|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:36-49 Jesus appeared in a miraculous manner, assuring the disciples of his peace, though they had so lately forsaken him, and promising spiritual peace with every blessing. Many troublesome thoughts which disquiet our minds, rise from mistakes concerning Christ. All the troublesome thoughts which rise in our hearts at any time, are known to the Lord Jesus, and are displeasing to him. He spake with them on their unreasonable unbelief. Nothing had passed but what was foretold by the prophets, and necessary for the salvation of sinners. And now all men should be taught the nature and necessity of repentance, in order to the forgiveness of their sins. And these blessings were to be sought for, by faith in the name of Jesus. Christ by his Spirit works on the minds of men. Even good men need to have their understandings opened. But that we may have right thoughts of Christ, there needs no more than to be made to understand the Scriptures.
Verse 37. - But they were terrified and affrighted. They spoke one to another of the Master; they discussed the empty sepulchre, the angelic vision, the recital by Peter of his interview with the Risen, and were listening to the details of the quiet Emmaus meeting, all hoping for something more; but this sudden, mysterious appearance of their crucified Master in their midst was not, after all, what they had looked for. It terrified them. And supposed that they had seen a spirit. How else could they explain his presence in their midst, when the doors were shut? The evangelists make no attempt to explain his sudden appearance. He was simply there as they spoke of him. It is clear that his presence could be accounted for in no ordinary, natural way. His disciples felt that; hence their supposition that they were looking on a spirit. We can, with our present limited knowledge, form no adequate conception of this resurrection-body of the Lord. It was a reality, no phantasm or appearance; of that the scene about to be described gives us ample evidence. Still, it is clear that his resurrection-body was not bound by the present conditions of material existence of which we are conscious. Epiphanius ascribes to the body of the risen Lord λεπτότης πνευματική, "a spiritual subtilty," Euthymius uses similar language when he speaks of "his body being now subtile, thin, and unmixed." He could come into a closed, barred room. He could be visible or invisible, known or unknown, as he pleased and when he pleased.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But they were terrified and affrighted,.... At the sight of him, and at his sudden appearance among them, without being heard, or seen before, and the doors shut and bolted; they could not tell how to account for it, that it should be Jesus himself risen from the dead in his own body, though they had been just speaking of his resurrection, and had had a confirmation of it from the disciples that went to Emmaus:
and supposed that they had seen a spirit; that what they saw was a phantom, or apparition, or a spirit, that had assumed, and appeared in, the shape of Jesus, and was not he himself.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
37, 38. a spirit—the ghost of their dead Lord, but not Himself in the body (Ac 12:15; Mt 14:26).
thoughts—rather, "reasonings"; that is, whether He were risen or no, and whether this was His very self.
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