O fools and slow of heart to believe - Inconsiderate men, justly termed such, because they had not properly attended to the description given of the Messiah by the prophets, nor to his teaching and miracles, as proofs that He alone was the person they described.
Slow of heart - Backward, not easy to be persuaded of the truth, always giving way to doubtfulness and distrust. This very imperfection in them is a strong evidence of the truth of the doctrine which they afterwards believed, and proclaimed to the world. Had they not had the fullest assurance of these things, they never would have credited them; and it is no small honor to the new-covenant Scriptures that such persons were chosen, first, to believe them; secondly, to proclaim them in the world; and, thirdly, to die on the evidence of those truths, the blessed influence of which they felt in their own hearts, and fully exemplified in their lives.
O fools - The word “fool” sometimes is a term of reproach denoting “wickedness.” In this sense we are forbidden to employ it in addressing another, Matthew 5:22. That, however, is a different word in the Greek from the one which occurs here. The one there used implies contempt, but the one employed in this place denotes “weakness or dulness.” He reproached them for not seeing what he had himself so clearly predicted, and what had been foretold by the prophets. The word used in the original does not imply as much “reproach” as the word “fool” does among us. It was not an expression of “contempt;” it was an expression denoting merely that they were “thoughtless,” and that they did not properly “attend to” the evidence that he must die and rise again.
Slow of heart to believe - Not quick to perceive. Dull of learning. They had suffered their previous opinions and prejudices to prevent their seeing the evidence that he must die and rise from the dead.
All that the prophets have spoken - Respecting the character and sufferings of the Messiah. See the notes at Luke 24:27.
The Eternal God has drawn the line of distinction between the saints and the sinners, the converted and the unconverted. The two classes do not blend into each other imperceptibly, like the colors of the rainbow. They are as distinct as midday and midnight. CT 341.1
Those who are seeking the righteousness of Christ will be dwelling upon the themes of the great salvation. The Bible is the storehouse that supplies their souls with nourishing food. They meditate upon the incarnation of Christ, they contemplate the great sacrifice made to save them from perdition, to bring in pardon, peace, and everlasting righteousness. The soul is aglow with these grand and elevating themes. Holiness and truth, grace and righteousness, occupy the thoughts. Self dies, and Christ lives in His servants. In contemplation of the word their hearts burn within them as did the hearts of the two disciples while they went to Emmaus and Christ walked with them by the way and opened to them the scriptures concerning Himself. CT 341.2Read in context »
This chapter is based on Luke 24:13-33.
Late in the afternoon of the day of the resurrection, two of the disciples were on their way to Emmaus, a little town eight miles from Jerusalem. These disciples had had no prominent place in Christ's work, but they were earnest believers in Him. They had come to the city to keep the Passover, and were greatly perplexed by the events that had recently taken place. They had heard the news of the morning in regard to the removal of Christ's body from the tomb, and also the report of the women who had seen the angels and had met Jesus. They were now returning to their homes to meditate and pray. Sadly they pursued their evening walk, talking over the scenes of the trial and the crucifixion. Never before had they been so utterly disheartened. Hopeless and faithless, they were walking in the shadow of the cross. DA 795.1Read in context »
The reason that many professed Christians do not have a clear, well-defined experience, is that they do not think it is their privilege to understand what God has spoken through His word. After the resurrection of Jesus, two of His disciples were journeying toward Emmaus, and Jesus joined them. But they did not recognize their Lord, and thought He was some stranger, although “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. And they said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures? ... Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.” This is the work that we may look to Christ to do for us; for what the Lord has revealed, is for us and our children forever. FE 189.1
Jesus knew that whatever was presented that was out of harmony with what He came to earth to unfold, was false and delusive. But He said, “Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice.” Having stood in the counsels of God, having dwelt in the everlasting heights of the sanctuary, all elements of truth were in Him, and of Him; for He was one with God. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak what we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” “Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”—The Review and Herald, December 1, 1891. FE 190.1Read in context »
After His resurrection Jesus appeared to His disciples on the way to Emmaus, and, “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27. The hearts of the disciples were stirred. Faith was kindled. They were “begotten again into a lively hope” even before Jesus revealed Himself to them. It was His purpose to enlighten their understanding and to fasten their faith upon the “sure word of prophecy.” He wished the truth to take firm root in their minds, not merely because it was supported by His personal testimony, but because of the unquestionable evidence presented by the symbols and shadows of the typical law, and by the prophecies of the Old Testament. It was needful for the followers of Christ to have an intelligent faith, not only in their own behalf, but that they might carry the knowledge of Christ to the world. And as the very first step in imparting this knowledge, Jesus directed the disciples to “Moses and all the prophets.” Such was the testimony given by the risen Saviour to the value and importance of the Old Testament Scriptures. GC 349.1
What a change was wrought in the hearts of the disciples as they looked once more on the loved countenance of their Master! Luke 24:32. In a more complete and perfect sense than ever before they had “found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write.” The uncertainty, the anguish, the despair, gave place to perfect assurance, to unclouded faith. What marvel that after His ascension they “were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.” The people, knowing only of the Saviour's ignominious death, looked to see in their faces the expression of sorrow, confusion, and defeat; but they saw there gladness and triumph. What a preparation these disciples had received for the work before them! They had passed through the deepest trial which it was possible for them to experience, and had seen how, when to human vision all was lost, the word of God had been triumphantly accomplished. Henceforward what could daunt their faith or chill the ardor of their love? In the keenest sorrow they had “strong consolation,” a hope which was as “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” Hebrews 6:18, 19. They had been witness to the wisdom and power of God, and they were “persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,” would be able to separate them from “the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” “In all these things,” they said, “we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Romans 8:38, 39, 37. “The word of the Lord endureth forever.” 1 Peter 1:25. And “who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:34. GC 349.2
Saith the Lord: “My people shall never be ashamed.” Joel 2:26. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5. When on His resurrection day these disciples met the Saviour, and their hearts burned within them as they listened to His words; when they looked upon the head and hands and feet that had been bruised for them; when, before His ascension, Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up His hands in blessing, bade them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel,” adding, “Lo, I am with you alway” (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:20); when on the Day of Pentecost the promised Comforter descended and the power from on high was given and the souls of the believers thrilled with the conscious presence of their ascended Lord—then, even though, like His, their pathway led through sacrifice and martyrdom, would they have exchanged the ministry of the gospel of His grace, with the “crown of righteousness” to be received at His coming, for the glory of an earthly throne, which had been the hope of their earlier discipleship? He who is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” had granted them, with the fellowship of His sufferings, the communion of His joy—the joy of “bringing many sons unto glory,” joy unspeakable, an “eternal weight of glory,” to which, says Paul, “our light affliction, which is but for a moment,” is “not worthy to be compared.” GC 350.1Read in context »
Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Malachi 3:16, 17 ML 207.1Read in context »
There is not always perfect order or apparent unity in the Scriptures. The miracles of Christ are not given in exact order, but are given just as the circumstances occurred, which called for this divine revealing of the power of Christ. The truths of the Bible are as pearls hidden. They must be searched, dug out by painstaking effort. Those who take only a surface view of the Scriptures will, with their superficial knowledge, which they think is very deep, talk of the contradictions of the Bible, and question the authority of the Scriptures. But those whose hearts are in harmony with truth and duty will search the Scriptures with a heart prepared to receive divine impressions. The illuminated soul sees a spiritual unity, one grand golden thread running through the whole, but it requires patience, thought, and prayer to trace out the precious golden thread. Sharp contentions over the Bible have led to investigation and revealed the precious jewels of truth. Many tears have been shed, many prayers offered, that the Lord would open the understanding to His Word. 1SM 20.1
The Bible is not given to us in grand superhuman language. Jesus, in order to reach man where he is, took humanity. The Bible must be given in the language of men. Everything that is human is imperfect. Different meanings are expressed by the same word; there is not one word for each distinct idea. The Bible was given for practical purposes. 1SM 20.2
The stamps of minds are different. All do not understand expressions and statements alike. Some understand the statements of the Scriptures to suit their own particular minds and cases. Prepossessions, prejudices, and passions have a strong influence to darken the understanding and confuse the mind even in reading the words of Holy Writ. 1SM 20.3Read in context »
Such faith may be represented by the eleventh hour laborers who receive as much reward as do those who have labored for many hours. The thief asked in faith, in penitence, in contrition. He asked in earnestness, as if he fully realized that Jesus could save him if He would. And the hope in his voice was mingled with anguish as he realized that if He did not, he would be lost, eternally lost. He cast his helpless, dying soul and body on Jesus Christ (Manuscript 52, 1897). 5BC 1125.1Read in context »
When the Life-giver rose from the dead a triumphant conqueror, and made himself known unto his disciples, he was of the same size as before his crucifixion. There were no special marks which would at once cause the men of Emmaus to know that he was the Son of God. They did not know him until he told them who he was. 4aSG 119.1
But when he ascended up on high, and led a multitude of captives, escorted by the heavenly host, and was received in through the gates of the city, with angelic songs of triumph and rejoicing, I beheld with admiration and wonder, that he possessed the same exalted stature that he had before he came into the world to die for man. Said the angel, God, who wrought so great a miracle as to make Christ flesh to dwell among men, and will with his almighty power lift up fallen, degenerate, and dwarfed man, and after they are redeemed from the earth, make them “grow up as calves of the stall,” could in his infinite power return to his dear Son his own exalted stature, which was his before he left Heaven, and humbled himself as a man, and submitted to the death of the cross. 4aSG 119.2
It is no marvel with the angelic host that their loved Commander, after he had carried out the plan of salvation, and ascended up to Heaven, should take his own exalted stature, and be clothed with majesty and glory, which was his before he left Heaven. But it was a marvel with all heaven, that the Father suffered the Son of his bosom to lay aside his glory, and come down to earth, and submit to humiliation, and the agonizing death of the cross to save fallen man. 4aSG 119.3Read in context »
Ask God to reveal light and truth to you by His Holy Spirit, that you may understand what you read in His Word. When, after the resurrection, Christ walked with the disciples to Emmaus, He opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. The same divine Teacher will enlighten our understanding if we keep the windows of the heart opened heavenward and closed earthward. The office of the Holy Spirit is to bring all things to our remembrance and to guide us into all truth. TMK 202.4Read in context »
And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.... 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? Luke 24:15-32. RC 239.1Read in context »
The great themes of the Old Testament were misapprehended and misinterpreted, and Christ's work was to expound the truth which had not been understood by those to whom they had been given. The prophets had made the statements, but the spiritual import of what they had written, was undiscovered by them. They did not see the meaning of the truth. Jesus reproved His disciples for their slowness of comprehension. Many of His precious lessons were lost to them, because they did not understand the spiritual grandeur of His words. But He promised that the Comforter should come, that the Spirit of truth should recall these lost utterances to their minds. He gave them to understand that He had left with them precious jewels of truth whose value they did not know. 1SM 404.1
After the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ, His disciples listened with wonder and amazement to His lessons of truth; for they seemed as new ideas to them; but He told them, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:44, 45). The truth is constantly unfolding and presenting new features to different minds. All who dig in the mines of truth, will constantly discover rich and precious gems. We are anxious that all who claim to believe the truth now open before us, and especially those who take the responsibility of teaching the truth to others, should have a clearer conception themselves of the all-important significance of the themes of the Bible. 1SM 404.2Read in context »
The doctrine of grace and salvation through Jesus Christ is a mystery to a large share of those whose names are upon the church books. If Christ were upon the earth speaking to His people, He would reproach them for their slowness of comprehension. He would say to the slow and uncomprehending, “I have left in your possession truths which concern your salvation, of which you do not suspect the value.” 3SM 188.1Read in context »
Christ reproached His disciples with their slowness of comprehension.... After His resurrection, as He was walking to Emmaus with two of the disciples, He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures, so explaining the Old Testament to them that they saw in its teachings a meaning that the writers themselves had not seen. LHU 115.5Read in context »