Luke 16 Chapter Text- New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Unrighteous Steward

16 Now He was also saying to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions. 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.’ 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. I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’ And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 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.’And his master praised the unrighteous manager 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. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.

10 “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12 And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. 15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.

16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.

18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20 And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

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Luke 16. BLOG PAGE

Luke begins chapter 16 discussing one of the fundamental choices that we all must make. Will we serve God, or will we serve money? Jesus is talking to His disciples and He tells them about the Parable of the Unrighteous Steward. This parable is not found in any of the other gospels.

In this parable, there is a manager that worked for a rich man that was squandering his possessions. Because the manager was not a good steward over that which he had been blessed with, it was taken away from him. The point that Jesus made was this, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.  Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?  And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?  No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

The tension between the Pharisees and Jesus continues to grow in Chapter 16. Remember, Luke writes his gospel in chronological order. He writes in verse 14, “Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him.” Jesus said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” God knows our hearts too. We can make God the priority in our lives by studying the Bible and keeping God’s commandments. As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:13, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.”

The second half of Chapter 16 talks about the rich man and Lazarus. In their earthly life, Lazarus suffered much. His body was covered with sores, and he was hungry for food. When Lazarus died, he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom where he was comforted.

Luke writes that the rich man, “Dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day,” until he also died and was buried. When he died, he went to Hades. The rich man cried out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.” But Abraham replied, “Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.”  The rich man wanted to warn his five brothers how bad Hades was. He asked Abraham if Lazarus could go and warn them, thinking that somebody being raised from the dead and appealing to his brothers would convince them to change their ways. Abraham says to the rich man, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.”

What is more important to you, God or money? As we have seen from previous studies, God wants to be the priority in our lives, and He wants us to demonstrate that by what we do and what we say. We cannot say that God comes first in our lives and ignore Him. We must continue to seek Him, to learn His ways, and to obey His commandments. When we do that, we can look forward to someday hearing the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” - Amen

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