June 23, 2024

The Unfaithful Steward

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One biblical passage that seems to stump people is from Luke 16:1-14 (see below), where Jesus tells a parable of a rich man and one who was hired to manage his goods.

Big Picture

First we have to remember this is a parable and it is meant to convey a big picture message. The first thing to realize is that we can get caught up in some of the particulars. So focus on the big picture. Second, is that the Pharisees did not like what he said because they were lovers of money. It seems as if Christ was talking somewhat to them.

The story

So here is the story. After accused of mismanagement, this manager was threatened by his boss. Being fearful that he was going to lose his job and not prepared for hard labor nor wanted to humble himself to beg, he came up with a plan. Calling on his boss’ debtors, he struck off the amount they owed. Why would he do this? Well Jesus tells us that this manager would be taken care of by them if he lost his job. Maybe a little like “I pat your back, you pat mine.” Well the rich man praised this manager for his shrewdness.


Now here is the application. Jesus says that those who are of this world are wiser then the children of light. He goes on to say that we need to make friends with others with the money in our care so when we fail, or when the money fails us, others will be the ones to receive us into eternal dwellings. In other words, everything we own is Gods, we need to give to others the resources in our control. When we need help, such as prayer, or encouragement on our heavenly journey they will be there.


He then goes on to say that if we are not faithful with the money that God put in our control, how can we be faithful who would trust us with true heavenly riches? If we have not been faithful with God’s wealth, how can we be expected to be faithful with God gives us for our own?

One master

Driving home the point, Jesus goes on to say that we can’t serve two masters, money and God. Our service should be to God and our money should be used for his service. Money can’t be our god if we want to follow Christ. Being lovers of money, the Pharisees ridiculed him. In other words they were convicted.

(Luke 16:1-14) And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.

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