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ABIDE IN CHRIST

Luke 24:13-43

The Warm Glow of the Resurrection

Painted fire never warms anyone.

The contemporary church sadly lacks burning of heart, which is enthusiasm of passionate devotion that comes from being in the presence of the living God of fire.

On the morning of the resurrection of Jesus women went to the tomb to anoint with spices the quickly decomposing body of Jesus. They demonstrated their love and devotion to Jesus, and their lack of faith in what He had promised them.  Did they come with the idea of waiting for the risen Lord?  No!  They went to find an empty tomb! They rushed home to tell what they had discovered to a group of doubting and astonished disciples of Jesus. 

No one believed them. None of the disciples expected Jesus to rise from the dead. “But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them” (Luke 24:11, NASB 1995). They considered the reports of the women “sheer nonsense” such as the babbling of a fevered and insane mind in delirium or hysteria. It seemed in their eyes nonsense, the wild talk of a bunch of hysterical women. It just did not make sense to the disciples.

They refused to believe them. The verb depicts repeated disbelief. Everytime the story was repeated it met with unbelief. The imperfect verb expresses continuous disbelief.

The idea of the resurrection of the dead was beyond them. “Peter rose and ran to the tomb” (v. 12). We know from the Gospel of John that the apostle John went with him to the tomb (John 20:1-10). When Peter arrived there he stooped over and looked in and saw the linen cloths lying alone by themselves. These strips of linen were used as bandages in preparing the corpse for burial. Peter saw only the grave clothes without the body inside. That is the whole point. The body was missing! The linen cloths which had wrapped the body with spices and myrrh were there but the body was not in them. The linen cloth strips with their hundred pounds of spices and myrrh gum were lying as they were when they had held the body, and were still in the form of the body, but without the body in them.

Peter returned home wondering at what had happened. The word for “marveling” (NASB) is translated “wondering,” “marveling,” “amazed,” “full of amazement,” “astonished.” The sight of the grave cloths caused John to believe (John 20:8), and it got Peter wondering as he tried to work it out in his mind. They knew the body had not been carried off, for the grave clothes would have been carried off with it.

Until now, no one on the day of the resurrection of Jesus had visibly seen Jesus. The tomb was empty except for the grave cloths. Their minds are filled with amazement and wonder. Luke describes the appearance on the Emmaus road that further enlightens us to the disciple’s feelings of despair.

THE CONVERSATION ON THE WAY TO EMMAUS (24:13-16)

“And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place” (Luke 24:13-14, NASB 1995).

 Luke introduces us to something new and unexpected. It is astonishing and filled with surprises. Two of the followers of Jesus had gone to Jerusalem for the Passover celebrations. They were probably in the crowds that worshiped Jesus on His triumphal entry into the city, and now they were returning home Sunday afternoon. They were on their way to the town of Emmaus about seven miles from Jerusalem.

Two grieving followers of Jesus

The two travelers were having a heated conversation back and forth to one another about the events of Jesus’ death (v. 14-15). It was a lively exchange of questions put to each other.  “They were talking and discussing” the events over the weekend. Their center of attention was “all these things which had taken place” (v. 14). No doubt, they were referring to the stories of the empty tomb and the angels.

The word “discussing” suggests lively discussion, perhaps accompanied by some heat. It was a heated conversation. Maybe one was skeptical, and the other believed the story of the resurrection. They “were exchanging words with one another” (v. 17) has the idea of throwing in turn, back and forth like a volley ball, from one to another.

The silent approach of Jesus

“While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them” (Luke 24:15, NASB 1995). Jesus overtook them as they journeyed along and drew near to them. He was going along with them. The subject of their conversation joined them. They were so engrossed in their heated discussion that they hardly noticed the stranger who came up to them. They probably did not realize exactly when He appeared to them along the way. It was a natural action on the part of Jesus so that there was no indication of an unusual or spectacular appearance. During the forty days after His resurrection Jesus came and went as He pleased. Here He was on the road where He wished to be and with a few strides He easily caught up with the two men. For a while Jesus “was going along with them,” saying nothing for a while, and then from a few paces to the rear of them, Jesus drew up alongside and began to walk together with them in a most natural way.

Luke tells us the two men were prevented from recognizing Jesus. “But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him” (Luke 24:16, NASB 1995). They didn't expect to see Him, but more is implied. God is the agent. They “were kept from recognizing Him.” They were “prevented” from fully knowing Him. The word krateo means, “hold back or restrain from, hinder in,” or “be prevented.” Something prevented them from recognizing Him.

Even though their eyes perceived a person, their minds were not able to realize who He was.

Jesus was evidently in human form, as would be appropriate for a supernatural being appearing on earth. They were prevented, or held back from recognizing Him. Perhaps the glorified body of Jesus was not at once recognized. No doubt the lack of recognition now and the later recognition of Jesus is the result of divine choice (v. 31). The context implies that God prevented the recognition. God is the agent of “were kept from,” just as when “their eyes were completely opened” in verse thirty-one.

Henry Alford in his Greek Testament suggests, “The reason why they did not know Him was . . . that their eyes were supernaturally influenced, so that they could not—see (v. 31). No change took place in Him—nor apparently in them, beyond a power upon them, which prevented the recognition just so much as to delay it till aroused by the well-known action and manner of His breaking the bread. The cause of this was the will of the Lord Himself, who would not be seen by them till the time when He saw fit.”

THE COMPASSION OF JESUS (VV. 17-24).  

The stranger was listening to some of their animated conversation as He caught up with them on the road and this gave Him His opportunity to join in with them. They were in the midst of their “questioning” and “exchanging” their ideas which neither could answer. His question, therefore, would be most natural. He asked to arouse interest, so that He would have the opportunity to explain the reason for these profound events.

Jesus said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad (Luke 24:17, NASB 1995).

Sad looking disciples

Their appearance tells the whole story (v.  17). They stood there looking sad, with faces full of gloom, sullen, and downcast.  Their faces showed the painful resentment of their hearts. They had been moved deeply by the events in Jerusalem. Their hearts were broken and their eyes were darkened by sorrow.  “Sad” is not strong enough.

The brooding disciples stopped in their tracks and stared at Jesus with unbelievable surprise and astonishment.

“But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened” (Luke 24:21, NASB 1995). “We were hoping.” All hope was gone. No fire, no passion, no vision, no virtue, no victory, no force, no fervor. 

The disciples tell Jesus what has happened to Him. 

“One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see” (Luke 24:18-24, NASB 1995).

Are you only a stranger? Everyone in Jerusalem knew what had happened to Jesus. How could He (Jesus) not have heard? You must be the only stranger in Jerusalem that does not know. The crucifixion of Jesus was evidently a topic on the lips of all in the city of Jerusalem that weekend. With perfect calmness Jesus persisted in drawing out the statements He wanted from them.

The two of them rehearsed the detailed events of the weekend. They held the “chief priests and rulers” responsible ultimately in putting Jesus to death (v. 20).

Their agony reached its climax in verse twenty-one. "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened" (Luke 24:21, NASB 1995).

“But we were hoping” indicates continuous action in past time—“we were hoping.” They no longer held to this hope. And these words probably indicate the attitude of the rest of the group. The death of Jesus put an end to their expectations. Their hope is now gone.

Their hope was that “He was the one to redeem Israel.”  Perhaps the disciples had hoped that Jesus was the Messiah who would deliver Israel from its subjection to the Roman Empire. They were hoping that He was the one who, in some way, would deliver Israel form its woes, both spiritual and political. Jesus will later clarify their misunderstanding about redemption of Israel.

The best scholarship puts the emphasis on the man whom God had sent to redeem Israel.

Redemption in the ancient world signified deliverance on payment of a price. God saves at a cost. It was not until Calvary that any man could know the extent of the cost of redemption. The saving act always costs something that corresponds to the saving that is effected. The redemption spoken of here is the deliverance from sin. Therefore, the price is blood-sacrifice. The basic meaning “deliverance through the payment of a ransom” is what Luke has in mind. It probably was not clear in the minds of the two who walked along the road, but Jesus now proceeds to instruct with clear understanding the purpose of the One who came to “redeem Israel.”

But “this is now the third day since this happened” and He is still dead and we are still without hope. In their emotional pain the situation was hopeless.

“But (in spite of this) also” expressing strong contrast with what proceeds. “Yet despite this,” they continue, there was a possibility that something extraordinary had taken place that might perhaps still raise the hopes of the disciples. Incomprehensible to the traveler’s report was the fact of the empty tomb. The women (v. 22) “amazed us” meaning to drive one out of one's senses, confuse, amaze, or astound. It is a strong word; they “completely astounded us.”  The women who returned from the empty tomb “brought us the most astonishing news.” They “amaze,” or “surprise.”

Verse 23 reveals even more distress to them, "and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive" (Luke 24:23, NASB 1995). "And when they did not find His body . . .” Alfred Plummer says, “It is all hearsay evidence and unsatisfactory; but it is sufficiently disturbing, nonetheless.” 

Unable to believe the women some of the men, including Peter and John, went to the tomb (John 20:2-10).  Apparently they reasoned that those who went to the tomb should have seen Jesus alive if He were indeed alive, but they didn't.  "Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see" (Luke 24:24, NASB 1995). 

THE COMPREHENSION OF JESUS REGARDING HIMSELF (VV. 25-27)

Jesus speaks with a rather sharp rebuke, with authority and convicting power, even though He is unrecognized by the two men.

You cannot water down His words. Jesus said to them, “’O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures" (Luke 24:25-27, NASB 1995).

 A. T. Robertson says, “Jesus found Himself in the Old Testament, a thing that some modern scholars do not seem able to do."

The word “foolish” points to a lack of understanding, meaning a dullness resulting from not thinking or not considering. There was an explanation in the Scriptures they used for all the things which perplexed them. They were foolish not to use them and trust its message.

They were “slow of heart to believe” is a figure of speech indicating mental and spiritual slowness, or dullness. All of the English translations read “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!”

The word “heart” (kardia) meaning “mind” goes with “slow” and denotes that which they are slow “to believe” the truth. They were not convinced of the truth because they lacked spiritual alertness. The “heart” was used figuratively as the seat of the personality and intelligence. Their unperceptive and sluggish intelligence had led to their state of grief unto despair.

The Hebrew “prophets” in this sentence are equivalent to the Hebrew Scriptures. If the disciples had only believed their Scriptures they would have believed the reports of the women at the tomb. They did not “believe all” that God had spoken to them through His prophets. They accepted part of the message but not all of it. They believed the part about the Messiah coming in glory, but the suffering servant they did not want to accept. This is quit clear in verse twenty-six. "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" (Luke 24:26, NASB 1995)

The rhetorical question anticipates a confirmatory answer. It was a self-evident truth. It was necessary for the Messiah to suffer. It was God’s will for the Messiah to suffer in order to redeem Israel. He is the suffering servant of Yahweh.

It was necessary for the Messiah to suffer as the Redeemer if God was to accomplish His desired goal in the redemption of lost mankind.

It was necessary for all the Old Testament prophecies to be fulfilled in the suffering and glory of the Christ. The sovereign purpose of God was at stake as well as His revelation of Himself through the prophets.

The “things” Christ had to suffer was the rejection and crucifixion. These “things” stood in the way of their believing He was the Messiah sent from God.

Christ could not “enter into His glory” without being lifted up on the cross. The bright, radiant splendor of His glory came by way of His cross.

The two acts are suffering and entering into His glory. The disciples had no problem with Jesus entering into His glory. That was easy for them to accept if He were the Messiah. The scandal of the cross was another thing, but God’s appointed way was entering into His glory by His offering Himself as the atoning sacrifice for sins. Christ entered into glory to lay His vicarious substitutionary sacrifice of Himself before God. The Father accepted the price of redemption of sinners. His only Son paid it in full. The sufferings come first; that is the way of entering into glory. Christ entered into glory and took His seat at the right hand of His Father. Our faith rests on both His atoning sacrifice for our sins and His entering into His glory.

The word doxa means “glory,” “splendor,” “grandeur.” It reminds us of the power of the kingdom of God filled with praise and honor. The glory of God is filled with brilliance. All of our English translations of verse 26 use the word “glory.”

This is the glory of the exalted Messiah, the Son of God. At His trial before the Sanhedrin Jesus said, "But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God" (Luke 22:69, NASB 1995).

 It is at this point in the exhortation Jesus gives His great panorama of Himself in all the Old Testament.

The Panorama of prophecy (v. 27)

Jesus had before Him the whole panorama of prophecies of His coming. In studying the Scriptures for Himself He found Himself in them everywhere. “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life” (John 5:39-40, NASB 1995).

 The demonstration began anew with every prophet. “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27, NASB 1995).

The method of Jesus is always to a take us back to His Word! 

I would have given everything to have been able to have walked with Jesus to Emmaus and heard Him interpret the Scriptures. He did not bring them any thing new. He interpreted in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

Jesus began to teach them beginning with the books of Moses and proceeding with the teaching of all the prophets. He quoted passage after passage to them and explained them to the two men. He began with Moses and went on through all the prophets.

Moses had promised that God would raise up from among the people “a prophet like me” (Deuteronomy 18:15). Jesus had called Moses a prophet. Jesus was that prophet of whom Moses spoke (Acts 3:22-23; 7:37).

"The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him" (Deuteronomy 18:15, NASB 1995). "Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people’" (Acts 3:22-23, NASB 1995). "This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brethren’" (Acts 7:37, NASB 1995).

The important thing is Jesus “interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). Jesus chose out those passages which might be regarded as “messianic” and then proceeded to show how they should be understood in relationship to Him. These writings concerned the suffering and death of Christ, including the Suffering Servant of the LORD in Isaiah 53. Jesus was interpreting the Scriptures concerning Himself.

He was David’s King, and Solomon's "altogether lovely" One. He was Jeremiah’s "Branch of Righteousness,” and Ezekiel’s “Plant of renown." He was Daniel’s stone cut without hands, smiting the image, becoming a mountain, and filling the earth. He was the ideal of Hosea. To Joel He was "the hope of His people and the strength of the children of Israel." He was Amos' "plowman overtaking the reaper, and the treaded of grapes of him that sows seed."  He was Obadiah's "deliverance upon Mount Zion and holiness." He was the fulfillment of the sign of Jonah, and "the turning again" of the God of Micah. He was Nahum’s One who was upon the mountains publishing peace, the Anointed of whom Habakkuk sang as “going forth for salvation."  He brought the people the pure message of Zephaniah and He was the true Zerubbabel of Haggai’s rebuilding forever the house and the city of God. He is Zechariah's day when the holiness of the Lord is upon His people. He is indeed the "refiner's fire," "the fuller’s soap," and "the Sun of righteousness" of Malachi's vision. (For further study let me recommend our eighty part series on Christ in the Old Testament).

The travelers arrived at Emmaus and invited Jesus to come and abide with them. Jesus gave the impression as if He would go on His way. They urged Him strongly, constrain, prevailed upon Him to come and abide with them.

"And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. But they urged Him, saying, ‘Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.’ So He went in to stay with them" (Luke 24:28-29, NASB 1995).

The two men “urged,” or “constrained” Jesus to come into their home. They “urged strongly,” and “prevailed upon” Him to enter in. They did not use physical force, of course, but “they kept Him from going any further.” We would say, “They got Him to change His mind,” or “they persuaded Him to stay” for a while. They persisted and won out. Jesus entered their home for an evening meal.  

It is interesting to observe that if the two disciples had not pressed Him to stay, there is no reason for thinking that He would have stayed with them. If the men on the road to Emmaus had not invited Jesus into their home, He would have passed on.

Because of this conversation with Jesus their hearts burned with love for Him. They invited Jesus in to take care of His needs, and thus received the richest blessings. Jesus longs for an intimate love relationship with us. He comes along in our life and so often we fail to invite Him into our hearts and we miss the blessing. He still desires to enter where He is invited. Lord Jesus, will I see you today?

           "O, come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
            There is room in my heart for Thee." 

THE CLEAR REVELATION OF JESUS TO THE TWO (VV. 28-32)

“When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight” (Luke 24:30-31, NASB 1995).

Breaking bread with Jesus

The New American Standard Bible more accurately translated the scene as Jesus and the two disciples “reclined at the table.” The Jewish custom in Jesus’ day was to recline on low leather couches about the table. The meals were not eaten while sitting at a table as is the custom in our day. Jesus and His friends reclined on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet extended away.

Jesus was no doubt invited by the hosts to assume the role of the guest host. He took the bread in His hands and pronounced the blessing. He blessed the flat, unleavened cake, and in the act of giving it over to them, as they were taking it from His hands, their eyes were opened and they fully recognized Him. 

“Then their eyes were opened” making it possible to understand. Suddenly they saw and recognized Jesus. The opening of their eyes is to be understood in a metaphorical way indicating they fully recognized Him.

The disciples had looked upon Jesus, but they had not recognized Him up to this moment.  Now as if a veil had fallen from their eyes, they now instantly see and recognize Jesus. It is an act of God.  Their eyes, minds, hearts were opened by God and they clearly recognize Jesus.

Previously they had been “kept form recognizing Him” (v. 16), and now the very opposite was happening.

Alfred Plummer says, “Something in His manner of taking and breaking the bread, and of uttering the benediction, may have been the means employed to restore their power of recognizing Him.”

I think in the action of breaking the bread they saw His hands, and the imprint of the nails in those hands. Luke, however, does not tell us how they recognized Jesus. He simply states the fact that “their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.” 

The risen Lord was no phantom or hallucination, or spirit. He was real! Christianity is not founded on the dreams of men's disordered minds, or the vision of fevered eyes, but on the one who in actual historical fact faced and fought death and conquered it and rose again. God opened their eyes to see the significance of the action and recognize Jesus. At that moment they knew beyond question or shadow of doubt that this person was Jesus and that He was undeniably alive before their very eyes!

The next thing happened before their eyes was just as exciting. "Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight" (Luke 24:31, NASB 1995).

Verse 31, literally reads, “and He became invisible from them.”  They could no longer see Him. It was a real objective instantaneous disappearance.  He became invisible and passed from them. 

Aphantos means “invisible,” “vanish.” He vanished from their sight. The NIV reads, “He disappeared from their sight.”

Jesus became invisible to them in the moment of their recognition of Him. He became invisible to them. He was there with them and suddenly He was not with them.

Try to imagine the place where He lay a moment ago was empty. He was there. They saw Him with their own eyes. Then suddenly He was gone.

Jesus had entered a new state in which He appeared and disappeared at will. As He had left the sealed tomb, so He now left the closed house.

Alfred Plummer notes, “Something more than a sudden departure, or a departure which they did not notice until He was gone, is intended. We are to understand disappearance without physical locomotion: but we know too little about the properties of Christ’s risen body to say whether this was supernatural or not.” The Expositor’s Greek Text says, “After being recognized Jesus became invisible . . . from them, implying departure from the house. . . He departed from them in an invisible manner.” Henry Alford says the words imply, “besides the supernatural disappearance, a real objective removal from them.”

The miracle consists of His appearing to them. He is not bound by limitations of space, time, matter, and five senses. The resurrection body must have properties which are not limited as this "body of humiliation."  No "flesh and blood," but "flesh and bone."

The coming and going of Jesus in His post-resurrection appearances gives Him opportunities to teach His disciples to walk by faith. 

"Did not our hearts burn within us" (v. 32)? 

The two disciples did not express surprise at Jesus’ suddenly becoming invisible to them. "They said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’" (Luke 24:32, NASB 1995)

The seat of the physical, spiritual and mental life, the core of their whole inner life, with its thinking, feeling, and volition, emotions, wishes and desires responded to the reality of the risen Savior. Their “hearts” were strangely warmed, like a fire burning. It is the warm glow of a personal encounter with Jesus. Their hearts beat together like one heart because of the shared relationship with Jesus. How sweet the fellowship of kindred of spirit.

Here the word "burn" means to light something, or keep something burning, to be strangely warmed, feel on fire, like a fire burning, to glow with warmth. It translated a word meaning to glow with warmth.

The warm glow in the hearts of these believers was due to the gradual return of understanding, joy and hope. Metaphorically the word “burning” is used to indicate both enthusiasm and expectation. They are not burning with anger; they are now full of joy, delight and enthusiasm because they have seen the risen Christ.

Their hearts burned while He was speaking to them opening up the Scriptures in such a wonderful way that made their hearts glow and burn with new faith, assurance and joy. The warm glow came in what He said as He opened the Scriptures. What caused their hearts to glow was the fact that their Lord who suffered and died was God’s Anointed One. They saw that Jesus was the Messiah.

I pray that today you will have that warm glow within from a new faith, assurance and joy of the risen Christ. If our hearts don't burn within us today it is because we don't sit and listen.  Listen to the Scriptures and your heart will burn!

God and tell! (vv. 33-43)

When the heart burns within because of a personal encounter with the living Christ you must run and tell others “He is alive!” “And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them” (Luke 24:33, NASB 1995).

The two disciples who broke bread with Jesus wasted no time returning to Jerusalem! Can you imagine their conversation as they made the seven-mile journey back to Jerusalem in the night? Their immediate reaction was to go and tell the other disciples. “They left the same hour” which means “straight away.” The late hour did not bother them, and it must have been late in the night when they arrived back in Jerusalem.

The door swung open and they all shouted, "It is true!" Someone has seen Him alive!  There are witnesses! It is joy unspeakable, all full of glory. “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon” (Luke 24:34, NASB 1995).

The two weary travelers didn’t have a chance to say a word! Before they could give their report about the risen Savior, they were greeted by the shout of “He is risen!” “The Lord has risen indeed.” Yes, it is true; the Lord has risen to life, and has appeared to Simon Peter.

“And has appeared to Simon!” Plummer suggests, “This manifestation apparently took place after the two had started from Emmaus and before the disciples assembled at Jerusalem.”

Finally the two get to give their testimony. "They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread" (Luke 24:35, NASB 1995).

Peter alone in the group in Jerusalem had seen the risen Lord. The two travelers stress their experiences and their report gives a strong emphasis with that of the gathered group. “They told what had happened on the road and how He was known to them.” “They” (emphatic pronoun) had recognized Him, or realized that it was Jesus “at the moment they saw Him break the bread.” 

You really cannot finish this study without the next paragraph because it brings everything to a tremendous climax.

"While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst" (Luke 24:36, NASB 1995). Those poor boys were interrupted again. “All of the individuals in the room are engaged in animated conversation about “these things” reported by Peter and the two disciples from Emmaus. Then “Jesus Himself stood among them.” His appearance was sudden (cf. v. 31). He stood “in midst of them.” There He was among them.

Jesus did not burst through walls. He was within the closed, i.e. locked, doors with the disciples. Jesus appeared by supernatural power within the closed walls. The resurrected, glorified body was not bound by earthly limitations of time and space. The earthly body caused no limitations to the glorious resurrection body. Neither will it when Jesus comes for us!

The resurrected, glorified Jesus appears when and where He desires to appear. He makes Himself visible and His visible appearance disappears when He desires.

Jesus did not walk through anything. The disciples did not see Him take so many steps from the doors or the wall to their midst. He simply appeared there; that was all.  

How would you have responded to the sudden appearance of Jesus in your midst?

The disciples were “startled and frightened.” They were terrified. All of them were in a state of fear. Panic was written all over them. Luke uses two verbs which mean the same thing in order to express great terror. The two verbs reinforce one another. They were terrified and full of fear.

"But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit” (Luke 24:37, NASB 1995).  The NET Bible translates, “startled and terrified.” Goodspeed translates, “terrified and panic stricken.” Phillips says, “they shrank back in terror.”

That they were startled and frightened is not quite the idea. They had just been telling the two from Emmaus that “The Lord has risen indeed.” As they try to state the facts the very person who has been absent suddenly appears in their presence despite the barred doors.

They kept on thinking they saw a spirit. This impression naturally arose from the sudden and miraculous appearance of Jesus. They knew it was Jesus, but how could He suddenly be there with no evidence of arrival or entrance? He suddenly appeared right there on the spot in front of them in their midst.

And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; and He took it and ate it before them (Luke 24:38-43, NASB 1995).

R. W. Dale was the pastor at Carr’s Chapel in London. He was studying the Gospel accounts on the resurrection of Jesus. Dale became so convicted of the reality of Jesus’ resurrection that he suddenly rose from his desk and began to pace back and forth in his study saying, "I want my people to know as I do He is alive.  He is alive!  He is alive!”

It is my prayer that you, too, will know He is alive. Yes, Jesus is alive! 

If you need help in becoming a Christian here is A Free Gift for You.


Title: Luke 24:13-43  The Warm Glow of the Resurrection
Series:  Life of Christ

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries for ten years. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Honduras and Nicaragua.

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