Luke 10:1 the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face
Elder S. Dilworth Young
"Within five years of the date the Church was organized, the Prophet had surprised Brigham and Joseph Young with the statement that Joseph Young was to be a president of the seventy. No man would have thought of such a group of men as the seventy. There were to be seventy men in the quorum, and the quorum was to be presided over by seven presidents-not a president with six counselors, but seven presidents, each holding the presidential keys over the quorum. Until that time the only information about this important body of men was contained in the narrative of Luke. (quotes Luke 10:1-5, 8-9, 17.)
"Until 1835 no one conceived that the word seventy meant a holder of a peculiar office in the Church, with a special calling. Now, because of the revelations of 1835, we know about the organization of the seventy in the time of the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ appointed the seventy and assigned them their work in his day. You have just heard a description of that work. Joseph Smith organized them and appointed them their work in 1835. President Brigham Young made changes in the detail of their organization in 1845 to fit the needs of his day, as did President John Taylor in 1885.
"Each President of the Church has used the seventy as he felt inspired for his day...We should work in vain if we should try to follow the pattern of work for the one quorum laid down in 1835 or for the ten quorums organized in 1845 or for the sixty-five or so organized in 1885. It is the right of the living prophet to point the way for his generation." (Conference Report, October 1968, Afternoon Meeting 69.)
From the Encyclopedia of Mormonism:
"President Spencer W. Kimball organized the First Quorum of the Seventy on October 3, 1975... In the April 1984 general conference, six new members of the Seventy were sustained for a period of three to five years-rather than for life, as before. In the general conference held on October 4, 1986, all stake quorums of seventy were discontinued, and all seventies in those quorums were directed to affiliate with the elders quorums in their wards.
"In the April 1989 general conference, the Second Quorum of the Seventy was organized, with General Authorities called to temporary service. As additional General Authorities are required to administer the growing worldwide organization, it is assumed that additional quorums of seventy will be formed 'until seven times seventy, if the labor in the vineyard of necessity requires it' (D&C 107:95-96). The First Quorum of Seventy consists of members called for lifetime service or until granted emeritus status. The Presidency of the First Quorum of Seventy presides over both quorums of seventies, as their assignments are not distinguished by quorum." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1-4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 1302.)
Luke 10:2 The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few
Gordon B. Hinckley
"We now have approximately 8,500 missionaries in the field who are working, I think, as missionaries have never worked before, averaging 210 hours a month of actual proselyting per missionary. We have approximately seven thousand additional missionaries in the stakes. But with all of these, 'the laborers are few and the harvest is great.' (See Luke 10:2.)...I believe, my brethren, with all my heart that the field is white ready to harvest. We had nearly 50,000 baptisms last year. I think it not at all unrealistic to believe that we could have 100,000 converts a year in the Church if all of us were alert to the opportunities that are about us and would go to work accordingly. I think the answer to the increased number of converts does not lie particularly in our methods-effective as those methods are. Rather, I think we are living in the day of the fulfillment of the word of the Lord given through the Prophet Joel, and repeated by Moroni in his first visitation to the Prophet Joseph. And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh. . . .' (Joel 2:28.)
"What will it take to do it?
"First, it will take an awareness of our responsibility and our opportunity. Great and magnificent as is the work of the more than 15,000 missionaries who have been set apart, I am convinced that we have a far greater force for teaching the gospel to the world in the membership of the Church-'every man a missionary'-as has been said here so convincingly tonight. 'Every man a missionary!'
"Anyone can do this, whether you're rich or poor, whether you're bond or free. I think every member of the Church has the capacity to teach the gospel to nonmembers. I was told the other day of a crippled woman, homebound, who spends her days in a wheelchair, who has been the means of bringing thirty-seven people into the Church. An awareness, brethren, we need an awareness, an everyday awareness of the great power that we have to do this thing.
"Second, a desire. I think many of us realize that we could do it, but we lack the desire. Let every man single out another, a friend. Let him get on his knees and pray to the Lord to help him bring that man into the Church. I am as satisfied as I am of anything that with that kind of prayerful, conscientious, directed effort, there isn't a man in this Church who could not convert another. I think of a phrase that has been quoted by Brother Richard L. Evans: 'If not I, who? If not now, when?' I leave that thought with you.
"Third, the faith to try. It is so simple. As Brother Franklin D. Richards has pointed out, this is not complex. It is simple. We have in the Northern Far East Mission of the Church today a beautiful and capable Japanese girl, born in Honolulu. I said to her, 'Were your folks members of the Church?' 'No, they were Buddhists.' 'How is it then that you are here?' She said, 'I had a high school friend who took me to Mutual once a week and then gave me a tract to read.' That girl went on to the University of Hawaii and then to Illinois Wesleyan University, from which school she was graduated. Today she is a missionary in Japan.
"...Brethren, the power lies within us to spread the Lord's work. '. . . I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation. . . .' (Romans 1:16.) I give you my testimony of this work, of its divinity, and of the responsibility which lies upon us to spread it throughout the earth to fill its divine mission, and urge you, my brethren, every one of you, young or old, rich or poor, professional man, clerk, or laborer, to work with your associates to build the kingdom, all of which I do in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen." (Conference Report, April 1961, General Priesthood Meeting 88-90.)
Luke 10:3 I send you forth as lambs among wolves
Mark E. Petersen
"Jesus well understood that he would not remain long in mortality and that his ministry would necessarily be limited, and so he planned to follow the age-old example of the Lord in raising up and calling to the ministry living prophets, authorized men of God, to carry on the work.
"But in doing so it was necessary for the Lord to warn these servants in the ministry of the attitude of the people. He remembered that in the ages past there had been a tendency on the part of the people to resist, reject, persecute, and even slay the prophets of God, and Jesus knew that that tendency continued even in his own day because he had felt it. And now, as he was about to send forth his authorized servants to minister among the people, and having in mind this tendency, he said to them, 'I send you forth as lambs among wolves.'
"What a commentary upon those who reject and resist and persecute the authorities of the Church. What a rebuke from the Lord himself to those who stand in opposition to the servants of the Lord." (Conference Report, April 1945, Afternoon Meeting 42 - 43.)
Luke 10:5-7 into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it
"(Speaking of Luke 10:5-7) I figured that if I were in a home one night, and the peace of heaven rested there, it was my responsibility to bring the family into the Church. If I didn't, it was because the devil was a better salesman than I. Now, I visited a home in Amsterdam, and on our first evening, tears rolled down the lady's cheeks because of what we said. Upon leaving, I said, 'If your minister learns we've been here, he will tell you we are the wickedest people on earth, and if you believe him, you will not want us to return.'
"That is just what happened. A daughter from that home met one of the Saints on the street and said, 'When Mr. Richards comes to see us on Tuesday, Mother and Father will not be home.' So we made another appointment for Tuesday, and called at their place on Monday. I put on all the smiles I could and said, 'Pardon us, but something came up for Tuesday and we couldn't come. We knew you spend each evening at home, so we didn't think it would make any difference if we came Monday or Tuesday.' We were in, and we brought that whole family into the Church." (Lucile C. Tate, LeGrand Richards: Beloved Apostle [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 51)
Luke 10:11 Even the very dust of your city...we do wipe off against you
See commentary for Matthew 10:14.
Luke 10:13-15 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida!...And thou, Capernaum...shalt be thrust down to hell
Spencer W. Kimball
"With our Testament open we read of the ministry of Christ, for this was the scene of much of it. We ask for the cities in which he lived and performed so many miracles, for we remember that in this area of but a few miles much of his work was done, much of his ministry was accomplished. We would like to walk through the triplet cities so often visited: Bethsaida, Chorazin and Capernaum. We see no spires nor towers, nor walls. We ask our guide: 'Where is Chorazin?' He shakes his head. There is no Chorazin. We conclude it must have been on those hills above where now are sprouting grain and vegetables and dry weeds.
"'Then where is Bethsaida?' we ask. 'Where is that noted city where so many sick were healed and the lame were made to walk; where deaf could hear and lepers lost their curse? Where is his favorite place he often lodged, the home of Andrew, Peter, and Philip his dearest friends? Where is old Bethsaida, the house of fishers, the place of miracles, the seat of gospel teachings, where fishermen became apostles?' In these very few miles much of interest happened. 'Where is Bethsaida?' Our guide shakes his head again. There is no Bethsaida. 'Capernaum, then?' we ask, 'Where is that important place, the port where fish were loaded, traded, marketed?' He shakes his head again, then smiles as he thinks it through and changes the accent, and 'Oh, you mean Capernaum.' He shows us the ruins of a large synagogue.
"If this was of the Messianic period it is the sole survivor. A back wall, great stones tumbled in disarray, some olive presses are mute reminders of long ago. But that can't be Capernaum, his own city, the great Capernaum, the haughty, wicked, rebellious, Capernaum!
"Now we realize that we should not have expected to see these cities, for were they not doomed 1,900 years ago? Have we forgotten the prophetic curse of the Master? In their unrepentant attitudes toward the Savior of the world and his exalting message, Christ warned: 'Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
"'But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.' We found that Tyre and Sidon still exist on the Mediterranean coast.
"'And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.' (Matt. 11:21-24.)
"And then we remember that only prophets and angels had visited Sodom to call that people to repentance, but for these tri-cities the Creator, the Lord, the Christ had come in person and for nearly three years had dwelt among them and performed the miracles and taught the gospel. They had ignored and rejected him. (We cannot remember ever reading about any Church branches in these cities.) Sodom and Gomorrah went up in smoke 'as the smoke of a furnace.' If these cities were more rebellious than Tyre and Sidon, more corrupt than Sodom, and more wicked than Gomorrah, we think we understand." (Conference Report, April 1961, Afternoon Meeting 77 - 78.)
Luke 10:17 Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name
Elder Dilworth Young
"I believe I know a little about what our Lord and Savior must have felt on that great day when he called seventy to him and told them to go forth, giving them authority to do the things that they had seen him do. I believe that the man side of his nature made him worry about them. He was hopeful they would all measure up to what he told them; and, while I know he had the prophetic view and could see ahead, I like to think that he worried about it, too. When they came back and said those immortal words that even the devils were subject to them because of his name, he must have experienced a thrill of satisfaction. (See Luke 10:17.) I have had something of that kind of sensation when, after I send these young people out [as missionaries], they send me letters and say, 'The houses have been opened to us; we have been fed and we have been clothed, and the way has opened for us to preach the gospel far beyond our strength and ability.' Then I feel like saying, 'Yes, even the devils are subject to you through His name.'" (Conference Report, April 1949, Afternoon Meeting 96.)
Luke 10:18 I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven
Most of Christianity has a very poor understanding of the nature and origin of Satan. Therefore, this verse is important to help others understand this crucial doctrine. The only other Bible passage which teaches of the fall of Lucifer is found in Revelation:
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.' (Rev. 12:3-9, see also Rev. 9:1)
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions
Herein the Master instructs the Seventy that they are given power over Satan. We are told that we are also given power to "crush his head," while he only has power to "bruise our heel." Yet, how often do we underestimate this head crushing power? Elder Sterling W. Sill noted, "We usually give Satan a lot more credit than he is entitled to...Satan has no power over our lives except as we give it to him. He can't hurt us without our permission." (October 24, 1962, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1962, p. 3) Our power over him should be almost absolute. As we tread on serpents and scorpions, we may notice that our heels are tender, but our path should be strewn with the crushed heads of lifeless dust-eaters. This power is amongst the saints today. It is a great threat to Satan and his kingdom, just as it was in the days of Christ.
"Lucifer, then, becomes a factor to be reckoned with in the persecution of the Saints. In heaven he opposed the gospel of Jesus Christ; cast out into the earth will he not oppose it there? Herein lies the real cause of the persecution of the Christians...So long as the inhabitants of the earth were content with the pagan superstitions, wherein there was no power of God unto salvation; so long as they were content with conflicting pagan philosophies, wherein was no power of God unto salvation, it was a matter of indifference to Lucifer whether they worshiped Jupiter Olympus, or Isis; Apollo, or Minerva; or bowed at the philosopher's shrine of the Unknown God-all were equally barren of saving power and left the kingdom of Lucifer undiminished in its strength and numbers...But when the Christ and His apostles came preaching repentance and the coming of the kingdom of heaven; making known the origin of man and his relationship to Deity; making known the purpose of God to redeem him from his fallen state; establishing His Church as the depository of divine truth, and the instrumentality for conveying to man divine instruction-then Lucifer saw cause for alarm, for it was evident that the days of his dominion were numbered; his kingdom must decline if Christianity prevailed; his sway over the kingdoms of the earth must be broken if Christ was preached." (History of the Church, 3: lix - lx.)
Luke 10:22 no man knoweth...who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him
Spencer W. Kimball
"God cannot be found through research alone, nor his gospel understood and appreciated by study only, for no one may know the Father or the Son but 'he to whom the Son will reveal him.' (Luke 10:22.) The skeptic will someday either in time or eternity learn to his sorrow that his egotism has robbed him of much joy and growth; that has been decreed by the Lord. The things of God cannot be understood by the spirit of man; man cannot by himself find out God or his program, and no amount of scientific or philosophical research or rationalizing will bring a testimony. It must come through the heart when compliance with the program has made the person eligible to receive that reward." (President Kimball Speaks Out [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 19 - 20.)
Luke 10:27 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God...with all thy mind
Hugh B. Brown
"'. . .Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. . .with all thy mind. . . ' (Luke 10:27.) The above is but part of Christ's injunction, but seemingly a part not often stressed in print or pulpit. We hear often of the necessity of loving God with all our hearts and with all our souls, but there was a purpose in his including 'mind' in his instruction.
"Can one love with the mind or is its function limited to the cold processes of unemotional fact-finding? Is the extent of our love of God to be gauged wholly by sentimental reaction, lip service, physical demonstrations, forms, and ceremonies?
"Jesus said, if we would have eternal life we must know God. Can one love that which he does not know? By what process do we come to know? Is love affected by knowledge? 'We are saved no faster than we gain knowledge.' Of what? Of God. As we gain knowledge of him we become like him and with this growth our capacity for love increases. As we become like him, we achieve salvation, which is, in the very nature of things, a continuing process.
"Any person's conception of Deity must come within his mental horizon, which is determined by the degree of his intelligence. Man, by his reasoning, naturally endows God with his own noblest and highest ideals, which if he be studious and devout, are ever growing. Intellectual activity then produces an ever-changing, because ever-growing, concept of God. Once the mind has grasped the idea of God it will burn and glow, seek to assimilate and radiate, adore and emulate. This love of God by the mind of man when accompanied by the love of heart and soul will light the pathway of salvation, the gates to which may be unlocked by the key of knowledge." (The Eternal Quest [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1956], 223 - 224.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"For a disciple of Jesus Christ, academic scholarship is a form of worship. It is actually another dimension of consecration...For the disciple-scholar, the first and second great commandments frame and prioritize life. How else could one worship God with all of one's heart, might, mind, and strength? (Luke 10:27.) Adoration of God leads to emulation of Him and Jesus: 'Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.' (3 Ne. 27:27; see also 2 Pet. 3:11.)" (Henry B. Eyring, ed., On Becoming a Disciple Scholar [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1995], 7.)
Luke 10:27 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God...and thy neighbour as thyself
Howard W. Hunter
"Eternal life, God's life, the life we are seeking, is rooted in two commandments. The scriptures say that 'on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.' (Matt. 22:40.) Love God and love your neighbor. The two work together; they are inseparable. In the highest sense they may be considered as synonymous. And they are commandments that each of us can live.
"The answer of Jesus to the lawyer might be considered as the Lord's touchstone. He said on another occasion, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.' (Matt. 25:40.) He will measure our devotion to him by how we love and serve our fellowmen. What kind of mark are we leaving on the Lord's touchstone? Are we truly good neighbors? Does the test show us to be twenty-four-karat gold, or can the trace of fool's gold be detected?
"As if excusing himself for asking such a simple question of the Master, the lawyer sought to justify himself by further inquiring, 'And who is my neighbour?' (Luke 10:29.)
"We all ought to be eternally grateful for that question, for in the Savior's reply came one of his richest and most appreciated parables, one that each of us has read and heard over and over again." (That We Might Have Joy [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 144.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"The first commandment does not read, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God as thyself.' This would be both too little and the wrong kind of love. Nor does the second commandment read, 'Thou shalt love they neighbor with all thy heart, mind, soul, and strength.' This would be neighbor worship.
"Whereas our Perfect Father can be trusted with our bestowal of all our devotion of heart, mind, soul, and strength, we cannot. Nor can our neighbor. Moreover, only when proper love of God comes first can our love of self and neighbor be safely shaped and nurtured.
"...We could, of course, never truly keep the first commandment without also keeping the second commandment. But the second commandment flows from the first commandment, and all the other commandments are steppingstones running from the two great commandments.
"Besides, how can one really love and serve his neighbor if he ignores the divinely designed purpose of the universe? How can we fully serve our neighbor if we do not acknowledge who our neighbor really is? ...
"Thus our relationship with God is clearly the central relationship on which all other relationships hang. This reality is especially important in today's world wherein many either ignore the Fatherhood of God altogether or subordinate it to a simulated and secular brotherhood of man-and thus fail at both relationships." (Notwithstanding My Weakness [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981], 26.)
Luke 10:29 but he, willing to justify himself, said...And who is my neighbour?
Bruce R. McConkie
"Who is my neighbor? To the Jews among whom Jesus ministered, this was one of the most important and yet difficult questions. They had been commanded by Moses to love God with all the strength and power their whole souls possessed (Deut. 6:4-5) and also to love their neighbors as themselves. (Lev. 19:18.)...But who among earth's teeming hosts were their neighbors? Traditionally they had loved their neighboring kindred in Israel and hated the pagan Gentiles, with whom they also frequently found themselves engaged in armed conflicts.
"Foreigners and Samaritans were not neighbors according to rabbinical teachings. 'The rabbis said: He excepts all Gentiles when he saith His neighbour...We are not to contrive the death of the Gentiles, but if they are in any danger of death we are not bound to deliver them, e.g. if any of them fall into the sea you need not take him out, for such a one is not thy neighbour.' (Dummelow, p. 751, italics added)
"But Jesus in this parable drew from one trained in the spirit-killing letter of the Jewish law the instinct-born gospel truth that all of our Father's children with whom we have contact are our neighbors. The parable presupposes that God 'hath made of one blood all nations of men' (Acts 17:26); it teaches the lesson that each member of this great brotherhood of man should exhibit an active benevolence toward every other one of his Father's children." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 1: 471.)
Hugh B. Brown
"[On the occasion when] the Master was asked who is my neighbor, he replied with the parable of the good Samaritan, which teaches the lesson that all who need our help, all whose lives we touch are our neighbors, whether they live across the street, over the fence, across the continent, or over the ocean. Our neighborhood has become world-wide." (Conference Report, Apr. 1963, 8 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the New Testament: The Four Gospels, by Pinegar, Bassett, and Earl, p. 232)
Luke 10:30-37 The Parable of the Good Samaritan
“This parable’s content is clearly practical and dramatic in its obvious meaning, but a time-honored Christian tradition also saw the parable as an impressive allegory of the Fall and Redemption of mankind. This early Christian understanding of the good Samaritan is depicted in a famous eleventh-century cathedral in Chartres, France…
“In the second century A.D., Irenaeus in France and Clement of Alexandria both saw the good Samaritan as symbolizing Christ Himself saving the fallen victim, wounded with sin. A few years later, Clement’s pupil Origen stated that this interpretation came down to him from earlier Christians, who had described the allegory as follows:
‘The man who was going down is Adam. Jerusalem is paradise, and Jericho is the world. The robbers are hostile powers. The priest is the Law, the Levite is the prophets, and the Samaritan is Christ. The wounds are disobedience, the beast is the Lord’s body, the [inn], which accepts all who wish to enter, is the Church. … The manager of the [inn] is the head of the Church, to whom its care has been entrusted. And the fact that the Samaritan promises he will return represents the Savior’s second coming.’
“This allegorical reading was taught not only by ancient followers of Jesus, but it was virtually universal throughout early Christianity, being advocated by Irenaeus, Clement, and Origen, and in the fourth and fifth centuries by Chrysostom in Constantinople, Ambrose in Milan, and Augustine in North Africa. This interpretation is found most completely in two other medieval stained-glass windows, in the French cathedrals at Bourges and Sens…
“In His parables, Jesus taught the essentials of the Father’s plan of salvation. As a type and shadow of this plan, the good Samaritan places our deeds of neighborly kindness here in mortality within the eternal context of where we have come down from, how we have fallen into our present plight, and how the binding ordinances and healing love of the promised Redeemer and the nurture of His Church can rescue us from our present situation, as we serve and live worthy of reward at His Second Coming.
“Seeing the parable in this light invites readers to identify with virtually every character in the story. At one level, people can see themselves as the good Samaritan, acting as physical rescuers and as saviors on Mount Zion, aiding in the all-important cause of rescuing lost souls. Jesus told the Pharisee, ‘Go, and do thou likewise’ (Luke 10:37). By doing as the Samaritan, we join with Him in helping to bring to pass the salvation and eternal life of mankind.
“Disciples will also want to think of themselves as innkeepers who have been commissioned by Jesus Christ to facilitate the long-term spiritual recovery of injured travelers.
“Or again, readers may see themselves as the traveler. As the parable begins, everyone sympathizes and identifies with the lone and weary traveler. We all need to be saved. As the story ends, all travelers can feel safe, having learned that, according to this interpretation, He who ‘was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves’ (Luke 10:36) is none other than the merciful Christ. He is the most exemplary Neighbor.” (John W. Welch, “The Good Samaritan: Forgotten Symbols,” Liahona, Feb. 2007)
Luke 10:30 A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves
“A certain man. Early Christians compared this man to Adam. This connection may have been more obvious in ancient languages than in modern translations. In Hebrew, the word adam means ‘man, mankind,’ ‘the plural of men,’ as well as ‘Adam’ as a proper name. Thus, Clement of Alexandria rightly saw the victim in this allegory as representing ‘all of us.’ Indeed, we all have come down as Adams and Eves, subject to the risks and vicissitudes of mortality: ‘For as in Adam all die …’ (1 Corinthians 15:22).
“Went down. The early Christian writer Chrysostom saw in this phrase the descent of Adam from the garden into this world—from glory to the mundane, from immortality to mortality. The story in Luke 10 implies that the man went down intentionally, knowing the risks that would be involved in the journey. No one forced him to go down to Jericho. He apparently felt that the journey was worth the well-known risks of such travel on the poorly maintained roads in Jesus’s day.
“From Jerusalem. Jesus depicts the person as going down not from any ordinary place but from Jerusalem. Because of the sanctity of the holy temple-city, early Christians readily saw in this element the idea that this person had come down from the presence of God.
“To Jericho. Jericho was readily identified with this world. At more than 825 feet (250 m) below sea level, Jericho is the lowest city on earth. Its mild winter climate made it a hedonistic resort area where Herod had built a sumptuous vacation palace. Yet one should note that the traveler in the parable had not yet arrived in Jericho when the robbers attacked. That person was on the steep way down to Jericho, but he had not yet reached bottom.
“Fell. It is easy to see here an allusion to the fallen mortal state and to the plight of individual sinfulness: ‘Yea, all are fallen and are lost’ (Alma 34:9).
“Among thieves. The early Christian writers variously saw the thieves (or robbers) as the devil and his satanic forces, evil spirits, or false teachers. The Greek word for ‘robbers’ used by Luke implies that these thieves were not casual operators. The traveler was assailed by a band of pernicious highwaymen in a scheming, organized society that acted with deliberate and concerted intent.” (John W. Welch, “The Good Samaritan: Forgotten Symbols,” Liahona, Feb. 2007)
James E. Talmage
"The road between Jerusalem and Jericho was known to be infested by highway robbers; indeed a section of the thoroughfare was called the Red Path or Bloody Way because of the frequent atrocities committed thereon...Though not definitely stated, the victim of the robbers was almost certainly a Jew; the point of the parable requires it to be so. That the merciful one was a Samaritan, showed that the people called heretic and despised by the Jews could excel in good works. To a Jew, none but Jews were neighbors." (Jesus the Christ, 400)
Luke 10:30 stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him… leaving him half dead
“Stripped him of his raiment. Early Christians sensed that Jesus spoke of something important here. Origen and Augustine saw the loss of the traveler’s garment as a symbol for mankind’s loss of immortality and incorruptibility. Chrysostom spoke of the loss of ‘his robe of immortality’ or ‘robe of obedience.’ Ambrose spoke of the traveler being ‘stripped of the covering of spiritual grace which we [all] received [from God].’
“The attackers apparently wanted the traveler’s clothing, for no mention is made of any wealth or commodities he might be carrying. For some reason, the robbers seem interested in his garment, something brought down from the holy place and something they envy and want to take away.
“Wounded. This term was seen as a similitude of the pains of life, travails of the soul, and afflictions due to diverse sins and vices. Indeed, the enemies of the soul leave wounds (see Jacob 2:8–9). Transgression has real effects (see Alma 41:10).
“Half dead. The robbers departed, leaving the person precisely ‘half dead.’ We may see in this detail an allusion to the first and second deaths. The person had fallen, had become subject to sin, and had suffered the first death, becoming mortal. But the second death, the permanent separation from God, could still be averted (see Alma 12:32–36).” (John W. Welch, “The Good Samaritan: Forgotten Symbols,” Liahona, Feb. 2007)
Luke 10:31 a certain priest...when he saw him...passed by on the other side
Mark E. Petersen
"I suppose the priest who passed by that traveler who had been attacked and beaten and left half dead must have been a praying man. That was his business. Probably he was paid for it. But in spite of all his prayers, he was not enough interested in the way he lived, he was not enough interested in translating his prayers into action to be willing to do anything about this poor, half-dead man who was abandoned there after having been beaten by thieves.
"I am sure, too, that the Levite was likewise a praying man. I suppose there was probably no more pious man in all Palestine, and I am sure that he could pray as well as any Pharisee who might say that he thanked God that he was better than other men. Even this Levite, forgetting all his prayers and forgetting the real meaning of true religion, was willing to stand there and look at this man, and pass by and leave him there without supplying the necessary succor for him.
"...I suppose there are no more frequent prayers offered than the appeals that go up to the Lord asking him to bless the poor and the needy, and yet our fast offerings are down, and we still have many people in the Church who do not live enough the way they pray so that they are unwilling to get in and work with the welfare program and make that welfare program work for those who are in need. How well do we live according to the manner of our prayers?
"...'What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?' (James 2:14-16.)" (Conference Report, April 1947, Afternoon Meeting 100.)
Luke 10:32 likewise a Levite...looked on him, and passed by on the other side
"In his monthly ward news letter recently, an effective, dedicated young bishop wrote of a group of religion instructors taking a summer course on the life of the Savior and focusing particularly on the parables.
"When final exam time came, the bishop wrote, the students arrived at the classroom to find a note that the exam would be given in another building across campus. Moreover, the note said, it must be finished within the two-hour time period that was starting almost at that moment.
"The students hurried across campus. On the way they passed a little girl crying over a flat tire on her new bike. An old man hobbled painfully toward the library with a cane in one hand, spilling books from a stack he was trying to manage with the other. On a bench by the union building sat a shabbily dressed, bearded man with a sign: 'I need money to eat. Please help me.'
"Rushing into the other classroom, the students were met by the professor, who announced they had all flunked the final exam.
"The only true test of whether they understood the savior's life and teachings, he said, was how they treated people in need." (Latter-day Commentary on the New Testament: The Four Gospels, by Pinegar, Bassett, and Earl, p. 234)
Neal A. Maxwell
"It is so easy to pass by, especially when we are busy and when we are on the equivalent of the other side of the street. We are busy being busy. We are often actually less generous with our time than with our money. We keep forgetting where our time comes from!" (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979], 73.)
Luke 10:33-34 a certain Samaritan...bound up his wounds...and took care of him
“Samaritan. The early Christian writers unanimously saw the good Samaritan as a representation of Christ. Chrysostom suggests that a Samaritan is an apt depiction of Christ because ‘as a Samaritan is not from Judea, so Christ is not of this world.’
“Jesus’s audience in Jerusalem may well have recognized here a reference by the Savior to Himself. Some Jews in Jerusalem rejected Jesus with the insult, ‘Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan?’ (John 8:48). Because Nazareth is across the valley north of Samaria, these two locations could easily be lumped together. And just as the Samaritans were viewed as the least of all humanity, so it was prophesied that the Messiah would be ‘despised and rejected of men’ and ‘esteemed not’ (see Isaiah 53:3).
“As he journeyed. It would appear that the Samaritan (representing Christ) was purposely looking for people in need of help. The text does not say that he arrived by happenstance. Origen noted that ‘he went down intending to rescue and care for the dying man.’ The Savior came purposefully with oil and bandages ‘to bring redemption unto the world’ (3 Nephi 9:21).
“Compassion. This important word speaks of the pure love of Christ. The Greek word says that the Samaritan’s bowels were moved with deep, inner sympathy. This word is used in the New Testament only when authors wish to describe God’s divine emotions of mercy. It appears prominently in the parables of the unmerciful servant, in which the Lord (representing God) ‘was moved with compassion’ (Matthew 18:27), and of the prodigal son, in which the father (again representing God) saw his son returning and ‘had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him’ (Luke 15:20). Likewise, the Samaritan represents the divinely compassionate Christ, who suffered so ‘that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people’ (Alma 7:12).” (John W. Welch, “The Good Samaritan: Forgotten Symbols,” Liahona, Feb. 2007)
Howard W. Hunter
"The Samaritan gave us an example of pure Christian love. He had compassion. He went to the man who had been injured by the thieves and bound up his wounds, took him to an inn, cared for him, paid his expenses, and offered more if needed for his care. This is a story of the love of a neighbor for his neighbor.
"An old axiom states that a man 'all wrapped up in himself makes a small bundle.' Love has a certain way of making a small bundle large. The key is to love our neighbor, including the neighbor who is difficult to love. We need to remember that though we make our friends, God has made our neighbors-everywhere. Love should have no boundary; we should have no narrow loyalties. Christ said, 'For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?' (Matt. 5:46.)
"Joseph Smith wrote a letter to the Saints, published in the Messenger and Advocate, on the subject of loving one another to be justified before God. He wrote:
"Dear Brethren:-It is a duty which every Saint ought to render to his brethren freely-to always love them, and ever succor them. To be justified before God we must love one another: we must overcome evil; we must visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and we must keep ourselves unspotted from the world: for such virtues flow from the great fountain of pure religion. Strengthening our faith by adding every good quality that adorns the children of the blessed Jesus, we can pray in the season of prayer; we can love our neighbor as ourselves, and be faithful in tribulation, knowing that the reward of such is greater in the kingdom of heaven. What a consolation! What a joy! Let me live the life of the righteous, and let my reward be like this!" (History of the Church 2:229.)" (That We Might Have Joy [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 145-146.)
Merlin R. Lybbert
"I presume that most of us have visualized this parable as requiring our aid to an injured person, even a stranger, who is in need because of an injury or sickness. The beauty of the parables of the Lord is that they have many applications, and thus their teaching value is unending. I would like to suggest an application of the principles taught in this parable to a current setting.
"There are many of God's children who are wounded or sick in spirit. Many once enjoyed fellowship with the body of the Saints, but for one reason or another are now on the roadside. They are the less active among us. Generally, we know who they are and have association with them in various settings, but because they are not physically sick or injured, we too often play the part of the priest or the Levite and walk by 'on the other side.'
"In this dramatic parable, Jesus contrasted the response of the two respected religionists with that of a despised citizen of Samaria. There is at least a scintilla of similarity here to an elders president, a high priests group leader, a member of the bishopric, or a home teacher, and to the less-active brother or sister who has fallen inactive by the wayside. Perhaps we do not despise them, but we sometimes ignore them or otherwise disregard them. Each of us can be a good Samaritan by dealing compassionately with these neglected brothers and sisters.
"We can bind up their spiritual wounds by rendering needed service, pouring in the soothing oil of friendship and supplying the soul-healing balm of genuine brotherly and sisterly love. We can set them in our own automobiles and accompany them to our homes and places of worship, devote the necessary time and attention to warmly fellowship them. The good Samaritan spent the night with his wounded friend and stayed with him until satisfied that he was on his way to recovery. Similarly, we ought to become close enough to these less-active brothers and sisters to truly become their friends and support and sustain them while they spiritually heal.
"...Most of us are acquainted with someone who is spiritually ill or wounded, lying on the roadside half dead, and who desperately needs the assistance of a good LDS brother or sister-that is, a Latter-day Samaritan. Our prophet has repeatedly reminded us that rescuing the less active is one of our greatest challenges of service." ("A Latter-day Samaritan," Ensign, May 1990, 82)
Luke 10:34 set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn
“Set him on his own beast. Christ, fulfilling prophecy, bears our infirmities (see Isaiah 53:4; Alma 7:11). The Samaritan’s beast was thought to symbolize Christ’s body. Being placed on his beast is to believe that God became flesh, bore our sins, and suffered for us.
“Inn. For the early Christians this element readily symbolized the Church. An ‘inn’ was ‘a public house open to all.’ A public shelter is comparable to the Church of Christ in several ways. A wayside inn is not the heavenly destination but a necessary aid in helping travelers reach their eternal home.
“Took care of him. The Samaritan stayed with the injured person and cared for him personally the first night. He did not turn the injured person over too quickly to the innkeeper but stayed with him through the dark hours. As Origen commented, Jesus cares for the wounded ‘not only during the day, but also at night. He devotes all his attention and activity to him.’” (John W. Welch, “The Good Samaritan: Forgotten Symbols,” Liahona, Feb. 2007)
Luke 10:35 when I come again, I will repay thee
“The host. Accordingly, early commentators saw the host, or innkeeper, as Paul or the other Apostles and their successors. If the inn refers to the Church in general, however, the innkeeper and his staff can represent all Church leaders and workers who are entrusted by the Lord to nurture and care for any rescued soul who seeks healing.
“When I come again. The Christ-figure openly promises to come again, a ready allusion to the Second Coming of Christ. The Greek word translated ‘to come again’ appears only one other time in the New Testament, in Luke 19:15, referring to the parable of the Lord who would return to judge what the people had done with the money they had been given. That linkage markedly strengthens this allusion to the Second Coming.” (John W. Welch, “The Good Samaritan: Forgotten Symbols,” Liahona, Feb. 2007)
Luke 10:37 Go, and do thou likewise
Thomas S. Monson
"Each of us, in the journey through mortality, will travel his own Jericho Road. What will be your experience? What will be mine? Will I fail to notice him who has fallen among thieves and requires my help? Will you? Will I be one who sees the injured and hears his plea, yet crosses to the other side? Will you? Or will I be one who sees, who hears, who pauses, and who helps? Will you?
"Jesus provided our watchword, 'Go, and do thou likewise.' When we obey that declaration, there opens to our view a vista of joy seldom equaled and never surpassed.
"Now the Jericho Road may not be clearly marked. Neither may the injured cry out, that we may hear. But when we walk in the steps of that good Samaritan, we walk the pathway that leads to perfection." (Be Your Best Self [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979], 154.)
Luke 10:40 Martha was cumbered about much serving
"...most of us who have some challenges with perfectionism are not committed to selflessly serving others, but in serving ourselves by showing the world how competent we are. We are constantly on the run, doing a lot of things for a lot of people and often becoming physically ill in the process. Like Martha of New Testament times, perfectionists are 'careful and troubled about many things.' (Luke 10:41.) Martha's being 'cumbered about much serving' (Luke 10:40) was a personal form of idolatry familiar to many of us.
"We cannot save ourselves no matter how many casseroles we bake or home teaching visits we make. That is what Paul was teaching when he wrote, 'For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.' (Eph. 2:8-9.) Any theology that stresses the importance of 'good works' has humanism as a likely counterfeit." (Daniel K. Judd, LDS Church News, 1995, 01/07/95)
Neal A. Maxwell
"Sometimes in the Church we gravitate toward conspicuous busyness rather than doing what we have really been called to do. Getting thus diverted usually occurs, however, because of bad judgment rather than bad motives. When we fail to accord priority to our real opportunities, we tend to make Martha-like choices instead of Mary-like choices. Remember, it was Martha rather than Mary who 'was cumbered.' (Luke 10:40-42.)
"A bishop who is merely a manager of programs or activities will be more weary and less effective than a bishop who is a shepherd of the flock. Doing those basic things we are supposed to be doing can permit us to proceed with confidence and in patience. Otherwise, indiscriminate busyness will result in trying to do too many things simultaneously, pursuing quickie campaigns and producing only temporary results at best." (We Will Prove Them Herewith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 110.)
Luke 10:41 Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things
"No story in the scriptures speaks more directly to a woman's dilemma than the story of Mary and Martha. Women from the time of birth are trained to 'serve' others-parents, children, husbands, even the needy. For many, it has become difficult to approach life from any other perspective. Yet clearly the Savior would not have his servants become distracted with everyday chores when more important things are at stake. The ideals in this story are fundamental to the Christian message-service, yes, but service rooted in spiritual motivation. For service is meaningful only when it is needed, and when we choose to serve, not when it is unnecessary and done out of a slavish sense of duty or by coercion. The Good Servant laid down his life for others; no one took it from him. Our service, if it is to be edifying to ourselves and others, must be of the same tenor." (Jerrie W. Hurd, Our Sisters in the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 140.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"That scripture is an important scripture for all of us who at times get too task oriented and who, in the midst of our frustrations and harassments, pass it along, and sometimes with gusto, to others who seemingly are less involved than we are, who seem not to be doing their share as they should.
"Some mothers in today's world feel 'cumbered' by home duties and are thus attracted by other more 'romantic' challenges. Such women could make the same error of perspective and priorities that Martha made. The woman, for instance, who deserts the cradle in order to help defend civilization against the barbarians may well later meet, among the barbarians, her own neglected child.
"The modern Marthas may include those who are careful and troubled by many things, some deservedly. But they needlessly leave kitchen and cradle not for instruction by the selfless Savior of mankind, but for self-serving enterprises that will be distance-producing as far as their primary relationships are concerned." (Wherefore, Ye Must Press Forward [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 102.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"For those of us who are 'cumbered' and who suffer from Martha-like anxiety, Jesus urges us to be more thoughtful about choosing 'that good part' in human relationships that will not 'be taken' away from us. Being 'careful' and 'troubled about many things' can reflect devotion to duty to be sure; but a devotion which is so inverted that those things which matter most are at the mercy of things of this world may be more common than we think.
"Life situations and leadership situations often present us with Mary versus Martha type choices in terms of how we spend our time and the priority we assign to the tasks on our 'agenda' of action. Mary 'heard his word', exploiting a unique, one-time opportunity to learn from the Master. Martha had no doubt served hundreds of meals before and would serve hundreds after Jesus' visit. With our associates, partners, and children in a fleeting mortality-do we tend to make Martha or Mary choices?" (Mormon Musings, 11)
Luke 10:42 But one thing is needful
Patricia T. Holland
"On a pristinely clear and beautifully bright day, I sat overlooking the Sea of Galilee and reread the tenth chapter of Luke. But instead of the words on the page, I thought I saw with my mind and heard with my heart these words: '[Pat, Pat, Pat,] thou art careful and troubled about many things.' Then the power of pure and personal revelation seized me as I read, 'But one thing-only one thing-is truly needful.' (See Luke 10:40-41.) ...As I sat pondering my problems, I felt that same sun's healing rays like warm liquid pouring into my heart, relaxing, calming, and comforting my troubled soul.
"Our loving Father in heaven seemed to be whispering to me, 'You don't have to worry over so many things. The one thing that is needful-the only thing that is truly needful-is to keep your eyes toward the sun-my Son.' Suddenly I had true peace. I knew that my life had always been in his hands, from the very beginning! The sea lying peacefully before my eyes had been tempest-tossed and dangerous-many, many times. All I needed to do was to renew my faith and get a firm grasp of his hand, and together we could walk on the water." (Jeffrey R. Holland and Patricia T. Holland, On Earth As It Is in Heaven [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989], 81.)
Luke 10:42 Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her
Neal A. Maxwell
"We can all try to watch out for Martha-like anxiety, which is genderless. It can also deprive us of special experiences if we are too 'cumbered about much serving.' Conscientiousness is not an automatic guarantee that we will choose the 'good part' which will not be 'taken away' from us (Luke 10:38-42).
"Our most precious remembrances are concerned with 'the good part.' These will remain with us, while many of our once-pressing anxieties will be long since forgotten.
"Brigham Young, in periods when pressures could have filled him with Martha-like anxiety, instead made Mary-like choices:
'In my experience I never did let an opportunity pass of getting with the Prophet Joseph and of hearing him speak in public or in private, so that I might draw understanding from the fountain from which he spoke, that I might have it and bring it forth when it was needed. ... In the days of the Prophet Joseph, such moments were more precious to me than all the wealth of the world. No matter how great my poverty-if I had to borrow meal to feed my wife and children, I never let an opportunity pass of learning what the Prophet had to impart" (in Journal of Discourses, 12:269-70)." ("Wisdom and Order," Ensign, June 1994, 42)
Neal A. Maxwell
"Mary sensed that she was in the midst of a special, never-to-return opportunity to be given by the Savior Himself, the Bread of Life. Martha was so busy preparing perishable calories that she let that opportunity go unused. While there are times when we apparently can't avoid being badgered by events, it ought not to become a way of life. The consequence of our good choices will not be taken from us either." (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979], 56.)