Thomas Adam.

An exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) online

. (page 26 of 39)
Online LibraryThomas AdamAn exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 26 of 39)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

and love of him, are not less than theirs, though we have
all possible assurance of his resurrection, and receive it as
a chief article of our faith.

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

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

4. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed there-
about, 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,

() this word, Remember ! We want nothing else to make
us Christians. What do we remember of that which Christ
has said to us ? What care do we take to imprint it on our
memories .'' How can we fail to forget our souls .''

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.

These remarks of Jesus caused them to remember with
deep impression, and the joy of faith.

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.

Shepherds were the first preachers of Christ's birth, and

VER. 13—32.] ST. LUKE. 355

women the first publishers of his resurrection. If any are
poor and unlearned, here is comfort for such. Tiie })owcr
of God is power in all ; and all are blind and foolish, in
the matter of their salvation, without it.

11. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they be-
lieved them not.

This was strange, considering how plainly, and how
often, Christ had told them of his rising again. But their
slowness of belief tends to raise our assurance.

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

Peter probably had his mind so filled with thoughts of
his denial of Jesus, as to have forgotten his promise that
he would rise from the dead. This may teach us that
whenever we sin, and lose our confidence in the love and
favour of the Lord, we are incapacitated from reaping
benefit from the events of God's providence, which is bring-
ing about his purposes of mercy toward us. — Edit.


Chap. xxiv. ver. 13—32.


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

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

They talked of what was uppermost in their minds,
and warm upon their hearts. They were prepared for
Jesus, and he was ready fcu' them.

A A 2

356 ST. LUKE. [chap. XXIV.

15. And il came to pass, thai, while tliey coinnnuied together
and reasoned, .Tesus himself drew near, and went with them.

When the discourse is of Christ, he is always one of the

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

If we do not see some particular things relating to Jesus
Christ at once, let us not be discouraged. If we are in
earnest with him, and wait his time, we shall be no
losers by this delay. If he makes us delay, it is only to
draw from us one answer after another, as he did from
them, for our greater benefit, and to make sure work with
our souls.

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

Christ did not need to be informed, but to suit his in-
structions to their answers, and to enlighten their under-
standings by degrees. Christ remarked their sadness, and
saw that this was an excellent ground to build upon. Deep
seriousness, or inward trouble, is the way to rest ; and such
he invites to come to him.

18. And the one of thein, 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 P

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 re-
deemed 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

VER. 13—32.] ST. LUKE. 357

24. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepul-
chre, and found it even so as the women had said : hut him thcv
saw not.

This whole narrative is beautifully plain, simple, and
pathetic. — Edit.

25. 1'hen he said unto iheni, O fools, and slow of heart to be-
lieve all that the prophets have spoken :

They had told Jesus all their minds, and now it was his
turn to speak. Let us speak our minds to him, and we
shall assuredly have an answer of instruction and comfort
from him. " O fools !" This may justly be said of us, if we
are ignorant, and slow of belief. We have the advantage
of them in several respects. They had only the Scriptures
of the Old Testament : we have both the Old Testament
Scriptures, and also those of the New Testament ; and one
is the key to the other.

He charges them with slowness of heart to believe. Ob-
serve the root of all unbelief. Wherever we look for it, or
whatever we pretend as the cause of it, it is nowhere but
in the heart. If we had better hearts, we should have
better heads. We have no liking to the things to be be-
lieved, and this of course makes us unwilling to believe,
and grojje for light at noon-day.

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

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

Who would not wish to have heard him expound ? Why
have not we .^ What else has he been doing throughout the
gospel ? If not the very same things, yet what is fully as
profitable to us !

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

This lie did to try them, whether or not they would be
so content to part with him. Many sincere Christians find
this, and think Christ is about to leave them, liut he has

358 ST. LUKE. [chap. XXIV.

no such design, whatever show he makes, and he loves to
be held fast.

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.

He never refuses this to any man. He is ready to take
up his abode with us. O that we were able to make our
hearts speak ! Do we desire it ? O that we all loved our
Bibles, and did not let them lie dusting upon our shelves.
Christ is there, and will be with us in them.

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

Is Christ not known of us, when he blesses, and breaks
the bread to us in the sacrament ?

31. And their eyes were opened, and tbey knew him ;

And are not our eyes opened, when we see him there
with the eye of faith, and feed upon him with a true
hunger and thirst .f^ On the other hand, we may ask, are
they truly opened till then ?

31. And he vanished out of their sight.

By this they had full proof who he was. Nevertheless
he had left himself in their hearts, and was not gone from
them, though they saw him no more with their eyes.

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

This was a blessed experience to which they allude. Has
he lost the power or the will, to open them to ws, and to
make our hearts burn within us? Alas ! we read the Scrip-
ture but seldom ; and when we do, we too seldom, if ever,
offer, and open our hearts to him in the reading of it. We
do not love what it contains. Our affections are otherwise
engaged ; and therefore it is no wonder that they are so
cold and unmoved at the glad tidings of salvation which it
brings us. O Jesus I thou still talkest with us in thy

VEIL 33 — 45.] ST. LUKE. 359

word ; speak it to our hearts, that they may burn within
us, and rejoice in thy lioly comforts.

Chap. xxiv. ver. 33 — 45.


33. And they, [/. e. the disciples at Emuiaiis, ] rose up the same
hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gatliored
together, and them that were with them,

34. SaA'ing, Tlie Lord is risen indeed, and hath ap])earcd to

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

He blessed the bread, but vanished at the word,
And left them both exclaiming, 'Twas the Lord !
Did not our hearts feel all he deigned to say ?
Did they not burn within us by the way .''

Cowper. — Edit.

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

What peace.'' Answer, the peace of God. To them
only ? Nay, but to us also. It is Ciu-ist's precious legacy
to the world : it lies open to all in the New Testament,
and will be wrought into the hearts of all who seek after
it, by his Spirit, in degrees more or less, so as to be a
ground of comfort, and of willing, faithful obedience. The
whole gospel is in this word, peace ; but then the way to
it is through repentance. Did a conviction of the trutii
ever make this peace welcome to us.'' Let us confess the

37. But they were terrified and anii-htcd, and suj)posed that
they had seen a spirit.

38. And he said unto them. Why are ye troubled ? and why
do thoughts aiise in your hearts i'

360 ST LUKE. [chap. XXIV.

32. Behold my hands and \ny feet, thai it is I invself: handle
lae, and see ; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ve see me

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

To this St. John alludes in his first epistle. " That
which was from the beginning, which we have heard,
which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked
upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life." —

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 broiled fish, and of an honey-

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

Their joy was so great, that in the first rapture of it,
they could hardly believe what they saw. Therefore to
convince them farther, that it was he himself, risen from the
dead, with his own real body, he calls for meat to eat be-
fore them.

44. And said unto them, I'hese are the words which I sjwke
unto you, while [ was yet with you, that all things must be ful-
filled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the pi'ophets,

and in the psalms, concerning me.

Here Christ gives his sanction to the whole, and every
part of the Old Testament, under the threefold division of
the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms, which last stood
at the head of the Hagiographa, or third division.

45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might un-
derstand the Scriptures.

They are never understood without Christ's opening ;
and his opening of them is to the heart. O let us pray for
tliis ! A little knowledge there will do great things.

VEK. 45—53.] ST. LUKE. 361


(/hap. xxiv. ver. 45 — 53.

Christ's charge, promise, and ascension.

46. And [he] said unto them. Thus it is written, and thus it
helioved Christ to suffei", and to rise from the dead the third day :

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

We may ask ourselves, did Christ know for what he
came into the world ? Let us think with deep concern of
these two points, repentance, and remission of sins, and
that one is in order to the other. Let us think how dearly
the grace of remission was purchased for us ; and what a
desperate condition of wilful blindness, and contempt of
Christ, those are in, who do not seek carefully after it. Let
us observe, too, in whose name, and for whose sake, we
have remission. We must ground ourselves wholly upon
Christ for it, and the deepest repentance, if it does not
bring us to him, is in vain.

" Beginning at Jerusalem :" that wicked, devoted,
wretched place, reeking with his blood. Begin there,
says Christ ; to teach us that the greatest sinners, who at
the call of God repent, and turn to him, need not despair
of forgiveness.

48. And ve are witnesses of these things.

That is, of Christ, as the Saviour of the world, and the
way to him, as here described.

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

They were to wait for the Holy Spirit, to enable them
to bear their testimony. And till then they were not to
enter upon their office. "God be merciful to me a sinner.""*

* Sec tliL' accuuiit ot Mr. Adam's conversion in his Memoir,

362 ST. LUKE. [chap. XXIV.

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

He blessed them, not for themselves only, but for tiie
work's sake, that it might prosper in their hands. That
blessing reaches to the end of the world, and it is now
upon us, if we have put ourselves in the way of receiv-
ing it.

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

There Jesus is now, and he is now looking down upon
us, to see what we are doing in the world. He is also
there carrying on the work of our salvation.

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

This joy arose from what they had, and from what they
expected ; namely, Christ's blessing and presence in their
souls, God's favour, the promise of the Holy Spirit, and
the hope of eternal life. The joy of the Christian is real


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

The Gospels contain the history of Christ's birth, mira-
cles, preaching, death, and resurrection ; to the end that
we might believe in him, as the Son of God, and the Savi-
our of men. Some of the Evangelists are more full in cer-
tain of these particulars, and some in others ; but all agree
in giving a full relation of his death ; and wtien they come
to close their Gospels, join, as it were, in full concert.
The death of Christ, as a full, perfect, and sufficient sa-
crifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole
world, is the great article of our faith. But in order to
establish it, it was necessary that he should rise from
the dead. As he was delivered for our offences, so he
must be raised again for our justification, to convince us
that God accepted his atonement and sacrifice of himself

VER. 45 33.] ST. LUKE. 363

for us ; and as the principal ground, or argument of that
faith in him, by wliich we are justified. This therefore is
confirmed to us beyond doubt. All the four Evangelists
give in their testimony to it. The Apostles, at first slow
of belief in this matter, but afterwards convinced by the
evidence of their senses, made it the ground of their preach-
ing; : and at the last sealed the truth of it with their blood.
But what is this now to us, more than the history of any
other person, without a believing application of what he
did and suffered, to ourselves ? To what purpose are we told
of his coming into the world, his doctrine, miracles, death,
resurrection, and ascension, if we are not persuaded by all
this to come unto God by him, in the way he has marked
out for us, namely, by repentance to faith, and by faith to
newness of obedience ? Therefore let us know the truth.
The death and resurrection of Christ, yea, Christ himself
is ours, when we come to him in faith, and longing for his
benefits. But we can have no such desire, no faith in him,
no benefit from him, till we know, every one of us, from
our own miserable, helpless, undone state, how necessary
a relief he is to us.

May the Lord grant that we may conclude our reading,
as St. Luke does his Gospel, watching unto prayer, praising
and blessinir God for what we have heard, and for our con-
version to the faith of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Note at the end of chap. xxi.

In this chapter Christ has foretold the destruction of
Jerusalem, with such circumstances as must have operated
strongly to the conversion of many, who lived to see them
exactly fulfilled. That destruction is a standing monument
of God's hatred of sin, and will to punish it. This is a point
in which mankind at all times are slow of belief. Though
the scripture abounds with plain declarations, warnings,
and examples, of God's punishment of sin and sinners, they
will not believe in him, as he has revealed himself; but

364 ST. LUKK. [chap. XXIV.

walk on still in darkness, and fancy him to be all mercy, in
opposition to his justice. But take heed, O Christian, lest
he also spare not thee ; lest a double portion of woe fall
upon thee for the abuse of thy name and profession. For
he changeth not ; he is the same sin-hating God for ever
and ever ; and there is a day coming, which will be infi -
nitely more dreadful to all the workers of iniquity than his
wrath upon Jerusalem, great and terrible as it was. One
is a type, forerunner, and pledge of the other ; that we
may know what God will do from what he has done, — be
in pain for ourselves, — avoid the misery hanging over our
heads, and be prepared by repentance and faith, to meet
our Lord with joy, at his second coming.

Note on verse 19, chap. xxii.

" This is my body." They could not think that the
bread which Christ held in his hand, and reached out to
them, was that very body which they saw at the table with
them, but the sign of it ; just as the Paschal-lamb is called
the Passover, that is, the memorial or token of it. But
what then was signified by it ? His body broken for us,
and received into us. And when we have it in us, (namely,
in our souls, — Edit.) by a true eating of the sacramental
bread in faith, we are free from condemnation, and in tlie
sight of God as Christ himself.


Chap. i. ver. 1—5.


1. Tn the beginning was the Word, nnd the Word was with
God, and the Word was God.

" In the beginning," at the creation, that is, before all
time, and from eternity, then was "the Word," the only-
beo-otten Son of God, so called, because the nature and
will of God, what he is in himself, what he docs, and would
have us do, are manifested by him, as words discover and
exactly represent the hidden sense of the mind, which
would' otherwise be unknown. " And the Word was with
God," and therefore a distinct person. With Him, in the
distinction and relation of a Son to the Father, though one
in substance and essence. " And the Word was God "
No art, device, or subtlety of man, can set aside this
divine declaration, and full assertion of the eternal God-
head of the Word, or Son.

2. The same was in the beginning willi (iod.
To prevent all mistake, or evasion, and that this great
truth of our religion, on which so much depends, might be
more attended to, and more surely believed, St. John was
directed to repeat the declaration.

3GG ST. JOHN. [chap, i-

3. All ihiiigs were made by him ; and without him was not any
thing made that was made.

Here the same truth is asserted in the form of a proof,
and under a new discovery of divine revelation. " He
that made all things is God:" Heb- iii. 4; therefore
Christ is God. The evangelist has told us what Christ
is in himself ; he next tells us what he is, and must be,
to us.

4. In him was life ; and the life was the light of men.

He was the root and the fountain of life to all intellec-
tual beings, communicating happiness to them, through
himself, in and with their creation. " And the life was
the light of men." His life in them, so long as thev
retained it, was a never-failing spring of light to them, by
which they were fitted to know, and live in communion
with God, as much as we are fitted by our bodily eyes to
receive and enjoy the light of the sun.

5. And the light shineth in darkness ; and the darkness com-
prehended it not.

It shineth continually, notwithstanding that men were
turned from it by the fall " of man, derived from the sin
of our first parents in paradise," and would not receive it.
See what our condition is at all times without Christ.
Though we should have all the natural knowledge and
acuteness in the world, we are in gross darkness till we
have the true light again, by his life in us, a root and
growth in him, by an inward work of faith. " And the
darkness comprehended it not ;"" that is, did not, would
not perceive, or apprehend it ; mankind did not perceive
it from the beginning, when, according to these words, it
was working in secret ; nor the Jews in particular, when it
shone out at his coming :, neither do the generality appre-
hend it at any time.

In the early part of this chapter what Christ is, and
what he came into the world to perform, is set forth. The

VER. G — 11. J ST. JOHN. 3G7

design he came upon was the recovery of lost mankind,
and to convince us of the will of God for our restoration,
and that none but God could effect it ; hence, the Godhead
of Christ, the author of it, is declared as fully and plainly
as possible. How low have we fallen, how great is our
danger, and how great the love of God for us perishing-
creatures ! Well would it be for us, if we were so struck
with the sense of our condition, the mercy of delivei-ance,
and the greatness of our Kedeenier, as to receive the life
which he offers to us, by receiving him into our hearts.
Let us be all attention. The words of this Gospel came
from heaven; they were given to St. John for us. Let us
make them our own by diligent study, by meditation, and
especially by prayer. The lifting u]) the heart to God,
when Christians hear or read the Scripture, is a sure
means to have it savingly opened and applied.


Chap. i. ver. 6 — 14.
christ''s humanity and office.

6. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light,
that all men through him might believe.

The office of John the Baptist was two-fold, he was a
preacher of repentance, and a witness of Christ. The
former is mentioned by the other three Evangelists, the
latter by St. John. We must receive Christ in both re-
spects. The repentance which John the Baptist preached
is necessary, but Christ alone is our remedy.

8. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that

He was not the light which we all need, but a guide to
it : this is all which any preacher, or outward teaching of

368 ST. JOHN. [chap. I.

the word of God, can become to us. If we stop sliort of
Christ, we arc still in darkness.

9. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that
Cometh into the world.

What the light of the day is to the body, and the busi-
ness of this world, the same Christ is to the soul, and to
all spiritual uses. What should we think of a man, who
was blind and would not have his eyes opened, or who was
in a dark dungeon, and would not come out of it ? But
this is nothing to the folly of those who reject Christ, and
his light. Think whether you have received it or not, or how
any can receive it but under a feeling of want, and a sense
of their miserable darkness.

10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and
llie world knew him not.

The Son of God was in the world at all times, and
before his coming in the flesh, and he did not then begin to
be, for " the world was made by him."

We are in this verse given to understand that the world
might have known Chi'ist by an inward work upon their
hearts, if it had not been their own fault. This is indeed
the only true knowledge of Christ, without which the
outward knowledge of him, whether in the flesh, or since,

Online LibraryThomas AdamAn exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 26 of 39)