Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 10:28

And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live ."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Commandments;   Decalogue;   Duty;   Immortality;   Jesus, the Christ;   Lawyer;   Love;   Neighbor;   Readings, Select;   Self-Righteousness;   Thompson Chain Reference - Life;   Life-Death;   Righteousness;   The Topic Concordance - Commandment;   Eternal Life;   Inheritance;   Law;   Life;   Love;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Adummim;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Justification;   Law;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Clean, Unclean;   Friend, Friendship;   Golden Rule;   Mercy;   Neighbor;   Wealth;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Parable;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Eternal Life;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Pharisees;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Acceptance;   Brotherly Love;   Life;   Love;   Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Samaria, Samaritans;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Canon of the New Testament;   Ethics;   Law;   Martha;   Mary;   Perfection;   Pity;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Back to Christ;   Character;   Claims (of Christ);   Commandments;   Discourse;   Home (2);   Laughter;   Life ;   Man (2);   Nationality;   Neighbour (2);   Old Testament (I. Christ as Fulfilment of);   Quotations (2);   Religious Experience;   Right (2);   Samaria, Samaritans;   Samaritan, the Good ;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Trinity (2);   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Bethsaida;   Chief parables and miracles in the bible;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   Law in the New Testament;   Neighbor;   Right;   Righteousness;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Brotherly Love;   Jesus of Nazareth;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for May 19;  

The Biblical Illustrator

Luke 10:28

This do, and thou shalt live

Eternal life promised the obedient

I.
WHAT IS IMPLIED IN OBEYING GOD’S COMMANDS. It is easy to see in what obedience to the Divine commands consists. It must consist in doing what the commands of God require. The two great commands of the law require love to God and love to man. And to exercise this love is to obey these commands.

II. GOD PROMISES ETERNAL LIFE TO ALL WHO OBEY HIS COMMANDS, or exercise those holy and benevolent affections which His commands require,

III. WHY GOD PROMISES ETERNAL LIFE TO ALL WHO SINCERELY AND CORDIALLY OBEY HIS COMMANDS.

1. God does not promise eternal life to all who obey His commands, because their sincere and cordial obedience atones for their sin, and lays a foundation for pardon, for forgiveness, or justification in His sight. After men have once sinned, their future obedience can make no atonement for past transgression. Perfect obedience is their constant and indispensable duty.

2. Nor does God promise eternal life to those who obey Him, because their obedience merits eternal life. Though obedience to the Divine commands is really virtuous and intrinsically excellent, yet it is not meritorious. The obedience of a creature can lay no obligation upon his Creator.

3. He does promise eternal life to them because their obedience is a proper ground, reason, or condition, for bestowing upon them such a gracious and unmerited reward. (N. Emmons, D. D.)

The necessity of moral obedience

I. THE INCULCATION OF MORAL OBEDIENCE AS A SCRIPTURE REQUISITE TO SALVATION. Why was the gospel given? What did Christ come into the world for? Doubtless to relieve wretchedness, to dissipate error, to revive hope, to take away condemnation, to make death and the grave unfeared, to light up with brightness the whole face of the world. But was this all? Was it not also to destroy sin, to promote holiness, to cast out Satan from His dominion, to repair the broken and effaced image of paradise, to magnify the victories of the cross, to illustrate the agency of a new principle in man’s heart, to form a character which angels might consort with, and God might look upon? We must insist upon such moral obedience as man has power to render, as being vital to his salvation; must close the doors of the kingdom of heaven against everything that defiles; must propound as an eternal axiom of the heavenly moralities, that in every nation he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, and he only, is accepted of Him. “This do, and thou shalt live.”

II. THE PERFECT COMPATIBILITY OF SUCH A SUPPOSITION WITH OUR RECEIVED VIEWS OF THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH. If I am asked to show a man the way of salvation, I am as little at liberty to omit saying to him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” as I am, in reference to the unchanging demands of the moral law, to omit saying, “This do and thou shalt live.” But it will be said, if you thus insist upon moral obedience, or works of godliness as vital to salvation, do you not in effect make these works an element of justification? I answer, We do; but not a meritorious element, any more than we make faith a meritorious element. Faith itself is a work; is put down in Scripture among our commanded endeavours after obedience. “Then said they unto Him, What shall we do that we may work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” Let us not put asunder what God hath joined together; let us not weaken the everlasting bond which unites the faith of justification with the sanctities of life. (D. Moore, M. A.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Luke 10:28". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/luke-10.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he said unto him, thou hast answered right,.... It is so written, and read; and this, as if he should say, is the sum and substance of the law, and what that requires men should do; wherefore,

do this, and thou shalt live; for the bare reading of it was not sufficient; though these men placed great confidence in reading this passage, or in reciting their phylacteries, of which this was a part, morning and night. Our Lord intimates by this, that, according to the tenor of the law, eternal life was not to be had without a complete and perfect performance of the duties of love to God, and to the neighbour, contained in these words; and this he suggests, in order to convict him of the impossibility of obtaining life by the works of the law, since such a performance cannot be made by man.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-10.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

he said, etc. — “Right; THIS do, and life is thine” - laying such emphasis on “this” as to indicate, without expressing it, where the real difficulty to a sinner lay, and thus nonplussing the questioner himself.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-10.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Thou hast answered right (ορτως απεκριτηςorthōs apekrithēs). First aorist passive indicative second singular with the adverb ορτωςorthōs The answer was correct so far as the words went. In Mark 12:34 Jesus commends the scribe for agreeing to his interpretation of the first and the second commandments. That scribe was “not far from the kingdom of God,” but this lawyer was “tempting” Jesus.

Do this and thou shalt live (τουτο ποιει και ζησηιtouto poiei kai zēsēi). Present imperative (keep on doing this forever) and the future indicative middle as a natural result. There was only one trouble with the lawyer‘s answer. No one ever did or ever can “do” what the law lays down towards God and man always. To slip once is to fail. So Jesus put the problem squarely up to the lawyer who wanted to know by doing what. Of course, if he kept the law perfectly always, he would inherit eternal life.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-10.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live — Here is no irony, but a deep and weighty truth. He, and he alone, shall live for ever, who thus loves God and his neighbour in the present life.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-10.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live1.

  1. Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. The lawyer had asked his question simply as a test. With him the law was simply matter for speculation and theory, and the word "do" was very startling. It showed the difference between his and the Master's views of the law. He had hoped by a question to expose Jesus as one who set aside the law, but Jesus had exposed the lawyer as one who merely theorized about the law, and himself as one who advocated the doing of the law.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-10.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE

‘Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.’

Luke 10:28

This was our Lord’s answer to the Jewish lawyer’s question, ‘What shall I do to inherit eternal life?’

I. Put knowledge into practice.—Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and thy neighbour as thyself, and you will have the full and complete answer to your question. This man had to learn what every one of us has to learn—namely, that learning and working must go together, hand in hand, in religion; that knowledge and practice must not be separated. This man had the one—he had the knowledge, but he had not got the other; and if he would gain that which he sought he must link the two together. There is an old saying that knowledge is power. Well, so it is if you put it into practice; but without putting it into practice it is very much like a steam-engine without a fire in the furnace.

II. What is the use of education?—Certainly to develop the powers of the mind—certainly that. But its first and chief object is to enable a man to do the duties of life which lie before him in the spirit of the Master. The separation of knowledge and practice is simply disastrous. Christianity is a practical matter, and unless we use the strength given to us by that God to Whom we pray we miss the point altogether. There are very many things in the revelation of God in the Bible that we cannot understand; but what if we fail to put into practice those which we do know? Knowledge without practice in religious matters is useless and disastrous, as faith without works is dead.

III. Faith is like a little child that must needs take the smallest and the shortest steps first.—We must not despise the day of small belief; but, as we follow the law of Christ, ‘This do, and thou shalt live,’ even in the simple and apparently insignificant details of Christian duty, leaning the while on the supporting hand of God, we shall find by degrees the strength we need to put our knowledge into practice.

IV. Our Lord’s life was pre-eminently a life of deeds.—For the most part they were like the acts of the Samaritan in the parable. They were mostly concerned with the feeding of the hungry and the healing of the sick, so that His commission to the lawyer, ‘This do, and thou shalt live,’ was literally the law of His own life—a law that fits the smallest as well as the largest matters, be they what they may.

—Rev. T. H. S. Polehampton.

Illustration

‘I think that the Lord, as soon as the scribe had given his reply, looked him straight in the face; and to understand the thing you must not merely hear what Christ says, you must think how He said it, the intonation of voice, and the look: “Thou hast answered right.” That is the way to life eternal, loving God with all thy heart and soul, and mind, and strength, and thy neighbour as thyself. This do, and thou shalt live. The look meant, “Dare you pretend that you do that”; and the man felt it, and therefore, we read, was eager to justify himself. Christ had put him in the wrong, not by what he says, but by that look and intonation.’

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-10.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Ver. 28. See Matthew 19:17.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-10.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 10:28. τοῦτο ποίει, do this) Jesus in His turn πειράζει, tries, justly, rightly [tempts, in the sense puts to the proof, sounds, and tests, Genesis 22:1], the man who had ‘tempted’ Him with a wrong motive [Luke 10:25]: see Luke 10:37. [In doing, he might have experience of the real fact, namely, what things were wanting in his obedience, and so might be led to seek fuller instruction. It is not said, Thou art adequate to the doing.—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-10.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Luke 10:25"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 10:28". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-10.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

так поступай и будешь жить Ср. Исх. 20:11; Лев. 18:5; Иез. 20:11. «Соблюдай и живи» – это обещание закона. Но поскольку ни один грешник не может повиноваться совершенно, невыполнимые для нас требования закона предназначаются для того, чтобы привести к поиску Божьей милости (Гал. 3:10-13, 22-25). Этому человеку следовало отвечать, признавая свою вину, а не оправдывая себя (ст. 29).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-10.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

28.Answered’ do and thou shalt live—It requires no depth of penitent conviction in the lawyer, but simply a proper appreciation of the words he has uttered, to see that he is damned with all his race. For the direction do this governs both his whole past and his whole future. Has he kept it in the past? Will he, can he, keep it in the future? That is a hopeless case. But under this law the live depends upon the do. Death, therefore, is the only result.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-10.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And he said to him, “You have answered right, this do, and you shall live.” ’

Jesus replies that his answer is correct and (in context) that if he does this he will find eternal life. At first this might seem as though Jesus is saying that ‘all he has to do is to do this and he will merit going to Heaven’, but that is not what He is saying at all. For two reasons. Firstly because both He and His questioner are aware of the impossibility of fulfilling these requirements (for all but Jesus). This was indeed what the more genuine Pharisees did strive after and had failed to achieve (compare Romans 9:31; Romans 10:3), and that is why in their striving for its achievement they had turned them into a nightmare of regulations and a continual quest for ritual purity. By doing so they had lost sight of the emphasis on love and compassion, as Jesus had to point out to them again and again (Luke 11:42; Matthew 9:13). If anyone did, they needed deliverance.

And secondly the Scribe’s answer is correct because it is a true summary of the Christian life. One who loves God and his neighbour like this will only be able to do so because he knows God (see Luke 10:22), and because he has responded to Him in loving faith. It is this knowledge of God in his heart (resulting from coming to Jesus) that will result in such a love for God. This is in fact Paul’s point in Romans 9:30-32. True faith which responds to God and finds forgiveness and eternal life will produce love (compare here Luke 7:36-50), and that love should then grow until it conforms to what is described here. To do this then will certainly reveal that a man has eternal life, because it will reveal the work of God that has taken place in his heart (Luke 11:13). But it did not solve the Scribe’s problem, for the question still arose, ‘but how can I do this?’.

Jesus’ words were true, and perfectly orthodox. No Jew could have denied them. The Scribe could not fault Jesus on this. However, how to achieve them was another question. For who could possibly show the perfect love for God that was required, and how could it be brought about?

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-10.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 10:28. This do and thou shalt live. True in all cases: any one who can and does love God and his neighbor thus, has already begun to live, has an earnest of eternal life. The parable which follows is but an explanation of how much is meant by ‘this.’ But the next verse shows that the lawyer understood our Lord to imply that he had not thus done. As the failure is universal, the all-important question is, Who will enable us to do this? This question is not answered by the parable which follows. Like the Sermon on the Mount, it is an exposition of the law and a preparation for the gospel, but not the gospel itself.—In John 6:29, our Lord answers a similar question by speaking of faith, but this lawyer was not prepared for that. He must be first taught his failure by an explanation of the requirements of the law.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-10.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

right = rightly, or correctly.

this do. No one ever did it, because the Law was given that, being convicted of" our impotence, we might thankfully cast ourselves on His omnipotence. Compare Romans 7:7-13.

thou shalt live. See notes on Leviticus 18:5, and compare Ezekiel 20:11, Ezekiel 20:13, Ezekiel 20:21. But see Romans 3:21, Romans 3:22. This is why Deuteronomy 6:5 is one of the passages inscribed in the Phylacteries. See Structure of Exodus 13:3-16, and note on Deuteronomy 6:4.

shalt = wilt. Compare Galatians 1:3, Galatians 1:22.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-10.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 'Right: THIS do, and life is thine'-laying such emphasis on "this" as to indicate, without expressing it, where the real difficulty to a sinner lay, and thus non-plusing the questioner himself.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-10.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(28) Thou hast answered right.—The acceptance of the lawyer’s answer as theoretically true was part of the method of our Lord’s teaching. The words that followed, “This do, and thou shalt live,” were those of a Prophet who knew what was in the man, and read the secrets of his heart, and saw how little love was to be found there. In the command “This do . . .,” however, our Lord does something more than accommodate Himself to the legal point of view. Love was really life, at once its source and its manifestation, if only the love were true, and the test of its being true was action.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Thou hast
7:43; Mark 12:34
this
Leviticus 18:5; Nehemiah 9:29; Ezekiel 20:11,13,21; Matthew 19:17; Romans 3:19; 10:4; Galatians 3:12
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 6:25 - GeneralDeuteronomy 10:19 - GeneralProverbs 19:16 - keepeth the;  Jeremiah 1:12 - Thou hast;  Matthew 22:39 - Thou;  John 13:13 - and;  Acts 13:39 - from which;  Romans 2:17 - restest;  Romans 10:5 - That the man

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-10.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Luke 10:28.Do this, and thou shalt live. I have explained a little before, how this promise agrees with freely bestowed justification by faith; for the reason why God justifies us freely is, not that the Law does not point out perfect righteousness, but because we fail in keeping it, and the reason why it is declared to be impossible for us to obtain life by it is, that

it is weak through our flesh, (Romans 8:3.)

So then these two statements are perfectly consistent with each other, that the Law teaches how men may obtain righteousness by works, and yet that no man is justified by works, because the fault lies not in the doctrine of the Law, but in men. It was the intention of Christ, in the meantime, to vindicate himself from the calumny which, he knew, was brought against him by the unlearned and ignorant, that he set aside the Law, so far as it is a perpetual rule of righteousness.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:28". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-10.html. 1840-57.