Luke 18

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Luke 18 Introduction

This chapter marks the end of a remarkable and unique section in the book of Luke. While most of Luke's testimony is quite similar to that of Matthew and Mark, chapters 10-18 contain many priceless stories and parables that are not contained in the other gospels. The parable of the unjust judge and the prayers of the Pharisee and publican (Luke 18:1-14) are typical examples of unique contributions. Others include:

1) Mission of the Seventy-Luke 10:1-20

2) The story of Mary and Martha with Jesus-Luke 10:38-42

3) The parable of the friend at midnight-Luke 11:1-8

4) The parable of the barren fig tree-Luke 13:6-9

5) The woman with a spirit of infirmity-Luke 13:11-17

6) The parable of the wedding guests-Luke 14:7-11

7) The parable of the great supper-Luke 14:12-24

8) The parable of the lost coin-Luke 15:8-10

9) The parable of the prodigal son-Luke 15:11-32

10) The parable of the unjust steward-Luke 16:1-8

11) The parable of Lazarus and the rich man-Luke 16:19-31

12) The parable of the unprofitable servant-Luke 17:7-10

13) The healing of the ten lepers-Luke 17:11-19

Luke starts his gospel with the declaration that he had a 'perfect understanding of all things from the very first' (Luke 1:3). We should be thankful for Luke's 'perfect understanding,' for it is only through him that we are blessed with access to these priceless stories.

Luke 18:1 men ought always to pray, and not to faint

Ezra Taft Benson

"'Remember that whatever you do or wherever you are, you are never alone' was my father's familiar counsel to me as a boy. 'Our Heavenly Father is always near. You can reach out and receive His aid through prayer.' I have found this counsel to be true. Thank God we can reach out and tap that unseen power, without which no man can do his best... During His earthly ministry, Jesus said, 'Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.' (Luke 18:1.) 'Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.' (Matt. 26:41.) In this dispensation, He said, 'Pray always lest that wicked one have power in you, and remove you out of your place.' (D&C 93:49.)" ("Prayer," Ensign, May 1977, 32)

Vaughn J. Featherstone

"What a marvelous spiritual revival we would have if the Saints would pray sincerely and humbly to God-the One Being in all of eternity who is available to every soul who walks the earth, every moment of every day. None are exempt save it be by their conduct and choosing. Oh, how we ought to love and worship our God and His Son. Oh, what an answer to the trials, frustrations, and perplexities of life. Peace and blessings come to the contrite soul who approaches God with a broken heart." (The Incomparable Christ: Our Master and Model [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 63.)

Luke 18:2-8 The parable of the widow and the unjust judge

The Lord chose the details of this parable carefully. Intentionally, the judge is described as one who is concerned not with right and wrong as much as expediency-he 'feared not God, neither regarded man' (v. 2). The widow may be in a vulnerable position because she is alone. However, we are not told whether her cause is just or unjust. For the purposes of the story, it doesn't matter.

The judge grants the requests of the widow regardless of what is morally correct. In the real world, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." The lesson of the parable, then, is that if an unjust judge would grant a request of questionable validity just because he was sick of seeing this old widow, then a loving Heavenly Father will be most happy to grant the righteous requests of his saints-especially if their petitions are just and persistent. See also DC 101:81-88.

Bruce R. McConkie

"If an unjust earthly judge will finally dispense justice because of the repeated importunities of the widow, how much more shall the God of all the earth, who is the embodiment of perfect justice and impartiality, grant the just petitions of his faithful saints." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 1: 542.)

Luke 18:7 shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him

Robert E. Wells

"He wants us to be persistent and not be weary in asking for that which is right. It would be too easy if every prayer were answered the first time it occurred to us to ask. The test of our faith is in our diligence in crying 'day and night unto him.'" (The Mount and the Master [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 173.)

Joseph Smith

"[When] all things else fail you but God alone, and you continue to weary him with your importunings, as the poor woman the unjust judge, he will not fail to execute judgement upon your enemies and to avenge his own elect that cry unto him day and night. Behold, he will not fail you." (Kent P. Jackson, comp. and ed., Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 125.)

Luke 18:8 when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth

Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Today I ask a question the Savior asked nearly 2,000 years ago: 'When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?'

"...Often what passes for faith in this world is little more than gullibility. It is distressing to see how eager some people are to embrace fads and theories while rejecting or giving less credence and attention to the everlasting principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is distressing how eagerly some rush into foolish or unethical behavior, believing that God will somehow deliver them from the inevitable tragic consequences of their actions. They even go so far as to ask for the blessings of heaven, knowing in their hearts that what they do is contrary to the will of our Father in Heaven.

" day, we will fully see through the darkness into the light. We will understand His eternal plan, His mercy, and His love.

"'When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?' Perhaps as members of the Church trust with all their hearts, transform their hopes and beliefs into action, and seek to align themselves with the will of the Lord, the answer to the question the Savior asked 2,000 years ago will be a resounding 'Yes, He will find faith. He will find faith among those who take upon themselves His name. He will find it among those who are living His divine principles.'" (Ensign, Nov. 2002, 82-85)

Luke 18:9 he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others

Howard W. Hunter

"[This parable] was directed to more than just his disciples. Even though the subject matter was a Pharisee and a publican, it was not intended for Pharisees or publicans expressly, but for the benefit of the self-righteous who lack the virtues of humility and who use self-righteousness as a claim to exaltation... It is interesting that the Master selected a Pharisee and a publican as the actors in the story, representing the two religious extremes in Jewish society.

"The Pharisees were the largest and most influential of the three sects of Judaism at the time of Christ. The Pharisaic movement in the Jewish state rose from the ranks of the lay lawyers of the Greek period to become the leading religious and political party. The main characteristics of the Pharisees were their legalism and their legalistic inflexibility. They were known for their strict accuracy in the interpretation of the law and their scrupulous adherence to living the law in every minute detail. This caused them to be known as the strictest of Jewish sects in observing their tradition. They shunned the non-Pharisee as being unclean, thereby keeping themselves separated from those they considered to be the common people.

"...Publicans were tax collectors and were looked down upon with contempt. Ordinary taxes, such as land taxes, were collected by the Roman officials; but toll taxes for transporting goods were usually collected by Jews under contract with the Romans. These collectors, or publicans, made a profit on the transactions. Their fellow countrymen had no higher regard for them than for thieves and robbers. The trade lent itself to graft and extortion, and the publicans had the reputation of having some of the tax money stick to their own fingers.

"...Could there be greater contrast in the prayers of two men? The Pharisee stood apart because he believed he was better than other men, whom he considered as common. The publican stood apart also, but it was because he felt himself unworthy. The Pharisee thought of no one other than himself and regarded everyone else a sinner, whereas the publican thought of everyone else as righteous as compared with himself, a sinner. The Pharisee asked nothing of God, but relied upon his own self-righteousness. The publican appealed to God for mercy and forgiveness of his sins

"...Humility is an attribute of godliness possessed by true Saints. It is easy to understand why a proud man fails. He is content to rely upon himself only. This is evident in those who seek social position or who push others aside to gain position in fields of business, government, education, sports, or other endeavors. Our genuine concern should be for the success of others. The proud man shuts himself off from God, and when he does he no longer lives in the light. The Apostle Peter made this comment: 'Be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.' (1 Pet. 5:5-6.)

"From the beginning of time there have been those with pride and others who have followed divine admonition to be humble. History bears record that those who have exalted themselves have been abased, but the humble have been exalted. On every busy street there are Pharisees and publicans. It may be that one of them bears our name." ("The Pharisee and the Publican," Ensign, May 1984, 64-66)

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself

Note that the Pharisee prayed 'with himself.' He wasn't praying to God but rather congratulating himself on a job well done. Sometimes we might feel like our prayers never make it past the ceiling, but they do-they always do-as long as we don't pray like this Pharisee. Elder McConkie noted: "Prayers offered in unrighteousness do not result in spiritual communion with Deity; the Pharisee used the words and went through the ritual of prayer, but it takes the spirit of prayer to carry the message to the throne of grace." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 1:544)

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus...God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are

"The hare in Aesop's fable provides a classic illustration of such pride and complacency. In the well-known tale, a hare and a tortoise agree to race. The hare scampers off, leaving the tortoise plodding slowly behind. Eventually the hare becomes tired and, sure of victory, decides to stop and rest. He falls asleep, and the steady tortoise quietly passes by, going on to win the race.

"The hare's problem was not that he lacked the ability to finish the race. Far from it. His problem was that he thought he had the race won. If we, like the foolish hare, think we have it made, there's no need to keep working.

"However, we haven't crossed the finish line yet. If we stop now and go to sleep, no matter how far along the path of spiritual progress we have come, we'll fall short of the finish line. As soon as we start focusing on how far behind our spiritual competition is, we divert energy needed to further our own progress and are liable to forget the whole purpose of the race.

"The hare's pride and complacency remind me of the Pharisee who found fault with the publican. (quotes Luke 18:11-14)

"Like the Pharisee and the hare, when we think we have it made, we emphasize our superiority over others instead of working on overcoming our own weaknesses. If we find ourselves becoming pacified, thinking all is well because we seem better than others, let us remember Nephi's warning that this is the way Satan 'cheateth [people's] souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell' (2 Ne. 28:21)." (Mark D. Chamberlain, "The Spiritual Hazards of Faultfinding," Ensign, Aug. 1996, 58)

Robert E. Wells

"Humility is the goal that Alma tried to teach to his son Shiblon when he counseled, 'Do not pray as the Zoramites do, for ye have seen that they pray to be heard of men, and to be praised for their wisdom. Do not say: O God, I thank thee that we are better than our brethren; but rather say: O Lord, forgive my unworthiness, and remember my brethren in mercy-yea, acknowledge your unworthiness before God at all times.' ("Alma 38:13"Alma 38:14Alma 38:13-14.)

"This same concept is demonstrated dramatically in the Savior's parable of two men who went into the temple to pray...Even today we find some who are like the Pharisee, filled with pride, claiming to be fully active in the Church, holding a temple recommend, doing their home teaching regularly, serving in a visible calling, sitting on the front row, and professing to offend no one. And there are many like the publican, recognizing their sins and imperfections and seeking for help to overcome." (The Mount and the Master [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 7.)

Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess

"This parable is not about hypocrisy; it's about pride. By objective human standards, in terms of the number and frequency of rules kept, the Pharisee really was the more righteous of the two individuals! Yet according to the Savior: 'I tell you, this man [the publican] went down to his house justified rather than the other [the Pharisee]: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.' (V. 14.)

"I fear that, like the Pharisee in the parable, some of us who are relatively good at keeping the rules also trust in ourselves that we are righteous. Such are inordinately proud of their own goodness; they exalt themselves. But whenever we are proud of how good we are instead of being humbled by how imperfect we are (cf. 2 Ne. 4:17-19), our hearts are not broken, nor are our spirits contrite.

"I remember a missionary we knew in the East who simply could not be instructed on this subject. He once said, 'Of course I can make myself perfect. That's the difference between Latter-day Saints and other Christians. They think they are saved by grace, that God hands them everything on a silver platter, and we know that we have to do it all ourselves, that we have to make ourselves perfect. I'm very good at what I do already, and I'm confident that I will have made myself perfect by the time I'm thirty or so.' He would be over thirty now. I have often wondered how he's doing." (Stephen E. Robinson, Believing Christ: The Parable of the Bicycle and Other Good News [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992], 74.)

Joe J. Christensen

"If we are to increase in favor with God, we must resolve to overcome as much as possible the sin of pride. President Benson maintained that pride is the universal sin (Ensign, May 1989, p. 6). That means that every one of us, to one degree or another, suffers from the problem and must do all in our power to overcome its influence. As human beings, we have a remarkable capacity to fall under the influence of pride-even when we think we are in the safest of religious settings.

"I remember reading about the Sunday School teacher who taught her class that great scriptural lesson on the proud Pharisee who thanked the Lord that he was not a sinner like the publican, a penitent sinner who prayed for forgiveness. Jesus said the publican was more justified than the Pharisee (see Luke 18:9-14). The Sunday School teacher then suggested to her class that they should all thank God that they were not like that Pharisee! (See Robert J. McCracken, What Is Sin? What Is Virtue? New York: Harper and Row, 1966, p. 14.)

"Another story relates that a Carthusian monk, explaining to an inquirer about the distinctive features of his monastic order, said: 'When it comes to good works, we don't match the Benedictines; as to preaching, we are not in a class with the Dominicans; the Jesuits are away ahead of us in learning; but in the matter of humility, we're tops' (ibid., p. 14)." ("Resolutions," Ensign, Dec. 1994, 65)

Howard W. Hunter

"Though he was in form thanking God, his self-centered thoughts were on his own self-righteousness. In justification he added: 'I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.' (Luke 18:12.) His prayer was not one of thankfulness, but of boastfulness. The boastful spirit and pride of this Pharisee is not unlike that of Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai, mentioned in the Talmud, who said: 'If there were only thirty righteous persons in the world, I and my son should make two of them; but if there were but twenty, I and my son would be of the number; and if there but ten, I and my son would be of the number; and if there were but five, I and my son would be of the five; and if there were but two, I and my son would be those two; and if there were but one, myself should be that one.' (Bereshith Rabba, s. 35, vol. 34.)" ("The Pharisee and the Publican," Ensign, May 1984, 65)

Luke 18:13 the publican...smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner

Spencer W. Kimball

"How do you pray? Like publicans or arrogant officials? The Pharisee recounted to the Lord his many virtues. He was not an extortioner, unjust, an adulterer like the publican or other men. He fasted twice a week and tithed possessions. But the publican standing humbly in the background 'would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner.' (Luke 18:13.)

"In your secret prayers do you beat your breast and present yourself with your soul bared, or do you dress yourself in fancy coverings and pressure God to see your virtues? Do you emphasize your goodness and cover your sins with a blanket of pretense? Or do you plead for mercy at the hands of Kind Providence?

"Do you get answers to your prayers? If not, perhaps you did not pay the price. Do you offer a few trite words and worn-out phrases, or do you talk intimately to the Lord? Do you pray occasionally when you should be praying regularly, often, constantly? Do you offer pennies to pay heavy debts when, you should give dollars to erase that obligation?

"When you pray, do you just speak, or do you also listen? your Savior said, 'Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.' (Rev. 3:20.)

"The promise is made to everyone. There is no discrimination, no favored few. But the Lord has not promised to crash the door. He stands and knocks. If we do not listen, He will not sup with us nor give answer to our prayers. Do you know how to listen, grasp, interpret, understand? The Lord stands knocking. He never retreats. But He will never force himself upon us." (October 11, 1961, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1961, p. 6.)

Luke 18:16 suffer little children to come unto me...for of such is the kingdom of God

Jesus of Nazareth must have been lonely (Isa 53:3). There was none who could relate to his mission. There was none who could understand all he knew. There was none that could bare his burden. He had nothing in common with the kings and religious authorities of the day. At times, he may have felt like "a fish out of water." But the children were different. The children, like Jesus, were innocent before God. This blessed innocence must have endeared them to the Master. When encircled by these children, the Savior could be enveloped in a sinless circle of love. Certainly, such love and purity reminded him of the peace and purity of his Father's kingdom. Indeed, the eyes of an infant are like tiny windows into heaven.

George Albert Smith

"As a people we believe in children. We believe that they are an heritage given to us by our Father in heaven. We can understand how, in the olden times, as recorded in the Scriptures, when some of the grand women of Israel were childless, and deprived of the joy of having little arms cling around their necks, and sweet innocent lips to give them the kiss of childish affection, they cried unto the Lord that they might have children, to take away their reproach. We understand what that means, if we understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and we comprehend that one child, born under proper conditions and reared under suitable circumstances, is worth more than all the cattle and sheep upon a thousand hills, aye, than all the treasures of the world. That is why, as Latter-day Saints doing our duty, we welcome these priceless treasures from the throne of God when they come into our homes." (Conference Report, October 1907, Second Day-Morning Session. 35 - 36.)

Luke 18:22 Yet lackest thou one thing

Neal A. Maxwell

"I do not apologize for trying to speak about one of what Paul called 'the deep things of God,' (1 Cor. 2:10), only for my inability to go deeply enough.

"While we see this quality in the quiet but spiritually luxuriant lives of the genuine, spiritual heroes and heroines about us, the lack of it keeps so many of us straggling in the foothills and off the peaks in the adventure of full discipleship. I refer to our hesitancy and our holding back in submitting fully to the Lord and His purposes for us.

"This holding back is like leaving Egypt without journeying all the way to the Holy Land, or waiting in Nauvoo for the railroad to come through, or staying permanently at Winter Quarters.

"Though possessed of other fine attributes, we may still lack this one quality. Such was the case with the righteous young man who knelt sincerely at Jesus' feet. Lacking one thing, he went away sorrowing and unsubmissive when a particularized challenge was given. (See Mark 10:21-22; Luke 18:22-23.) Whether it is walking away without looking back from 'great possessions' (Mark 10:22), or from a statusful place in the secular synagogue (see John 12:42-43), or from proud but erroneous attitudes accrued over the years, or merely 'straightway' from fishing nets (Mark 1:18), the test is always the same.

"With honest, individualized introspection, each of us could name what we yet lack-and in my case more than one thing.

"Spiritual submissiveness is so much more than bended knee or bowed head. Alas, insofar as we 'mind the things of the flesh' (Rom. 8:5), we simply cannot have the 'mind of Christ.' (1 Cor. 2:16.)" ("Willing to Submit," Ensign, May 1985, 70)

Neal A. Maxwell

"The portions of the key attributes lacking in each of us vary from person to person. It is meekness which facilitates working on what is lacking. For instance, the rich, righteous young man, otherwise clearly a high achiever, who came to Jesus asking what he might do to have eternal life, was told, 'One thing thou lackest' (Mark 10:21; see also Luke 18:22). His lack was not of marketplace acumen or of honesty in business affairs; instead, he lacked meekness. This, alas, kept him from doing that customized thing which Jesus asked him to do-sell all that he had, give to the poor, and come follow Him. The young man lacked consecration." (Henry B. Eyring, ed., On Becoming a Disciple Scholar [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1995], 14 - 15.)

Luke 18:22 Come, follow me

The phrase, 'Come, follow me,' is given only once in all the scriptures. Ironically, the phrase was uttered to a rich man who did not heed the call. Since then, the call has been repeated a million times. Those who have heeded the invitation have never been sorry.

Jeffrey R. Holland

"There is not a single loophole or curveball or open trench to fall into for the man or woman who walks the path that Christ walks. When he says, 'Come, follow me' (Luke 18:22), he means that he knows where the quicksand is and where the thorns are and the best way to handle the slippery slope near the summit of our personal mountains. He knows it all, and he knows the way. He is the way." ("Come unto Me," Ensign, Apr. 1998, 19)

Carlos E. Asay

"Jesus' invitations to his disciples were simply stated and free of any carrot dangling on the end of a stick. His entreaty was, 'Come, follow me' (Luke 18:22) or 'Come and see' (John 1:39). He did not offer his followers a salary, an expense account, or other worldly incentives. All that he offered his fellow servants were the things that money cannot buy-things referred to as the riches of eternity." (The Seven M's of Missionary Service: Proclaiming the Gospel as a Member or Full-time Missionary, chap. 7)

Thomas S. Monson

"Our Lord and Savior said, 'Come, follow me.' (Luke 18:22.) When we accept His invitation and walk in His footsteps, He will direct our paths. His gentle voice guides us in life's journey and reminds us of our duty:

'Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.' (Matt. 6:19-21.)

"May we hear His voice. May we follow His example. May we live His teachings." ("A Royal Priesthood," Ensign, May 1991, 51)

Luke 18:23 he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich

Hugh Nibley

"There was yet one thing-the law of consecration, which crowns all the others. But the young man could not take that one step because he was very rich, and for that the Lord turned him away sorrowing: he did not call him back to suggest easier terms but turned to his disciples and pointed out to them by this example how hard it is for a rich man to enter heaven-only a special miracle could do it." (Approaching Zion, edited by Don E. Norton [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1989], 168 - 170.)

Dallin H. Oaks

"This man's failing was not his possession of riches but his attitude toward them. As was demonstrated by his apparent failure to follow the Savior's challenge, he still lacked the attitude toward the things of this world that is required to 'inherit eternal life.' As the Prophet Joseph Smith taught in our own day, 'A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation' (Lectures on Faith 6:7)." (Pure in Heart [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], 76)

Luke 18:24 How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

Spencer W. Kimball

"President Brigham Young expressed his fears that the riches of the world would canker the souls of his people in our own dispensation, when he said:

"Take courage, brethren ... plow your land and sow wheat, plant your potatoes. It is our duty to preach the Gospel, gather Israel, pay our tithing and build temples. The worst fear I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and His people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell. This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty, and all manner of persecution and be true. But my greatest fear is that they cannot stand wealth.

"Brigham Young also warned that Latter-day Saints who turn their full attention to money-making soon become cold in their feelings toward the ordinances of the house of God. They neglect their prayers, become unwilling to pay any donations; the law of tithing becomes too great a test for them; and they finally forsake their God. They fall under Jacob's stricture: 'But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their God. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also.' (2 Ne. 9:30.)

"The Lord required the rich young ruler to divest himself of his wealth. (Luke 18:22.) Undoubtedly he read the thoughts of the rich young man and was able to discern that his treasure was his god. The young man seemed willing to do almost anything for the opportunity to serve the Lord and to be exalted-except to give up his riches.

"The gracious Creator assures us that the earth and all good things in it are for man.... 'The fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth; yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth... Yea, all things which come of the earth... are made for the benefit and the use of man...And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.' (D&C 59:16-18, 20)

"How gracious and kind of our loving and provident Lord! Clearly he does not delight in poverty or suffering, in want or deprivation. He would want all men to enjoy everything created, if man could only do so without the loss of dependence and worthiness, if he could only prevent himself from straying from the Creator to the creature." (The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], chap. 4)

Luke 18:25 it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye

Bruce R. McConkie

"A number of explanations have been made of this verse. Probably Jesus was simply using common proverbial language to teach that it is difficult but not impossible for a rich man to be saved. Some think that the 'needle's eye' was a small door alongside the great gates in the city walls and that in order for a camel to pass through such an opening, all its load of goods would have to be removed. Others suggest that the change of one letter in one word would alter the passage to read that it is a rope and not a camel that must go through the eye of a needle. In any event it is clear that riches add to the difficulty of gaining salvation." (DNTC 1:556, as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the New Testament: The Four Gospels, by Pinegar, Bassett, and Earl, p. 275)

Luke 18:30 shall...receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting

"Eternal life, the glory of the celestial kingdom, life with God-these things cannot be had through living a life of ease. The cost of discipleship is not cheap, nor is the saving grace of Him who bought us with his blood to be reckoned as a little thing. 'Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. . . . It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. . . . Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son . . . and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.' And yet the God of the ancients holds out to us the prize: 'Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting' (Luke 18:29-30)." (Robert L. Millet, An Eye Single to the Glory of God: Reflections on the Cost of Discipleship [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 88.)

Luke 18:34 they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them

"Even the Twelve, when Jesus attempted to prepare them for his upcoming death and resurrection, were confused by the seemingly strange doctrine that 'they [the Gentiles] shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again' (Luke 18:31-33). This teaching is straightforward, yet Jesus' disciples 'understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken' (Luke 18:34).

"Note Luke's insistence on a complete lack of comprehension on the part of the disciples. His comment that the Lord's sayings were 'hid' from them does not mean that the Lord deliberately veiled his teachings on the Resurrection. He taught the idea often enough that it is evident that he was trying to make the doctrine clear. But the idea was too foreign for his disciples to readily accept.

"...The Gospel narratives agree that before the Lord's resurrection, the disciples did not comprehend the doctrine...Yet after they had received an outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostles were able to view the Resurrection with new eyes. In stressing the disciples' difficulty in accepting the Resurrection, the Gospel record reinforces its authors' integrity and credibility; for only after they had become sure believers in the Resurrection themselves would they embrace and proclaim it as verily true." (Richard D. Draper, "The Reality of the Resurrection," Ensign, Apr. 1994, 36)