, our ransom price had not been paid. R387:3

Should be preached – The commission is not to make the nations disciples, but to gather out of all nations those willing to be disciples of Christ. R5588:2

In his name – God never gave power to bishops, priests or ministers of any denomination to forgive sins. Nor did Jesus give authority to his apostles to forgive sins. They might preach forgiveness, but only in his name. SM466:1; HG737:5

Among all nations – The commission meant merely that they were no longer restricted to the Jews in preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. R3004:6

The apostles evidently did not at first comprehend the scope of this commission. They were ready enough to begin at Jerusalem, extend the work throughout Judea and preach to the Samaritans, but it required very special instructions for Peter to preach to the Gentiles also. R3005:1

At the present time at least a cursory knowledge of the facts upon which the Lord's message is based obtains throughout the habitable world, implying that the witnessing time has about expired. R2925:1

Since America, for instance, could not be reached during the life-time of the apostles, it is manifest that the major part of this witnessing was to be done through their writings and after their death. R1522:3

Where none but Israelites indeed would care to follow the defamed and executed Jesus. R2925:1

Continuing among the Jews until the full end of the 70 weeks of favor. (Dan. 9:24) C170

To the Jew first, and afterward to the Gentiles. (Acts 13:46, Rom. 2:9,10) C170; R1846:2

Beginning at Jerusalem – To fulfill the promise of God to their fathers, that his special favor should be to them first--"to the Jew first, and afterward to the Gentile." R1846:2*

The witnessing properly began at Jerusalem, the center of Judaism, which God himself had chosen, represented in the Temple. R2924:6

The gospel was not preached to any Gentile for some time after Pentecost, Cornelius being the first convert. This was because Dan. 9:24 predicted seventy weeks (490 years) set apart by God in which special favor would be extended to fleshly Israel as a people. R189:5

The only pre-eminence given to Hebrews under the Gospel call is that it commenced with them. The previous call was confined to them. R1457:5

But not ending there. R3911:1

He knew well that their Jewish ideas would hinder them from going beyond the Jews until he should in due time open the way, as he did at the end of their favor, by sending Peter to Cornelius. C170


48 And ye are witnesses of these things. Ye are witnesses – Witnesses upon whom the people could rely as having been with him from the beginning of his ministry, and therefore manifestly acquainted with his doctrine and purpose. R1521:6

His representatives, representatives of his character, his teachings and his work. R2818:4

To call and make ready a people to receive me, when I shall come to be glorified in my saints, and to reign as King of kings. B120

The selection of the twelve at the time it took place, instead of waiting until Pentecost, was, in large measure, for the purpose of permitting them to behold his works and hear his message that they might in due time be witnesses to declare the wonderful works of God and the wonderful words of life manifested through Jesus. F211

To the fact of his resurrection. Their testimony would be a sure foundation for the faith of coming generations. B123

They were to be his witnesses to bear testimony of him after his death. R1521:6

Through their writings. R1522:6

Of these things – Not merely the virgin birth, the holy and devoted life, Calvary's cross, our Lord's resurrection and ascension, but that he was a properly qualified Redeemer, meeting the conditions of the Law, and now ever living to succor those coming to the Father through him. R3911:3


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. The promise of my Father – The holy Spirit had been promised and must be waited for as the realization and beginning of the new work, the development of the Christian Church. R4305:3

Our Lord Jesus, in all matters, acts as the representative of the Father, Jehovah, in the work of salvation. E35

The Father had promised in various types that the Church would receive the holy Spirit from Jesus, their Head. For instance, the holy oil, poured upon the head of Aaron, representing Jesus, flowed down upon his body, the Church. R5587:3

A measure of the holy Spirit had been on the apostles during our Lord's ministry, but the power under which they then operated was not from the Father direct, but was imparted to them by our Lord Jesus. NS201:3

But tarry ye – They probably knew not how long the tarrying would be. NS201:2

Necessary for the development of the apostles in faith and trust. R2926:4

The record is that the apostles did tarry at Jerusalem until they received the Pentecostal blessing. R3911:2

A general trouble amongst those teaching in the name of the Lord has been that they did not tarry until endued with the holy Spirit, but recklessly pressed into their ministry without this credential of divine authorization. R3911:2

No one is desired as God's witness until he has made full consecration to the Lord and been begotten of the Spirit, no matter how great his natural abilities may be. R2925:4

Until ye be endued – Assuring them of divine acceptance, and qualifying them for divine service. NS348:1

The sending of the holy Spirit at Pentecost became a witness of God's acceptance of our Lord Jesus' sacrifice, and thus a sign of the acceptance of the Church and household of faith. R3911:1

Implying their unfitness for the work as natural men. R2925:3

None except those thus endued with power from on high are qualified to be ambassadors for God and his representatives before men. R3911:2, 2925:5

The Lord's sheep should be careful to select as leaders only such as give evidence of having come under the influence of the holy anointing of the Spirit of God, no matter how much natural ability the would-be leader may possess. R2925:4

Work not done under the guidance of the holy Spirit is sure to be defective and in some respects evil, and to result in evil fruitage. R3911:2

The Father's purposing of this soon giving of the spirit made it possible for the disciples and Judas to be new creatures, passing from death to life, in a tentative form. R5684:1

While that hope has reached fruition, other hopes have taken its place. In our case, we are waiting for our adoption, to wit, the deliverance of our body--the body of Christ. R2926:5

With power – This promised power to know and to understand times and seasons, and all things pertaining to a proper witnessing, applies to the whole Church. B120


50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. He led them out – The eleven were the chosen witnesses of the Lord's ascension, and there is no evidence of the presence of any others on that occasion. R1522:5

Talking the while, explaining the things that would be to their advantage to know. R5589:2

On the occasion of his eleventh appearance after his resurrection. R3905:5

To Bethany – This was at the Mount of Olives. R3905:5, 3911:3

And blessed them – And he shall so come (with a blessing) as they saw him go. B154


51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. Parted from them – Quietly and secretly, consistent with his purpose of having thoroughly convinced witnesses of the fact. None saw him, or knew of the fact, except his faithful followers. B154

"I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2,3) R1828:3; B120

His going was expedient for himself, and for us, too, indirectly, as illustrated in the parable of the young nobleman going into a far country to receive for himself a Kingdom and to return. ( Luke 19:12) R1829:3

Carried up into heaven – Corresponding to the act of the high priest Aaron, in entering the most holy with the blood of the atonement sacrifice and presenting it before the mercy seat together with the sweet incense, which represented the human perfection of Christ. R1828:3

The ascension of our Lord to the right hand of power signifies his ability now to "give gifts unto men." (Eph. 4:8) R1829:5

Our Lord's ascension was a spectacular one, so far as his Church was concerned, but not in respect to the world. R5589:5

"What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where he was before?" (John 6:62) R5589:5, 5588:3

The eleven appearances of Jesus after his resurrection were: (1) Sunday morning to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18); (2) Sunday morning to the women returning from the sepulchre (Matt. 28:9-10); (3) Sunday to Simon Peter alone ( Luke 24:34); (4) Sunday afternoon to the two disciples going to Emmaus ( Luke 24:13-31); (5) Sunday evening to the apostles, excepting Thomas (John 20:19-25); (6) Sunday evening, a week later, to the apostles, Thomas being present (John 20:26-29); (7) probably three weeks later to the apostles on the shores of Galilee (John 21:1-13); (8) shortly afterward to the eleven on a mountain in Galilee (Matt. 28:16-20); (9) shortly afterward to "above 500 brethren" in Galilee (1 Cor. 15:6); (10) at the close of the 40 days to James (1 Cor. 15:7); (11) at his ascension to all the apostles (Luke 24:50,51; Acts 1:6-9). R3905:3-5

Our Lord's ascension was simply another way of disappearing. R2818:5

The body in which he had just appeared was dissolved or dematerialized. R5589:5

So that they might have before their minds the thought that he was gone, that they were not to expect him to appear and disappear in the future, as he had done during these forty days. R3911:4, 2818:6


52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: Worshipped him – They recognized his greatness, dignity and honor as Messiah, the Son of God, Redeemer of the world. R3911:6

Returned to Jerusalem – Comforted and blessed, not only by the hope of his return, but also by the promise of the Comforter, as a token of his love and of the Father's favor, not many days after. R1829:6


53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen. Continually – Regularly. R3912:1

In the temple – All the members of Christ's Body are represented as abiding in the Temple, the Tabernacle, the Holy. R3912:4


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