Luke 24:28
And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
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(28) He made as though he would have gone further.—This was, it is obvious, the crucial test of the effect of the Lord’s previous teaching. Did they feel a new light flowing in upon their souls, bringing new meanings into what had before been obscure and hard sayings? Were they content to let the unknown Teacher pass on, and see no more of Him? Their answer showed, in words that meet us afterwards, that their “hearts” already “burnt within them.” Here, also, we note the method of the Divine Teacher as an example for other teachers. We often impress truth more effectively, and ‘stimulate the desire for further knowledge, by suspending for a time the continued inculcation of it.




Luke 24:28 - Luke 24:29

Of course, a chance companion, picked up on the road, is dropped when the journey’s end is reached. When these two disciples had come to Emmaus, perhaps arriving at some humble inn or caravanserai, or perhaps at the home of one of them, it would have been an unmannerly intrusion for the Stranger who had met them on the road, and could accompany them there without rudely forcing Himself on them, to have inflicted His company further on them unless they had wished it. And so ‘He made as though He would have gone further,’ not pretending what He did not mean, but doing what was but natural and proper in the circumstances. But Jesus had a further motive for showing His intention of parting company at the door of t he house in Emmaus. He desired to evoke the expression of the desire of His two fellow-walkers that He should tarry with them. Having evoked it, then with infinite willingness omnipotence lets itself be controlled by feebleness, and Jesus suffers Himself to be constrained by those whom, unknown to themselves, He was gently and mightily constraining. ‘He made as though,’ unfortunately suggests to an English reader the idea of acting a part, and of seeming to intend what was not really intended. But there is no such thought in Luke’s mind.

The first suggestion that strikes one from this incident is just this: Jesus Christ will certainly leave us if we do not detain Him.

It is no more certain that that walk to Emmaus had its end, and that that first day of the week, day of Resurrection though it was, was destined to close in sunset and evening darkness, than that all seasons of quickened intercourse with Jesus Christ, all times when duty and grace and privilege seem to be very great and real, all times when we awake more than ordinarily to the recognition of the Presence of the Lord with us and of the glories that lie beyond, tend to end and to leave us bare and deprived of the vision, unless there be on our parts a distinct and resolute effort to make perpetual that which in its nature is transient and comes to a close, unless we avert its cessation. All motion tends to rest, and Christian feeling falls under the same law. Nay, the more thrilling the moment’s experience the more exhausting is it, and the more certain to be followed by depression and collapse. ‘Action and reaction are equal and contrary.’ The height of the wave determines the depth of the trough. Therefore Christian people have to be specially careful towards the end of a time of special vitality and earnestness; because, unless they by desire and by discipline of their minds interpose, the natural result will be deadness in proportion to the previous excitement. ‘He made as though He would have gone further,’ and He certainly will unless His retreating skirts be grasped at by the outstretched hands of faith and desire, and the prayer go after Him, ‘Abide with us for it is toward evening.’

That is quite true, too, in another application of the incident. Convictions, spiritual experiences of a rudimentary sort, certainly die away and leave people harder and worse than they were before, unless they be fostered and cherished and brought to maturity and invested with permanence by the honest efforts of the subjects of the same. The grace of God, in the preaching of His Gospel, is like a flying summer shower. It falls upon one land and then passes on with its treasures and pours them out somewhere else. The religious history of many countries and of long centuries is a commentary written out in great and tragic characters on the profound truth that lies in the simple incident of my text. Look at Palestine, look at Asia Minor, at the places where the Gospel first won its triumphs; look at Eastern Europe. What is the present condition of these once fair lands but an illustration of this principle, that Christ who comes to men in His grace is kept only by the earnestness and faithfulness and desire of the men to whom He comes?

And you and I, dear brethren, both as members of a Christian community and in our individual capacity, have our religious blessings on the same conditions as Ephesus and Constantinople had theirs, and may fling them away by the same negligence as has ruined large tracts of the world through long ages of time. Christ will certainly go unless you keep Him.

Then further, notice from my text this other thought, that Christ seeks by His action to stimulate our desires for Him.

‘He made as though He would have gone further.’ But while His feet were directed to the road His heart remained with His two fellow-travellers whom He was apparently leaving, and His wish was that the sight of His retiring figure might kindle in their hearts great outgoings of desire to which He would so gladly yield. It is the same action on His part, only under a slightly different form, but actuated by the same motive and the same in substance, as we find over and over again in the gospels. You remember the instances. I need only refer to them in a word.

Here is one: the dark lake, the rising moon behind the Eastern hills, a figure coming out of the gloom across the stormy sea, and when He reached the tossing fishing cobble it seemed as if He would have passed by; and He would, but that the cry flung out over the dark water stopped Him.

Here are two blind men sitting by the roadside crying ‘Thou Son of David, have mercy upon us.’ Not a word, not even a glance over His shoulder, no stopping of His resolved stride; onwards towards Jerusalem, Pilate, and Calvary. Because He did not heed their cry? Because He did not infinitely long to help them? No. The purpose of His apparent indifference was attained when ‘they cried the more earnestly, Thou Son of David, have mercy upon us.’

Here is another. A woman half mad with anguish for her demon-ridden daughter, calling after Him with the shrill shriek of Eastern sorrow and disturbing the fine nerves of the disciples, but causing no movements nor any sign that He even heard, or if He heard, heeded, the ear-piercing and heart-moving cries. Why was that ear which was always open to the call of misery closed now? Because He wished to bring her to such an agony of desire as might open her heart very wide for an amplitude of blessing; and so He let her cry, knowing that the longer she called the more she would wish, and that the more she wished the more He would bestow.

And that is what He does with us all sometimes: seeming to leave our wishes and our yearnings all unnoticed. Then the devil says to us, ‘What’s the use of crying to Him? He does not hear you.’ But faith hears the promise: ‘Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it,’ though to sense there seems to be ‘no voice nor any that answered.’

Christ has no other reason in any of the delays and trying prolongations of His answers than to make us capable of larger blessing, because delay deepens our longing. He is infinitely wishful to-day, as He was on that Resurrection evening, to draw near to every heart and pour upon it the whole sunlit cataract of the mighty fact that He lives to bless. But He cannot come to us unless we desire Him, and He cannot give to us more of Himself than we wish; and therefore He is obliged, as the first thing, to make our desires larger and fuller, and then He will answer them. ‘He could there do no mighty works because of their unbelief.’

Our faithlessness limits His power; our faith is the measure of our capacity.

Lastly, the text reminds us that Jesus Christ is glad to be forced.

‘They constrained’: a very strong word, kindred to the other one which our Lord Himself employs when He speaks about the ‘kingdom of heaven suffering violence, and the violent taking it by force.’ That bold expression gives emphatic utterance to the truth that there is a real power lodged in the desires of humble hearts that desire Him, so as that they can prescribe to Him what He shall do for them and how much of Himself He shall give them. Our feebleness can in a measure set in motion and regulate the energy of Omnipotence. ‘They constrained Him.’

Do you remember who it was that was called ‘a prince with God’ and how he won the title and was able to prevail? We, too, have the charter given to us that we can-I speak it reverently-guide God’s hand and compel Omnipotence to bless us. We master Nature by yielding to it and utilising its energies. We have power with God by yielding to Him and conforming our desires to the longings of His heart and asking the things that are according to His will. ‘Concerning the work of My hands command ye Me.’ And what we, leaning on His promise and in unison with His mighty purpose of love, desire, that will as certainly come down to us as every stream must pour into the lowest levels and fill the depressions in its course.

You can make sure of Christ if two things are yours. He will always remain with us if, on the one hand, we wish for Him honestly and really to be with us all the day long, which would be extremely inconvenient for some of us; and if, on the other hand, we take care not to do the acts nor cultivate the tempers which drive Him away. For ‘How can two walk together except they be agreed?’ And how can we ask Him to come in and sit down in a house which is all full of filth and worldliness? Turn the demons out and open the door, and anything is more likely than that the door will stand gaping and the doorway be unfilled by the meek presence of the Christ that enters in.

The old prayer is susceptible of application to our community and to our individual hearts. When Israel prayed, ‘Arise, O Lord, into Thy rest; Thou and the Ark of Thy strength,’ the answer was prompt and certain. ‘This is My rest for ever; here will I dwell, for I have desired it.’ But the divine desire was not accomplished till the human desire opened the Temple gates for the entrance of the Ark.

‘He made as though He would have gone further’; but they constrained Him, and then He entered in.

Luke 24:28-31. And they drew near unto the village, &c. — His discourse made so deep an impression upon them, and engrossed their attention to such a degree, that they neither thought of the length of the journey, nor considered the countenance of him who spake to them, so that, ere they were aware, they arrived at the village whither they went. And he made as though he would have gone farther — When the disciples turned aside from the road to go to their lodging in the village, Jesus walked forward as if he were going on, as he would have done, had they not pressed him to stay. But they constrained him — Being loath to part with a person whose conversation had charmed them so much, they begged him to go no farther, but to abide with them; for, they said, it is toward evening — Namely, the first evening of the Jewish day, which began at three o’clock. See on Matthew 14:15; and the day is far spent — Greek, κεκλικεν η ημερα, the day has declined. That this is the meaning of the expression is evident, for, on any other supposition, the two disciples could not have returned to Jerusalem after dining at Emmaus, so as to have been present, (as it appears from Luke 24:33 they were,) when Jesus showed himself to his disciples the same day, which ended at sun-setting. And he went in to tarry with them — By their pressing invitations the disciples prevailed with their fellow-traveller to turn in with them. And their humanity met with an abundant recompense. As he sat at meat with them he took bread, &c. — Some have inferred from this, that he gave these two disciples the sacrament on this occasion, adding it to the ordinary meal they were eating, as at the first institution of the rite. But in the Greek there is no foundation for the conjecture, the words signifying properly, And it came to pass, when he sat down at the table with them, taking bread he blessed it, &c. — Among the Jews, the giving of thanks at table for their food, and the distributing of it to the guests, was the office of the head of the family. This office Jesus now assumed, though he only appeared as a guest at this table, and, looking up to heaven, blessed, or gave thanks over it, just in the manner he had formerly done: And their eyes were opened — The supernatural cloud, or the miraculous influence which before prevented their knowing him, was removed, partly, perhaps, through the action just mentioned, of his taking, blessing, and breaking the bread in the manner they had known him frequently to do, a manner probably peculiar to him. And they knew him — To their unutterable astonishment, plainly seeing that it was Jesus their Master; and, as they were preparing to acknowledge him as such, he vanished out of their sight — Rather, suddenly became invisible, or ceased to be seen by them, as the original words, αφαντος εγενετο απαυτων, literally signify. For certainly he did not vanish as a mere spectre.

24:28-35 If we would have Christ dwell with us, we must be earnest with him. Those that have experienced the pleasure and profit of communion with him, cannot but desire more of his company. He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. This he did with his usual authority and affection, with the same manner, perhaps with the same words. He here teaches us to crave a blessing on every meal. See how Christ by his Spirit and grace makes himself known to the souls of his people. He opens the Scriptures to them. He meets them at his table, in the ordinance of the Lord's supper; is known to them in breaking of bread. But the work is completed by the opening of the eyes of their mind; yet it is but short views we have of Christ in this world, but when we enter heaven, we shall see him for ever. They had found the preaching powerful, even when they knew not the preacher. Those Scriptures which speak of Christ, will warm the hearts of his true disciples. That is likely to do most good, which affects us with the love of Jesus in dying for us. It is the duty of those to whom he has shown himself, to let others know what he has done for their souls. It is of great use for the disciples of Christ to compare their experiences, and tell them to each other.He made as though he would have gone further - He did not "say" he would go farther, but he kept on as if it was not his intention to stop, and doubtless he "would" have gone on if they had not constrained him to tarry. 28-31. made as though, &c.—(Compare Mr 6:48; Ge 18:3, 5; 32:24-26).Ver. 28,29. I do not understand how some conclude from hence the lawfulness of dissembling, or telling a lie, in some cases, because the evangelist saith our Saviour

made as though he would have gone further, and did not; for without doubt our Saviour had gone further if the disciples had not been urgent with him to have staid: nor did he stay long there, as we shall hear by and by.

And they drew nigh unto the village,.... Of Emmaus, before they were aware; their conversation was so very agreeable, that the way did not seem tedious, nor the time long:

whither they went: where they intended to go, when they set out; this was the end of their journey; wherefore this village was not some intermediate place between Jerusalem and Emmaus:

and he made as though he would have gone further; when they were come to Emmaus, and to the house where the two disciples intended to make their abode that night: whether it was a public house, or an house of one of their friends, or one of their own, it matters not; Christ stopped not, nor attempted to go in with them, but stepped a few steps onward, taking his leave of them. The Ethiopic version renders it, "he began to pass by them": which carried in it an appearance as if he intended to have travelled further; and in it there was no fraud, dissimulation, or collusion: he would have gone some little way further, doubtless, had they not detained him; and he intended to stay with them, provided they should ask him, as he did, though not all night, which he never designed: the whole of it is nothing else but a piece of modesty, civility, and prudence; for guile was never found in his mouth.

And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
Luke 24:28-29. Ἐσχηματίζετο ποῤῥωτέρω πορεύεσθαι ὡς ἁπλῶς συνοδοιπόρος, Euthymius Zigabenus. He desired to prompt the invitation, which was a matter of decorum, but knew that it would follow. Comp. Mark 6:48. The imperfect προσεποιεῖτο (He feigned, gave Himself the air) and then the aorist παρεβιάσαντο: a lively representation.

πορεύεσθαι] not: that He is constrained or wishes to go farther, but we must conceive that for appearance’ sake He actually began to move forward.

Luke 24:29. On παρεβιάσ., they constrained, to wit, by means of urgent entreaty, comp. Acts 16:15; Genesis 19:3; also ἀναγκάζειν, Luke 14:23; Matthew 14:22. They felt their holiest interests engaged to this stranger (Luke 24:32). That these two disciples dwelt in Emmaus is possible, but follows just as little from μεῖνον μεθʼ ἡμῶν (comp. τοῦ μεῖναι σὺν αὐτοῖς) as from εἰσῆλθε. For to the latter expression is not to be supplied εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτῶν, but from Luke 24:28 : εἰς τὴν κώμην; that invitation, however, does not of necessity mean: stay in our lodging, but may just as well signify: stay in our company, pass the night with us in the house of our host. Comp. John 1:39 f.

Luke 24:28. προσεποιήσατο, He assumed the air of one going farther. The verb in the active means to bring about that something shall be acquired by another, in middle, by oneself = “meum aliquid facio” (Alberti, Observ. Phil., ad loc.). Jesus wished to be invited to stay.

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.

Luke 24:28. Προσεποιεῖτο) He made (acted) as though He was about to go farther; and He had been about to go farther, had not they besought Him, and perhaps had been about to appear to them in another way.

Verse 28. - And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. This was no feint or deception. The Lord would have left them then to themselves had they not prayed him with real earnestness to abide with them. "How many are there," says Stier, "to whom he has drawn near, but with whom he has not tarried, because they have suffered him to 'go away again,' in his living and heart-moving words! How comparatively rare is it for men to reach the full blessing they might receive (see, for example, the striking historical instance, 2 Kings 13:14, 19)!" But these were not content to let the unknown Teacher pass on, and see no more of him, and hear no more of his strange powerful teaching. It is the words of, and the thought contained in, this verse which suggested the idea of the well-known hymn -

"Abide with me; fast falls the eventide." Luke 24:28They went (ἐπορεύοντο)

Imperfect, were going. So Rev,

Made as though (προσεποιήσατο)

The verb means originally to add or attach to; hence to take to one's self what does not belong to him; and so, to pretend; though pretending as implying anything false, does not attach to this act of Jesus. He was going on, and would have gone on but for their invitation. Only here in New Testament.

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