|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 39. - Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. "See," he says, inviting the terror-stricken disciples to a calm, unaffrighted contemplation - "see my hands and my feet pierced with the nails which fastened them to the cross; it is I myself." Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. The first words quietly told the awe-struck ones to look closely at him, and to ascertain from the dread marks he bore that what they looked upon was Jesus their Master. Then he proceeded to bid them touch him, handle him, and so assure themselves that it was no phantom, no bodiless spirit, that stood before them. These words of the Lord, and the invitation, "handle me, and see," made the deepest impression on the hearers. These, then, were proofs of the Resurrection that admitted of no shadow of doubt. These words, this sight, changed their lives. What cared they afterwards for men and men's threatenings? Death, life, to them were all one. They had seen the Lord, they had handled with their hands "that which was flora the beginning" (see 1 John 1:1). Browning forcibly puts this thought which so influenced the first great teachers. The dying St. John is dwelling on the thought that when he is gone there will be none left with men who saw and touched the Lord.
"If I live yet, it is for good, more love
Through me to men: be nought but ashes here
That keep awhile my semblance, who was John.
Still, when they seater, there is left on earth
No one alive who knew (consider this!),
Saw with his eyes, and handled with his hands,
That which was from the first, the Word of life.
How will it be when none more saith, 'I saw'?"
(A Death in the Desert.')
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold my hands, and my feet,.... The Evangelist John adds, "and side"; that is, the prints of the nails and spear, in his hands, and feet, and side; and the wounds they made there, and the scars they left behind; by which they might be convinced he was not a spirit, and be assured of the truth of his resurrection, and that in the same numerical body in which he suffered; as well as that it might be observed by them how great was his love to them, to endure what he did for them.
Handle me and see; or know by feeling, as well as by sight; so that if the one was not sufficient, the other might confirm; sight might be deceived, but feeling could not: Apollonius Tyaneus, to them that did not know whether he was alive or dead, and who took him for a spirit, proposed himself to be touched, and handled, that they might be convinced (z):
for a spirit hath not flesh and bones; nothing but appearance, or air at most; no solid substance to be felt and handled:
as ye see me have; or may perceive, both by sight and feeling.
(z) Philostratus de Vita Apollon. l. 8, c. 5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
39-43. Behold, &c.—lovingly offering them both ocular and tangible demonstration of the reality of His resurrection.
a spirit hath not—an important statement regarding "spirits."
flesh and bones—He says not "flesh and blood"; for the blood is the life of the animal and corruptible body (Ge 9:4), which "cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1Co 15:50); but "flesh and bones," implying the identity, but with diversity of laws, of the resurrection body. (See on Joh 20:24-28).
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