King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

Luke > New Testament > Home

Luke 24

The resurrection of Christ. (1-12) He appears to two disciples on the way to Emmaus. (13-27) And makes himself known to them. (28-35) Christ appears to the other disciples. (36-49) His ascension. (50-53)

Luke 24 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The resurrection of Christ

1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

8 And they remembered his words,

9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.

10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

He appears to two disciples on the way to Emmaus

13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

And makes himself known to them

28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

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

32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

Christ appears to the other disciples

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

37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

His ascension

50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 5. It is worthy of remark, that none of the disciples or friends of Christ, were so much astonished and struck at the many apparitions of angels, &c. as to be cast down to the ground, as the guards and his enemies were, but only through respect and reverential fear looked down upon the ground. Nor even did any of them fall down prostrate to adore our Saviour, when he appeared to them; because Christ was not now to be sought in the earth, among the dead, but was risen, and was to be looked for from heaven. Hence is derived the Catholic custom of praying in Pascal time, and on all Sundays, &c. not on the knee, but with the body respectfully bent, and bowing down their countenance towards the ground. Ven. Bede.

Ver. 13. S. Jerom thinks the Cleophas, one of the two disciples, was a citizen of Emmaus, and that he invited Jesus to take meat in his house. His house was afterwards changed into a church, which the same Father says existed in his time. Some think Cleophas was brother to S. Joseph; others, that he was husband of Mary, sister of the blessed Virgin Mary, and father of S. James the less. Both the Latins and Greeks keep the feast of S. Cleophas, and give him the name of an apostle. Usuard says he was martyred by the Jews. Calmet.

Ver. 16. But their eyes were held: either by our Saviour’s changing his features, or in what manner he pleased. Wi.

Ver. 18. Art thou alone a stranger in Jerusalem? or, art thou the only stranger in Jerusalem? which was to signify, that every one must needs have heard of what had passed in regard to Jesus. Wi.

Ver. 21. We hoped, &c. as if they had lost their former hopes, or now knew not what to hope for: but perhaps, as S. Aug. observes, they might use this caution speaking before a stranger. Wi. — These two disciples were in the same error as the other Jews; who expected that the Messias would deliver them from subjection to strangers, and re-establish them in their ancient liberty. The cross and passion had been a subject of scandal and fall to them. They say, we did hope; as if their hopes were now at an end. What increased their diffidence was, that Christ had promised to rise again the third day, and some of the women had said that he really had risen. But they expected as public and glorious a manifestation of his resurrection, as his death had been ignominious and known to the whole world. Behold, now this is already the third day since these things are passed: if he had wished to manifest his power, he should have done it already. Thus the disciples reason, as if the third day were already past, and as if it were certain that he was not risen again. So difficult a thing is it to believe what we very ardently wish! Calmet.

Proprium hoc miseros sequitur vitum

Nunquam rebus credere lætis.

Ver. 30. The ancient Fathers think our Saviour consecrated, on this occasion, and administered the Eucharist to the two disciples. In the Acts of the Apostles, this same term, breaking of bread, is explained without difficulty of the Eucharist. S. Luke seems fond of this manner of expression, to signify that sacrament. Calmet.

Ver. 37. The apostles thought they saw a Spirit, either good or bad, that had taken the form of Jesus, and was come to deceive them. For that they did not doubt spirits appeared, we have abundant proofs throughout the whole New Testament: and our Saviour, instead of combating this opinion, seems rather to have confirmed it on more than one occasion. Indeed S. Aug. thinks it cannot, without temerity, be denied, that there are occasional apparitions of angels, of demons, and the souls of the dead. Calmet. — This, however, will not justify the credulity of many ignorant and weak people, who think that nobody can die, but their spirit is sure to appear; much less will it justify the superstitious observations of unusual occurrences, which are so commonly reported to happen, as significant of a departed soul. These occurrences are rare; nor should we suppose that the Almighty would be willing to suspend or change the established laws of nature without a sufficient cause, viz. some known good either to the departed soul, or surviving friends. A.

Ver. 39. A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me to have. This was one argument of a true and real body. We may take notice, that Christ brought such proofs, as he knew were sufficient to convince them of his resurrection, though they were not of themselves demonstrations. For when they imagined they saw or touched a body, and that he eat with them, these things might apparently be done by a spirit. See Gen. xviii. v. 9. and Gen. xix. v. 3. and v. 16. where we read that angels, in the shape of men, eat, and took Lot and his wife, and his daughters, by the hand, and led them away from Sodom. Our senses, therefore, may sometimes be deceived, as may be shewn by divers other instances. But the arguments which Christ made use of at this time, to induce the apostles to believe his resurrection, are to be taken with all the circumstances: as 1st, with the corroborating testimonies of the Holy Scriptures, in which his resurrection was foretold; 2ndly, they called to their minds what he himself had told them so often, that he would rise again the third day; 3rdly, concurred also the testimonies already given by the angels, that he was risen; 4thly, the miracles at his death and resurrection; 5thly, Christ himself at the same time opened their understanding, to know and believe this truth, that he was truly risen. Wi.

Ver. 43. Christ eat, not because he stood in need of food to sustain himself after his resurrection, as we sustain our bodies and lives by corporal refreshment; but he did it, to shew his disciples that his body was really risen from the dead. Ven. Bede.

Ver. 45. If, after all the extraordinary opportunities of instruction, which the apostles had had from the mouth of our divine Saviour, it was still necessary that he should instil into them a new light, by opening their minds to understand the Scriptures; what are we to think of the presumptuous attempts of the numerous tribe of modern self-inspired interpreters, who are always ready to descant on the word of the Lord; though so perfectly ignorant that their authority, so far from being admitted, would be laughed to scorn, were they to attempt to explain the slightest difficulty, on the most indifferent subject of profane literature? To such a degree has the spirit of seduction spread itself at the present day! A.

Ver. 47. Beginning at Jerusalem. The sense is, that they were first to preach to the Jews, and afterwards to all nations. Wi.

Ver. 49. The promise of my Father; i.e. the Holy Ghost, whom Christ had promised that his Father and he would send. Jo. xiv. 26. and xvii. 7. Wi.

Ver. 51. Like a second Elias he was taken into heaven, but in a much more glorious manner. Elias was taken up in a mortal and corruptible body: but our divine Saviour, in a glorious, impassible, and immortal state; where now he is our head, having taken upon himself the nature of man, and is crowned with more than angel’s glory. Theophy. — What a glory this for us! Our head is clothed with everlasting glory; so shall we, his members, receive a share in his eternal kingdom. Chrys.