Luke 10:28

ESV And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
NIV You have answered correctly,' Jesus replied. 'Do this and you will live.'
NASB And He said to him, 'You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.'
CSB "You've answered correctly," he told him. "Do this and you will live."
NLT Right!' Jesus told him. 'Do this and you will live!'
KJV And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

What does Luke 10:28 mean?

A lawyer has asked Jesus how to attain eternal life. Jesus gets the lawyer to describe what the Mosaic law says: to love God and love his neighbor (Luke 10:25–27). Jesus responds that doing so will, indeed, lead to eternal life. Does this mean that Jesus is telling the lawyer he can earn salvation? Not at all.

Salvation has always been by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9) as Hebrews 11 proves. The greatest commandment—to love God and love one's neighbor—is the summarization of God's intent for the Mosaic law. The specific rules in the Law are examples of what it looked like for the Israelites to love God and others.

The purpose of the Mosaic law was to act out faith in God and His promises. In Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, God lays out the terms of His relationship with the ancient Israelites: if they obey His Law, He will bless them; if they disobey, He will discipline them. Obeying His Law is the exterior proof that they follow Him; following Him is proof that they have faith that He is their God, they are His people, and He will fulfill His promises. Loving God and others is the worldview and heart attitude necessary to act out their faith.

The lawyer isn't finished, however. Instead of accepting that "love God and love his neighbor" should be the core of his identity, he wants boundaries. He is a lawyer of the Pharisees, which means he is an expert on the Oral Law: added stipulations Pharisees enforce to stay far from breaking the Mosaic law. Jesus has asked him to restrict his answer to what is written that he can read (Luke 10:26; 1 Corinthians 4:6). The lawyer wants finer detail than Moses gave. He goes on to ask Jesus to define "neighbor" (Luke 10:29).

Instead of narrowing down the requirement, Jesus opens it up. "Love your neighbor" means "love everyone who needs it." Even the dreaded Samaritans: half-Jews-half-Gentiles who claim to worship God but do so in ways contrary to the Mosaic law. Even more horrifying, Jesus makes a Samaritan the hero of the story. This controversial figure is the one who knows how to love as God intends (Luke 10:29–37). The lawyer wanted to know what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus teaches him who he needs to be.

This encounter resembles Jesus' conversation in the week before He is crucified. The major difference is that here, the lawyer asks about eternal life and Jesus directs him to the greatest commandment. Later, the lawyer will ask about the greatest commandment, and Jesus will answer. Here, Jesus tells the lawyer that the key to eternal life is to love God and love one's neighbor. Later, the lawyer will tell Jesus He has correctly identified the greatest commandments. The lawyer will then reiterate what Jesus has just said, and Jesus will tell him "You are not far from the kingdom of God" (Mark 12:32–34).
What is the Gospel?
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