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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


22. Advice and Warnings About Using Money (Luke 16:1-18)

LUKE 16:01-13
1 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’ 3 Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have 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 master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, a hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. 9 And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what 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 loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Christ did not only deepen the love of his disciples for the heavenly Father, but also taught them how they should deal with money on earth that the order of heaven might overcome the disorder of our world. The words “unrighteous” and “unjust” appear five times in this reading, for possession and management of money are more attributable to unrighteousness than anything else.

God is the Possessor of everything, and men are his stewards (15:31). Therefore the simplest service we can do for God is to build his eternal kingdom by the right use of our money, time, minds, and possessions. Every man who lives for himself robs God, and every spiritual shepherd who cares for himself and neglects the flock which is committed into his hands, is unfaithful. We are all like the unjust steward, for we toil first for our own benefit, then we think a little of what we owe to God. Man builds houses, and spends his money and time on planning, but he rarely makes as his first aim the setting up of the kingdom of God and hallowing his Fatherly name his first aim.

Woe to us unjust stewards! We have to give an account, for we are guilty debtors. Yet the unjust steward, in Christ’s parable, was so clever that he made friends for himself through the money deposited to him, for fear of the consequences of judgment to come. Since all your money is God’s property in principle, the Lord suggests that you should give at least a part of your money to the needy, that you may win friends. Give up a part of the money they owe you, give them sufficient work and not alms, help the sick until he recovers, pray that the Holy Spirit may fill you with light, for you have to sacrifice for the sake of preaching the kingdom of heaven. All your money is God’s. When are you going to use it according to his will?

Jesus called all kinds of money “unrighteous mammon”, for curses, deceit, tears, and injustice are stuck to every bank note or coin. Depart soon from unrighteous mammon lest you abide in the darkness of evil. Christ commands you to offer practical sacrifices that you may carry out services of love by means of unrighteous mammon, for through offerings unrighteous mammon becomes sanctified. But do not think that you gain merit through offerings, and do not try to win paradise through great sacrifices. Your donations are not true sacrifices because all you have is God’s possession. So if you present some of it, you have used some the money according to his will, and this does not help to justify you, nor do you deserve the reward of heaven, for that is a duty.

However, if you do not sacrifice your money, time, and strength for Christ, many poor and needy will complain against you in eternity, and say to their Lord: “This hard-hearted miser lived for himself. He did not see us or care for us, though you gave him a lot of money and opportunities.”

You may say, “But I must live and earn money to provide for my family, then how can I sacrifice what I have?” The Lord says to you, “First, be aware that you are a steward of God, and all your services in the factory, school, and family are divine worship. So be faithful in spending every penny, for your dealing with big amounts does not show your character, but your dealing with small amounts shows what you are. What do you do with such things as stamps, nails, apples, and other things which belong to your employer? Are you reliable in what is least with respect to the arrangement of your office work? Is your life arranged through the Holy Spirit, who is also the Spirit of arrangement? The faithfulness of God is willing to arrange all aspects of your life, so that you may become faithful as he is. So examine all your past and present matters, for your future on earth and in heaven depends on your fidelity in small matters. Every experienced manager examines his employees and workers throughout the years, how they deal with small matters, before he gives them jobs involving more trust and responsibility. Similarly, the Lord of heaven first gives you simple services in his kingdom, and watches your faithfulness in prayer for others, your preparation for Sunday school class, and how often you advise your friends to edify themselves and strengthen their faith. Faithfulness in what is least is the essence of heaven dwelling in the heart of believer.

Christ pierces you to your innermost depth, saying, “Do not love money, but love me. I am the security of your life. Money does not help you, but I save you. Do not rely on your strength, your mind or your funds. Hold fast to me as a branch to a vine. Do not save money to build your future, and do not fall into the claws of the devil. Money rules the world. He who centers himself on money leaves Christ and soon hates him. No one can serve two masters. You will either be a servant of money or a child of God.

PRAYER: O Lord, we are unjust stewards. We did not use your money and our gifts according to your will.. Forgive us for being miserly, and teach us sacrifice that your money may reach the needy, and we may provide them with work. Deliver us from every form of love of money, and make us faithful and wise in dealing with small amounts. Arrange our life that we may love you and become justified in your name. Amen.

QUESTION 103: Why does the Lord call the steward and mammon unrighteous? How does he show us the faithful way to give our offerings to the needy?


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