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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 16:14-18
14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. 15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. 16 The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. 17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail. 18 Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.

At the time of Christ, there were two types of people in the Jewish nation: in one group adulterers, tax collectors, sinners, impure, and ignorant. In the other group were the educated, and teachers who despised the first group, and considered themselves as noble, righteous, good, and near to God.

Each time Jesus came into a town, the same thing happened: the poor sinful and harmless repented and became justified, but the teachers of the law, proud, religious, and self-satisfied became hardened and did not repent. The miracle happened: the sinners were justified, while the self-righteous remained sinners.

Jesus attacked their hypocritical rites, their worship of money, and showed their bondage to their golden chains. Those who became exposed and unmasked derided Jesus, but he condemned their hypocritical mind severely, and told them that the Omniscient God saw their pride and covetousness, and knew their innermost hearts. Do you know that the Omniscient God perceives all your thoughts, and records all your works in heaven? Are you still thinking of yourself as precious, good, a champion? Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, for the Omniscient God opposes those who exalt themselves. No created man is in fact important. We are all small compared to God the Great One. It is blasphemy to deify a man, to display his image in our rooms and streets, and place our confidence and assurance in him as if he were able to change the situations in our society. God alone is the Pantokrator “the All-Ruling”, who has control over all, before whom we are as miserable worms. Would you like to be famous, and regarded highly among men and then fall into hell? Or would you prefer to remain a humble hardworking servant unknown in society, refusing riches and rewards, and then Jesus would stand by you, and be himself your treasure, protection, and future?

Jesus pulls down the pride of the upright. He shows them that no one gains the kingdom of God through his own deeds. The believer alone enters the door of heaven. It was a shock to the lawyers to hear that the adulterers and robbers become justified through their faith alone, having nothing to offer God but debts, sins, repentance, and tears. But the Omniscient God prefers to answer the prayer of their broken hearts one thousand times more than hearing the hymns of the proud who despise evil. He who accepts the word and promises of Jesus receives the key to the door of heaven freely, opens it, enters by faith into the kingdom of God, and wonders how the love of God has made it easy for us to come to the Holy One. Your faith has made you well.

Then the Pharisees rejoiced within their hearts, thinking they had now ensnared Jesus, for he said that every man presses into the kingdom of God through faith alone. He caused them to understand that the Holy One wanted to say to them, “You fool who lack understanding, a believer is justified by grace. This grace plants all the law, at the same time, in his heart, and then he keeps the law not for its own sake, but out of gratitude and praise for the righteousness given to him. The New Testament believer esteems the law more than the members of the Old Testament do. Those who follow Christ love their enemies more than commanded by the law, and become purified in their hearts by grace. They not only keep the commandment of prohibiting adultery, but the believer becomes completely chaste through the Holy Spirit.

Thereafter, with the sword of his word, Jesus condemned the Pharisees’ deceitful way of divorcing. They allowed divorce if the complainant came with two witnesses in support of his claim. Christ confirmed that marriage is not subject to divorce, since the husband and the wife had become a spiritual union established and deep-rooted. They not only become one body, but are also united in soul, for the woman does not understand the world except through the eyes of her husband, and the man leaves his father and mother and becomes joined to his wife. Therefore he who unties the deep tie between two hearts, and does not lead those in disagreement to forgiveness, humility and peace, participates in breaking the matrimonial bond and becomes guilty with them.

Jesus leads us to a higher stage: He does not say that the divorced became free, but they remained bound by their hearts. He who marries a divorced woman imputes guilt unjustly to her previous matrimonial bond, even if she was officially divorced. The order of the law is more deeply related to the nature of God than our minds can understand. Yet man does not find rest unless he lives within the truth of the love of God.

Even now, we can find two kinds of people: the proud, lovers of money, living in whoredom, and covering their pollution with the dress of hypocritical profession of religion and external righteousness, and those whom the Holy Spirit leads into humility, delivers them from worries and covetousness, and encourages them by Christ’s purity. They confess their sins, taking off the veil of their false profession, and recognize that they are justified only by the blood of Christ. To which party do you belong? Will you remain a proud Pharisee? Or will you become a humble sinner whom the Holy Spirit leads to believe in Christ and his salvation, and enter the open door of heaven?

PRAYER: O Lord, deliver us from hypocrisy, love of money, and pride, and lead us to confess and be delivered from impurity. You are the Holy One who walked on earth. We worship and love you, and ask you to change many in our nation through faith in you, that they may press into the kingdom of God and be filled with love.

QUESTION 104: What kind of people are pressing themselves today into the kingdom of God? Why?


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