Lessons from a wasteful manager

Money bagThe Parable of the Unjust Steward 

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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.

Lessons learned from the parable

The central character of Jesus’ parable is a selfish, lazy, and prideful manager who took advantage of his lofty position to serve his own desires.  Eventually his wastefulness caught up with him and he was fired by his boss.  Before he left his job he had to come up with a way to see that his basic needs were met.  He was too lazy to learn a new trade and too proud to go on welfare so he came up with a scheme that would end up helping himself by looking out for the interests of others.

At first glance it may seem Jesus condones this man’s dishonest behavior, but this is not the case.  The man was commended for acting wisely.  The commendation was nothing more than an acknowledgement that he was clever in looking out for himself.  But he still lost his job.

Here are the things Jesus is pointing out to us in these verses:

  1. In the same manner that the children of the world take advantage of their worldly goods to take them as far as they can in their evil goals, the children of light should make the most of our material goods so they can take us as far as possible in carrying out God’s will.
  2. Instead of being covetous by hoarding our material possessions, we should take every opportunity to use them for the benefit of others by sharing them, especially with other believers.
  3. When we willingly share with others, we create friendships in the Father’s kingdom.
  4. In our times of need and failure, the friends we gain by our generosity will welcome us and come to our aid.
  5. Not only will our friends welcome us while here in this world, once we get to heaven they will welcome us into their heavenly homes in the Father’s house.
  6. If we prove that we can be faithful to God with something as insignificant and unrighteous as earthly goods, God will reward us abundantly with heavenly goods, which are more important.
  7. If an individual shows that they can’t be trusted using earthly goods with godly wisdom, how do they expect God to reward them with heavenly goods? (This point is for unbelievers)
  8. If you don’t take good care of possessions belonging to someone else, how can you expect God to give you the spiritual things that belong to you?
  9. We should use our earthly goods freely to serve God’s purposes and not be the servants of our earthly goods.
  10. Covetousness makes us despise God; godliness makes us despise covetousness.  Therefore, we cannot be the servants of both God and the lust for possessions.

–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–

One thought on “Lessons from a wasteful manager

Add yours

  1. Ahh…now I get it!
    I had been reading this over several times trying to understand what the Lord was saying here. I mean I did get the basic message, but I was a little confused about the Lord commending the Steward.
    Most of the time I can see the parables and what they are intending…(I think)
    and usually if I re-read them several times it starts to become more clear.
    Thanks again Harry. You are a blessing for me, and God is certainly working through you!


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