Luke 24:31 “…their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight”
Not sure if their eyes had been purposely blinded to Him or if His difference in appearance combined with their total lack of expectation caused them to not recognize Him. Either way, at this point they realized it was Jesus. Then He supernaturally disappeared. He had joined them as any other traveler would, but He left as only He could.
33 “…rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem…”
The lateness of the hour didn’t bother them now. They had seen the resurrected Jesus and had to tell the others. Bet they made pretty good time going back to Jerusalem.
33-34 “…found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road…”
Making sense of a sentence depends on getting the correct subject and verb together. Verse 33 is a bit long and moves the subject. The two men get back to Jerusalem and find the eleven and others talking about something. They are saying Jesus has risen and has appeared to Simon. Then the two tell of how they encountered Jesus on the road and how they recognized Him when He broke the bread. Would probably be easier to catch if there wasn’t a comma after together. That tends to separate the action when it shouldn’t be separated. They found the eleven and others gathered together saying. Found them together talking. With the comma it makes it appear they found and they were saying. Which really didn’t make sense. Commentary had it right. Came in handy this time. Now, the commentaries can only speculate on this apparent private appearance of Jesus to Simon. We don’t have any record of what happened. Paul would later mention it in his letter to the Corinthians, but just that it happened, not anything that was said. Would have had to be sometime that afternoon after Peter and John ran to the tomb. Wonder where Peter was and why he was by himself? Perhaps the possibility of Christ’s resurrection combined with what Peter had done was weighing heavy on his mind so he decided to get alone. And Jesus showed up. What a meeting that must have been.
36 “…as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst…”
God’s perfect timing. Were probably just beginning to debate what they’d heard from Peter and the two others.
39 “…a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have”
Their minds could grasp that they saw Him, but couldn’t believe He was real. Perhaps a ghost or a vision.
41 “…they still did not believe for joy…”
Too good to be true. Marveled at the pure inconceivability of it. Certainly wanted to believe, but it seemed beyond comprehension, even within their own sight.
43 “…He took it and ate in their presence”
Proof He was a real person and not a spirit. He took the food and ate it in front of them.
45 “…He opened their understanding…”
He was finally able to connect the dots for them between the scriptures, what He had taught them for three and a half years, and what had happened to Him. Was finally making sense to them.
47 “…repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem”
This was the first mission of the Messiah, to redeem the world from sin. Yes, He was king and would someday claim His throne, but first He had to provide a way to save all of mankind. Now that He’d done that, His message was to be proclaimed to everyone until the day He returns to claim His kingdom.
49 “…I send the Promise of My Father upon you…”
The gift of the Holy Spirit. They had been present with God through Jesus for the last few years. Now they would have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit so they could be present with Him constantly. And we have Him as well. We encounter Him anew when He speaks to us, but He is always with us.
49 “…tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power…”
Specific instructions to remain in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit arrives. This doesn’t preclude them going to Galilee which Luke doesn’t record.
50 “…He led them out as far as Bethany…”
This makes it appear Jesus spoke to them for a bit then ascended to Heaven the same day He arose. From the other gospel accounts, we know some forty days passed before He left, during which He appeared to different folks in different places, including Galilee where He had originally picked up Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Ate some fish with them there, too. Commentaries suggest Luke got his information from some of the women in Jerusalem who probably didn’t go to Galilee with the others. They may not have seen Jesus again until He took them to the Mount of Olives to leave, which is where they pick up the story.
51 “…He was parted from them and carried up…”
Not just disappeared, but taken away as to show them where He was going. We read elsewhere that angels appeared and let the folks know Jesus would someday return the same way He left. So, as He was taken up from the Mount of Olives, someday He will return by coming down to stand once again on the Mount. Stuff gets really interesting at that point.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.