Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
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.1. Now] Rather, But.
very early in the morning] Literally, at deep dawn, i.e. at the earliest morning twilight, ‘while it was yet dark’ (John 20:1), though the sun began to rise before they reached the tomb (Mark 16:2). St John mentions only Mary of Magdala (John 20:1); St Matthew adds Mary, mother of James (Matthew 28:1); St Mark adds Salome (Mark 16:1); and St Luke Joanna, Luke 24:10. They may have gone singly or in small groups, the Marys being separate from the others. There is no discrepancy in the different narratives, although, as we might have expected, they are fragmentary and seem to reflect the varied and tumultuous emotions of those who were the first to see the Lord. The Easter music, as Lange says, is not ‘a monotonous chorale’ but an impassioned fugue.
and certain others with the?n] These words are probably spurious, not being in א, B, C, L.
And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.2-12. Vision of Angels to the Women. Peter visits the Tomb.
2. they found the stone rolled away] On their way they had considered how they should get over this difficulty, since the stone was “very great” (Mark 16:3). From St Mark’s expression, “looking up,” we infer that the tomb was slightly elevated; and from St John’s “lifted” (ἠρμένον) that the first aperture of the tomb was horizontal.
St Matthew also tells us of the Angel and the Earthquake (Matthew 28:2-4).
And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.3. found not the body] Even advanced sceptics admit this circumstance as indisputable, nor has one of them been able to invent the most remotely plausible explanation of the fact by natural causes. For the white-robed angel or angels in the tomb, see Mark 16:5; John 20:11-12. On the mention, omission, and numbers of these angels Van Oosterzee quotes a very striking remark from Lessing. “Cold discrepancy-mongers, do ye not then see that the Evangelists do not count the angels?...There were not only two angels, there were millions of them. They appeared not always one and the same, not always the same two; sometimes this one appeared, sometimes that; sometimes on this place, sometimes on that; sometimes alone, sometimes in company; sometimes they said this, sometimes they said that.”
of the Lord Jesus] These words are omitted in D. The combination ‘Lord Jesus’ would however naturally begin at this point, as it is common in the Acts and Epistles, where ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ occurs about 40 times, though not found in the Gospels.
And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:4. much perplexed] The word means ‘utterly at a loss.’
in shining garments] Literally, “flashing as with lightning,which recalls the expression of Matthew 28:3; comp. Luke 9:29.
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?5. Why seek ye the living among the dead?] Comp. Acts 1:11. The expression “the living” is probably used on the lips of the angels with something of its true mystic depth. John 1:4; John 5:26; John 11:25; John 20:31.
He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,6. when he was yet in Galilee] Matthew 17:22-23.
Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
And they remembered his words,
And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.9. returned from the sepulchre] Comp. Matthew 28:8. From John 20:2 we infer that Mary of Magdala had, in the first instance, run from the sepulchre to tell Peter and John of the removal of the stone, and had therefore not seen the first vision of angels. The apparent contradiction in Mark 16:8 obviously means that they ‘said not one word on the subject to any one’ except the Apostles to whom they were expressly told to announce it (Matthew 28:7).
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.10. and other women] See Luke 8:2-3.
And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.11. as idle tales] The strong word used (leros) implies mere nonsensical talk.
believed them not] The imperfect shews persistent incredulity; ‘they disbelieved them.’
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.12. Then arose Peter] For the fuller details see John 20:2-9. It should be simply ‘but Peter arose.’ The ‘but’ implies his readiness to believe. The presence of John, though omitted here, is implied in Luke 24:24. The verse is probably genuine, though omitted in D.
the linen clothes] Othonia, a very general term, and perhaps including the linen bands in which the Body had been swathed in spices. Comp. John 20:6-7.
laid by the?nselves] Important as incidentally refuting the story disseminated by the Jews (Matthew 28:11-15). Such a stealing of the body was on every ground impossible under the conditions, and had it been even possible could only have been a hurried and perilous work. Yet this absurd Jewish fiction was repeated and amplified twelve centuries later in the blasphemous Toldoth Jeshu.
departed, wondering in himself] Rather, departed to Ms own house, wondering (comp. John 20:10). The surprise, the alarm, the perplexed incredulity of the Disciples, admitted by all the Evangelists alike, add force to those evidences which so absolutely convinced them of the miracle which they had never contemplated. The stunning blow of the Crucifixion had made them forget the prophecies of Jesus, which even at the time they had been unable to receive with any comprehension or conviction. (See Luke 9:43-45; John 2:18-22; Joh 6:61-64; Joh 10:17-18; Joh 13:31; Matthew 12:38-42; Mat 16:13-27; Mat 17:1-9; Mark 10:32-34, &c.)
And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.13-35. The Disciples at Emmaus.
13. two of them] It is expressly implied in Luke 24:33 that they were not Apostles. One was Cleopas (an abbreviation of Cleopatros), of whom we know nothing, for the name is not the same as Clopas (=Alphaeus or Chalpai, John 19:25), though they may have been the same person (see on Luke 6:15). The other is unknown, and unconjecturable. There is no shadow of probability that it was St Luke himself (Theophylact). This exquisite narrative is given by St Luke alone, though mentioned in Mark 16:12-13.
went] Rather, were going.
a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs] Omit “about,” which has nothing to sanction it in the text. The distance (6 1/2 miles) shews that Emmaus could not have been the Emmaus of 1Ma 3:40; 1Ma 9:50, &c. (Amwas or Nicopolis), which is 176 furlongs (22 miles) from Jerusalem, Jos. B. J. ii. 20, § 4, or the Galilaean Emmaus or “Hot Springs” (Jos. B. J. iv. 1, § 3, vii. 6, § 6). It may be the Emmaus of Jos. B. J. vii. 6, § 6 (Kulonieh Succah, iv. 5), which according to one reading was 60 furlongs from Jerusalem. Had the Emmaus been 160 furlongs distant (as in the reading of א, I, K, N, &c.) they could not have returned the same evening to Jerusalem.
And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.15. Jesus himself drew near] A beautiful illustration of the promise in Matthew 18:20.
But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.16. that they should not know him] Rather, recognise Him. There are two other instances of the same remarkable fact. Mary of Magdala did not recognise Him (John 20:14), nor the disciples on the Lake (John 21:4). The same thing is evidently implied in Luke 24:37 and in Matthew 28:17; and it exactly accords with the clear indications that the Resurrection Body of our Lord was a Glorified Body of which the conditions transcended those of ordinary mortality. It is emphasized in Mark 16:12, where we are told that He was manifested in a different form from that which He had worn before.
And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?17. that ye have one to another] Literally, “cast to and fro.”
and are sad] The true reading seems to be and they stood still (estathesan, א, A, B, and some ancient versions; estesan, L), looking sad. They stopped short, displeased at the unwelcome, and possibly perilous, intrusion of a stranger into their conversation.
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?18. whose name was Cleopas] See on Luke 24:13. The mention of so entirely obscure a name alone proves that the story is not an invention. Pii non sua sed aliorum causa memorantur. Bengel.
Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem] Rather, Dost thou live alone as a stranger in Jerusalem; art thou some lonely sojourner in Jerusalem, come from a distance?
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:19. a prophet, mighty in deed and word] See a remarkable parallel to this description in Acts 2:22.
And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
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.21. we trusted] This would imply that now their hope was dimmed, if not quenched. This perhaps led to the reading ‘we trust’ (elpizomen for elpizomen) inand some inferior MSS., which Alford calls a “correction for decorum.”
which should have redeemed Israel] The form of the expected redemption is explained in Acts 1:6.
to day is the third day] The words might be literally rendered ‘He is leading this third day.’ The expression seems to imply, ‘if there had been any hope it would have been confirmed before now.’
Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
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.23. which said] Rather, which say. This mention of a sort of double hearsay (‘women saying—of angels who say’) shews the extreme hesitation which appears throughout the narrative.
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.24. hut him they saw not] This phrase most naturally and tenderly expresses their incredulity and sorrow. It also shews how impossible is the sceptical theory that the Disciples were misled by hallucinations. “Les hallucines,” says Bersier, “parlent en hallucines;” but against any blind enthusiasms we see that the Apostles and Disciples were most suspiciously on their guard. They accepted nothing short of most rigid proof.
Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:25. O fools] The expression is much too strong. It is not the word aphrones (see Luke 11:40), but anoetoi, ‘foolish,’ ‘unintelligent.’ (Galatians 3:1.)
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?26. ought not Christ to have suffered] Rather, the Christ. It was a divine necessity (ouchi edei?), Matthew 26:54; John 12:24; John 12:32; John 11:49-52; Acts 17:3; 1 Peter 1:10-11. Thus St Luke mainly dwells on the Resurrection as a spiritual necessity; St Mark as a great fact; St Matthew as a glorious and majestic manifestation; and St John in its effects on the minds of the members of the Church. (Westcott.)
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.27. beginning at Moses] The promise to Eve (Genesis 3:15); the promise to Abraham (Genesis 22:18); the Paschal Lamb (Exodus 12); the Scapegoat (Leviticus 16:1-34); the brazen serpent (Numbers 21:9); the greater Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15); and the star and sceptre (Numbers 24:17); the smitten rock (Numbers 20:11; 1 Corinthians 10:4), &c.
and all the prophets] Immanuel, Isaiah 7:14. “Unto us a Child is born, &c.” Isaiah 9:6-7. The Good Shepherd, Isaiah 40:10-11. The Meek Sufferer, Isaiah 1:6. He who bore our griefs, Isaiah 53:4-5. The Branch,
Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:14-15. The heir of David, Ezekiel 34:23. The Ruler from Bethlehem, Micah 5:2. The Branch, Zechariah 6:12. The lowly King, Zechariah 9:9. The pierced Victim, Zechariah 12:10. The smitten Shepherd, Zechariah 13:7. The Messenger of the Covenant, Malachi 3:1. The Sun of Righteousness, Malachi 4:2; and many other passages. Dr Davison, in his admirable and standard book on prophecy, pp. 266-287, shews that there is not one of the Prophets without some distinct reference to Christ except Nahum, Jonah (who was himself a type and Prophetic Sign), and Habakkuk, who however uses the memorable words quoted in Romans 1:17. The expression is important, as shewing the prevalently Messianic character of the Old Testament; for of course we cannot suppose that our Lord went through each prophet separately, but only that He pointed out “the tenor of the Old Testament in its ethical and symbolical character.”
in all the scriptures] fragmentarily (polumeros) and multifariously (polutropos), Hebrews 1:1, e.g. in the Psalms passim, and in the types of Joshua, &c.
And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.28. he made as though he would have gone further] Rather, would go. It is of course implied that He would have gone further, but for the strong pressure of their entreaty. Comp. Mark 6:48. We learn from these passages how needful it is to win Christ’s Presence by praying for it.
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.29. Abide with us] It is this beautiful verse which has furnished the idea of Lyte’s dying hymn, ‘Abide with me, fast falls the eventide.’
he went in to tarry with them] Comp. Hebrews 13:2, “thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.30. he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them] Rather, the bread. Comp. Luke 22:19. Our Lord seems, by a kind of natural authority, to have assumed the position of host; which shews that they were at an inn.
And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.31. he vanished] See on Luke 24:16.
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?32. Did not our heart burn] Rather, Was not our heart burning?
while he talked with us] Rather, to us. “Never man spake like this man,” John 7:46.
And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,33. and returned to Jerusalem] “They fear no longer the night journey from which they had dissuaded their unknown companion.” Bengel.
Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.34. hath appeared to Simon] The same appearance, to Simon alone, is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:5, but there is not even a tradition as to the details. (The passage in 1 Corinthians 15:4-8 is the earliest written allusion to the facts of the Resurrection.)
And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.35. in breaking of bread] Rather, in the breaking of the bread. The alteration is important as giving to the act a sacramental character. It has been objected that Cleopas and his companion, not being Apostles, had not been present at the institution of the Lord’s Supper; but this was by no means the only occasion on which Christ had solemnly broken bread and blessed it (see Luke 9:16). St Mark adds that some of the disciples received even this narrative with distrust (Luke 16:13), which once more proves that, so far from being heated enthusiasts ready to accept any hallucination, they shewed on the contrary a most cautious reluctance in accepting even the most circumstantial evidence.
The young reader will be glad to see a part of the beautiful passage of Cowper on this scene:
“It happen’d on a solemn eventide
Soon after He who was our surety died,
Two bosom friends, each pensively inclined,
The scene of all those sorrows left behind,
Sought their own village, busied as they went
In musings worthy of this great event.
They spake of Him they loved, of Him whose life,
Though blameless, had incurred perpetual strife.
* * * * *
Ere yet they brought their journey to an end
A stranger joined them, courteous as a friend,
And asked them with a kind engaging air
What their affliction was, and begged a share.
* * * * *
He blessed the bread, but vanished at the word,
And left them bothexclaiming,’Twas the Lord!
Did not our hearts feel all He deigned to say,
Did not they burn within us by the way?”
And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.36-49. Appearance of Jesus to the Apostles.
36. stood in the midst of them] The words imply a sudden appearance. The Eleven, with the exception of Thomas the Twin, were sitting at supper with the doors closed through their fear of the Jews (John 20:19). This is one of the most remarkable appearances of the Risen Christ. His intercourse with them on this occasion consisted of a greeting (Luke 24:36); a reproach and consolation (Luke 24:38; Mark 16:14); a demonstration of the reality of His person (Luke 24:39-43; John 20:20); an opening of their understandings (Luke 24:44-46); an appointment of the Apostles to the ministries of remission and witness (Luke 24:47-48; John 19:21; John 19:23); a promise of the Spirit, for the fulfilment of which they were to wait in Jerusalem (Luke 24:49). At the close of this great scene He once more pronounced the benediction of Peace, and breathed on them with the words ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:22). It is doubtless the extreme fulness with which St Luke has narrated this appearance which led him in accordance with his economy of method to omit some of the other appearances.
But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.37. terrified] Literally, “scared”
that they had seen a spirit] Rather, that they were gazing on a spirit. See on Luke 24:16.
And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?38. thoughts] Rather, reasonings.
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.39. handle me, and see] Pselaphesate; “which we have looked upon and our hands have handled (epselaphesan) of the Word of Life,” 1 John 1:1; comp. John 20:20; John 20:27. For other uses of the word see Acts 17:27; Hebrews 12:18.
hath not flesh and bones] “I am not a bodiless spirit” are words attributed to Him in Ignatius (ad Smyrn. 3). Clemens of Alexandria has preserved a curious, but utterly baseless, legend, that St John, touching the body, found that his hands passed through it. From the omission of “blood” with “flesh and bones” very precarious inferences have been drawn.
And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.40. and his feet] which must therefore have been pierced, and not merely tied to the Cross.
And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?41. believed not for joy] One of the psychological touches of which St Luke is fond, and profoundly true to nature (comp. Liv. xxxix. 49).
any meat] Rather, anything to eat; see on Luke 3:11, Luke 8:55.
And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.42. a piece of a broiled fish] A meal of fish at Jerusalem might surprise us, if we did not learn from the Talmud that it was regularly supplied from the inexhaustible stores of the Lake of Gennesareth (Life of Christ, i. 142).
and of a honeycomb] Omitted in א, A, B, D, L, &c.
And he took it, and did eat before them.43. and did eat before them] This was one of the ‘infallible proofs’ appealed to in Acts 1:3; comp. John 21:12-13; “who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead,” Acts 10:41. Jerome (adv. Pelag. ii.) mentions a strange addition in some MSS., viz. that the disciples said that ‘the wickedness and incredulity of the age is a substance which does not permit the true virtue of God to be apprehended through impure spirits; therefore even now reveal Thy justice.’
A few MSS. and versions here add, ‘and gave them the remains.’
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.44. These are the words] i.e. this is the meaning of the words.
which I spake unto you] Luke 18:31; Matthew 16:21.
while I was yet with you] Important as shewing that the forty days between the Resurrection and the Ascension were not intended to be a continuous sojourn with the Disciples, or an integral portion of the Lord’s human life.
which were written] See on Luke 24:26-27.
the law...the prophets., the psalms] This corresponds with the (possibly later) Jewish division of the Old Testament into the Pentateuch, Prophets, and Ketubhim (Hagiographa).
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,45. opened he their understanding] Spiritual things can only be spiritually discerned, 1 Corinthians 2:10-13. On this most important truth see Matthew 11:27; Matthew 13:11; Matthew 16:17; John 16:13; Acts 16:14. “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law,” Psalm 119:18.
that they might understand the scriptures] Hence the power with which they—till this time so dull and slow of heart—henceforth explained them, Acts 1:16; Acts 1:20; Acts 2:16; Acts 2:25, &c.
And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:46. and thus it behoved Christ to suffer] Read, thus it is written that the Christ should suffer, א, B, C, D, L.
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.47. remission of sins] See on Luke 1:77.“Your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake,” and 1 John 2:12.
among all nations] See Genesis 12:3, “all families of the earth.” Psalm 22:27, “all kindreds of the nations.” Isaiah 49:6, “a light to the Gentiles,” &c. See on Luke 2:32.
beginning at Jerusalem] “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem,” Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2.
And ye are witnesses of these things.48. ye are witnesses] John 15:27. How prominent in the minds of the Apostles was this ministry of witness may be seen from Acts 1:8; Acts 2:32; Acts 3:15; Acts 4:33; Acts 5:30-32, &c.
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.49. the promise of my Father] both in the Prophecies of the Old Testament (Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 36:26; Joel 2:28) and by His own mouth (John 14:16-17; John 14:20; John 15:26; John 16:7). Comp. Acts 1:4-5; Acts 1:8. It is difficult not to see in this expression a distinct allusion to the discourses which are recorded by St John alone.
until ye be endued] Rather, until ye put on the garment of. For the metaphor see Romans 13:14; Ephesians 4:24, &c. We are unclothed till we receive heavenly gifts. “They had been washed (John 15:3), now the clothing is promised.” Bengel.
There are ten recorded appearances of the Risen Christ (including that at the Ascension), of which St Luke only narrates three (the 4th, 5th, and 10th), though he alludes to others (e.g. the 3rd). They are
1. To Mary of Magdala. John 20:11-17 (‘Noli me tangere’)] Mark 16:9.
2. To other women, who adore Him. Matthew 28:9-10.
3. To Peter. Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5.
4. To the Disciples on the way to Emmaus. Luke 24:13-35; Mark 16:12-13.
5. To ten Apostles and others. Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-23; Mark 16:14.
6. To the Eleven Apostles. The incredulity of Thomas removed. John 20:26-29.
7. To seven Apostles at the Lake of Galilee. John 21:1-24.
8. To five hundred on a hill of Galilee. Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18; 1 Corinthians 15:6.
9. To James, the Lord’s brother. 1 Corinthians 15:7.
10. Before the Ascension. Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:6-9.
Since more Appearances of the Risen Christ than those here narrated were well known to St Paul (1 Corinthians 15:5-7), it may be regarded as certain that they were known also to St Luke. If he here omits them it must be borne in mind (i) that neither he nor any of the Evangelists profess to furnish a complete narrative; (2) that St Luke especially shews a certain ‘economy’ (as has been already pointed out) in only narrating typical incidents; (iii) that he is here hastening to the close of his Gospel; and (iv) that he has other particulars to add in the Acts of the Apostles.
And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.50-53. The Ascension.
50. he led them out] Not of course at the conclusion of the last scene, but at the end of the forty days, Acts 1:3.
as far as to Bethany] Rather, as far as towards Bethany (pros, א, B, C, D, &c.). The traditional scene of the Ascension is the central summit of the Mount of Olives (Jebel et-Tur); but it is far more probable that it took place in one of the secluded uplands which lie about the village. See a beautiful passage in Dean Stanley’s Sinai and Palestine, ch. 3.
And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.51. he was parted front them] “A cloud received Him out of their sight,” Acts 1:9. The original however conveys a clearer impression.
He stood apart from them (aorist) and was gradually borne into heaven. The latter words are not found in א, D.
carried up into heaven] See Ephesians 4:8. The withdrawal of His Bodily Presence preceded His Spiritual Omnipresence. The omission of the Ascension by St Matthew and St John would be more remarkable if it was not assumed by them both (John 3:13; John 6:62; John 20:17; Matthew 24:30).
And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:52. returned to Jerusalem] For fuller details see Acts 1:3-12.
with great joy] as Jesus had promised (John 16:20; John 16:22). It is remarkable that they shewed great joy now that they were losing for ever the earthly presence of their Lord. It shews their faith in the promise that His spiritual presence should be even nearer and more precious (John 14:28; John 16:7).
And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.53. continually in the temple] This expression is one of the links between the Gospel and the Acts (see Acts 2:46; Acts 3:1, &c.).
praising and blessing God] Acts 2:46; Acts 5:42. ‘Praise is the fruit of joy.’ A characteristic close in accordance with the usual spirit of St Luke. See Introd. p. 24, and Luke 2:20, Luke 5:25, Luke 7:16, Luke 13:13; Luke 17:15 ; Luke 18:43; Luke 23:47
15, Luke 18:43, Luke 23:47.
Amen] Probably a liturgical addition, as it is omitted in א, C, D, L, &c. “The Ascension,” says Godet, “realises in the person of the Risen Son of Man the design of God towards Humanity.” That divinely- foreordained purpose (prothesis) was to make of sanctified believers a Family of God’s children like His only Son. Romans 8:28-29; Ephesians 2:6; Hebrews 2:10. The work of Christ is continued by the Church, enlightened by the Spirit of God at Pentecost, and awaiting its perfection at the Second Advent. “Since then salvation involves these three things—Grace, Holiness, Glory, each Gospel, especially that of St Luke, requires, as its second volume, the Acts; as its third, the Revelation of St John.”