This study is based on Luke 16:1-12. Let’s start by reading verse 1-3, “1 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. 2 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. 3 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.”
1. The master comes to this steward and hears that he has been wasting his goods. So what does he do?
- Basically, he fires him.
- Gives him a few day’s notice as any good boss would do.
2. What is the attitude of the steward after he hears this news?
- Verse 3 – he says he cannot dig, and to beg he is ashamed.
- What does he mean by that? Is he really not able to dig? Is he disabled? Absolutely not!
- I cannot dig – he is lazy.
- It’s not that he could, but that he didn’t want to. He had been living the high life all this time and was not use to hard labour.
- To beg I am ashamed – he is proud.
Now let’s read Luke 16:4-7, “4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 5 So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? 6 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 7 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.”
3. So what happens next after the stewards hears that he is fired?
- He begins to call every one of his lord’s debtors.
- “Every one” – he leaves no debtor out. He makes sure he contacts each and every one of them. He is not so lazy after all.
- But why is he calling them?
- He is collecting the debt that these people owe to the master.
- Take note – he is not collecting it and running away. What does he do when he meets each debtor.
- You owe 100 measures of oil. Quickly, just give me 50. What did he do with the first one? He gave him 50% discount!
- The second he owed 100 measures of wheat. Quickly, take your bill and write me 80 measures. He gave the second 20% discount!
- This unjust steward is planning his exit strategy. Giving all his lord’s debtors a discount.
Now let’s continue reading. Luke 16:8-9, “8 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. 9 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.”
4. What happens next?
- The lord hears what the unjust steward has done, giving HIS debtors a discount, and he praises the unjust steward!
- And he makes this statement – he had done wisely, for the children of the world are wiser than the children of light.
- The comparison is made between the children of the world and the children of light.
- Somehow the children of the world are wiser. Jesus is certainly not condoning the behaviour of this unjust steward. Remember this is just a parable.
5. Who are the children of the world?
- The worldly people. Those that cheat, lie, aren’t honest at their jobs or school. Just like this unjust steward.
- Those with bad character.
6. Who are the children of light?
- Basically, they are the Christians.
7. What was the reason the lord praised the unjust steward?
- Because the unjust steward was thinking about his future security.
- He was wise enough to realize that when the lord found out he was dishonest, he went out to make sure of his own financial security before he lost his job by giving reduction of the debt owed so that he would have friends to take care of him when he was kicked out.
8. What is Jesus trying to imply by giving this parable?
- Wealthy greedy people are doing more and working more intensely and working more sincerely to ensure their future financial security than the sons of light are working to ensure their future eternal security.
- This also tells us that there is a work for us to do if we want to ensure our own eternal security as well. We actual have PERSONAL responsibility and commitment in our own destiny where we will end up.
- Jesus is trying to illustrate that if we work so hard for our financial security, why do
- we not now work doubly hard, not just doing the bare minimum, to ensure our eternal security?
9. As Christian’s how can we plan for the second coming of Christ in the future?
- Luke 16:10-12
10 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. 11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?
- We must learn to be faithful in that which is little. If we are not faithful in what we have here on this earth and learn to give it back to God, He cannot commit to us His eternal treasures.
- How can we be faithful in these little things?
- Just as the unjust steward used his position and his lord’s name to benefit those that owed money, so we are to use the possessions that God has given to us to the benefit and saving of others. Learn to work for the poor and the sinners.
- This works does not save us. But the absence of good works will also show our absence of true faith as well.
May God help us all to be faithful on this earth in all the small and big things of life.