Lesson 124: Jesus Appeared to His Disciples That First Day of the Week
Luke 24:13-49, John 20:1-18
A Blending of The Four Gospel Records. Welcome again! This is lesson # 124. We agreed in our last lesson to begin this lesson in the book of John; for the simple reason we did not have time to read it there. So, if you'll put your eyes on John ch. 20, we'll drink in the first 18 verses. The reference is John 20:1-18. This is John's account of the resurrection on that Sunday morning and Jesus' appearance to some of his disciples that day. Are you ready? "The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, they have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her." All four writers point out that Jesus arose on the first day of the week, or what we would call Sunday. Thus, later in the N.T. when it says the disciples came together or met on the first day of the week; those writers thus have reference to Sunday. As we said before, each writer emphasizes certain aspects of this great occasion. After the passover and the sabbath day that fell immediately after the passover; many, if not most of the people in Jerusalem, (i.e. the travelers and transients) must have headed back to their many places of residence in Galilee, Asia, Greece, Egypt, Alexandria, Cyprus, Cyrenica, and many other places. But, Mary Magdalene and the other women were a little frustrated about where the body of Jesus should be permanently buried; because, you will remember, the body of Jesus was placed in a borrowed tomb on Friday evening. And it must have been understood that Joseph's tomb was a temporary place for the body. But, the implication is that Joseph's tomb was used simply because it was near by to the location where Jesus' body was removed from the cross. Thus, the women bought and prepared the sweet spices to keep up the embalming aspect until the body would be permanently buried. And although no comment is made to this effect; they were probably hoping that these arrangements could be completed before they had to head back toward Galilee. The thought of heading back to Galilee in the near future was one of the things that caused the disciples and apostles to be grieving and mourning (Mark 16:10). Then in the midst of these frustrations, Mary showed up and announced she had already been to the tomb and the body was missing. When Peter heard the news he took off running toward the sepulchre. John, apparently the youngest of the apostles, followed. John referred to himself in these verses in the usual impersonal way. But, John, being younger and more nimble than Peter, outran Peter to the tomb. However, when John arrived he stopped short, stooped down peeped into that cave like structure; which, undoubtedly opened up to a larger space inside. But, Peter didn't stop for fear or for folly. He just ran right on into the tomb. Luke said, "Peter...departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass." (Luke 24:12). John doesn't mention anything about the angels, just here. But, John then from his eyewitness account described the inside of the sepulcher. The linen clothes, i.e. the strips of cloth used to embalm the body were lying there. Apparently a special piece of linen, perhaps larger than the other strips had been used to cover the head. John refers to it as a "napkin" and says, it was in a different place than the other wrappings. I would infer in v.9, here in John's account, that John is saying that everyone was so involved and so distraught that they HAD NOT REMEMBERED what Jesus had said and what the O.T. said concerning Jesus' rising again. But, when John saw the inside of the sepulchre; these prophesies undoubtedly occurred to him. However, there's no indication that John relayed his thought to Peter. I would assume not, as v.10 says, "Then the disciples went away again unto their own home."
Then John does a beautiful job of telling in more detail how Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, in a very mournful and distraught condition there in the garden or cemetery. Her tears and her involvement kept her from recognizing Jesus at first. She thought she was talking to a custodian. But, when Jesus called her name, as he had always spoken to her, in the past, v.16, she immediately recognized his voice. This tells us that Jesus in his risen body had the same features and characteristics Mary Magdalene had know before. You remember, I trust, Mark said Magdalene was the first person Jesus appeared to (Mark 16:9). The reason Jesus gave (v.17) that Mary should not touch him has been much discussed and much debated over the years. So, I simply leave it with you. Nevertheless, can you imagine Mary as she ran to tell the apostles? Matthew said the other Mary was with Mary Magdalene; but, John doesn't mention this. O.K., I trust you have a pretty good mental picture of that occasion early in the day on the first day of the week, i.e. Sunday morning, when Jesus arose from the grave. I have already mentioned that Jesus also appeared to Peter sometime during that day according to Luke 24:34. We don't have the details as was given about Mary Magdalene.
NOW, let's read some more! The scene now skips to late in the evening. Mark gives two brief verses in Mark 16:12-13. So, let's read Mark first. We'll begin reading in Mark 16:12, are you ready? "After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them." O.K. as the word began to spread over Jerusalem that day; you can imagine many were skeptical and most were confused and muddled. And, as I mentioned before; there were probably a lot of people leaving the city that day. As they traveled, these things must have dominated much conversation. But, this was either the third or fourth appearance of Jesus, to which Mark has reference here, depending upon whether Jesus made one appearance or two appearances to the women that morning. However, on this occasion notice that Mark said Jesus "appeared in another form unto two of them." Luke gives us that story with great detail. There were two disciples, one is identified as Cleopas, the other is not identified. They were walking from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus. The location of Emmaus is commonly disputed; however, its distance from Jerusalem is given in Luke 24:13 as 60 furlongs, the verse where we'll start reading in just a moment. Sixty furlongs translates into about 7 1/2 miles. I am including Emmaus as city # 23 on your map. The spelling is in Luke 24:13. So, you'll need to post Emmaus NOW, city # 23, and then let's read Luke's account. You may need to pause a moment; the reading begins in Luke 24:13. It's a long reading, something like 36 or 37 verses. So, we're going to break up the reading into about three or four sections. Let’s read v. 13 thru v.24 first. The reference is Luke 24:13-24. Are you ready? Let's read! "And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 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? 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: and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. Yea and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; and when they found not his body, they came saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which saith that he was alive. 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." O.K., let's pause there for a moment; but, hold your finger there, we'll continue our reading in a moment. Itrust that you caught on that as these two disciples walked along to Emmaus late that Sunday afternoon; Jesus joined them along the road. However, as Mark said "in another form"; thus, these disciples didn't recognize Jesus. So, in essence, Jesus interviewed the two disciples anonymously. But, after they had spilled their guts to Jesus, he tried to enlighten them and then he made himself known to them. Let's read on down through v.31. Have you got your finger on it? Starting in v.25. "Then he said unto them, 0 fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 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. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight." Alright, hold your finger there a minute. Jesus said they were slow to believe. Could the same be said of us today? He gave them a lesson on the O.T. in v.27. He began with Moses and taught concerning himself. They "constrained" him to accept their hospitality and stay all night (v.29). Have you ever been "constrained?" Back in Kentucky where I came from, they constrained everybody, come in and eat a little chicken with us for thy stomach's sake. But, today, you usually have to make an appointment a month in advance. The writer of the" Hebrew letter said, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Two disciples from Emmaus entertained Jesus unawares. Jesus ate with them. Then did you notice in v.31, Jesus made himself known unto them and THEN he vanished. I suppose about the same way he did after talking with Mary Magdalene and Peter. Can you imagine those two disciples sitting there at the table the moment after Jesus vanished? What would you have done? Let's read on! Starting in v.32, and we'll read down through v.35. Four more verses, are you ready? "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? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known to them in breaking of bread." O.K. hold your finger there again! Can you imagine that? These two disciples were so blissful, happy and joyous, that they struck out 7 1/2miles back to Jerusalem after dark to tell the other disciples the good news. Can you imagine them coming in, out of breath, and telling the apostles and the other disciples their story? Let's read the rest of it. Luke 24:36-49. Have you got it? Beginning in v.36. "And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 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. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have he here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. 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. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. 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." O.K., that doesn't leave us much time to discuss; so, we'll have to pick up on this next time. This was about the 5th time Jesus had appeared that day. This time it was the apostles and others (v.33). Undoubtedly they were behind locked doors, listening to the two brothers from Emmaus relate an amazing experience. Suddenly, right in their midst stood Jesus. He said in a very calm way, "Peace be unto you." They were terrified and affrighted. Can you relate to that? John records this occasion also; but, we'll talk about Jesus' message next time. Until then, have a good day.