Luke 16:1-13 The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
Luke 16:1 “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.”
“Steward”: A steward was a trusted servant, usually someone born in the household, who was chief of the management and distribution of household provision.
He provided food for all the other servants, thus managing his master’s resources for the well-being of others. He acted as an agent for his master, with full authority to transact business in the master’s name.
Question: What was the steward accused of? _____________________________________
Luke 16:2 “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.”
We see here, the master wants to take account of what his steward has done.
Question: Who really are Jesus’ stewards? _______________________________________
Question: What did the master ask of the steward? _____________________________
Luke 16:3 “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.”
The steward did not consider himself fit for physical labor, and he was too proud to beg.
Question: Describe the steward in 1 word: ____________________________
Luke 16:4 “I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.”
“Resolved what to do”: Cleverly, the steward arranged a plan so he would not be homeless when he is kicked out of his master’s’ house.
“Receive me into their houses”: The steward’s plan would endebt his master’s debtors onto him, and provide the steward with a future in spite of his evil character.
We see this steward has lost favor with his master and is trying to make friends with the world.
Luke 16:5-6 “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, A hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.”
The steward is short changing his master to make friends among the lord’s debtors.
He reduced their debt to buy favor with them.
Luke 16:7 “Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.”
We see a repeat of the transgression he made with the oil.
Luke 16:8 “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.”
“The lord commended the unjust steward”: Outwitted, the master applauds the man’s cunning.
Did his admiration for the evil steward’s criminal genius shows that the master was also a wicked man? __________
Question: Why is the unjust manager described as wise? _______________________
Luke 16:9 “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.”
“Mammon of unrighteousness”: The confidence that financial wealth brings power, stability and happiness.
The unrighteous manager used his master’s money to buy earthly friends; believers are called to win souls for the kingdom of heaven and God by using material things to care for the needs of those in need.
We are to use God’s money in a way that will accrue us friends for eternity, investing our money in what brings sinners to salvation, so that when they arrive in heaven (“everlasting habitations”), those who were saved (former “friends of the mammon of unrighteousness”) will be there to welcome and rejoice with us.
Believers ought to be shrewder, because we are concerned with eternal matters, not just earthly ones.
Question: On top of tithing, is it God’s desire for us to invest more money into saving souls? _______
Luke 16:10 “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.”
A person’s heart is either faithful of unfaithful.
Question: Does the dollar amount change the fact that someone is a thief? _______
Luke 16:11 “If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true [riches]?”
“True riches”: Faithful use of one’s earthly wealth is repeatedly tied to the accumulation of treasure in heaven.
Question: How then can a homeless person, the poor or a person who lost all their earthly wealth be gifted with True Riches? _______________________________________
Luke 16:12 “And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?”
“That which is another man’s”: This refers to God, and the believer’s stewardship of His money, which believers only manage as stewards.
Luke 16:13 “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.”
“Ye cannot serve God and mammon”: Christ compared the love of wealth and devotion to mammon as a god, then followed by saying no one can effectively serve two gods.
When it comes to earthly wealth, we are either on God’s side or Satan’s side.
Question: did the steward choose God or Satan? ______________________
4 Ways to be a Good Steward
1. Honor God with the first fruit of all your income (tithe).
2. Spend God’s money in ways that bring Him glory (spend wisely).
3. Acknowledge that ALL the money you have belongs to God and that you were chosen to manage it (stewardship).
4. Be disciplined to pay off all debt.
5. Do not be wasteful of God’s money.