Luke 24:36
And as they thus spoke, Jesus himself stood in the middle of them, and said to them, Peace be to you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(36) Jesus himself stood in the midst of them.—The account agrees with that in John 20:19, who adds the fact that the doors of the room had been closed for fear of the Jews. The mode of appearance in both Gospels suggests the idea, as in Luke 24:31, of new conditions of existence, exempted from the physical limitations of the natural body, and shadowing forth the “spiritual body” of 1Corinthians 15:44. It may be noted, however, that there had been time for the journey from Emmaus without assuming more than the ordinary modes of motion.

Peace be unto you.—The words do not appear elsewhere as addressed by our Lord to His disciples, but they were, as we find in Matthew 10:12, Luke 10:5, identical with the customary salutation of the Jews, so that we may fairly assume that here also the familiar words, as before the familiar act, were meant to help the disciples to recognise His presence. St. John records (John 20:19) the same salutation at the same interview.

Luke

THE TRIUMPHANT END

Luke 24:36 - Luke 24:53
.

There are no marks of time in this passage, and, for anything that appears, the narrative is continuous, and the Ascension might have occurred on the evening of the Resurrection. But neither is there anything to forbid interpreting this close of Luke’s Gospel by the fuller details contained in the beginning of his other treatise, the Acts, where the space of forty days interposes between the Resurrection and the Ascension. It is but reasonable to suppose that an author’s two books agree, when he gives no hint of change of opinion, and it is reasonable to regard the narrative in this passage as a summary of the whole period of forty days. If so, it contains three things,-the first appearance of the risen Lord to the assembled disciples {Luke 24:36 - Luke 24:43}, a condensed summary of the teachings of the risen Lord {Luke 24:44 - Luke 24:49}, and an equally compressed record of the Ascension {Luke 24:50 - Luke 24:53}.

I. The proofs of the Resurrection graciously granted to incredulous love {Luke 24:36 - Luke 24:43}.

The disciples were probably assembled in the upper room, where the Lord’s Supper had been instituted, and which became their ordinary meeting-place {Acts 1:1 - Acts 1:26} up till Pentecost. What sights that room saw! There, when night had come, they were discussing the strange reports of the Resurrection, when, all suddenly, they saw Jesus, not coming or moving, but standing in the midst. Had He come in unnoticed by them in their eager talk? The doors were shut. How had this calm Presence become visible all at once?

So little were they the enthusiastic, credulous people whom modern theories which explain away the Resurrection assume them to have been, that even His familiar voice in His familiar salutation, tenfold more significant now than ever before, did not wake belief that it was verily He. They fled to the ready refuge of supposing that they saw ‘a spirit.’ Our Lord has no rebukes for their incredulity, but patiently resumes His old task of instruction, and condescends to let them have the evidence of two senses, not shrinking from their investigating touch. When even these proofs were seen by Him to be insufficient, He added the yet more cogent one of ‘eating before them.’ Then they were convinced.

Now their incredulity is important, and the acknowledgment shows the simple historical good faith of the narrator. A witness who at first disbelieved is all the more trustworthy. These hopeless mourners who had forgotten all Christ’s prophecies of His Resurrection, and were so fixed in their despair that the two from Emmaus could not so far kindle a gleam of hope as to make them believe that their Lord stood before them, were not the kind of people in whom hallucination would operate, as modern deniers of the Resurrection make them out to have been. What changed their mood? A fancy? Surely nothing less than a solid fact. Hallucination may lay hold on a solitary, morbid mind, but it does not attack a company, and it scarcely reaches to fancying touch and the sight of eating.

Note Luke’s explanation of the persistent incredulity, as being ‘for joy.’ It is like his notice that the three in Gethsemane ‘slept for sorrow.’ Great emotion sometimes produces effects opposite to what might have been expected. Who can wonder that the mighty fact which turned the black smoke of despair into bright flame should have seemed too good to be true? The little notice brings the disciples near to our experience and sympathy. Christ’s loving forbearance and condescending affording of more than sufficient evidence show how little changed He was by Death and Resurrection. He is as little changed by sitting at the right hand of God. Still He is patient with our slow hearts. Still He meets our hesitating faith with lavish assurances. Still He lets us touch Him, if not with the hand of sense, with the truer contact of spirit, and we may have as firm personal experience of the reality of His life and Presence as had that wondering company in the upper room.

II. Luke 24:44 - Luke 24:49 are best taken as a summary of the forty days’ teaching.

They fall into stages which are distinctly separated. First we have {ver. 44} the reiteration of Christ’s earlier teaching, which had been dark when delivered, and now flashed up into light when explained by the event. ‘These are my words which I spake,’ and which you did not understand or note. Jesus asserts that He is the theme of all the ancient revelation. If we suppose that the present arrangement of the Old Testament existed then, its present three divisions are named; namely, Law, Prophets, and Hagiographa, as represented by its chief member. But, in any case, He lays His hand on the whole book, and declares that He, and His Death as sacrifice, are inwrought into its substance. ‘The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’ Whatever views we hold as to the date and manner of origin of the Old Testament books, we miss the most pregnant fact about them if we fail to recognise that they all point onwards to Him.

Another stage is marked by that remarkable expression, ‘He opened their mind.’ His teaching was not, like ours, from without only. He gave not merely instruction, but inspiration. It was not enough to spread truth before the disciples. He did more; He made them able to receive it. He gives no lesser gifts from the throne than He gave in the upper room, and we may receive, if our minds are kept expectant and in touch with Him, the same inward eye to see wondrous things out of the Word.

Luke 24:46, by its repetition of ‘and He said,’ seems to point to another stage, in which the teaching as to the meaning of the Old Testament passes into instructions for the future. Already Jesus had hinted at the cessation of the old close intercourse in that pathetic ‘while I was yet with you,’ and now He goes on to outline the functions and equipment of the disciples in the future period of His absence. As to the past sufferings, He indicates a double necessity for them,-one based on their having been predicted; another, deeper, based on the fitness of things. These sufferings made the preaching of repentance and forgiveness possible, and imposed on His followers the obligation of preaching His name to all the world. Without the Cross His servants would have no gospel. Having the Cross, His servants are bound to publish it everywhere.

The universal reach of His atonement is implied in the commission. The sacrifice for the world’s sin is the sole ground of remission of sin, and is to be proclaimed to every creature. Mark that here the same word is employed in connection with proclaiming Christ’s Death as in John’s version of this saying {John 20:23}, which is misused as a fortress of the priestly power of absolution. The plain inference is that the servant’s power of remission is exercised by preaching the Master’s death of expiation.

The ultimate reach of the message is to be to all nations; the beginning of the universal gospel is to be at Jerusalem. The whole history of the world and the Church lies between these two. By that command to begin at Jerusalem, the connection of the Old with the New is preserved, the Jewish prerogative honoured, the path made easier for the disciples, the development of the Church brought into unison with their natural sentiments and capacities.

The spirit of the commandment remains still imperative. ‘The eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.’ A wise and Christlike beneficence will not gaze far afield, and neglect things close at our doors. The scoff at the supporters of foreign missions, as if they quixotically went abroad when they should work at home, has no point even as regards Christian practice, for it is the people who work for the distant heathen who also toil for home ones; but it has still less ground in regard to Christian conceptions of duty, for the Lord of the harvest has bidden the reapers begin with the fields nearest them.

The equipment for work is investiture with divine power. A partial bestowment of the Spirit, which is the Father’s promise, took place while Jesus spoke. ‘I send’ refers to something done at the moment; but the fuller clothing with that garment of power was to be waited for in expectancy and desire. No man can do the Christian work of witnessing for and of Christ without that clothing with power. It was granted as an abiding gift on Pentecost. It needs perpetual renewal. We may all have it. Without it, eloquence, learning, and all else, are but as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.

III. Luke 24:50 give us the transcendent miracle which closes the earthly life of Jesus.

We cannot here enter on the large questions which it raises, but must content ourselves with simply pointing to the salient features of Luke’s condensed account. The mention of the place as ‘over against Bethany’ recalls the many memories of that village where Jesus had found His nearest approach to a home, where He had exercised His stupendous life-giving power, whence He had set out to the upper room and the near Cross. His last act was to bless His followers. He is the High-priest for ever, and these uplifted hands meant a sacreder thing than the affectionate good wishes of a departing friend. He gives the blessings which He invokes. His wish is a conveyance of good.

The hands remained in the attitude of benediction while He ascended, and the last sight of Him, as the cloud wrapped Him round, showed Him shedding blessing from them. He continues that attitude and act till He comes again. Two separate motions are described in verse 51. He was parted from them,-that is, withdrew some little distance on the mountain, that all might see, and none might hinder, His departure; and ‘was carried up into heaven’ by a slow upward movement, as the word implies. Contrast this with Elijah’s rapture. There was no need of fiery chariot or whirlwind to lift Jesus to the heavens. He went up where He was before, returning to the glory which He had with the Father before the world was. The end matches the beginning. The supernatural birth corresponds with the supernatural departure.

We have to think of that Ascension as the entrance of corporeal humanity into the divine glory, as the beginning of His heavenly activity for the world, as the token of His work being triumphantly completed, as the prophecy and pledge of immortal life like His own for all who love Him. Therefore we may share the joy which flooded the lately sorrowful disciples’ hearts, and, like them, should make all life sacred, and be continually in the Temple, blessing God, and have the deep roots of our lives hid with Christ in the glory.Luke 24:36-43. As they thus spake, Jesus stood in the midst of them — While the disciples from Emmaus were giving their brethren an account of the Lord’s appearing to them, and were probably offering arguments to convince those (if any such were present) who doubted the truth of his resurrection, Jesus himself came in, and by his appearance, and by what he said and did in their presence, put an end to their discourse, and gave them all full satisfaction. How he came in, is not here said; but (John 20:19) we learn, it was when the doors of the room were shut where the disciples were assembled. It was, however, just as easy to his divine power to open a door undiscernedly, as it was to come in at a door opened by some other hand. And saith unto them, Peace be unto you — Thus graciously intimating that he forgave their former cowardice, and would still continue to treat them as friends, though they had of late conducted themselves in a manner unworthy of that character and relation. But they were terrified and affrighted — At this sudden, unexpected appearance; and supposed that they had seen a spirit — This is not to be wondered at, considering that they knew the doors of the room were shut, and secured by locks and bolts, for fear of the Jews. And in the present hurry of their thoughts, they did not reflect on the proofs Christ had so often given of his divine power, or on the evidences they had but just before received of his resurrection. And he said, Why are ye troubled? — Why are ye thus perplexed and affrighted? and why do thoughts — Διαλογισμοι, doubtful and suspicious reasonings, arise in your hearts, as if it were only the appearance of a spirit which you have here before you? Behold my hands and my feet — Which, for your satisfaction, still retain the scars of those wounds which I received in being nailed to the cross. Handle me, and see — Whether this be not really a solid and substantial body; for a spirit — As you know; hath not flesh and bones, as you see me have — But is only an empty form, presenting itself to the eye, but eluding the grasp of any hand. Here our Lord manifestly allows, both that disimbodied spirits, even the spirits of deceased persons, do exist, and that they may appear to the living. This the disciples supposed; and surely if they had been mistaken, our Lord would haw shown them their error. And he showed them his hands and his feet — And, as John says, also his side, in which probably was the appearance of a large wound, newly, but perfectly, healed. Our Lord did this that they might be fully convinced, by the united testimony of their senses, that he their Lord and Master was indeed risen. And while they yet believed not for joy — They did in some sense believe; otherwise they would not have rejoiced. But their excess of joy prevented a clear, rational belief; and wondered — Were in such astonishment, that they hardly knew what they saw or heard, or where they were; he said, Have ye here any meat?

That I may eat with you, and thereby may still more fully assure you of the truth of my resurrection, and of the reality of my presence with you. And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish — On which it is probable they had been supping just before. And he took it, and did eat before them — Not that he had any need of any food, but to give them still further evidence, in order that not even a shadow of a doubt might remain in their minds, upon a point of the utmost importance to the business for which he came into the world, and a fundamental article of the Christian system. As our Lord remained on earth forty days after this, during which he had several interviews with his disciples, he continued all that time, according to this evangelist, (Acts 1:3,) to give them still further proof of the reality of his resurrection; discoursing also to them concerning the nature of the new dispensation of religion, which he was about to erect in the world by their ministry.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.Jesus stood in the midst of them - This was when the apostles were assembled, and when they had closed the doors for fear of the Jews, John 20:19. It was this fact, as well as his sudden and unexpected appearance, that alarmed them. The doors were shut, and the suddenness of his appearance led them to suppose they had seen a spirit.

Peace be unto you - This was a form of salutation among the Hebrews denoting a wish of peace and prosperity. See Genesis 43:23. It was especially appropriate for Jesus, as he had said before his death that he left "his peace" with them as their inheritance John 14:27, and as they were now alarmed and fearful at their state, and trembling for fear of the Jews, John 20:19.

Lu 24:36-53. Jesus Appears to the Assembled Disciples—His Ascension.

36. Jesus … stood—(See on [1747]Joh 20:19).

Ver. 36. See Poole on "Luke 24:33" And as they thus spake,.... While the two disciples, that came from Emmaus, were giving the above relation; just as they had finished it, and had scarcely done speaking:

Jesus himself stood in the midst of them; the apostles; who were assembled together in a certain house, the doors being shut for fear of the Jews; and it was on the evening of the same day Christ rose from the dead, and late at night; see John 20:19 and without hearing the doors opened, or the sound of the feet of Jesus, and without seeing him come in, and approach unto them, he, in a moment, at once, stood in the middle of them, as if he had immediately rose up out of the earth before them; and so the Persic version renders it, "Jesus rose up out the midst of them": by his power he opened the and secretly let himself in, and shut them again at once; and by the agility of his body moved so swiftly, that he was not discerned until he was among them, where he stood to be seen, and known by them; whereby he made that good in a corporeal sense, which he had promised in a spiritual sense, Matthew 18:20 and was an emblem of his presence in his churches, and with his ministers, to the end of the world.

And saith unto them, peace be unto you; which was an usual form of salutation among the Jews; See Gill on John 20:19. The Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions add, "I am he, fear not"; but this clause is not in the Greek copies.

{6} And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

(6) The Lord himself shows by certain and necessary signs that he was risen again, and risen in the same body which he had taken upon himself.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 24:36-37. Αὐτὸς ἔστη ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν] He Himself stood in the midst of them. These words point to the fact that Luke, who already at Luke 24:31 has related also a sudden disappearance and vanishing of Jesus, conceived of a marvellous, instantaneous appearance of the Risen One in the circle of His disciples, and this is confirmed by the narrative in John 20:19 of the appearance of Jesus within closed doors. The subsequently (Luke 24:37) related impression upon those who were assembled is, moreover, easily explained from this fact, although they had just before spoken as specified at Luke 24:34.

ἐν μέσῳ] “id significantius quam in medium,” Bengel.

εἰρήνη ὑμῖν] Peace to you! The usual Jewish greeting שָׁלוֹם לָכֶם, Luke 10:5.

Luke 24:37. πνεῦμα] a departed spirit, which, having come from Hades, appeared as an umbra in an apparent body; the same that Matthew 14:26, calls φάντασμα.Luke 24:36-43. Jesus appears to the eleven (cf. Mark 16:14, John 20:19-23).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.Luke 24:36. Ἔστη) stood: before that they perceived Him coming.—ἐν μέσῳ, in the midst) This is more significant than εἰς μέσον, into the midst, would be.—εἰρήνη, peace) A form of salutation, transferred by the Saviour to higher things: Ephesians 2:17, [He came and preached peace to you which were afar off, etc.]—ἐγώ εἰμι, μὴ φοβεῖσθε, it is I, be not afraid) The Versions present these four words, in accordance with the MS. of Wolf, with great unanimity: and they are in consonance with Luke 24:38-39.[272]

[272] GPc Vulg. read the words. But ABDab Memph. (1 MS.) Theb. omit them. Lachm. retains them in brackets.—E. and T.Verses 36-49. - The Lord appears to the apostles as they were gathered together on the evening of the first Easter Day. Verse 36. - And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them. St. John, who also gives an account of this appearance of the Risen, adds the detail, "when the doors were shut." The eleven and their friends were gathered together for counsel, probably too in hope that something more would happen after what had already taken place that Easter Day - the report of the holy women of the repeated vision of angels, their own verification of the empty sepulchre, and above all the testimony of Peter that he had seen the Lord. Into this anxious, waiting assembly the two "Emmaus" disciples enter with their wondrous story. In the act of their mentally comparing notes, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them. This sudden presence there is evidently supernatural. He "stood in the midst of them," though the doors were carefully closed and barred "for fear of the Jews" Rumours of the Resurrection, no doubt, had already spread through the city, and it was uncertain whether such turnouts might not be followed by the arrest of the chief followers of the Crucified. Peace be unto you. This was the ordinary Jewish greeting, but on this occasion, spoken by the Lord, possessed more than the ordinary meaning. This "peace" was his solemn, comforting greeting to his own, just as "his peace" which he left with them on the sad Thursday eve was his solemn farewell to the eleven, spoken, perhaps, in the same "upper room "just before he went out to the garden of the agony. Jesus himself

The best texts omit Jesus. Render as Rev., "he himself stood."

And saith unto them, Peace be unto you

The best texts omit.

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