Page images

On their way]

* (to Emmaus. the prophets, he expounded unto them 32 And they said one to another, in all the Scriptures the things con Did not our heart burn within us, cerping himself. ?

while he talked with us by the way, 28 And they drew nigh unto the vil- and while he opened to us the lage, whither they went: and he made Scriptures ? as though he would have gone further. 33 And they rose up the same hour,

29 But they constrained him, say- and returned to Jerusalem, and found ing, Abide with us: for it is toward the eleven gathered together, and them evening, and the day is far spent that were with them, And he went in to tarry with them. 34 Saying, The Lord is risen in

30 And it came to pass, as he sat deed, and hath appeared to Simon. at meat with them, he took bread, and 35 And they told what things were blessed it, and brake, and gave to done in the way, and how he was known

of them in breaking of bread. (B) 31 And their eyes were opened, and 36 | And as they thus spake, Jesus they knew him; and he' vanished out himself stood in the midst of them, of their sight.

and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.


EXPOSITION. (B) Ver. 13–33. Jesus appears to two on the subject of their distress, and the disciples in their way to Emmaus..This opportunity presented of mixing familiarly Emmaus was a village little more than with them, were circumstances inviting seven miles from Jerusalem. One of these the attention of Jesus, and which we bedisciples is named Cleopas, who is asserted hold him improving, to the great purpose by some of the ancient fathers to have of the interview. Persons in distress are married the sister of the Virgin Mary, and easily set a talking on the subject of their to have been father to James the less, to distress: there is a fulness and overflowing of Jude, and Joses, the cousins of our Lord. the heart in such situations. The disciples, The other disciple is not named, which bas encouraged by the inquiries of Jesus, easily led many to suppose it might be Luke him- enter on the subject of his sufferings, and self, which seems the more probable from discover themselves to be under the power the particularity of the account. While of prejudices, which, previously to a discothese disciples were conversing by the way very, it was highly proper for him to corof the death of Jesus, and the circum- rect. In the mean time, he was concealed stances wbich accompanied it, Jesus him- by these very prejudices of the disciples, self, in the garb of a traveller, joined in and by the casually of the interview. 'Bethe conversation here related, and which sides,“ their eyes were holden (perbaps now calls for our observation.

miraculously) that they should not know Dr. D. Hunter, an elegant and pious bim." With this advantage on his side, Writer before quoted, remarks the peculiar he enters on the subject of his sufferings delicacy and tenderness of Jesus in the gra- with freedom censures them for their slowdual discovery of himself to his disciples, Dess and unbelief-and, with his wonted after his resurrection. Adverting to the kindness, begins to instruct them. It was Darrative now before us, he remark3,-" It not yet time to open their eyes, or to risk is beautiful to observe the steps by which a discovery, hy reminding them of his own the disciples were led on to the discovery predictions : But, beginning at Moses .... The sadness of their countenance, the and all the prophets, he expounded to them, conversation in which they were engaged in all the Scriptures, the things concerning


Ver. 20. They constrained him.-See Note on Luke xiv. 23, where the same word is used.

Ver. 31. He vanished out of their sight.--Doddr. "Withdrew himself (suddenly) from before them." Camp." He disappeared."

Yer. 33. The eleren.-So the apostles were usually called after the loss of Judas, thongh ten only could have been present: for we know that Thomas was not there, See John xx. 24; 1 Cor. xv. 5. Vet, 34, And hath appeared to Simon,-This ap.

pearance is not related by cither of the Evangelists, bnt is referred to by St. Paul, I Cor. xv. 5.

Ver. 35. Knonn of them in breaking of bread.- As neither of these disciples were present at our Lord's last supper, this seems to imply that there was a peculiar and characteristic solemnity in his manner of asking a blessing on their food.

Ver. 36. Peace be unto you. The usual form of salutation in the East. See Matt. x. 23.

Jesus appears]


[to the apostles, 37 But they were terrified and the Prophets, and in the Psalms, conaffrighted, and supposed that they had cerning me. seen a spirit.

45 Then opened he their under38 And he said unto them, Why standing, that they might understand are ye troubled ? and why do thoughts the Scriptures, arise in your hearts ?

46 And said unto them, Thus it is 39 Behold my hands and my feet, written, and thus it behoved Christ to that it is I myself: handle me, and suffer, and to rise from the dead the see; for a spirit hath not flesh and third day : bones, as ye see me have.

47 And that repentance and remis40 And when he had thus spoken, sion of sins should be preached in bis he shewed them his hands and his name among all nations, beginning at feet.

Jerusalem, 41 And while they yet believed not 48 And ye are witnesses of these for joy, and wondered, he said unto things. them, Have ye here any meat?

49 And, behold, I send the promise 42 And they gave him a piece of a of my Father upon you : but tarry ye broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be

43 And he took it, and did eat be- endued with power from on high. fore them.

50 And he led them out as far as 44 And he said unto them, These to Bethany, and he lifted up bis hands, are the words which I spake unto you, and blessed them. while I was yet with you, that all 51 And it came to pass, while he things must be fulfilled, which were blessed them, he was parted from written in the law of Moses, and in them, and carried up into heaven.

EXPOSITION—Chap. XXIV. Continued. himself." This he did with such ardour We observe, 1. That in Moses, and the and energy, that, after he had left them, prophets, and in all the Scriptures, and they said one to another, “ Did not our especially the types and prophecies, there hearts burn within us, while he talked with is much which concerns the character and us by the way, and opened to us the Scrip- work of Christ; and if this be true, as retures ?" The fulness and freedom of his spects the Old Testament, much more discourse, the impressions which it made must it be admitted in reference to the New, upon the disciples, their importunate invi. where he is “ the Alpha and the Omega, tation, his indulgent acceptance of it, and, the beginning and the end." 2. That in after his wonted manner, sitting down to the history of Christ, in both Testameuts, eat with them, are circumstances which the great points kept in view are bis atone: had the most happy tendency to enlarge ment and resurrection, his sufferings and their views, and to prepare them for seeing glory : “Ought pot Christ to have suffered with open eyes, Jesus, their master, risen these things, and (afterwards) to enter inti from the grave. The historian doth not glory?" Ålas ! that Christians should eve leave us to conjecture the use which they fire in conversing on such a subject! Whet made of the discovery : “ They rose up the Moses and Elijah met with Jesus apoi same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, Mount Tabor, " they spake of the deceas and found the eleven ; and they told them which he should accomplish at Jerusalemn;" what things were done in the way, and and in all the interviews which Jesus ha how he was known of them in the breaking with his disciples after his resurrection of bread.”—(Observations on the Hist. of this appears to have been the reigniu Jesus Christ, vol. ii. pp. 346—348.)

topic of conversation, which he closed by But we cannot pass over the interesting showing them his wounds : “ Behold m conversation here referred to, without offer- hands and my feet!". ing a remark or two on the subject of it.

NOTES—Chap. XXIV. Con. Ver. 37. Terrified and affrighted. - Doddr. Ver. 46. Thus it behoved.-Doddr. "was nece " Amazed and terrified."

sary." Comp. ver. 26. Ver. 38. Why do thoughts ?-Doddr, "suspicions."

A 套

And ascends]

[to heaven. 52 And they worshipped him, and 53 And were continually in the returned to Jerusalem with great temple, praising and blessing God. joy:

Amen. (C)

EXPOSITION.. (C) Ver. 36–53. Jesus, after farther tbeir instrumentality, as the means of conproofs of his resurrection, returns to heaven. verting others; but ihey were, in the mean - In the preceding section we find that the time, to wait at Jerusalem until they retwo disciples to whom Jesus discovered ceived such extraordinary powers as might himself at Emmaus, hastened back imme- be necessary to qualify them for the underdiately to Jerusalem, where they found the taking; for it must be supposed that, apostles collected together, and other dis- whatever powers they had previously been ciples with them. These had already re- intrusted with, bad ceased with their former ceived the happy intelligence of the resur- missions. rection from other quarters, and exultingly This account closes with a very brief exclaimed when they saw Cleopas and his narrative of our Lord's ascension into fellow disciple-" The Lord is risen, in- heaven from Mount Olivet, the foot of deed! and bath 'appeared to Simon!" which seems to have formed one of the While they were thus rejoicing and con- boundaries of Bethany. But we shall versing, our Lord himself suddenly ap- defer our remarks on this extraordinary peared in the midst of them, and blessed event till we euter on the Book of Acts, them in his accustomed manner, saying, in the first chapter of which, this same in"Peace be unto you!” Instead of being spired writer (Luke) gives an account calmed, however, they were terrified; of it more distinct and circumstantial. In and, instead of hailing him as their risen the mean time we close our exposition Saviour, they thought it was his ghost of this interesting Gospel by two or three for that ghosts or spirits did occasionally brief remarks on the temper and conduct appear on earth, was in those days never of the apostles and disciples, while waiting questioned. It is, however, strange to at Jerusalem for the promise of the Father, hear them talk thus inconsistently; but as above mentioned. it is possible that all. were not of one l. They worshipped their divine Master mind; that some could not make up their immediately as he was departed from them, opinion, and that his appearance might be Prostration, the outward action here inattended with a splendour by which others tended, was so common a token of respect were dazzled and confounded. Certain it toward the higher classes, that anti-triniis, that the Apostles were, in general, men tarian writers con tend, that such worship hard to be persuaded, even by ocular de can afford no conclusive argument in favour monstration; a circumstance which, how- of his divinity. But now Jesus was “parted ever it may tell against their faith, cer- from them, and carried up into heaven." tainly pleads strongly in behalf of the evi- While he was going, they were gazing. dence they afterwards bore in favour of (Acts i. 10.) When he was gone, they Christianity. As to the proofs of identity fell down and worshipped ; and such has which Jesus gave them by exhibiting his been the practice of Christians generally, wounds and eating before them, it is cer- to the present day. tain nothing could be better calculated to 2. While they thus honoured their desatisfy men of their class-plain, honest parted Saviour, they were continually (that hshermen. But our Lord's arguments is, at every opportunity of public worship) were not addressed only to their senses, praising and blessing God. Thus demonbut also to their understandings. He re- strating that their love to Jesus, as their minded them of what he had told them Saviour, was not inconsistent with the wor. before his death, relative to the fulfilment ship of the temple. For “ the hour was of the Old Testament prophecies in rela- now come, when the true worshippers tion both to bis sufferings and subsequent should worsbip the Father spirit and in glory: that these important truths were truth." to be disseminated through the world by



INTRODUCTION. “JOHN, the Evangelist and Apostle, was the son of Zebedee, a fisberman of the town of Bethsaida on the sea of Galilee, and the younger brother of James the elder. His mother's name was Salome. Zebedee, though a fisherman, appears to bave been in good circumstances; for the evangelical history informs us that he was the owner of a vessel, and had hired servants (Mark i. 20), and therefore we have no reason to imagine that his children were altogether illiterate, as some critics bave imagined them to have been, from a misinterpretation of Acts iv. 13. ..... John and his brother James were, doubtless, well acquainted with the Scriptures of the Old Testament, having not only read them, but heard them publicly explained in the Synagogues; and, in common with the other Jews, they entertained the expectation of the Messiah, and that his kingdom would be a temporal one. It is not impossible, though it cannot be affirmed with certainty, that John had been a disciple of John the Baptist before he became a disciple of Christ : at least the circumstantial account which he has given in ch. i. 37—41) of the two disciples who followed Christ, might induce us to suppose that he was one of the two. It is, however, certain that he had both seen and heard our Saviour, and had witnessed some of his miracles, particularly that performed at Cana of Galilee (ii. 1-11). John has not recorded his own call to the Apostleship; but we learn, from the other thrée Evangelists, that it took place when he and James were fishing upon the sea of Galilee. ...... From the time when John and his brother received their immediate call from Christ, they became his constant attendants, they heard his discourses, and beheld his miracles; and after previous instruction, both public and private, they were honoured with a selection and appointment to be of the number of the Apostles.

-"What the age of John was at this time, his history does not precisely ascertain..... Dr. Lardner is of opinion that none of the Apostles were much under the age of thirty when appointed to that important office. Whatever his age might have been, Joha seems to have been the youngest of the twelve, and (if we may judge by his writings) to have possessed a temper singularly mild, amiable, and affectionate. He was eminently the object of our Lord's regard aud confidence, and was, on various occasions, admitted to free and intimate intercourse with bim, so that he was characterized as 'the disciple whom Jesus loved.' John xiii. 23.

“The precise time when this Gospel was written has not been ascertained, though it is generally agreed that John composed it at Ephesus. Basnage and Lampe suppose it to have been written before the destruction of Jerusalem; and, in conformity wito their opinion, Dr. Lardner fixes its date in the year 68, Dr. Owen in 69, Michaelis in 70 but Chrysostom and Epiphanius, among the ancient fathers, and Dr. Mill, Fabricius Le Clerc, and Br. Tomline, among the moderns, refer its date, with greater probability to the year 97, and Mr. Jones to the year 98.

INTRODUCTION. "The Gospel by John has been universally received as genuine. The circumstantiality of its details proves that the book was written by an eye-witness of the discourses and transactions it records....... Besides this incontestable internal evidence, we bave the external and uninterrupted testiinony of the ancient fathers of the Christian Church. His Gospel is alluded to ouce by Clemen: of Rume, once by Barnabas, and four times by Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, who had been a disciple of the Evangelist, and hadi conversed familiarly with several of the Apostles. It was also received by Justin Martyr, Tatian, the Churches of Vienne and Lyons, Trenæus, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, Clement of Alexandria, &c.; and, in short, by all subsequent writers of the ancient Christian Church.” (Horne's Crit. Introd. vol. iv. pt. 2, ch. 2.)

“The Gospel of John (says Dr. Pye Smith) is distinguished, by very observable characters, from the composition of the other Evangelists. It has much less of narrative, and is more largely occupied with the doctrines and discourses of the Lord Jesus. The topics also of the discourses possess a marked character, indicating that they have been selected with an especial view to the presenting of what, during his earthly ministry, Jesus himself had taught concerning his own person, and the spiritual and never-dying blessings wbich he confers upon those who helieve on his name. Our being destitute of any certain knowledge of the human motive which dictated this principle of selection, does not render the work less valuable, since we need nothing to increase a conviction, arising from the truths theinselves, of their supreme importance, and of our deep interest in them. It should, indeed, the more excite our gratitude to the Spirit of Grace and Truth, the Spirit of Christ, to whose directing and inspiring influence we owe this unspeakable treasure." (Smith's Messiah, vol. ii. p. 497-8.)

The very important introduction to this Gospel, wbich treats particularly of the divine Logos, will fall immediately under notice in our Exposition of the first Chapter, Much learned discussion has been excited, as to the origin of this term, which has been traced to the Jewish Targums, to Philo, and to the Platonic Philosophy. Our readers know that, in different captivities, the Jews were carried, some to Egypt, and some to Babylon; that, in the latter city, their language was mingled with, and in a great measure lost in, the Chaldee; in consequence of which, on their return to Jerusalem, when Ezra read to them the law, he was obliged to interpret it to them in Chaldee, and so his successors; and froin these interpretations were at length formed (about our Saviour's time) the most ancient Targums, in which the word Memra was introduced in a manner analogous to the use of Logos by Plato, Philo, and the Alexandrine School of Philosophy. Tbus Logos came to signify, 1. Wisdom, as a divine perfection; 2. A word, or speech, by which the wisdom of God was revealed; 3. A personal word, i. e. an agent, or angel, seut to deliver that word; and from these sprung several other meanings, as stated in the Lexicons. We have no idea that John studied in the schools of either the Greeks or Rabbins ; but he might be acquainted with the early Targums, and in the latter part of his life, though residing at Ephesus, gained probably some, knowledge of the Greek philosophy and elocution ; but he himself studied in the school of Christ.-(On this subject see Allix. on the Jewish Church; Watts's Fourth Disserta tion on the Trinity; and especially Dr. Smith's Messiah, vol. i. p. 409, 445; ii. 495,499; and Preb. Tou:nsend's N. T. Arr. vol. i. pp. 7—26, Note s.

This Gospel of John is generally considered to bave been written in Greek; and Michaelis prefers his style, in respect of purity, to the other Evangelists, which he attributes to his long residence at Epbesus. Whether the Evangelist had herein any allusion to Cerinthus, or other ancient heretics, is much disputed among the learned. That he might have some reference to them, is, we think, hardly to be doubted; but the Scripă ture method of confuting error, was by stating the opposite truths, which Joho does very fully,

« PreviousContinue »