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 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 »
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 »
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 »