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This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →
- Luke 15:20: Fell on his neck. This is a Greek idiom that means "to hug." See the textual note in the NET here.
- Luke 17:11-19: Ten lepers and atonement. When considering the story of the ten lepers it is interesting to see how this compares to the Atonement. Jesus knew even before he cleansed the lepers that only one of the ten would return to give thanks to Him, yet He healed each one of them still. In a similar manner, Jesus knows how many of our Father's sons and daughters will fully accept His Atonement, yet He suffered for each one of us still. Only One possessing true Charity such as Himself would be willing to do such a thing.
- Luke 17:21: Within you. The Greek entos can mean either "in" or "among/in the midst of." Although traditionally this has traditionally understood more in the sense of "within," as the KJV renders this, more recent scholarship tends to favor the "among" meaning (see for example these translations). As variations of the "among" reading, this could be referring either to the ministry of Jesus, or this could mean that the kingdom is "within one's grasp, or this could mean that the kingdom of God is coming soon and suddenly/unexpectedly (Bultmann, for example, takes this view).
- Luke 18:18-30. It is often assumed that the certain ruler who is told to sell all that he has in these verses and follow Jesus failed this test. He may very well have; but the assumption that he does not misses the most important point of these verses.
- The scriptures here do clearly tell us that the ruler was sorrowful to be asked to sell all that he had. This sorrow isn't right of course. We should be happy to sacrifice for God versus be sorrowful. See, for example Matt 5:10. To feel such sorrow shows we are unworthy of the kingdom of God (see Luke 9:62).
- But though the story of this ruler ends with his sorrow, the real story doesn't end here. Jesus continues, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven (v 24), even seemlingly impossible (v25). Nevertheless, Jesus also says that it is possible for such a person to enter the kingdom of God (v 27).
- The rich man here does not represent those of us who won't make it to the kingdom of God, he represents all of us. For we all at times have riches which we are sorry to have to be asked to sacrifice. And in such times we all unfit for the kingdom of God. And yet...we are, even so, told it is possible "with God" to enter into His kingdom (again v 27).
- How is it possible? Matt 21:28-31 shows us that though this initial sorrow, hesitancy or even outright rejection is certainly wrong, it doesn't disqualify us from the kingdom of heaven. What matters more than whether the ruler was sorrowful is whether he, like the better son in the parable, actually goes on to do what Jesus asks--something we don't find out in this story.
- The monetary unit given as "pound" in verse 13 is the Greek mina, worth 100 denarii, or the pay for 100 days of work for a common laborer.
- The Greek word translated in verse 23 as "usury," tokos, means "interest." The Greek word doesn't necessarily refer to an illegally high rate of interest.
This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →
- Luke 19:39-40. Stones crying out? Why stones? This may not be as deep as I'm making it in my head, but can someone comment on the context of this verse? This phrase has always just seemed so odd to me.
Prompts for life application
This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →
Prompts for further study
This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →
- Luke 14:7-11. To what extent can this parable be said to articulate a kind of economics of public praise? Does the logic of the parable compromise the profound un-logic of the concluding statement (in verse 11)?
- Luke 14:7-11. Does verse 7 mean that Jesus is speaking specifically (and quite suddenly!) to a number of the ambitious at an actual wedding feast? How can this passage still be called (as it is in the very passage) a parable, if it is explicitly existential? What should be made of this sudden disruption of context? What connection does this have with the passages immediately preceding?
- Luke 14:7-11. What kind of economy obtains between this parable and the following parable, where Jesus addresses the giver of the feast? Does the fact that He can address the giver of the feast as much as the ambitious attendants change the way one reads this parable? What kind of a wedding is Jesus attending that He can have so much facility with all involved?
- Luke 14:7-11. Is it significant that nothing is said of where Jesus is sitting?
- Luke 14:7-11. Should any theological weight be given to the word "bidden," especially in light of the Greek (which might more literally be translated "called")? And what theological weight should be given to the fact that it is a wedding that is in question? Is there a structure of the call, or a structure of the wedding, that is being overturned in the actions of the ambitious?
- Luke 14:7-11. Is there an element of risk involved in Jesus' admonition? What connection is there between this risk and the risk of, say, Abraham with Isaac on Mount Moriah? What relation does risk have to economy? How is risk connected with the structure of the call?
- Luke 14:7-11. What might be read into the fact that the self-humbled is called ("bidden") twice, while the self-exalted is only called ("bidden") once?
- Luke 14:7-11. How might one "sit down in the lowest room" and yet still exalt oneself? What might such a situation imply about the questions of economy that can be raised in relation to this verse?
- Luke 15. Does the overall meaning of the parables in this chapter change if we read the parables one after another, as those to whom Christ spoke heard them, rather than as individual and separate parables?
- Luke 15. If we read the parables as parts of a whole teaching moment, what does the culmination of those parables in the final, longest parable teach us?
- Luke 15. Who was Jesus' audience in these parables? How do you think they responded to each?
- Luke 15:11-32. Jesus begins this parable by telling us that it is about two sons. Why do we refer to it as "the parable of the prodigal son"? Does looking at it as a story about two sons rather than one change our understanding?
- Luke 17:7-10. What is the purpose of the story in vs. 7-10? How is it related to the example of faith given in v. 6? Are both the example and the story a response to the apostles's request for more faith?
- Luke 17:7-10. To what degree is it appropriate to think of ourselves as servants of the LORD? What does it mean to be a servant?
- Luke 18:7. In verse 7 what does the phrase "though he bear long with them" mean?
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- Luke 14:27. James E. Faust, "Discipleship," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 20–23. Elder Faust taught: "To carry the cross means to follow His commandments and to build up His Church on the earth. It also means self-mastery."
- Luke 14:27. Larry W. Gibbons, "Wherefore, Settle This in Your Hearts," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 102–4. Elder Gibbons said: "Brothers and sisters, let's sell that summer cottage in Babylon. Let us be not almost but altogether Latter-day Saints... In Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 14:28 the Lord says: 'Wherefore, settle this in your hearts...' Brothers and sisters, I pray that we are 'settled.' There are precious blessings that come only from the complete yielding of one's heart to God."
- Luke 15. Jeffrey R. Holland, "Prophets in the Land Again," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 104–7. Elder Holland said: "[T]he needy are still out there—the poor and the weary, the discouraged and downhearted... don't worry about asking, "Where are they?" They are everywhere, on our right hand and on our left, in our neighborhoods and in the workplace, in every community and county and nation of this world. Take your team and wagon; load it with your love, your testimony, and a spiritual sack of flour; then drive in any direction... In doing so we honor the Master's repeated plea on behalf of lost sheep and lost coins and lost souls."
- Luke 16:22: Bosom of Abraham. This verse is the origin of the phrase "bosom of Abraham". Note it's use in Wordsworth's poem "Evening on Calais Beach" (note Edje's comment in particular).
- Luke 16:19-26. Gordon B. Hinckley, "Blessed Are the Merciful," Ensign, May 1990, 68. "How godlike a quality is mercy. It cannot be legislated. It must come from the heart. It must be stirred up from within. It is part of the endowment each of us receives as a son or daughter of God and partaker of a divine birthright. I plead for an effort among all of us to give greater expression and wider latitude to this instinct which lies within us. I am convinced that there comes a time, possibly many times, within our lives when we might cry out for mercy on the part of others. How can we expect it unless we have been merciful ourselves?"
- Luke 17:2: Millstone. The Juniper Tree recorded by the Brothers Grimm (use of millstone paralleling this text)
Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.