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TitleLuke 10
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsS. Kent Brown
EditorHalverson, Taylor
Book TitleNew Testament Minute: Luke
Number of Volumes27
PublisherScripture Central
CitySpringville, UT
KeywordsBible; Luke (Book); New Testament

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Luke 10:1–12. Commissioning the Seventy

The calling of the Seventy disciples stands as the first prime proof that the Savior is now organizing His followers into more than a loosely gathered group of followers overseen by the Twelve. His organization will be more than a symbol; it will be more than a very few governing the many; it will be more than a loose mirroring of the twelve tribes as seen in the Twelve Apostles. In reality, the empowering of the Seventy makes firm and real and concrete the emerging outline of a purposeful church administration. Plainly, by organizing His followers into a structured congregation—a church—Jesus draws down the kingdom of God to settle on the earth. In His own words, “the kingdom of God is come nigh” (Luke 10:9, 11).

The Seventy, whose number mirrors the number of names of the Gentiles’ progenitors listed in Genesis chapter 10, already enjoy a long and rich tradition. For “seventy of the elders of Israel” ascend the holy mount with Moses and, in a covenant meal accompanied by a stunning vision of Jehovah, ratify the covenant that Moses receives (Exodus 24:9–11). This event hints strongly that the Seventy are already a part of the organizational fabric of the Israelite tribes. A second event confirms this conclusion. When Moses desperately needs help to deal with the practical challenges that he and his people face, the Lord authorizes the invitation of “seventy men of the elders of Israel” to share the burden and demonstrates their authorization by allowing His Spirit to rest “upon them,” and “they prophesied, and did not cease” (Numbers 11:16, 24–25). Further, in an apostate development of the ancient office of the Seventy, the young Ezekiel sees in vision “seventy men of the ancients [elders] of the house of Israel” worshiping in a darkened chamber of the temple that features paintings “of creeping things, and abominable beasts,” an act that God condemns (Ezekiel 8:7–12). These notices in the Old Testament, therefore, underscore the existence of the Seventy as an ancient institution.

In a related vein, the contemporary Sanhedrin organizations mirror that of the Seventy of ancient Israel. In fact, Jesus’s Seventy can be seen as a replacement of the Sanhedrins, but their functions differ. According to the Mishnah, the number in the “greater Sanhedrin” of Jerusalem is to consist of seventy or seventy-one members, while the number in other settlements is to be twenty-three. In Jewish cities and communities, the Sanhedrin serves in judicial and legislative roles, deciding questions on the interpretation of Mosaic law, ruling on disputes, and enacting local laws, thus reflecting in a measure the function of the Seventy who assist Moses in a judging capacity (see Numbers 11:16–17). But their interaction with Gentiles is minimal.

Under the hands of Jesus, these Seventy bear His power, His authority, and He turns them toward the Gentiles, suspending Jewish food laws so that they can accept hospitality from their hosts. We assume that a few of them make their way into the town where the Gergesene demoniac resides, perched among the hills that overlook the east shore of the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:26–39). Though no record exists of such a visit, we can safely infer that in the intervening weeks and months, the man is energetically tilling the gospel soil among family and acquaintances so that any of the Seventy who reach that region find a people willing to receive them and their message (see the comments on Luke 8:26–40).

In concert with the Seventy as Jesus’s ministers to Gentiles, the Seventy in the modern Church are “called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.” Moreover, they serve as “traveling ministers, unto the Gentiles first and also unto the Jews” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:25, 97). In a note about their relationship to the Twelve and their modern duties, the Lord reveals that “the Seventy are to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Twelve . . . in building up the church and regulating all the affairs of the same in all nations” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:34). In a conference in 1907, Joseph F. Smith affirmed that “the seventies are called to be assistants to the twelve apostles; indeed, they are apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, subject to the direction of the Twelve.”

Because of the similarities between Jesus’s commissioning of the Twelve (Luke 9:1–5) and the Seventy, some scholars urge that the two acts really go back to the same event and that Jesus does not send two groups of missionaries. But the weight of evidence falls on the side of Jesus commissioning this second group of seventy, agreeing in large measure with His newly instituted practice of sending “messengers” other than the Twelve “before his face” as He turns His focus more on Jerusalem (Luke 9:52).

As already noted, the call of the Seventy links Jesus to Moses, who also works with seventy. In fact, it appears that Luke is underlining that Jesus is indeed the expected prophet “like unto” Moses. To him, people are to “hearken,” with devastating consequences for those who “will not hearken” to the words that God “will put . . . in his mouth” (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18–19). Specifically, for those who will not hearken to Jesus and His authorized representatives, “it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for” those persons and “that city” (Luke 10:12). In fact, some towns in northern Galilee, Chorazin, and Bethsaida, where Jesus has spent time during past months, have already earned God’s crippling wrath because of their rejection of Jesus’s “mighty works” (Luke 10:13).

Adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 514–516.

Luke 10:13–16. Woes on Galilee

The verses Luke 10:13–16 form part of the Savior’s instruction to the Seventy. They confirm that He turns finally from “every city and village” in Galilee that stand aloof from His miracles and from “the glad tidings of the kingdom of God” (Luke 8:1). Not only He but also the Twelve have gone “through the towns” of Galilee, apparently experiencing only modest success (Luke 9:6). As Matthew writes, “they repented not” (Matthew 11:20). To be sure, the combined efforts of Jesus and the Twelve create a following in such numbers that Jesus can choose a group of seventy to represent Him. But He will plow His beloved Galilean ground no more.

The calling of the Seventy and the simultaneous cursing of Jewish communities shows that Jesus is fully aware of the distinctively mixed landscape of Galilee’s inhabitants. For archaeological evidence has come to light that, in general, the citizens of Jewish towns do not interact with those of Roman settlements and vice versa. They live separately, almost as if the others do not exist. Except for the foray into gentile territory to heal the Gergesene demoniac (Luke 8:26–39), Jesus devotes His efforts to reaching out to fellow Jews, preaching “in the synagogues of Galilee” (Luke 4:44). But their largely indifferent response leaves Him with no choice but to move on to other pastures, supplying a broad hint that future missionary work will lie among Gentiles, as Luke’s second volume, the book of Acts, will chronicle.

Adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 519–520.

Luke 10:17–20. The Return of the Seventy

Within these verses rests the unexpected, crippling impact that the actions of a few good, authorized persons can bring down onto the realm of evil. Before the Savior’s coming, Satan experiences only limited and episodic resistance to his influence. But by driving out unclean demons, by bringing relief to the suffering, and by seizing spiritual territory through preaching, Jesus cuts into Satan’s kingdom, sapping its vitality. Now comes a wave of empowered emissaries, first the Twelve and then the Seventy. Of the impact of the Twelve, Luke reports little (Luke 9:6, 10), and perhaps there is little to report because they spend their efforts among fellow Jews who generally respond indifferently, as Jesus’s cursing of Jewish towns appears to demonstrate (10:13–15). But within a short time, the Seventy, common and humble men both because of their numbers and because of their success among a broader group of hearers, land a serious blow against Satan’s hegemony, defeating and subjecting his demons, his representatives (10:17). By their actions, the Seventy engage the forces of the unseen world, just as Jesus has been doing for months, and they subdue it with crackling force. Thus, in a struggle of authorized emissaries, those of the Savior ride triumphant over those of Satan.

Any mention of Satan, of course, calls up ties to the Garden of Eden, where he shows off and establishes his power by enticing Eve and then Adam to turn against God’s command by partaking of the forbidden fruit. At that moment, the struggle for souls is fully engaged between the powers of evil and good. And Jesus’s words point back to that watershed moment when He grants the Seventy “power to tread on serpents” (Luke 10:19), echoing God’s words to Eve that her seed “shall bruise [the serpent’s] head” (Genesis 3:15; Moses 4:21).

But the broader scriptural framework links to Psalm 91, a royal psalm that exudes trust and celebrates God’s power to deliver and protect the one who chooses to make “the most High [his or her] habitation” (Psalm 91:9). Readers have already met lines from this psalm in Satan’s temptation at the temple when he tries to entice the Savior to jump from its pinnacle: “It is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone” (Luke 4:10–11; Psalm 91:11–12). Plainly, Satan reads these verses as applying to Jesus, notably at the holy temple. But Jesus now applies other lines from the same psalm to the Seventy, with the same sense of holiness and within the textured fabric of the psalmist’s promise of protection: “I give unto you power to tread on serpents . . . and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). These lines echo the warp and weft of the psalm: “There shall no evil befall thee. . . . Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder. . . . I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him” (Psalm 91:10, 13, 15). Thus, the scriptural tapestry from which the devil draws strength as he initially engages Jesus in the struggle for power and eminence now provides the twisted, tight threads from which Jesus’s disciples will draw courage that God will watch over them in His service.

One further coloration may tie this scene to Psalm 91—that of Satan’s fall. In words of exaltation, God will lift up those who love and trust in Him: “Because he hath set his love upon me . . . I will set him on high” (Psalm 91:14). But Satan has elevated himself on high, as his sudden plummet “as lightning” demonstrates (Luke 10:18). In effect, God’s true followers, when exalted, will displace Satan, who has “said in [his] heart, I will ascend into the heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: . . . I will ascend above the heights of the clouds” (Isaiah 14:13–14). In a word, the place of exaltation is now cleared and cleaned of Satan’s pretentious presence, readied for those who have “set [their] love upon [God]” (Psalm 91:14).

Finally, manifestations of power pale when set side by side with the reward of seeing one’s name “written in heaven,” in the book of life (Luke 10:20). It is this end rather than the grasping and wielding of unusual powers that the Seventy are to seek in their continuing ministries. Their task, more than impressing people with their divinely granted forces, is to bring others to God’s book and to see their names written therein.

Adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 522–524.

Luke 10:21–24. The Savior’s Joy

The persisting, brimming question of “Who is Jesus?” continues to seep its way through Luke’s record, calling up this overflowing query from chapter 9. This time, rather than tying to the Savior’s authority and to His eventual death, as in chapter 9, the issue bubbles up both within His relationship to His Father (“No man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father” [Luke 10:22]) and within ancient expectations of His arrival (“prophets and kings have desired to see” [Luke 10:24]).

But to some Jesus is hidden. Recalling the initial disclosures chronicled at the opening of the Gospel (Luke 1:31–33, 42–43), readers learn again that grasping Jesus’s true character rests on revelation, not on a chance meeting, that understanding “who the Son is” (10:22) arises from a gracious act of the Father in uncovering His Son, not in curiously observing Him. However, coming to know Him does not simply consist of an unlooked-for bolt of realization from the Father. Jesus is addressing His most trusted and experienced followers. They have been traveling with Him for months; they have shown a high level of loyalty; and they have displayed a keen desire to be with Him and to imitate Him. Plainly, it is a combination of their unflinching loyalty, unfurled over a length of time, and the disclosure of the Father that brings them to comprehend who He truly is.

The Joseph Smith Translation adds illuminating adjustments in Luke 10:22, adjustments that introduce profound doctrine. The opening of the verse remains the same and presents Jesus’s commissioning by His Father: “All things are delivered to me of my Father” (10:22). Hence, the changes that follow these words are likely to be understood in the sense of Jesus as the Father by a divine investiture of authority: “No man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son” (Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 10:23). A person might initially think of Jesus as the Father in His role as Creator or as the Father of those who accept and abide in His gospel.1 But the context requires a concept that takes account of the Father’s formal authorization of the Son, and no one knows this aspect of Jesus’s nature. The Son alone can reveal such depths.

The similarities to the language found in John’s Gospel, particularly in Luke 10:21–22, are remarkable. These verses have drawn the description of “a meteorite fallen from the Johannine sky” and of “a Johannine thunderbolt.” Other sayings in Luke’s record also hint at such a connection (see 10:16; 12:8–9). How is one to explain this phenomenon? One possibility is to see it as a saying of Jesus from a Johannine record or circle of followers that has come to influence Luke’s composition. Another is that such sayings are at home among the Dead Sea Scrolls and it was from this source that such language came to Luke’s source. A third notion is that John’s way of writing about Jesus is not as foreign to the Synoptic Gospels as some have come to believe.

The Savior’s words embrace an affirmation of the forward-looking powers of prophecy, specifically prophecy that has long anticipated His arrival. He first sets the stage by declaring to His disciples: “Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see.” Obviously, His followers do not yet fully comprehend the majesty and significance of what they are witnessing in His company. And He wants to bring them to that higher, broader understanding. He does so by drawing their minds to past individuals who have learned by prophecy about His coming: “I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see.” But mere seeing does not gather all that Jesus is; hearing also draws in His words and allows a hearer to register and hold in memory the divine voice: “To hear those things which ye hear” (10:23–24). Now His second point, about discerning the content of prophecy, emerges. Jesus’s saying underscores His grasp not only that much of ancient prophecy is pointed at Him but also that the ancients themselves grasp that He is the object of this prophecy.

Within these verses, when linked to the prior verses about the return of the Seventy (see 10:17–20), stand two central ingredients of Luke’s report. First, the Savior’s kingdom is one of joy. Though the Greek terms in these verses that express this joy are not identical, they nonetheless convey this happy quality: the Seventy return “with joy,” and Jesus reminds them that they should “rejoice” that their “names are written in heaven.” In light of their success and their joy, Jesus Himself “rejoiced” (10:17, 20–21). In contrast, “Satan as lightning [falls] from heaven” (10:18). His kingdom, filled with unclean demons and spirits, now suffers a crippling blow. Second, all is accomplished “in the Holy Spirit,” recalling and verifying both the vivifying influence of the Holy Ghost that descends on Jesus at His baptism (see 3:22) and the empowering “Spirit of the Lord” that, as Jesus announces in the Nazareth synagogue, has “anointed [him] to preach the gospel to the poor” (4:18). Both Jesus and His followers, as demonstrated by recent events, bear the needed authority to carry the message of joy and the power of the Spirit into the lives of others, as the book of Acts will soon chronicle.

Adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 528–530.

Luke 10:25–37. The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Among the most beloved of the Savior’s parables, the parable of the Good Samaritan (which appears only in Luke’s Gospel) vividly emphasizes the acts of reaching out to others, no matter their circumstance or origin. This parable underscores the essential meaning of Jesus’s earlier outreach to Gentiles through the Seventy. The inclusive quality of Jesus’s words marks a strong response to any exclusivity, whether perceived or real, and especially to that exclusivity which anchors itself in the hearts and minds of fellow Jews. Setting up a Samaritan, the most despised of humans in the minds of many Jewish contemporaries, as the hero sets off Jesus’s viewpoint even more sharply as in the earsplitting saying, “All are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile” (2 Nephi 26:33).

At risk is anyone who holds a demeaning view of another as somehow worthless. In this light, it may be historically and culturally significant that the lawyer does not object to Jesus’s caricature of the priest and Levite in this story. It seems, therefore, that such persons carry an unfortunate reputation of not assisting ordinary people in their difficulties. And here lies one point where surface rubs surface. Although hearers might think of those of elevated rank in such stereotypes, and Jesus’s words seemingly capture this sense, their attention is drawn first to the violence, the hurt that the traveler suffers, and next to the Samaritan’s compassionate response. These aspects, more than others, leap into the consciousness of hearers. For they all know stories of those injured either by people of ill will—robbers in this case—or by an accident. They also know stories of how aid comes to the injured parties. Jesus’s account is fully believable and real and may well rest on an actual event. In His telling, of course, the point of aiding others no matter their appearance and no matter the cost memorably defines true love. And, in the parable, this love knows no boundaries and labels no one as worthless.

As we might expect, the motives of the priest and Levite have drawn much comment, though this concern lies at the side of the parable’s potent meaning. Prominent among possible motives, besides their need to hurry for the fear of attack by highwaymen, stands the matter of ritual purity—that is, whether touching a dead person renders an individual, particularly one who serves in the holy temple, unclean and therefore unfit to serve for a season. The possibility is real. For the Mosaic law forbids priests from such profaning acts, except if the dead person is a close family member (Leviticus 21:1–4). The situation with the Levite is more complex. No such prohibition faces this person. Instead, if remaining ritually pure plays a role in his behavior, he is therefore likely on his way to the city for temple duty or is one of the Levites permanently assigned to service in the temple. But even though we can think of reasons for the two men to avoid a difficult situation because of their roles in the religious life of their people, Jesus’s story heaps hot coals on their behavior because they do not respond to a person’s need. And the addition by the Joseph Smith Translation—“They desired in their hearts that it might not be known that they had seen him”—adds more heat because it exposes their inner motives, effectively asking us as readers to examine our own motives when we step away from helping others in need.

These observations are buttressed all the more if we read the parable as an allegory. Although some scholars flatly reject this approach, John W. Welch has made a compelling case that not only do early Christian writers view the parable this way but also Jesus speaks the parable as an allegory of the plan of salvation, beginning with Adam descending into the risky world and ending with the compassionate Savior as the one who carries us to safety. Allegory, of course, demands that each detail bears a specific meaning that matches the overall thrust of the story. And Welch ably demonstrates that this is the case. Hence, the parable carries force on two levels: the first consists of the world that Jesus and His followers inhabit, and the second is made up of the outlines of the plan of salvation.

Adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 538–540.

Luke 10:38–42. Martha and Mary

This story about Martha and Mary, found only in Luke’s Gospel, forms an important counterpoint to the parable of the good Samaritan. Why? Because the parable illustrates what it means to love one’s neighbor and the account of Mary and Martha demonstrates what it means to love the Lord. For woven into the story of the sisters with the Savior are threads of warmth and love and open friendship. Martha’s love leads her to prepare a special meal as a gift. Mary’s love brings her to break convention and sit at Jesus’s feet as a disciple. Moreover, both the parable and the story are geographically out of place, and therefore they are out of place chronologically. But they fit together because each illustrates the grand principle of loving and each is tied to the south of the country, near Jerusalem.

The report of the sisters’ interaction with Jesus has proven to be one of the most enduring accounts from the Savior’s ministry both because it involves Him interacting with women and because out of the account rises another of the grand principles that He teaches: direct association with Him is more important than anything we might do in His name or for His cause. Further, that association, though natural and gracious in its character, as the setting in Martha’s home underscores, rests on a relationship with Jesus that implicitly is long-standing, as their warm friendship illustrates, and thus becomes enriched with mutual trust and openness. Lying just out of sight, but very much tied to trust and openness, stands a relationship that is erected on personal bonds or covenants, as John 15:14 illustrates: “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” As a quick review will exhibit, the Savior’s denomination of certain persons as friends grows out of long-standing, covenant-based relationships.2

Part of this story’s persisting appeal centers on the tension over a woman’s typical role in antiquity—that of being the nurturer in her home. Martha certainly fills that role. It is one that her culture requires of her. Moreover, her meal constitutes her gift to the Savior; preparing the meal forms an adornment of her affection and loyalty to Him. But Mary’s presence adds complication to the scene, especially when she chooses to spend her time in Jesus’s company before the meal is served. As the story makes clear, Martha’s expectation and the expectation of their society is that her sister will join in the effort to create a memorable moment as they share a meal together, complete with inviting aromas and tasty dishes and convivial conversation. The tension that arises between the sisters points to a related situation that women—not men—typically experience. For a woman, a question presses itself onto her each time she hosts a guest: Does she pay most of her attention to the meal so that it turns out as she intends or does she spend time with the invited guest in pre-dinner conversation? This aspect, we acknowledge, makes the story true to life and therefore one that catches in the memory, especially the memory of women.

That women are interacting with a man might seem out of place for their society, even more so when one adopts the attitude of a disciple. But the decisive issue has to do with place. Especially among wealthier families, women normally remain out of sight as much as possible. And they resist association with men outside their families to the extent that they can. Perhaps unexpectedly, Luke’s story rests entirely on an interaction between two sisters and a man who is apparently not of their family. The key turns on the observation that Martha hosts Jesus in “her house” (Luke 10:38). Within her home, much of her society’s nervousness over the contact between the sexes relaxes. There, generally in the presence and with the permission of her husband, a woman can be herself in the company of guests, though not always. The fact that no husband of Martha appears in the account leads some to conclude, conjecturally, that she is by this time either widowed or divorced. Whether or not this is so, the chief observation remains. Inside Martha’s home, she and her sister can unwind restrictive custom in the presence of guests. The scene, as Luke narrates it, argues for the current reading “into her house” (10:38) although some important manuscripts omit this phrase (see Joseph Smith Translation, John 11:2, 17).

The question arises, Why place this story here? In response, the narrative about the sisters ties most comfortably and closely with the accounts that follow in chapter 11. Two fundamental elements in their story connect it with what comes next. First, the report features the importuning of Martha, who asks Jesus’s help in encouraging Mary to assist with the meal. In this case, of course, Jesus answers that Mary seeks “that good part” (Luke 10:42). Thus, in one sense, it is a story about asking the Lord for help (that is, prayer) and about asking the Lord for the right kind of assistance. The stories that follow immediately all have to do with prayer or importuning in one form or another (11:1–13). Hence, the story of Martha and Mary connects directly with what follows. Not incidentally, the most important statement of Jesus in this latter context is “Heavenly Father [will] give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him” (11:13). It is also important to note that Martha does not receive the answer that she seeks, an aspect that often characterizes a person’s life of prayer.

Second, at the beginning of this story, Luke mentions “her [Martha’s] house” (10:38). Deeper into chapter 11, after Jesus’s words about praying, one finds a series of His sayings about houses: the “house divided against a house” (see 11:14–20), the strong man’s “palace” (see 11:21–23), the “swept and garnished” house (see 11:24–26), and the statement of praise about Jesus’s mother (see 11:27–28). Each of these sayings discloses something important about a person’s house or household, as does the story about Mary and Martha. Such a connection, not incidentally, argues for the longer reading “into her house” in 10:38. Importantly, because of rancor, Martha’s house is temporarily divided, like the divided house of Jesus’s later words (see 11:14–20), and its lack of orderliness saps its strength as a refuge from inappropriate influences as the temporarily “swept and garnished” house that the “unclean spirit” at the last reclaims (see 11:24–26). Moreover, when one reads farther on, one can see these sorts of issues arising again, such as in the stories of the faithful and unfaithful domestic servants, in Jesus’s words about divisions within households, and in His parable about the prodigal son.3 Hence, the story of Martha and Mary forms an introduction of sorts to much else in the Gospel record.

But connections of a different sort may reach back to the prior parable of the good Samaritan (see 10:25–37). How so? If, as seems most likely, Jesus is in Bethany when Martha hosts Him in her home, then the possibility opens up that He recites the parable in or near that location. To be sure, He can recite this story in almost any locale because most in His audience have walked the road between Jerusalem and Jericho. It is familiar to virtually everyone. However, the parable becomes more meaningful and relevant if Jesus and His hearers are in the neighborhood and He can point with his finger to the road or at least in its general direction. In this light, the parable and the story of Martha and Mary become partners in subtly underscoring a prior visit by Jesus to Jerusalem with His disciples.4

One further comment about Martha is important. Luke’s story leaves her in a dimmed light. However, according to another account, she appears to have taken Jesus’s words seriously about “one thing [being] needful” (10:42). To set the stage, when Jesus later approaches Bethany after the death of Martha’s brother, Lazarus, it is Martha who hastens to meet Him while He is still on the road. Mary remains in the house (John 11:20). In one of the important revelatory scenes in the Gospel accounts, Jesus discloses Himself to her, unveiling who He truly is: “I am the resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25). Here, in a few words meant only for her, Jesus uncovers one of the secrets of the ages: who He is. To His words she bears strong witness, revealing her grasp of His grand truth: “I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God” (John 11:27). In a word, Martha now becomes the only person who both hears Jesus bear witness of Himself and beholds His power when, moments later, she and others see Jesus’s divine, death-defeating might as He raises her brother, Lazarus, from the dead.

Adapted from S. Kent Brown, The Testimony of Luke (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2015), 544–547.

  • 1. Luke 12:8–9; see my notes on Luke 9:48.
  • 2. See Luke 12:4; John 15:13–15; Doctrine and Covenants 84:63, 77; 88:3, 133; 93:45.
  • 3. See Luke 12:35–40, 41–48, 51–53; 15:11–32.
  • 4. See my notes on Luke 10:25–37; 13:34; 19:47; 22:9; 23:5, 28, 50; and 24:13.

Scripture Reference

Luke 10:1