What does Luke 11:28 mean?
ESV: But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
NIV: He replied, 'Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.'
NASB: But He said, 'On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and follow it.'
CSB: He said, "Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it."
NLT: Jesus replied, 'But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.'
KJV: But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Verse Commentary:
Jesus is explaining how He is distinct from Satan. He does not do miracles in Satan's power; He will destroy Satan's kingdom; those who follow one cannot follow the other; those who do not choose a side will be claimed by Satan (Luke 11:14–26). A woman interjects to pronounce blessing on Jesus' mother (Luke 11:27). Here, He explains that even His closest family member, His mother, must make that choice.

This teaching of the importance of hearing and doing God's Word is scattered throughout the Bible. In several places, God tells the Jews that He values obedience over sacrifice or feasts (1 Samuel 15:22; Hosea 6:6; Psalm 40:6–8; Isaiah 1:13–17). He would rather have repentance than burnt offerings (Psalm 51:17). God's blessings to the Israelites were dependent on their obedience to the Mosaic law (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28).

None of those imply that good works are necessary for salvation. Eternal redemption is always by grace through faith (Romans 4:1–8; Ephesians 2:8–9). Rather, good works naturally follow from salvation (Ephesians 2:10). To trust in Jesus is to rely on Him and seek to obey Him (John 15:1–17; Romans 6—8; 1 John 1:8—2:6). The indwelling Holy Spirit transforms the hearts and minds of believers (Romans 12; Galatians 3:1–9; Ephesians 1:3–14; Philippians 2:12–13). In the context of this chapter, hearing the word of God and keeping it means hearing the evidence that Jesus is Savior and accepting that truth. That's something even Mary had to do.

In the next segments, Jesus continues to explain that obedience to God includes believing what God says. This is what the formerly pagan people of Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba did (Luke 11:29–32). If they believe Jesus' message, given to Him by God the Father (John 12:49), they will shine with light and truth (Luke 11:33–36). If they don't, they may look good on the outside, but inside they are filthy tombs continuing the tradition of murdering God's prophets (Luke 11:37–52).
Verse Context:
Luke 11:27–28 displays the people's continued misunderstanding of what it means to accept their Messiah. A woman cries out that Mary must be blessed for having Jesus as her son. Jesus responds that true blessings belong to His followers who are known by their obedience. Only Luke records this interaction but Jesus' comments about family in Matthew 12:46–50 and Mark 3:31–35 express the same message.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray and explains God's intent to give "good" to those who ask. He then exorcizes a demon and refutes the claim that His power is satanic. Jesus explains that unreasonable skeptics will only see the "sign of Jonah." He then criticizes the superficial legalism of the Pharisees. In response, they plot against Him.
Chapter Context:
In what some scholars refer to as "The Travelogue to Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51—19:27), Jesus prepares His disciples for His crucifixion and resurrection and the establishment of the church. The description begins with Christ teaching the disciples how to spread the news of the kingdom of God and reaffirming how they will be blessed, culminating in the Lord's Prayer (Luke 9:51—11:13). Luke 11 finishes with accounts of leaders who reject Jesus. The remainder of the travelogue gives a pattern of teaching on the kingdom of God, miracles, and explanations of salvation. Then Jesus enters Jerusalem to face the cross.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
Accessed 4/17/2024 11:41:23 PM
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