The parable of the dishonest manager. The Law and the kingdom of God. Divorce and Remarriage. The rich man and Lazarus.
VERSE 1. He also said to his disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a manager. An accusation was made to him that this man was wasting his possessions.
this man was wasting his possessions. The dishonest manager was squandering his master’s property.
In those days many managers were guilty of demanding that their master’s customers give them an extra commission. In other words, they were corrupt.
VERSE 2. He called him, and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’
you can no longer be manager. The dishonest manager learns that he will be fired.
VERSE 3. “The manager said within himself, ‘What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don’t have strength to dig. I am ashamed to beg.
VERSE 4. I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses.’
I know what I will do. The dishonest manager schemes to benefit himself.
VERSE 5. Calling each one of his lord’s debtors to him, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe to my lord?’
VERSE 6. He said, ‘A hundred batos of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’
A hundred batos of oil. One batos was equivalent to eight or nine gallons.
write fifty. The dishonest manager gave this customer a 50% discount.
VERSE 7. Then he said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred cors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
A hundred cors of wheat. A cor was equivalent to 10 or 12 bushels.
write eighty. The dishonest manager gave this customer a 20% discount.
VERSE 8. “His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light.
commended the dishonest manager. In light of being fired, the dishonest manager was prudent in his use of material goods.
the children of this world. Theoretically, worldly people are far more motivated by greed than spiritual people are.
However, in our day, Christians are often just as greedy as anybody else.
VERSE 9. I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents.
make for yourselves friends. We are to make friends with the people around us, not alienate them nor do battle with them.
unrighteous mammon. We are to use our worldly resources to benefit other people and make friends.
How do we make friends with people? One way is to invite them into our lives. We could throw a party. That requires us to spend money. If we are frugal with our money, we will need to repent of being frugal.
What does the Lord Jesus call money? He uses a pejorative expression: “unrighteous mammon.” In our day, though, many Christians love money.
they may receive you into the eternal tents. When we die, we will enter the realm of eternity. If we spent our money to befriend people, then those people will be there to greet us.
Sirach 22:23. Gain trust with your neighbor in his poverty, That in his prosperity you may have gladness: Stay stedfast to him in the time of his affliction, That you may be heir with him in his inheritance.
VERSE 10. He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
faithful in a very little. Can you be trusted with small tasks? Do you work diligently, even when nobody is watching?
faithful also in much. After you have proven yourself in small tasks, you will be entrusted with bigger tasks.
VERSE 11. If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
the true riches. That is, spiritual responsibility. It is a much greater gift than unrighteous mammon (“money”).
VERSE 12. If you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?
VERSE 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 aren’t able to serve God and Mammon.”
NIV translation: No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
You cannot serve both God and money. In our day, most Christians ignore this prohibition.
VERSE 14. The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they scoffed at him.
The Pharisees … were lovers of money. Unlike Jesus Christ, the Pharisees loved money. They were spiritual fakes. Their spiritual lives were a simulacrum of an authentic spiritual one. They were frauds.
In our day, some clerics say they love money. They are as much of a fraud as the Pharisees.
they scoffed at him. For the Pharisees, money was the center of their lives. To them, Jesus was a fool. They were scoffing at him.
In our day, there are still lots of people who, like the Pharisees, have money at the center of their lives. When they hear about tithing or giving away money, they scoff.
VERSE 15. He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
that which is exalted among men. That is, money.
is an abomination. This could not be more clear. The Lord Jesus Christ says money is an abomination to God.
Christians need to hear that. They need to meditate on it. They need to memorize it. They need to act upon it.
VERSE 16. The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the Good News of God’s Kingdom is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
until John. That is, until John the Baptist.
everyone is forcing his way into it. What does this mean? Does it mean violence is required in order to become a Christian?
VERSE 18. Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. He who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.
Some Christians absolutize this verse. They say God absolutely prohibits divorce, no matter what the circumstances.
However, there are many cases where divorce is necessary. An example is if there is abuse. In such a case, one must depart.
VERSE 19. “Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day.
VERSE 20. A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was taken to his gate, full of sores,
VERSE 21. and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores.
VERSE 22. The beggar died, and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried.
carried away by the angels. After his death, Lazarus is treated like royalty.
the rich man also died, and was buried. After his death, the rich man is merely buried.
VERSE 23. In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom.
VERSE 24. He cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.’
VERSE 25. “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same way, bad things. But here he is now comforted, and you are in anguish.
VERSE 26. Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that no one may cross over from there to us.’
VERSE 27. “He said, ‘I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house;
VERSE 28. for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won’t also come into this place of torment.’
VERSE 29. “But Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’
VERSE 30. “He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
VERSE 31. “He said to him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.’ ”
Moses and the prophets. That is, the Scriptures.
neither will they be persuaded. If someone will not listen carefully to the Scriptures, they will not be open to other modes of Divine Revelation.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.