Luke 24:31
And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(31) And he vanished out of their sight.—Literally, He became invisible. The adjective does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. In the order of time this is the first example of the new conditions of our Lord’s risen life. It was not that He rose and left the room in which they sat. In a moment they knew Him with all the fulness of recognition; and then they saw Him no more. The work for which He had come to them was done. He had imparted comfort and insight, and had brought them into communion with Himself, and then they were to be taught that that communion was no longer to depend, as before, on a visible and localised presence. (Comp. Luke 24:36, John 20:19; John 20:26.)

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.Their eyes were opened - The obscurity was removed. They saw him to be the Messiah. Their doubts were gone, and they saw clearly that he was risen, and was truly, as they had long hoped, the Saviour of people. It is not meant that they were before "blind," but that they did not know until then who he was.

He vanished out of their sight - He suddenly departed. It does not appear that there was anything miraculous in this, but, during their surprise, he took the opportunity suddenly to withdraw from them.

30, 31. he took … and blessed … and their eyes were opened—The stranger first startles them by taking the place of master at their own table, but on proceeding to that act which reproduced the whole scene of the last Supper, a rush of associations and recollections disclosed their guest, and He stood confessed before their astonished gaze—THEIR RISEN Lord! They were going to gaze on Him, perhaps embrace Him, but that moment He is gone! It was enough. See Poole on "Luke 24:30" And their eyes were opened,.... Not that they were before shut, or closed up, but what before held them was removed, and what hindered their sight and knowledge was taken away; and perhaps these actions of his taking the bread, and blessing, and breaking, and giving it to them, might put them in mind of him, and cause them to look wistfully at him, when, what beclouded their sight being gone, and he appearing in his usual form, they perceived who he was:

and they knew him; to be their dear Lord and master, for whose death they had been sorrowing, and of redemption by him, and of whose resurrection they had been doubting:

and vanished out of their sight; not that he vanished as a spectre, or as smoke vanishes into air; but agility being a property of his risen body, he very suddenly, and swiftly, and in a moment, withdrew himself from them; for if he could withdraw himself from company in a very speedy manner before his resurrection, much more after; see Luke 4:30. The Syriac version renders it, "he was taken away from them"; as if some of the ministering angels were made use of to remove him at once; but this seems not necessary: the Arabic version renders it, "he was hidden from them"; that same power of his that held their eyes all the while they were travelling together, interposed some object between him and them, so that he could not be seen by them that very instant, even before he was gone out of the house.

And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he {e} vanished out of their sight.

(e) Suddenly taken away, and we may not therefore imagine that he was there in an invisible body, but indeed believe that he suddenly changed the place where he was.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 24:31. Αὐτῶν δὲ διηνοίχθησαν οἱ ὀφθαλμοί] is the opposite of οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ αὐτῶν ἐκρατοῦντο, Luke 24:16. As the latter, so also the former, according to Luke, is to be referred to extraordinary divine causation. This is opposed to the view (Paulus, Kuinoel, and others) that the disciples, only by means of the accustomed breaking of bread and giving of thanks by Jesus, wherein they had more attentively considered Him and had seen His pierced hands, arrived at the recognition of Him who until then had been unknown to them. Comp. on Luke 24:30.

αὐτῶν] with lively emphasis placed first. What Jesus did is previously described.

ἀνοίγειν] (more strongly διανοίγειν) τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς, which is often used of the healing of blind people (Matthew 9:30; Matthew 20:33; John 9:10; John 9:14; John 9:17; John 10:21; John 11:37), describes in a picturesque manner the endowing with a capacity, bodily or spiritual, of recognising what before was unknown, Genesis 3:5; Genesis 3:7; Genesis 21:19; 2 Kings 6:17; 2 Kings 6:20; comp. Acts 26:8ἄφαντος ἐγένετο ἀπʼ αὐτῶν] He passed away from them invisibly. Comp. on γίνεσθαι ἀπό τινος, to withdraw from any one, Xen. Mem. i. 2. 25; Bar 3:21. Luke intends manifestly to narrate a sudden invisible withdrawal effected through divine agency; hence those do wrong to his intention and to the expression who, like Kuinoel, make out of it only a subito ah iis discessit, so that this departure would not have been observed till it occurred (Schleiermacher, L. J. p. 474). Beza well says that Luke has not said αὐτοῖς, but ἀπʼ αὐτῶν; “ne quis existimet praesentem quidem Christum cum ipsis mansisse, sed corpore, quod cerni non posset.” The Ubiquists supported the doctrine of the invisible presence of Christ’s body by the passage before us. Comp. Calovius.

On the word ἄφαντος—which is very frequent in the poets, but only rarely used in prose, and that of a late period, and, moreover, is not found in the LXX. and the Apocrypha—instead of the classical prose word ἀφανής, see Wesseling, ad Diod. iv. 65.Luke 24:31. διηνοίχθησαν οἱ ὀφ., their eyes were at length opened, a Divine effect, but having its psychological causes. Euthy. suggests the use of the well-known blessing by Jesus as aiding recognition. The opening of the mind to the prophetic teaching concerning Messiah’s suffering was the main preparation for the opening of the eyes. The wonder is they did not recognise Jesus sooner.—ἄφαντος: an early poetical and late prose word = ἀφανής, not in Sept[207], here only in N.T. After being recognised Jesus became invisible, ἀπʼ αὐτῶν, not to them (αὐτοῖς) but from them, implying departure from the house. Some take ἄφαντος adverbially as qualifying the departure = He departed from them in an invisible manner.

[207] Septuagint.31. he vanished] See on Luke 24:16.Luke 24:31. Ἄφαντος ἐγένετο) He vanished out of their sight. This too showed that it was He. The former appearances of Jesus after His resurrection were of shorter continuance, in order that the move room (scope) might be left for faith.Verse 31. - He vanished out of their sight. Not here, not now, can we hope to understand the nature of the resurrection-body of the Lord; it is and must remain to us, in our present condition, a mystery. Certain facts have, however, been revealed to us:

(1) The Resurrection was a reality, not an appearance; for on more than one occasion the Lord permitted the test of touch. He also ate before his disciples of their ordinary food.

(2) Yet there was a manifest exemption flora the common conditions of bodily (corporeal) existence; for he comes through a closed door; he could withdraw himself when he would from touch as well as from sight; he could vanish in a moment from those looking on him; he could, as men gazed on him, rise by the exertion of his own will into the clouds of heaven.

(3) He was known just as he pleased and when he pleased; for at times during the "forty days" men and women looked on him without a gleam of recognition, at times they gazed at him, knowing well that it was the Lord. On the words, "he vanished out of their sight," Godet writes, "It must be remembered that Jesus, strictly speaking, was already no more with them (ver. 44), and that the miracle consisted rather in his appearing than in his disappearing." Dr. Westcott expresses the same truth in different language, "What was natural to him before was now miraculous, what was before miraculous is now natural." They knew (ἐπέγνωσαν)

Clearly recognized.

And he vanished out of their sight (αὐτὸς ἄφαντος ἐγένετο ἀπ' αὐτῶν)

Lit., he, invisible, became away from them. It is not simply, he suddenly departed from them, but he passed away from them invisibly. The ἐγένετο, became, is construed with ἀπ' αὐτῶν, from them.

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