Charles F. (Charles Force) Deems.

Who was Jesus? online

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sants were the first confessors.

Then Jesus replied, " O thoughtless and slow of heart to believe

all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not

., , i ■ i The Christ to have suffered these thinjxs and to
the two disciples. < t »

enter his glory ? " They supposed their Master to
be The Christ of God : if so, the books held to be sacred writings


by the Jewish people pointed to just such a course of affairs as
had happened to Jesus. Then he began with Moses, and running
through his writings and those of their prophets, he explained to
these simple men that those very things which had shaken their
confidence should be confirmatory of the faith of all those who
understood and believed the Holy Scriptures. We can never
know what special passages Jesus quoted and expounded in this
conversation ; but it is not difficult now to see how the whole sys-
tem of worship instituted under Moses can be made highly typical
of what happened to Jesus, to the minds of those who believe in
him. It was new light to these simple but thoughtful men, and
they received it gladly.

Upon reaching the house where they were to abide, Jesus was
about to take his leave and pass on. But he had been so charm-
ing a talker, his glowing eloquence had so won
the hearts of his two ingenuous listeners, that they , . ,*
urged him to stay with them. He consented.
When the meal was spread Jesus assumed the host's place. As
they reclined at the table he took bread and uttered the usual
thanksgiving, which, according to the Jewish ritual, was obliga-
tory where three ate together. There was something in the tone,
or there was some change come over Jesus, which caused them to
recognize their dear dead friend, or, perhaps, as he broke the
bread they saw his wounded hands. " Their eves were opened,"
says Luke. At that instant Jesus became invisible to them.

This can scarcely be regarded as the history of a subjective
process on their part. That both should see the same man, and
hear the same words through a long discourse, and see him as
they prepared the meal, and behold and hear him while uttering
the thanksgiving, and both lose sight of him at once, and the
whole be a mere subjective fancy of both minds, is not at all in
accordance with the well-known laws of our intellectual constitu-
tion. His disappearance is not explained.

Then they said to each other, " Did not our hearts burn within
i - as he talked to ns by the way, and opened the Scriptures to
They were so excited at what had happened

, , , , T , T They return to

that thev arose and returned to Jerusalem. It, ,,

the city.

muBthave been night; but enough was happening

to draw the little circle closer together. When Cleopas and hia

3ompanioD reached the city they found the eleven Apostli


gcther and others of the disciples. As soon as they entered some

one said to them, " The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to

Simon." And perhaps all the strange occurrences of the day, so

far as they knew them, were related by the company to the two

who had jnst come from Emmaus.

"We do not know when this appearance to Peter occurred. It

was some time since morning, of course ; but whether it was before

or after the revelation of himself to the Emmaus
Jesus appears ,. . , , n . . . ■*.

p . disciples, we have no means or ascertaining. It

might have been after. There was time enough.
The company were evidently greatly excited by the appearance to
Peter. In an earlier part of the day he may have gone to the
sepulchre, or he may have been wandering about the suburbs or
through the streets, very disconsolate and unhappy. None of the
disciples had as much cause for sorrow as he. lie had denied his
Lord and broken into profanity. The last look which Jesus gave
him must have haunted him. Even if his Master had risen from
the dead, would he appear to him ? He had forfeited his place.
Perhaps none of his brother Apostles knew how basely he had
acted : but Jesus did. Would he allow poor Simon to fall peni-
tently at his feet?

Nothing can be more beautiful or appropriate than these first
appearances of Jesus. lie first shows himself to the grief of love
in Mary of Magdala. He next shows himself to the grief of per-
plexity in the two Emmaus disciples. lie then shows himself to
the grief of penitence in Peter. It was all in beautiful consis-
tency with the character he had displayed through his whole career.

After the assembly had informed Cleopas and his companion
of what was known in Jerusalem, they, in turn, gave an account
of their interview with Jesus in Emmaus and on the way thither,
and especially told of how Jesus was made known to them in the
breaking of bread. There was great incredulity in the company,
and much perplexity. They all believed that he was no longer in
the sepulchre; but his appearance to Mary and the other women,
and Simon, who professed to have seen him, seemed to them like
hallucination. The story told by the Emmaus disciples increased
the perplexity of the company. Jesus was seen so often, in such
different places, so near the same time, and vanishing so strangely.
It began to be frightful. It suggested spiritual appearances
They were mournfully disturbed.


It was probably the first time they had been gathered together
since the supper with Jesus on Thursday night. They were afraid
of the church authorities, and so the doors were
shut. Just when they were in most perplexity by ,. t h

Online LibraryCharles F. (Charles Force) DeemsWho was Jesus? → online text (page 70 of 77)