The Parable Of The Unjust Steward
I wanted to bring up the scripture I mentioned on Sunday and see if I could ask you a few questions.
Luke:16 1-13 (KJV)
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.
As I understand (and please excuse my generalization) A steward is being removed from his stewardship for his wastefulness so in preparation of being thrown out of his masters care he decides to ensure that he will be received with friendliness by worldly individuals so that he may rely on their generosity and kindness once that of the master is no longer available.
So he approaches his master’s debtors and forgives them a portion of their debts to his master whom is soon suspending his stewardship.
The master then commends the now former steward on his shrewdness and practical business practices that will ensure his future safety and wellbeing (with mention of everlasting habitation which I am very unclear on)
Where I am caught up is the idea that the master commends this shrewd steward. It reads to me as if the master was implying that if one is going to live worldly, the one should at least be cleaver and honorable about it
Pastor Vitale: Good morning J. How are you? I actually researched Those scriptures for you but had not yet gotten around to writing you an email. My opinion is that the Lord was being ironic, saying, you were not smart enough to simply apologize and ask for another chance with God, but you were smart enough to protect your future in the criminal ways of the world, which leads to eternal life, right? In other words, you saved your skin in this world through a criminal mind and criminal activity, not even thinking about your eternal future, i.e., Choosing that action that would result in eternal life.
I actually had that experience with someone in the ministry. I remember them telling me about a difficult situation that they had gotten themselves into and they were saying in my presence what will I say, i.e., how will I get myself out of this? I remember answering them, how about telling them the truth? Is not that a unique idea?
One of the clues that resulted in me coming to this conclusion is the presence the word “dig” in verse three. It really doesn’t make any sense in the context of that verse. Then, finally, I realized that then faithful servant was thinking, “how do I dig myself out of this one?” I could never have come to this conclusion without studying these series of verses in the interlinear text. But even with that, it was a difficult series of Scriptures and this was really a tough one, that I had to pray about for an usual amount of time.
Thank you for your question, because now I know the answer to the riddle also.
God bless you. Have a great day!
Pastor Sheila Vitale