The Sabbath day had interrupted the loving labours of the women with their spices. "On the first [day] of the week, very early [at deep dawn] in the morning" they* returned.590 Love is usually quick-sighted; it might have the sense of coming danger where others were dull; it might have the presentiment of death where others saw triumph and the effect of burning zeal for God and His house. None but God could anticipate the resurrection. Their labour was bootless, as far as their own object was concerned, whatever might be the reckoning of grace. In these scenes of profoundest interest Jesus alone is perfection.
*After "prepared," in the rest of the verse, Blass, with Acorr DXΓΠΔ and all later uncials, nearly all minuscules, Syrr. Sah. Arm. and Eusebius, adds "and some others with them." Other Edd. omit, as BCpm L, 33, most Old Lat. Memph.
And they found the stone rolled away591 from the sepulchre; and entering in they found not the body of the Lord Jesus.*592 And it came to pass, in their perplexity about it, that behold, two men593 stood by them in shining raiment. And as they were fearful and bending their faces to the ground, they said to them, Why seek ye the living One among the dead? He is not here, but is risen:† remember how he spoke to you, being yet in Galilee,594 saying, That the Son of man.595 must be delivered up to the hands of sinners, and be crucified, and rise the third day." But men, and even saints, are dull to appreciate the resurrection; it brings God too near to them, for of all things none is more characteristic of Him than raising the dead, and most of all resurrection from among the dead must be learnt by Divine teaching as only He could reveal it of His grace. For this breaks in upon the whole course of the world and displays a power superior to nature, triumphant over Satan, which delivers even from Divine judgment. Here it was the Deliverer Himself: often had He told the disciples of it; He had named even the third day. Yet those who were most faithful, as they understood not at the time, so remembered not afterwards till the fact had taken place and heavenly messengers recalled His words to them afresh. "And they remembered his words; and, returning from the sepulchre,‡ related596 all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene,597 and Joanna, and Mary the [mother] of James, and the rest with them, who§ told these things to the apostles. And these words appeared in their eyes as an idle tale, and they disbelieved them."598
*"Of the Lord Jesus": so Weiss, with some earlier Edd., after ABCL, all other uncials but one, all cursives, Syrr. other than Cureton's and Sinai, Memph. Arm. Aeth. Blass omits the words, which W. H., exceptionally following D and Old Latt., discredits. Cf. R.V. mar-. and see, further, note 592 in App.
†"He is not here, but is risen": so all authorities except D and Itala. Nevertheless, W. H., Blass, and Weiss agree in treating the words as no part of the primitive text.
‡"From the sepulchre": retained by Weiss, as in all authorities but those mentioned in last note, with Memph. and Arm. W. H. brackets; Blass omits.
§"Who": so corr X, etc., Syrr. Memph. Arm. Edd. (Revv.) reject, as pm ABDEFGH, etc., Old Lat. Sah. Aeth., according to which there would be two sentences in the verse; the first ending either with "James" (W. H.) or with "them" (Weiss). Blass omits all after "them."
The resurrection of the Saviour is the foundation of the Gospel; but it is the writers of the Gospels themselves who let us know both the ignorance and the obstinate unbelief of those who were afterwards to be such devoted and honoured witnesses of Jesus. Nor need the believer wonder. For if the Gospel be the revelation of God's grace in Christ, it supposes the utter ruin and good-for-nothingness of man. Doubtless it is humbling, but this is wholesome and needed; no sinner can be too much humbled, no saint too humble; but no humiliation should weaken for a moment our sense of the perfect grace of God. The lesson must be learnt by us in both ways; but of the two the sense of what we are as saints is far more profound than of sinners when just awakening to feel our real state before God. And this is one of the great differences between evangelicalism and the Gospel of God. Evangelicalism owns the fallen and bad estate of man as well as the mercy of God in the Lord Jesus Christ; but it is altogether short when compared with God's standard, death and resurrection. It owns that no power but that of Jesus. can avail; but it is rather a remedy for the sick man than life in resurrection from the dead. It is the same reason which hinders saints now from appreciating themselves dead and risen with Jesus that made the disciples so slow to comprehend the words of Jesus beforehand, and even to receive the fact of His own death and resurrection when accomplished.
We may observe, too, how little flesh could glory in what we have here before us. Out of weakness truly the women were made strong, while they who ought to have been pillars were. weakness itself or worse. The words of the witnesses of the great truth seemed in their eyes a delirious dream, and they who were afterwards to call men to the faith know by their own experience, even as believers, what it is to disbelieve the resurrection. How this would enhance their estimate. of Divine grace! how call out patience no less than burning zeal in proclaiming the risen One to incredulous man! He who had so borne with them could bless any by Him Who died for all.
"But Peter, rising up, ran to the sepulchre, and stooping down he sees the linen clothes lying alone, and went away home,* wondering at what had happened."†599 It is to John we are indebted for telling his part and God's analysis of his own inner man. "Then entered in therefore the other disciple also who came first to the tomb, and he saw and believed. For they had not yet known the scripture that he must rise from the dead." "He saw and believed." It was accepted on evidence: he no longer doubted that Jesus was risen; but it was founded upon his own sight merely of indisputable fact, not on God's Word. "For as yet they knew not the scripture that he must rise from among the dead." Still less was there any intelligent entrance into God's counsels about resurrection, any adequate understanding of its necessary and glorious place in the whole scope of the truth.
*Such is the true connection and rendering of πρὸς ἑαυτόν with ἀπῆλθε not with θαυμάζων as in the Authorised Version and many others. (B.T.)
†This verse is retained by Lachm. and Treg., but rejected by Tisch. and Blass, and discredited by W. H. and Weiss, who suppose that it was drawn from Joh_20:4. It is, however, attested by AB, 1, Syrrcu sin. The Syrr., with corr and B, omit (as Revv.) κείμενα "lying (laid)," whilst. pm AKΠ have not μόνα "alone (by themselves). "
Luke 24: 13-35.600
Next our Evangelist gives us fully and with the most touching detail that appearing of the risen Lord which the Gospel of Mark sums up in a single verse: "After that he was manifested in another form to two of them as they walked going into the country."
Here I cannot doubt that it is a testimony to the walk of faith to which the Lord, no longer known after the flesh, would lead on His own. It is of no consequence who the unnamed one may have been. They were disciples staggered by the crucifixion of the Messiah, whom grace would comfort, founding their faith on the Word and giving the saints to see Jesus unseen, Whom they knew not while they looked on with natural eyes. One of the ancients, Epiphanius, conjectured the companion of Cleopas to be Nathaniel; among moderns the learned Lightfoot is confident that he was Peter. We may rest assured that both were mistaken, and that he could not have been an apostle; for on returning to Jerusalem the two found "the eleven" among those gathered together. (Verse 33.) The grand point of moment is the Lord's grace in leading them out of human thoughts to Himself as the Object of all the Scriptures, and this, too, as first suffering, then entering His glory.
"And behold, two of them were going on the same day to a village, distant sixty* stadia from Jerusalem, called Emmaus; and they conversed with one another about all these things which had taken place. And it came to pass while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus himself drawing nigh went with them. But their eyes were holden so as not to know him. And he said to them, What words [are] these which ye interchange with one another as ye walk and are downcast?†601 And one [of them], named Cleopas,602 answering said to him, Dost thou sojourn alone in Jerusalem and knowest not602a the things come to pass in it in these days? And he said to them, What things? And they said to him, The things concerning Jesus the Nazarean,‡ who was603 a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to [the] judgment of death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was [the one] about to redeem604 Israel; but then also§ with all these things, this is the third day since these things came to pass. And withal, certain women from among us astonished us, having been early at the sepulchre, and, not having found his body, came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who say that he is alive. And some of those with us went to the sepulchre, and found even as the women also had said; but him they saw not."605
*"Sixty": so Edd., after ABDL, etc. "One hundred and sixty" is in [Kpm Npm Π etc., and Old Lat.
†The reading of the Sinaitic, Alexandrian (first hand it would seem), Vatican, Parisian (L. ἔστησαν confirmed by some excellent ancient versions [Egyptian], is ἐστάθησαν [R.V. "stood still"], the effect of which would be to close the Lord's question with "as ye walk," and to present the words "and they stood downcast" as the consequence before Cleopas answers. This appears to me as remarkably graphic as it is according to the manner of Luke. (B.T.) So Tisch., Treg., W. H., and Weiss. Blass, following D, omits περιπατοῦντες καὶ ἔστε and also rejects ἐστάθη αν
‡"Nazarean": so Blass, after ADN, etc. Edd. "Nazarene," with BL.
§"Also": so Edd. with BDL, 1, 33, and Arm. It is not in ANP, etc.
How blessedly we see the way of the Lord Jesus drawing the hearts of men of God with the cords of a man! In resurrection He is still truly man, "the same yesterday, today, and for over," and adapts Himself to the heart, even though, as Mark lets us know in the verse already cited, their eyes were holden so that they should not recognize their Master: He had appeared "in another form." But He drew out their thoughts to lead them into the truth, in order that the very sorrows of His rejection, which seemed so inexplicable to them and inconsistent with their expectations, might be seen to be required by the Divine Word, and thus be a confirmation, not perilous, to their faith. They had looked for redemption by power; they now learn in His suffering to the uttermost, the Just for the unjust, redemption by blood; and not this only, but a new life out of death, and superior to it, witnessed and established and given us in Him, Satan's power in sin and its consequences being vanquished for ever, though for the present only a matter of testimony to the world and of enjoyment by the Holy Ghost to the believer.
"And he said to them, O senseless and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!606 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter607 into his glory? And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets,608 he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."
Such is the real secret of unbelief in believers. They fail because they do not believe all. Having but a partial view of Divine truth, they easily exaggerate here or there; and the rather as, not reading Christ throughout Scripture, they are apt to shirk that rejection in the world now which disciples must accept or at least experience if they follow the Master, as surely as they will share His glory by and by. In the world, as it is, Christ could not but suffer; and everyone who is perfected shall be as He. It is morally inevitable as due to the Divine nature, as well as required by the Word. It could not be otherwise, God being what He is, and man a sinner in thraldom to the enemy. But now He was dead and risen; and they must know Him thus, no longer according to their old and Jewish thoughts. We have Christ's own word for it, that He was in the mind of the Spirit in all the Scriptures; and they are blind or blinded who see Him not in every part of the Bible. He is the truth, but it is only by the Holy Ghost we can find Him even there.
A great lesson was taught during the walk to Emmaus. The accuracy and light of the Scriptures showed where men, and even believers, had overlooked much. The Jews had contented themselves with their general testimony to the hopes of the nation and the glory of the kingdom; but they had passed by, as the Lord proved, what was really deeper and now of the most essential importance - the sufferings of Christ, no less than the higher and heavenly part, at any rate, of the glories which should follow. The Lord condescended to draw the evidence from the written Word of the Old Testament, rather than to take His stand upon present facts alone, or His own fresh revelations. But more was needed than the value of Scripture thus proved, and this He supplies.
"And they drew near to the village where they were going, and he made* as though he would go farther. And they forced him, saying, Stay 609 with us, because it is towards evening and the day is sunk low. And he went in to abide with them. And it came to pass as he was at table with them, having taken the bread, he blessed, and, having broken, gave [it] to them.610 And their eyes were opened thoroughly, and they recognised him, and he disappeared from them."
*Blass reads, as T.R., the imperfect (προσεποιειτο "he was for m.") with PX, etc.; other Edd., the aorist (προσεποιήσατο as ABDL, 1.
Not that the occasion was the Eucharist, but that He chose the act of breaking the bread, which He had previously made the symbol of His death for us, to be the moment and means of making Himself known to the two disciples. Thus was He to be known henceforward, no longer after the flesh, but dead and risen. Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new, and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ.
Hence, too, the moment he was recognised He vanished from them. It is no longer a visible Messiah, any more than a living one after the flesh. He is only rightly seen by the Christian when unseen, yet He must have come and accomplished the mighty work of redemption first. For this purpose He had died, having glorified His Father on the earth and finished the work given Him to do. But this done, He does not yet take His ' old and predicted place on the throne of David. This awaits the day when Israel shall be brought back repentant and blessed in their own land, under His glorious reign, and all the earth shall reap the fruits to the praise and glory of God the Father. But, for the present, new things have come in. The Redeemer is gone to heaven, not come to Zion, and on earth He is known by His own disciples in the breaking of bread, His presence being exclusively known to faith.
"And they said to one another, Was not our heart burning in us, as he spoke to us on the way,* as he opened to us the scriptures? And having risen up that hour, they returned to Jerusalem and found assembled the eleven and those with them saying, The Lord is indeed risen and hath appeared to Simon.611 And they related the things on the way, and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread." As the angel had expressly said, "Go, tell his disciples and Peter" (Mar_16:7), so He appeared to Cephas (1Co_15:5), then to the twelve.
*AEPXΔ etc., 1, 69, Amiat. put "and" before the second "as." This the Edd. omit, with BDL, 33, Memph.
And so it is taught us here, "And while they were talking these things, he himself* stood in their midst, and says to them peace to you.612 But confounded and being frightened, they supposed they beheld a spirit."613 And he said to them, Why are ye troubled, and wherefore do reasonings613a rise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet that it is I myself; handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones even as ye see me have. And having said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.† And while they were yet unbelieving for joy and wondering, he said to them, Have ye anything to eat here? And they gave him part of a broiled fish [and of a honeycomb].‡ And having taken, he ate before them." It is the Lord Himself, risen from the dead, but a real man, with hands and feet, capable of being handled and seen, not a spirit, but a spiritual body. Of this He gave the fullest proof by proceeding to eat in their presence. As having a body He could eat; as having a spiritual body He did not need to eat.614 Thus the resurrection of the body had its glorious attestation in His own person, the needed and weightiest possible support of their faith. Christianity gives an immensely enlarged scope to the body as well as the soul; for our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Ghost as surely as we are. bought with a price, and exhortations to Christian holiness are founded on this one wondrous fact. Christ was the great Exemplar of man; His body was the temple of God. We are only fitted for it through His redemption.615
*"He himself": so Edd., as BDL, Syrrcu sin Sah. "Jesus himself" is the reading of AEG, with later uncials and most minuscules (1, 33, 69) and Memph. The words, "and says to them, Peace to you," although accepted by Lachm. and Treg., are questioned by most of the Edd., because of absence from D and copies of Old Lat. See Joh_20:19. They are in all other MSS. and versions.
†Verse 40 (cf. verse 12) is doubted by most Edd. from its omission in D, the Syrrcu sin and Old Lat., also because of likeness to Joh_20:20. It is in AB, all later uncials but Beza's, in the cursives, the other Syrr. and the Egyptians, and is upheld by Lachm. and Treg.
‡["And a honeycomb"]: so EHKM and the other later uncials, the cursives 1, 33, 69, most Syrr. and Old Lat., Memph. Aeth. Arm. Edd. omit, following ABDLΠ Syrsin.
But, further, there is a message. "And he said unto them, These [are] the* words which I spake unto you, while being yet with you, that all that must be fulfilled that is written in the law of Moses and prophets and psalms concerning me. Then he thoroughly opened their understanding to understand the scriptures, and said to them, Thus it is written† that the Christ should suffer and arise from [the] dead the third day;616 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all the Gentiles beginning at Jerusalem.617 Ye are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but do ye settle in the city,‡ until ye be endued with power from on high." It was no new thing for the Lord to disclose His death and resurrection. He had been intimating it from before the transfiguration with increasing plainness; but they had heeded little a truth the need of which they did not feel for themselves and the moral glory of which for God they could not yet see. It was impossible to affirm with truth that it was a surprise to Jesus, or that law, psalms, and prophets had overlooked it, for on this truth of His death and resurrection hang the types as a whole, and this is the deepest burden of the prophets and of the psalmist. But now the suffering Christ was risen from among the dead, and repentance and remission of sins must be preached in His name to all the nations with Jerusalem as the starting-point. What wondrous grace! The nations had slain Him at Jerusalem's instigation, but God is active in His love above all the evil of man or of His own people.
*"The": so, Blass, as T.R., from , etc., Syrr. and Latt. Other Edd. follow ABDKL, etc., 33, and Aeth., which have "my."
†"Thus it is written," etc.: so Edd. after BCpm DL, Memph. Aeth. "Thus it behoved" is the reading of ACcorr N, etc., most cursives (1, 33, 69), Syrr. and Vulg.
‡After "city," ACcorr XΓΛΠ all later uncials, all cursives, Syrr. Arm. Aeth., add "of Jerusalem," which Edd. omit, following BCpm DL, most Old Lat. and Memph.
It is well to note, however, that repentance is preached with remission of sins; nor can we exaggerate its importance if we do not misuse it to depreciate God's work of grace by Jesus Christ our Lord. Many, no doubt, misuse it, and more misunderstand it; but repentance abides a necessity for every soul which looks out of its sins to the Saviour. He has finished the work by which comes remission of sins to the believer; but it is not the faith of God's elect where the soul overlooks its sinfulness, where the Holy Spirit does not produce self-judgment by the Word of God applied to the conscience. Faith, without such a recognition and self-loathing and confession of our sins and state, is only intellectual, and will leave us to lie down in sorrow when we most need solid ground and peace with God. Repentance, on the other hand, Is no preparation for faith, but the accompaniment of it, and is alone real where faith is of God. It is deepened, too, as faith sees more clearly.
It is well to note also that the promise of the Father is distinct from repentance and remission of sins, as it is, again, from the opening of the understanding to understand the Scriptures. These the disciples had already; they had to wait for the promise of the Father. Till the descent of the Spirit they were not endued with power from on high. Then the Holy Ghost, sent down from heaven, wrought variously to the glory of the Lord.
Luke 24: 50-53.618
"And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, be blessed them. And it came to pass, while he was blessing them, he was separated 619 from them, and was carried up into heaven.* And they having done him homage,† returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God."‡ To that spot outside Jerusalem Jesus had often gone. There was the family that He loved; thither He leads the disciples for the last time on earth, and thence, in the act of blessing, with uplifted hands, He parts from them and is borne up into heaven - the risen Man, the Lord from heaven. What a contrast with him who fell, and all the earth through him, transmitting the curse to his sad descendants! Here it is not the first Adam, but the Last; and "as is the heavenly, such are they also who are heavenly." Filled with peace and joy, what could they do but continually praise and bless God, Who had in the second Man accomplished His own will, though at infinite cost, and perfected them that were sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. They were, and are, perfected in perpetuity: no less a result than this satisfies God's estimate of the sacrifice of His Son. But assuredly the promise of the Father, when fulfilled, did not make the joy less or the praise more scanty. For He is not only power for testimony, but also for the soul, the One Who gives us now the full taste of fellowship, and causes worship to ascend to our God and Father in spirit and in truth. But of this the sequel of Luke, commonly called the Acts of the Apostles, is the due and full witness, and there, if the Lord will, we may enter into the detailed account which the Spirit has given us of His work, whether in individuals or in the Church, to the glory of the Lord Jesus.§ Truly our fellowship is with the Father and With His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
*"And was carried up into heaven": so Lachm., after ABCLXMΛΠ etc., later uncials, all minuscules, most Syrr. Vulg. Memph., Cyril and Augustine. Other Edd. discredit it, following pm, D, Syrsin, some Old Lat. See W. H., App., p. 73.
†"Having done him homage": so Lachm. and Treg., after all MSS. except Beza's, and versions except most of Old Lat., which other Edd. follow for the bracketing or omission (Tisch.) of these words.
‡"Praising and blessing": so Lachm. and Treg. (text), after corr XΔ etc., all cursives, some Old Lat., Amiat., etc. W. H. and Weiss omit "praising and," with BCpm L, Syrrsin hier; Tisch. and Blass omit "and blessing," with D and some Latt. Memph. and Augustine. It may be a "conflation." At end, ABCcorr XΔ etc., 69, Syrr. Amiat. add "Amen," which Edd. omit, as Cpm DLΠ 1, 33, Syrsin, several Old Lat. Memph.
§See "The Acts of the Apostles, with a New Version of a Corrected Text, Expounded," 2 vols. (1895).
NOTES ON THE TWENTY-FOURTH CHAPTER.
589 The RESURRECTION (cf. notes 167 on Mark, 356 on John). Besides the parallels set out in margin of the Exposition, see 1Co_15:4. Before entering on details in Luke seriatim, it may be well to prefix some general remarks on the attitude of criticism towards this cardinal article of the Christian Faith.
The Evangelists' joint record is impeached in five particulars: in respect of (1) time, (2) the number of women, (3) the appearance of angels, (4) their instructions to the women, and (5) the scene of the Lord's appearances (Selbie, p. 148).
A. The so-called "discrepancies" are primarily of a forensic nature, calling for skill in their investigation such as is possessed by lawyers, habitually concerned with weighing evidence, in which shine few merely literary critics, the trained intelligence of whom is of another order (see note 15 on Mark). Here these are really in no better position than readers of ordinary culture, belonging to the class from which a "petty" jury is empanelled, who in marshalling the whole of the evidence, may be aided by the professional experience of the court, but have to decide upon it for themselves, and are generally right. Many Biblical critics affect to do the work of a "grand" jury, which, after all, is only preliminary to the thorough investigation of the case falling to the less pretentious functionaries, to whose judgment the τεκμήρια (Act_1:3) are submitted.
(1) See note 167 on Mark, third paragraph. (2) Ibid., fifth paragraph. (3) See note below on verse 4. (4) See note 167 on Mark, as for No. 2. (5) See note 167a on Mark.
B. The historical critic comes on the scene to have his say about the alleged "legendary" matter in the record. The most imposing figure here in critical literature for several years was D. F. Strauss. He propounded an idea, inconvenient for those who were to follow him in the same line of attack, that "no one of the narrators knew and presupposed what another records" ("Life of Jesus," iii. p. 344). The French writer Loisy applies his ability to this department of criticism: and Lake, an English clergyman, now holding a congenial chair at Leiden, has issued a volume grounded on the fact, which no one has ever disputed, that there was no human witness of the act of bodily resurrection: history takes no cognizance of that which is solely a Christian belief founded on dogmatic reasoning. Cf. his letter to the Guardian of 29th Sept., 1911. His position is: "The actual resurrection of the Lord was not from Joseph of Arimathea's sepulchre, but from the body which He left hanging on the Cross." But, from the historical point of view, such a belief can only be subjective: there was no human witness of any such resurrection as that either. Those who believe in Christ's physical resurrection are, from the same point of view, in no weaker position.
Harnack has provided his Berlin hearers and his readers everywhere with a conundrum: "We must hold the Easter faith even without the Easter message" ("The Essence of Christianity," p. 163). But Rom_10:17 stands in the way of this (cf. note 614 below).
Allies of these writers are those who engage in "psychical research": see, e.g., the work of Dr. James H. Hyslop bearing on the Resurrection. Cf. further, art. in Interpreter, April, 1910, "Psychology and the Resurrection," for the bearing of sub-consciousness on the disciples' experience (cf. note 614 below).
C. Finally, the textual critic presents himself, whose business is to investigate the "growth" of the text in each case, and determine "accretions," if any. This part of the case finds notable illustration in the disputed verses at the end of Mark's Gospel (note 168 there) - the supposed earliest record, subsequent, as generally admitted, to the circulation of Paul's greater epistles (e.g., 1 Corinthians and Romans).
The foot-notes in the present volume exhibit the textual phenomena of the Gospel with which it is concerned.
In addition to the literature named in note 356 on John, mention should be made here of Bishop Westcott's posthumous "Gospel according to St. John," pp. 334-336, and of Professor Orr's valuable recent work on the Resurrection. Dr. Jas. Drummond treats of the Resurrection from a Unitarian point of view in pp. 30-37 of his pamphlet, already referred to, on "The Miraculous in Christianity."
590 Luk_24:1. - According to Westcott's arrangement, that which is recorded here was preceded by the events narrated in Joh_20:1, Mar_16:1-2; Mar_16:5, etc., Mat_28:5.
Loisy goes out of his way to criticize Luke's statement with regard to the spices as if too late to be of use - which is unaccountable save as careless comment. It is a question of further embalmment, Nicodemus having provided and employed spices already at the time of burial (Joh_19:39 f.).
591 Luk_24:2. - "The stone rolled away." Luke, according to a peculiarity of his record, has not previously mentioned this stone. Cf. note on Luk_4:23.
592 Luk_24:3. - "The Lord Jesus": as Act_1:21. See textual footnote. Hort says that "Lord Jesus" is not found in the genuine text of the Gospels, but for this he has to discredit "B" itself. The exegetical insight of Weiss keeps the German critic right in this place.
For "the body of Jesus," see Luk_23:52.
593 Luk_24:4. - Observe that the second company of women spoken of here (cf. John) see two angels, while an early company have seen only one. Cf. note on Mar_16:1, ad fin.
The caustic words quoted by van Oosterzee of the great Lessing, whose memory all Germans delight to honour, might be commended to the younger men of the Theological Faculties at the present day, some of whom represent the class that the editor of the Wolfenbüttel Fragments had in mind. The appeals to "cold discrepancy-mongers" who cannot see that "the Evangelists did not count the angels," that "the neighbourhood of the sepulchre swarmed with them." Such are words of a man all of whose predilections were on the side of DOUBT.
594 Luk_24:6 f. - The angel that Matthew and Mark speak of recalled to the women there concerned the words of the Lord to His disciples as to His appearances in Galilee. This has been passed over by Luke, because his record is designedly limited to the Judean connection and resists all imputation of inconsistency.
595 Luk_24:7. - Wesley notes how the Lord Himself (see verse 26 of this chapter) did not use the title "Son of Man" after His resurrection.
596 Luk_24:9. - "Related," etc. See note on Mar_16:8, as to "said nothing to any one" in that Gospel.
597 Luk_24:10. - "Mary Magdalene ": see Joh_20:2.
"The other women," as Salome (Mar_16:1).
598 Luk_24:11. - "An idle tale." Sir O. Lodge adopts the language, now familiar, of others in describing the women's narrative as "legend" ("Man and the Universe," p. 274). It is noticeable that the disciples themselves anticipated the nineteenth century phraseology by calling their report λῆρος fable; but those honest men had soon to cross the Rubicon, pull down bridges and burn boats.
This seems to be antecedent to Joh_20:3.
599 Luk_24:12. - Joh_20:5 speaks of Peter's first visit, accompanied by "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Luke is speaking of the second, solitary visit, resulting from the report of the angels' words. On returning from this later visit, Peter met the Lord: to this the Evangelist refers in verse 34.
For the relation of Luke's to the fourth record, cf. further Joh_20:10.
Here the thread of Luke's, as of Matthew's record diverges from that of Mark, and remains distinct to the end.
600 Luk_24:13 ff. - Those following Westcott's arrangement will regard this as the third appearance (cf. Mar_16:12), the two earlier being: (1) to Mary Magdalene (Joh_20:14-18, Mar_16:9) and (2) to the other women (Mat_28:9, etc.). But it may have been preceded by that in verse 34: cf. consecutive use of εἶτα and ἔπειτα in 1Co_15:5 f., and, in reverse order, in verse 23 f. there. Critics, one after another, emphasize Paul's as the earliest account, which says nothing about women (1Co_15:5-8). But he is equally silent on what is recorded in these verses.
In verse 16, "know" might be replaced by "recognize" (ἐπιγνῶναι and so in verse 31.
601 Luk_24:17. - Field has criticized the R.V. here ("Ot. Norvic.," iii., p. 60).
602 Luk_24:18. - "Cleopas": not to be confounded, as by Alford, with Alphaeus. The name here is an abbreviation of Cleopater (Wellhausen). As to the belief that Luke himself was the other, see note 2; also paper of Carr in Expositor., Feb., 1904.
602a "Thou sojournest alone," i.e., "art the only sojourner who does not know."
603 Luk_24:19. - "Was"; or, "proved," ἐγένετο
604 Luk_24:21. - "Hoped . . . redeem." This is opposed to a now current theory that it was only after His death the disciples regarded JESUS as Messiah. Even Wernle rejects that idea. Cf. Selbie, p. 97.
"Third day." Gunkel seeks to derive this from Babylonian or Orphic mythology; but see Orr, Expositor, October, 1908. As to Eastern method of reckoning time, see Khodadad, p. 15.
605 Luk_24:24. - See verse 11 f., and notes thereon.
606 Luk_24:25. - The Apostles, notwithstanding what we are told in Luk_18:31-33, had no effective expectation of the Resurrection of JESUS. The intended embalming by the women (verse 1: cf. Mar_16:1 f.) supposes its impossibility.
"Senseless"; or "foolish" (ἀνόητοι not "fools" (ἄφρονες 11: 40), applied to scribes and Pharisees.
607 Luk_24:26. - "Enter." See note 99 on Mark.
608 Luk_24:27. - "From Moses and from all the prophets." Lindsay has a good note, working this out from each book of the Old Testament concerned; so also Neil. Richard Cecil said: "If we do not see the golden thread through all the Bible, marking out Christ, we read the Scripture without the King." So already Augustine: "The Old Testament has no true relish if Christ be not understood in it" (Ninth Tractate on John). Cf. 2Co_3:17, "the Lord is the spirit," and Col_3:16, "the word of the Christ." As a first aid to such study of the Scripture, book by book, one of the very best works of its kind is that by A. M. Hodgkin, "Christ in all the Scriptures" (2nd ed., 1908).
609 Luk_24:29. - "Stay," A.V. "abide," which inspired Lyte's well-known hymn, "Abide with me. "
See Pusey's Sermon, "How to detain Jesus in the Soul" (vol. i.), and Maclaren, p. 346 ff.
610 Luk_24:30 ff. - As to use made of this by Roman writers for "Communion in one kind," see Wordsworth in loc.
For verse 32 (cf. verse 45), see Psa_119:130.
With verse 33, cf. Joh_20:19 f.
611 Luk_24:34. - (Cf. 1Co_15:5). This would, according to Westcott's arrangement, he regarded as the fourth appearance. But see note on verse 13. How can Bousset, who (on 1Co_14:5) says that Luke treats the appearance to Peter as before all others, make that square with 10 f. here?
Bishop Mcllvaine has preached from this verse, and Principal Whyte's discourse, LXXXIX., in "Bible Characters," is on "Cleopas and his Companion."
612 Luk_24:36. - Cf. Psa_22:22. The fifth appearance (Mar_16:14, Joh_20:19).
Augustine preached from this verse (1., p. 480).
613 Luk_24:37. - Cf. Joh_20:20 and note there.
613a Luk_24:38. - "Reasonings." American Revv., "questionings."
614 Luk_24:39 ff. - A difficulty has been made (see, e.g., Loisy's last work, p. 772: cf. D. Smith, xl.) about the risen Lord's eating, founded on the assumption that His body was here already in a glorified condition. This does not seem to have come about fully until the Ascension, the body meanwhile undergoing gradual transformation.
With this incident cf., of course, that recorded in Gen_18:7 f.
Selbie remarks that Paul cannot have held a material resurrection. But if he did not, 1Co_15:3, "buried," compared with verse 12, "from among [the] dead," becomes very difficult - surely impossible - to interpret. The Lord's body rose; His spirit or soul is not spoken of. Cf. Blass, "The Holy Scriptures and the Evangelical Church" (against Kalthoff). Again, Paul tells the Corinthians that there was no difference between what he and the other Apostles preached (verse 11).
The Apostle's real position is categorically stated in Col_2:9, Php_3:21 and the Lord's bodily resurrection is clearly implied in Rom_8:11. Cf. 2Ti_2:8, where, if JESUS was of the seed of David physically, and His body passed among the dead, to exclude this from the last part of the verse is scarcely "scientific."
615 Luk_24:44-50. - The statement is often made that our Evangelist supposed the Lord ascended to heaven on the same day that He rose (verse 50). The one thing against that idea is that it is from Luke himself we learn that forty days intervened (Act_1:3); so of course some way out of the collapse of the supposed "discrepancy" has to be found, and this is the fancy that the Evangelist later on discovered more. Such triviality abounds in current literature.
Cf. Essay of Bishop Chase on the break between verse 45 and that immediately following. Verses 49 and 50 show a like break.
"Law of Moses . . . Psalms." Cf. Prologue to Ecclesiasticus. In Mat_23:35, the Lord refers to the first and the last books (Genesis, Chronicles) of the Hebrew Canon, by which we may gather that its limits were already fixed.
Luk_24:45 f. - See Joh_20:9, where Psa_16:10 (cf. Act_2:25 ff.) is probably the Scripture meant; see, however, also Hos_6:2 (Bousset on 1Co_15:4) and note 365.
Maclaren: "He led them to believe all that the prophets have spoken. That faith being effected, sight followed. The world says, Seeing is believing, but the converse is truer, believing is seeing" ("B. C. E.," p. 319).
616 "His obedience showed Him to be equal with God" (Chapman, "Choice Sayings," p. 23 f.).
Isaac Barrow has a sermon on verse 46 ("Works," v., 462).
617 Luk_24:47. - See verse 33, "and those with them gathered together," and cf. Joh_20:21-23, with Westcott's remarks on the commission being "to the entire society, and not confined to any particular group."
In assigning cause of the modern deficiency of candidates for "orders," it is usual to disguise the most potent of all, viz., the fact that men of spiritual zeal in every class of English society now "addict themselves" (1Co_16:15) to ministry of the Gospel and spare bishops their ordination: cf. 1Co_9:16. It is not such men who dally with higher criticism and the like, and if others refrain from ordination under its influence, that may be for the public good. The future of English Christianity is now very much in the hands of the "laity," so-called.
SIN, and its forgiveness. - This all-vital subject has only been touched on in note 147A (cf. note 284). For the Biblical definition of Sin as developed in the New Testament, see 1Jn_3:4 (R.V.). In v. 8 of this Gospel it appears as disease; in Luk_19:14 as rebellion. It is essentially godlessness (Dr. Chalmers, Bishop Gore, Prof. Orr). Rom_1:28 shows that it severs a link between the Creator and creature, who has a natural sense of guilt, illustrated by Luke's account of the Gentile Felix (Act_24:25).
Prof. Reinhold Seeberg of Berlin has recently described it as "the opposite of Faith and Love: Sin is faith in the world and love of the world" ("Fundamental Truths of the Christian Religion," p. 179, E. T.). Thus in Luk_15:12 we have in the "far country," the world and its service.
The present Bishop of Oxford has struck a true note when in his "Creed of the Christian" and some Oxford sermons he affirmed the great need in our day of reviving a just sense of the gravity, the solemnity of SIN. The eminent Unitarian, Dr. James Martineau, emphasized this already fifty years ago, in his "Studies of Christianity": "The nature of sin," he said, "is a matter on which we cannot be mistaken. . . . The conscious, free choice of the worse in presence of a better" (pp. 468-470).
The effect of Darwinian conceptions on modern views of Sin has been ably dealt with by Dr. E. Dennert, in a German pamphlet on Darwinian Christianity (p. 25 ff.).
Before the days of the Gospel, the earliest use made in still extant religious literature of what Gen. 3. sets before us, that is, the idea of the Fall, appears in Wisdom xi.: Inherited tendencies to evil, which Tennant, following in the wake of Ritschl, has challenged under the theological description - derived from Augustine - of "Original Sin" (Griffiths' "Essays for the Times," No. XII.). The most pronounced Protestant statement of it is that in the Westminster Confession (Shorter Catechism, Ans. to Q. 18), the antithesis of the idea of Rousseau, in the eighteenth century, and of Meng-tsé two thousand years earlier, that Man is naturally good: the Presbyterian Divines asserted his "total" depravity. This, rightly understood, means, as Orr ("Sidelights on Christian Doctrine," 1909) has pointed out, that every part of his being is impaired, not that he presents no fair exterior or exhibits no praiseworthy qualities (Mar_10:21). These indeed exist, to obscure the presence of the evil principle within, which is, moreover, checked by force of conventionality or custom. Such qualities Calvin compares to "wine spoiled with the flavour of the cask." Nevertheless, Sir R. Anderson has remarked in his book,"The Bible or the Church?" "The truest test of a man is, not what he is, but what he would wish to be" (p. 14). It remains sadly true, however, that "if a corruption of nature means anything at all, it means the loss of free-will" (Mozley).
Opposition to the Biblical concept of the moral ruin of man appears in interpretation of the Lord's teaching in this Gospel, from use made of the Parable of the Prodigal Son: see already note 389a ff. Now the apostle of Modern Culture was the "world-poet," facile princeps in German Literature. Wernle writes: "The aim of Jesus stands out in the sharpest contrast to the modern idea of culture, the free and full development of the individual personality we associate with the name of Goethe. We today count sin as a part of our development" ("Beginnings, etc.," p. 78). Here is one of the roots of the so-called "New Theology," popularized in England on the Holborn Viaduct, with "mistaken pursuit of good"; and in Russia, etc., by the writings of Leo Tolstoi. It is voiced by the poetry of Whittier:
"That to be saved is only this -
Salvation from our selfishness."
On its highest plane, it is the programme of the "Ethical Societies," which seize the Christian idea of human solidarity for a use nowhere sanctioned by any words of the Lord. Nevertheless, the promoters of this movement are not to be ranked with the unhappy Nietzsche, who, not satisfied with calling SIN "a Jewish invention," could speak of "the salvation of the soul" as "the world revolving round me" - only confirming the prediction of the Apostle Jude in verses 14-16 of his Epistle. These heterogeneous elements working together must issue in manifestation of the "Man of Sin."
Any reader able to use a book in German should see the pamphlet on "Atonement," confuting the current academical view, by Dr. L. von Gerdtell, who has the advantage of being neither a professor nor a pastor.
Universal experience attests the existence of what the Bible calls SIN, which Orr, with confirmation of Science, has called "racial," as recognizing the doctrine of heredity: this emphasizes the organic unity of the sons of men. With Bishop Gore it may be said that Sin is "not outgrown experience of history" (op. cit., p. 19). "What we need today is some John the Baptist" (p. 44).
"It is only," writes Garvie, "in the contemplation of Sin's remedy that the sense of Sin's disease has been fully developed" ("The Gospel for Today," p. 94). On the subjective effect of the Cross, see ibid., p. 123 ff.
As to Synoptic teaching on Sin, see Stalker, "Ethic of Jesus," chapter xi.; on Repentance, ibid., chapter vii.
If the Gospel of LUKE evince the Lord's judgment of Man, as being what at different periods such as Augustine, Calvin, and Spurgeon or Moody have proclaimed, its testimony is unmistakable and clear as to the possibility of Forgiveness. With the present passage cf., in particular, 11: 4. Martineau ("Hours of Thought," p. 110 f.) from the religions, Greg ("Creeds of Christendom"), Leslie Stephen ("Essays") and Miss Edith Simcox ("Essays") from the ethical, point of view have modernized the Stoic idea (as to which see Hatch, Hibbert Lectures, p. 159), that forgiveness of sins past is out of question. Thus the first-named distinguishes between "God's interior nature and His external government," and makes all hinge ultimately on government. "A mediator may renew my future, but he cannot change my past" ("Studies of Christianity," p. 476). Nobody, however, denies the principle stated in Gal_6:7; because Christians, Catholic and Evangelical alike, all in varying degrees, confess both Grace and Government, and maintain that each is eternally true. Government men can understand; but Grace, as revealed in the Bible, is beyond their thoughts (Rom_11:33, Eph_3:19): the two principles find their reconciliation in the Deity of the Redeemer. For those who confess Christ not only as Lord but as GOD, it is impossible to occupy common ground with such as reject that belief.
Martineau further says: "Can the punishment precede the sin? You cannot fall, you cannot recover, by deputy" (ibid., p. 475). The one difficulty is analogous to the principle of Rom_3:25, where forgiveness, in the inchoate form of "forbearance," anticipates Atonement, and that by virtue of the transcendency of the coming One, who should make propitiation for the world ("the same, yesterday, today and for ever"); whilst the other raises the question, "What is the true view of Substitution?" This latter process, as sometimes stated, is detached from the element of identification with Christ's death in Pauline teaching, thereby exposing the doctrine to reasonable objection. That "no merely external thing is done for" the believer (Dean of Westminster, at Church Congress, 1908), is assuredly true. All that is needed is for Christians to give practical expression to the truth of Rom_6:6, Gal_2:20, by their conduct, so silencing all cavil.
Ritschl held, after Luther, that the gift of Forgiveness "the individual appropriates to himself within the community" ("Justification and Reconciliation," p. 577, referring to Jer_31:31-34; Mar_14:24). As some English followers have put it, "Salvation is in the Christian circle." But these would scarcely hear of Ritschl's tendency to subordinate Religion to Morality (see note 147B), as the supposed bond of society with God; and it is the scheme of that "Ethical Religion" (ibid.) which nowadays is by so many deemed an adequate expression of the Synoptic "Kingdom of God." His follower Harnack reproaches the Apostles for, as the Berlin luminary alleges, not preaching the "Kingdom" as Christ did, and for making Christ glorified their only theme. Some considerations explanatory of the seemingly diminished prominence of the Kingdom in the hands of the Apostles may be seen in Candlish, "The Kingdom of God," pp. 180-185; but it is hoped that notes on this subject in the present volume bring out the rationale of what those men of God taught and have left behind in their writings. He that claimed to be "not a whit behind the very chiefest apostle" distinctly proclaimed the Kingdom (Act_20:25-27, Act_28:31), as references to his Epistles amply show. The Apostle James's Epistle is saturated with it, and it is not absent, from Peter's writings, nor from the Fourth Gospel (cf. note 457a). The "historical church" alone is to blame for the neglect of it.
W. Kelly, in his "Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles," vol. ii., p. 198 f., at Act_20:25 has written: "It is a grave blank where the Kingdom is left out as now," speaking of "the large place it occupies in the Apostles' preaching." Cf. Knowling, on the same passage, with reference to Paul: "In his first Epistle (1Th_2:12), as in his last (2Ti_4:18), the Kingdom of God is present to his thoughts"; in 1Th_2:9, as in 2Ti_1:11, 2Ti_4:17.
That the Apostles' writings (including the Fourth Gospel) have developed the Lord's teaching as given to us in the Synoptic Gospels is what one would expect from His implied authority to do so in the words ascribed to Him in Joh_16:12: theirs is the permanent expression of "the mind of Christ" (1Co_2:16), with regard to the state of things resulting from His death, for which the Synoptic teaching was only preparatory. Unrecorded sayings of His must be embedded in the Epistles. It is largely from the same men who were depositories of Christ's Word on earth that we have derived the developed apostolic teaching (Act_2:42). Until the redemptive work was accomplished, the Lord Himself was "straitened" (Luk_12:50). It was delegated to "a chosen vessel," Paul, to formulate the truth of Reconciliation, Justification, etc.
618 Luk_24:50 f. - The ASCENSION (cf. notes 77 and 615). We may observe again Luke's adoption of the Old Testament manner of narration.
Awkwardly for critics, Matthew does not record the Ascension; it would have suited their system better had he done so, with the necessary implication that it was from Galilee!