Luke 24:16
But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
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24:13-27 This appearance of Jesus to the two disciples going to Emmaus, happened the same day that he rose from the dead. It well becomes the disciples of Christ to talk together of his death and resurrection; thus they may improve one another's knowledge, refresh one another's memory, and stir up each other's devout affections. And where but two together are well employed in work of that kind, he will come to them, and make a third. Those who seek Christ, shall find him: he will manifest himself to those that inquire after him; and give knowledge to those who use the helps for knowledge which they have. No matter how it was, but so it was, they did not know him; he so ordering it, that they might the more freely discourse with him. Christ's disciples are often sad and sorrowful, even when they have reason to rejoice; but through the weakness of their faith, they cannot take the comfort offered to them. Though Christ is entered into his state of exaltation, yet he notices the sorrows of his disciples, and is afflicted in their afflictions. Those are strangers in Jerusalem, that know not of the death and sufferings of Jesus. Those who have the knowledge of Christ crucified, should seek to spread that knowledge. Our Lord Jesus reproved them for the weakness of their faith in the Scriptures of the Old Testament. Did we know more of the Divine counsels as far as they are made known in the Scriptures, we should not be subject to the perplexities we often entangle ourselves in. He shows them that the sufferings of Christ were really the appointed way to his glory; but the cross of Christ was that to which they could not reconcile themselves. Beginning at Moses, the first inspired writer of the Old Testament, Jesus expounded to them the things concerning himself. There are many passages throughout all the Scriptures concerning Christ, which it is of great advantage to put together. We cannot go far in any part, but we meet with something that has reference to Christ, some prophecy, some promise, some prayer, some type or other. A golden thread of gospel grace runs through the whole web of the Old Testament. Christ is the best expositor of Scripture; and even after his resurrection, he led people to know the mystery concerning himself, not by advancing new notions, but by showing how the Scripture was fulfilled, and turning them to the earnest study of it.Their eyes were holden - This expression is used merely to denote that they did not "know" who he was. It does not appear that there was anything supernatural or miraculous in it, or that God used any power to blind them. It may easily be accounted for without any such supposition; for,

1. Jesus appeared "in another form" Mark 16:12 - that is, different from his "usual" appearance.

2. They were not "expecting" to see him - indeed, they did not suppose that he was alive, and it required the strongest evidence to convince them that he was really risen from the dead.

14-16. communed and reasoned—exchanged views and feelings, weighing afresh all the facts, as detailed in Lu 24:18-24.

drew near—coming up behind them as from Jerusalem.

eyes holden—Partly He was "in another form" (Mr 16:12), and partly there seems to have been an operation on their own vision; though certainly, as they did not believe that He was alive, His company as a fellow traveller was the last thing they would expect,

God by his providence restrained their eyes, that though they saw a man, yet they could not discern who he was. We may learn from hence that the form or figure of Christ’s body after his resurrection was not changed. His body had the same dimensions, the same quantity, colour, and figure, and was in itself a proper object for human eyes; for otherwise there had been no need for their eyes to be held. From hence also we may learn the influence which God hath upon all our members and senses, and how much we depend upon God for a daily power to exercise our natural faculties. Our Lord had no mind that these two disciples should at first discern who he was, that he might draw out their following discourses, and from them take occasion to prove from Scripture the certainty of his resurrection. From this text we may gather, how hard the Lutherans are put to it to maintain the real presence of the body of Christ, wherever the sacrament of the Lord’s supper is administered; for this they must maintain, that although the body of Christ after his resurrection was the same that was crucified, and so obvious to sense, yet he had not only a power to make it insensible and invisible, which we grant, but that he hath also a power to multiply it, and make it in one and the same instant to be in so many places as his supper is administered in; and also that he willeth it at the same time to be imperceptible by any human senses in all those places: for it is apparent from hence, that it was not at all times imperceptible; it might at this time have been seen, had not the disciples eyes been held, that they could not know him.

But their eyes were holden, &c. The Ethiopic version adds, "and were covered"; and the Arabic version renders it, "now he had veiled their eyes", ascribing it to Christ; and the Persic version renders it, "and the eyes of the disciples were shut": to me it seems, that their eyes: were held downwards; or they kept looking upon the ground as they walked, which was a posture suitable to their melancholy spirits; and there might be a peculiar influence of divine power and providence, so disposing them, that they did not look up to Christ their new fellow traveller, who walked on with them: and this was so ordered,

that they should not know him; that so they might not be surprised at once, as they would have been, had they looked at him, and discerned who he was; and that they might converse the more freely with him; and that he might convince them of their stupidity and unbelief, by proper arguments.

{c} But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

(c) Were held back and stayed, God no doubt appointing this to be so: and therefore his body was not invisible, but rather their eyes were dimmed.

Luke 24:16. ἐκρατοῦντο, their eyes were held, from recognising Him (here only in this sense). Instances of the use of the verb in this sense in reference to the bodily organs are given by Kypke. It is not necessary, with Meyer, to suppose any special Divine action or purpose to prevent knowledge of Jesus.

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.

Luke 24:16. Ἐκρατοῦντο, were holden) The antithesis is in Luke 24:31, διηνοίχθησαν, their eyes were opened.

Verse 16. - But their eyes were holden, that they should not know him. So Mary Magdalene looked on and failed to recognize at first the Person of her adored Master (John 20:15). So by the lake-shore, as he stood and spoke to the tired fishermen, they who had been so long with him knew him not. Some mysterious change had been wrought in the Person of the Lord. Between the Resurrection and the Ascension, men and women now looked on him without a gleam of recognition, now gazed on him knowing well that it was the Lord. "It is vain," writes Dr. Westcott, "to give any simply natural explanation of the failure of the disciples to recognize Christ. After the Resurrection he was known as he pleased, and not necessarily at once Till they who gazed on him were placed in something of spiritual harmony with the Lord, they could not recognize him." The two on their walk to Emmaus, and Mary Magdalene in the garden, were preoccupied with their sorrow. The fisher-disciples on the lake were preoccupied with their work, so that the vision of the Divine was obscured. The risen Christ will surely fulfil his own words, "The pure in heart, they shall see God" but only the pure in heart. Luke 24:16
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