29.His disciples say to him. This shows how great was the efficacy of, that consolation, for it suddenly brought into a state of great cheerfulness those minds which formerly were broken and cast down. And yet it is certain that the disciples did not yet understand fully the meaning of Christ’ discourse; but though they were not yet capable of this, the mere odor of it refreshed them. When they exclaim that their Master speaketh openly, and without a figure, their language is certainly extravagant, and yet they state honestly what they feel. The same thing falls within our own experience in the present day; for he who has only tasted a little of the doctrine of the Gospel is more inflamed, and feels much greater energy in that small measure of faith, than if he had been acquainted with all the writings of Plato. Not only so, but the roads which the Spirit of God produces in the hearts of the godly are sufficient proofs that God worketh in a secret manner beyond their capacity; for otherwise Paul would not call them groans that cannot be uttered, (Rom_8:26.)
Thus we ought to understand that the apostles were conscious of having made some progress, so that they could say with truth, that they did not now find the words of Christ to be altogether obscure; but that they were deceived in this respect, that they thought they understood more than they did. Now the source of their mistake was, that they did not know what the gift of the Holy Spirit would be. They therefore give themselves up to joy before the time, just as if a person should think himself rich with a single gold piece. They conclude, from certain signs, that Christ came out from God, and they glory in it, as if nothing more were needed. Yet still they were far from that knowledge, so long as they did not understand what Christ would be to them in future.