A Good Example From A Bad Man Luke 16:1-13

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Luke, New Testament

I. Parable Of The Unjust Steward-Luke 16:1-13

A. Stewards Must Give An Account For Their Actions Vs. 1, 2

1. Stewards were managers over someone else’s property.
2. The steward in this story was unfaithful . He mismanaged his master’s property.
3. Sometimes there were absentee landlords or business owners who entrusted their affairs to stewards. (God presents Himself as the absentee Master that shall return)
4. This master demanded that he give an account of his mismanagement of the funds.
5. Application- Every Christian will give an account for their lives: how they handled their time, their money, their talent, their lives.

a. This accounting is not a matter of salvation, but a matter of reward and recognition.
b. 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (useful or useless)
c. Romans 14:12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
d. Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

B. The Response Of The Unjust Steward Vs. 3-7

1. The unjust steward came to the realization that his mismanagement was going to cost him his job. He realized that his past failures were now affecting his future.
2. He quickly came up with a plan about how to minimize the consequences of his failures.

a. He knew that his current lifestyle was ending, and that he needed to think ahead.

3. While it was still within his power to manage the funds, he under charged those who owed his master money. He continued to be unjust, but he was a man who was aware of his situation, and while he had the power to change things, he took steps to change them.
4. The unjust steward was commended by Jesus: not for his dishonesty, but for his awareness and resourcefulness. He assessed his situation and quickly made changes.
5. Application- Every Christian probably mismanages the resources given to us in some way or another. It might be deliberate, it might be through neglect, or it might be through lack of awareness. The important thing is this: when we realize it, we need to make changes and do the right thing with what God had given us, while we have the power to do so. We need to avoid the dishonesty of the unjust steward, but we need to imitate his awareness and his quick response.

C. Evaluating The Unjust Steward V. 8

1. It is a curious thing that Jesus would use an unfaithful man as an example of what to do.
2. The commendation is the shrewdness of the unjust steward.

a. Shrewd- Intelligent, wise, thoughtful, practical skill.

3. The sons of this world- Here is a stinging rebuke from Jesus. He said that unbelievers are generally smarter with their money than Believers. How so?

a. Though an Unbeliever doesn’t seek after eternal things, many of them know what they value, and they pursue it diligently and with discipline and self-control. They stay on task. They forsake that which is less to gain that which they see as valuable.
b. The rebuke is that Christians forget what they value, or are not disciplined about pursuing it. We treat eternal things as after thoughts, rather than forethoughts. We prioritize temporal things, and minimize eternal things.

D. Application For Us Vs. 9-13

1. V. 9- Jesus’ listeners were exhorted to use their money well in this life. When you fail (die) they will, as a result of your faith which produced good works, welcome you into heaven.
2. V. 10- Jesus us telling us that being faithful with money is to be faithful with that which is considered least. If we are unfaithful with the lesser thing (money), we will probably not be faithful with the greater thing (things of the Kingdom of God).

a. Our faithfulness shouldn’t be determined on how much we are given to be stewards over, but by the fact that it doesn’t belong to us, but to God.
b. We are given stewardship over that which belongs to God, which He has entrusted to use as He directs.

3. V. 11– If as a Christian, I am not faithful with money, why would (should) God commit greater responsibilities to me?
4. V. 12- If I am not faithful with what belongs to someone else, why would I be given something for myself?

a. On earth, everything I have is temporary, is given to me as a resource for the purposes of God. I can take none of it with me, but I have been given stewardship of all I have.
b. In heaven, whatever I receive will be permanently mine. I will have service assigned to me, and rewards given to me. What I do here determines what I will have there.

5. V. 13- Consider two different scenarios.

a. In those days, a free man could work two jobs. He could work for his boss, and then have an extra job where he worked for himself. His time belonged to him, and he could do whatever he wanted with it. He could do whatever he wanted with his money.
b. In those days, a slave had none of those privileges. His time belonged to his master, he had no money of his own; he had no career of his own. He lived to do his master’s will.
c. Barclay- Once a man chooses to serve God every moment of his time and every atom of his energy belongs to God. God is the most exclusive of masters. We either belong to him totally or not at all.
d. The Bible calls us “bondservants” (slaves) of Christ. Our life is to be considered as always as Jesus’s disposal and His will as being the ultimate thing in our life.

II. Various Thoughts

1. Plan to give to God. Have forethought, not afterthought. (1 Corinthians 16:1, 2)
2. Budget to give God the first-fruits, not the leftovers. (This principle established in OT)
3. Realize that not giving to God is an indicator of poor stewardship and unfaithfulness.

a. Poor stewardship can happen through ignorance or neglect. Not intentional
b. Poor stewardship can happen because of a materialistic mindset. Intentional

4. Whether accidental or deliberate, poor stewardship is a spiritual failure. (Luke 16:1-13)
5. Faithful stewardship indicates that one’s heart, mind and goals are as they should be.
6. We never need to worry that God won’t supply our needs. (Philippians 4:19)
7. God divinely enables us to have a godly attitude re. giving. (2 Corinthians 8:1-7)
8. Follow through on your plans to give. (2 Corinthians 8:8-11)
9. Give according to your ability; not less than, not more than. (2 Corinthians 8:12-15)
10. When we give to God, we are actually storing up treasures in Heaven. (Matthew 6:19-21)
11. Learn to be content with much or little. (Philippians 4:10-13)
12. In giving, we are rewarded for the fruit that comes from another’s efforts. (Phil. 4:14-18)
13. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evils that pierce men’s souls. (1 Timothy 6:9, 10)
14. Give joyfully, cheerfully, without resentment. (2 Corinthians 9:6, 7)
15. Don’t give…because the church needs it, because you like a particular expenditure, because you think God will owe you a blessing, to get on God’s good side, to alleviate guilt.