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Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860

 Luke 16:1-8?

Could someone tell me the purpose behind this parable? I really don't get it at all. Hoping someone might be able to help me out. :) Thanks and God Bless!

Matthew Guldner

 2011/1/26 8:08Profile

Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860

 Re: Luke 16:1-8?

The Unrighteous Steward
1Now He was also saying to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as (A)squandering his possessions.
2"And he called him and said to him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.'

3"The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg.

4'I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.'

5"And he summoned each one of his master's debtors, and he began saying to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'

6"And he said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'

7"Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.'

8"And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of (B)this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the (C)sons of light.

Matthew Guldner

 2011/1/26 8:15Profile

Joined: 2010/5/17
Posts: 1175


This one's eluded me a bit too actually. I did a Scripture sermon search on these verses a while back, but whatever one I was listening to, didn't strike me terribly. I'd also be quite curious to hear other members' spins on this passage.

 2011/1/26 8:51Profile

Joined: 2010/3/2
Posts: 251


The Unrighteous Steward

Great question.

It has to do with the fact that we cannot pay for sin. But the self-religious think they can act good enough and be moral enough to pay for less-than-moral acts they do through the day. The whole point is, death to self-provision for Righteousness and become Alive to God through Radical Grace in the Born from Above experience.

I'm not covering you question specifically but I'm trying to dig out a link for you. I may not find it soon enough

 2011/1/26 9:12Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2003
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Luke 16:1-8?

I believe the fact that the steward is unjust or unrighteous is only “part of the setup” so to speak. The punch line is explained in the verses following the parable. Up to the point of being threatened with termination, the steward had squandered his master’s money. He had apparently used it for purposes that did not bring his master gain, and that were not eternal. But through the threat of dismissal, the steward made a discovery. The purpose of money is eternal, not simply temporal. The discounting of the debts owed at rates around 50% or lower, in our minds, would have resulted in anger from the master. Not so in this case. The steward is praised in having finally realized that money has a purpose far greater than the immediate gratification of self, but rather to provide something that will last. Money has an eternal purpose. Up to this point the steward had been a servant to money, but now he had finally realized that money is a tool to be used to serve him in providing things that matter.


 2011/1/26 9:54Profile

Joined: 2008/4/7
Posts: 797

 Re: Luke 16: 1-8

My thought on this:

There are only two Kingdoms and two servants at heart.

It IS very strange to me that the unrighteous will commit all kinds of crimes against the organizations they work for (steal from, waste resources of, etc.) as they form fellowships among fellow employees. And one kind of crime that makes many friends is covering the crimes of others and, in the case of this parable, creative book-keeping to benefit others. [Criminals involve others in their crimes for a reason. Recall Enron]

In the Kingdom of this World, to the children of Darkness, debts means money. In the Kingdom of God, to the children of Light, debt means sins.

How is it that we do not forgive one another? If God disciplines us by removing us from some position of leadership; our forgiveness of others gives us a place in the fellowship where others can forgive us, minister to us (keep fellowship) with us, when our sin is confessed.

This is NOT God advocation forgiveness for selfish reasons. It is NOT so that others will owe you, be indebted to you and not God. That is how things operate in the Kingdom of darkness. It is just interesting that the unrighteous, in crisis, see how forgiveness works and we do not.

This parable both convicts us of the sin/consequences of wasting His resources and the sin/consequences of unforgiveness. In being unforgiving toward others we are even more blind, in a sense, than those that live in darkness.

Again I DO NOT think that the Word of God advocates forgiveness of others out of selfishness. Looking at this parable to see what God IS advocating, the alternative in His kingdom, and the truth about believers forgiving one another, is useful.

 2011/1/26 10:14Profile

Joined: 2010/8/24
Posts: 1032


The Story in Luke 16: 1-8

1And 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.
2And 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.
3Then 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.
4I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
5So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?
6And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
7Then 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.
8And 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.

This story is comparing the wisdom of the unrighteous steward ( the unsaved), with the wisdom of the children of the light in this generation ( the Jews of Jesus’ time). The unsaved were more wise than the children of the kingdom. Jesus is not saying that the Pharisees of His day were saved, but they were supposed to be the light to the blind, because they had the knowledge of God, know his will, and approve the things that are more excellent, being instructed of the law;

The story is addressing one of the major problems the religious leaders had and that is ( love for money V. 13-15).

The unrighteous steward looked ahead. When he found himself in trouble and jobless, he started making friends with the money he was stealing. Jesus is not justifying theft but merely describing a situation and commending the wisdom that he saw in the unrighteous steward. Although this wisdom was unrighteous wisdom but it was more commendable than the wisdom of the children of the light or those who were supposed to be the children of the light in their generation.

What did the unrighteous steward do?
He was stealing his master’s money for a long time before he was told to leave. In that respect he is like the religious leaders who were stealing their master’s money ( God) before they were told that the kingdom will be taken away from them. Our Lord said of them that they were robbers of widow’s houses.

But how was the unrighteous steward more wise than the religious leaders of Jesus day?
Here is how: When he was told that time for judgment has come and his master is going to fire him, he started looking ahead to secure his future.

Unlike the religious leaders, when they were told that time for judgment is now come and they will be cast out of the kingdom , they did not look ahead to make friends of the fatherless and the widows whom they were robbing with the unrighteous money they have accumulated. They did not restore the unrighteous money they were stealing. When John came to them preaching the way of righteousness, they did not repent of their life style of theft and murder, but others did such as the harlots, tax-collectors.

The religious leaders knew that John was from God and his message of repentance was from God. They knew that he spoke of them, but they did not repent.

The story is followed by the story about the rich man and Lazarus which also address the love of money. In that story, the rich man was stealing God’s money by refusing to feed the beggar Lazarus

Between these two stories, our Lord makes an interesting comment in V. 16,17

He said :

16The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man forces his way into it.
17And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

Let us break that verse to see what he is saying.

(1) The law and the prophets were until John
That is the covenant of works.

(2) since that time the kingdom of God is preached,
That is the covenant of grace.

(3) and every man forces his way into it.
The covenant of grace through faith is free to all. Imagine the castle of king Louis XVI at the time of the French Revolution where only the king and his family had the right of residence, now the doors are forced open by the mobs . That is the same imagery the verse draws.

But there is an interesting conclusion found in V. 17
(4)And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
The verse starts with the article “ but”, not “ and” and it should read:
But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

Jesus is saying: If grace does not produce works of righteousness, that grace is not saving grace.

If the rich man would have fed the poor, but did not believe in God, he was not saved.
If he believed in God but did not feed the poor, he was not saved.
He was saved only when his faith in God produced in his heart love for his fellow man.


 2011/1/26 13:41Profile

Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860

 Re: Luke 16:1-8?

Wow thank you all for your responses :) I have learned much. I read a commentary the other day that said something to the effects of this: The man for years had been over charging people for the good of the master and then taking the difference of what the master would have actually charged. When he told people to change who much they owed it was favorable to the master because he was saw in a better light than before and the man repented of stealing. I have enjoyed greatly reading all the other explaination they have enlightened me on this topic. :)

Matthew Guldner

 2011/1/27 1:27Profile

Joined: 2008/9/8
Posts: 56


Its great to discuss on this parable/story... as I am sure that this has puzzled many.

Warren Wiersbe's view on this is good. I think all should read it. Also go through John Wesley's sermons.

A steward is someone who manages another's wealth- so here in this story this one was a foolish steward and an unfaithful steward. We ought to be faithful stewards for God in the things that He has given us responsibility (basically money, time, the Gospel...).

Jesus said- the children of this world/age are wiser. This is true because we see the worldly people are so careful in the things of the world. We must really learn from some of the guys, who spend hours for the world and it's a shame that believers (some) are not like that in their dedication to the Lord (including me).
They are wiser in their generation, but we need to be more wiser as we do not live for this generation, but for the world to come. We live for eternity and in the light of eternity.

Jesus also said to "Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness..."
Probably, winning souls is what He means? And important to note that Jesus describes money to be unrighteous.
As long as money is not under our feet- we can be sure that it is a master over us. And it is a terrible master. We cannot serve God and mammon(money).
Jesus said money/mammon will fail here. So, its useless to live for money- but we must use them wisely.

And that is the conclusion- If we are faithful in the least (in the use of money), then we will be faithful in the much (in the true riches).

God cannot commit his true riches to anyone who is unfaithful/careless in the false riches(money).


 2011/1/27 2:13Profile

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