The Parable Of The Unfaithful Steward
Luke 16:1-13

There are several reasons that Jesus spoke to the people by parables.
First, a parable is a story that draws upon things seen to make an application of those things not yet seen.
These would be heaven and the spiritual realm.
The parables have an application for us if we will lay aside our pride and greed so as to benefit eternally.

v.1 “Now He was also saying to the disciples. “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and this steward was reported to him as squandering his possessions”
Though Jesus was speaking to His disciples, we see in verse 14 that this was a public discourse.
The Pharisees were listening and it was meant to speak to their greed and their pride.
Still, there are lessons for us to consider.
We all have possessions.
Some more than others.
What we usually fail to realize is that nothing really belongs to us.
It belongs to God.
We just have the privilege of using these things.
But we are taught that we should be wise in our usage of God’s possessions.
We do have responsibility to take care of our personal affairs.
If one has a family, they have a greater responsibility to take care of all their family.
Every one of us is a child of God in the fact that we are human.
Each human is held responsible for how they behave and act in this world.
God put us on this planet to use its resourses.
He gave us everything we need…(not want).
If we do good with what God has allowed us to use:
We will benefit the world and hopefully leave it in a better condition.
We not only need to show a respect for God and pay attention to Him,
But we must learn how to get along in the world so that we can survive without being a burden upon others.
Paul spoke of his stewardship of the manifold grace of God in Ephesians 3:2.
In a sense we who are Christians are also stewards.

V.2 And he called him and said to him ‘what is this I hear about you? Give me an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward”.
We learn that this steward has not been doing his job.
It was because he was lazy.
Just how well are lazy employees treated?
Are they ever promoted?
The master had high expectations of this steward, but now has reason to be disappointed.
God sees the potential in each of us.
Have you given Him reason to be disappointed in you?
What did the steward do?
Apparently took the masters holdings and he embezzled or misapplied them.
Perhaps he was just lazy and careless that he caused his master to lose a good portion of wealth.
In many ways, we are no different.

V.3 And the steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg”.
Hearing that he soon might be fired, he devises a plan so that others will seek to show him compassion.
It is not that this steward was weak or elderly.
The truth of the matter is that he did not want to do any heavy labor.
He was lazy.
It was beneath his dignity to beg.
He had a lot of pride.
Yet we also figure out that if he could survive by simply begging, he would not need to work.
Many in this world are of such thinking.
And it is a burden or inconvenience to others.
So he came up with a plan.
There were several who owed the master a great sum of money or goods.
The steward proceeds to make their burden light.
In turn, he expects that when he does lose his job, one of these will owe him the favor and provide some place for him to live.

V.8 “And the master praised the unrighteous steward because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light”.
The point is that the master saw the quick thinking potential and wondered why the servant did not treat his job just as shrewdly.
People of the world find a way to appease other people in the world to get whatever they want.
Whether legal or not, they will act shrewdly, cunningly, deceptively, or whatever it takes.
People of this world do not treat Christians very kindly, unless it is a means to get something out of them.
People of the world already expect the deception, shrewdness out of people of the world.
Christians (if faithful to God) are kinder and deal with others honestly.
Sadly, the people of the world take advantage of them for being who they are.

V.9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.”
We have jobs in this world to make an income where we can provide for our family, and be ready to assist others as needed.
The Lord is telling us to be good at our jobs and not be lazy.
But knowing that many people are wicked in their ways does not mean we can do the same thing.
Christians must be honest, fair, and industrious to please their masters.
Do our jobs to the best of our ability and try to do better than all the other employees.
Ephesians 6:5-8 speaks to this principle.

V.11 “If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous mammon, who will entrust the true riches to you?
If we do wrong to other people by causing them financial harm, we know that we could go to jail.
The message is that we must deal with others with honesty and integrity.
That may not get us a promotion or commendation, but it will most likely impress our bosses enough that they will keep us employed.

V.13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon”.
“Mammon is from a word which means money, possessions, income, and overall wealth or value.
The Christian needs to work towards seeking God and gaining a home in heaven.
The people of the world are looking out for their own selves and do not consider God in their plans.

This parable is confusing because:
We need money.
Our families need money.
We must work for that money.
We must work in the world for that money.
And the warning is to be honest with the money whether it be ours or someone else's.
Remembering that we are all stewards of God, have you worked to increase the holdings of the Master?

By Carey Scott

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