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Unjust Steward - Luke 16:4-8

Lesson # Unjust Steward - Luke 16:4-8
Study Material - Unjust Steward - Luke 16:4-8

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Unjust Steward
Luke 16:4-8

4 I am resolved [ginosko] what [tis] to do [poieo] , that [hina] , when [hotan] I am put out [methistemi] of the stewardship [oikonomia] , they may receive [dechomai] me [me] into [eis] their [autos] houses [oikos] .
5 So [kai] he called [proskaleomai] every [hekastos] one [heis] of his [heautou] lord's [kurios] debtors [chreopheiletes] unto him, and said [lego] unto the first [protos] , How much [posos] owest thou [opheilo] unto my [mou] lord [kurios] ?
6 And [de] he said [epo] , An hundred [hekaton] measures [batos] of oil [elaion] . And [kai] he said [epo] unto him [autos] , Take [dechomai] thy [sou] bill [gramma] , and [kai] sit down [kathizo] quickly [tacheos] , and write [grapho] fifty [pentekonta] .
7 Then [epeita] said he [epo] to another [heteros] , And [de] how much [posos] owest [opheilo] thou [su] ? And [de] he said [epo] , An hundred [hekaton] measures [koros] of wheat [sitos] . And [kai] he said [lego] unto him [autos] , Take [dechomai] thy [sou] bill [gramma] , and [kai] write [grapho] fourscore [ogdoekonta] .
8 And [kai] the lord [kurios] commended [epaineo] the unjust [adikia] steward [oikonomos] , because [hoti] he had done [poieo] wisely [phronimos] : for [hoti] the children [huios] of this [toutou] world [aion] are [eisi] in [eis] their [heautou] generation [genea] wiser [phronimos] than [huper] the children [huios] of light [phos] . KJV-Interlinear

4 'I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the stewardship, they will receive me into their homes.' 5 'And he summoned each one of his master's debtors, and he began saying to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' 6 'And he said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And 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?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.' 8 'And his master praised the unrighteous steward because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. NASB

The steward has his walking papers. He has been told that there will be a final accounting and then the ultimate evaluation. Not good for someone (you) who has not been faithful to their master (God).

He considers his options since he is to be released from his employment relationship with his master. He doesn't want to dig. He is lazy, and besides digging is ... work. Although it is honest work. But human effort is not enough to get one out of the human realm and into the eternal.

He doesn't want to beg, but then that too is honest if one is really down on their luck. Never look down on someone who is left with no recourse but to beg for their existence. It is a very humbling place to be in, but God places us all in positions of one sort or another. Forewarned - God may place a person you'll meet in a position of begging so He can test your attitude and charity (that study is covered in another parable).

But in our parable the refusal of begging is a symbol of arrogance. Ones refusal to humble themselves to God, disregarding the social norms of this world. Clinging to the superficial judgments that man places upon man for ones ego and self esteem.

The steward has rejected honest work. He is still in the employ of the master. He is still alive and has not yet been fired (physical death). So instead of seeking out honest work (Bible study and advancement in his spiritual life), and instead of seeking acceptance from the master (God), the steward seeks out the approbation of mankind (human viewpoint) and he does it by further cheating his master (God) as well as being somewhat dishonest with his so called friends.

So he goes about his business of visiting one tenant (Gods business) after another. The steward rushes into the first tenant and reduces his obligation from 100 to 50. Then he goes to the next tenant and reduces his debt by only one-fifth, from 100 to 80.

He is trying to make friends with the world by manipulating the relationships he has with them, and he is even inconsistent in his treatment from one person to the next.

He deals with people in an inconsistent manner. He continues to reject truth - cheating on his masters dealings and policies. He picks and chooses what he will comply with and what rules of the master he will not comply with. He flip flops on his responsibilities. He treats people differently and with bias, but making them think that he is giving them preferential treatment. He presumes authority in making deals where he was never given such authority. He seeks to become friends through deceitful means, but how can one trust a friend who would deceive and cheat at the drop of a hat. In short, he hustles with great effort, after the world in his wheeling and dealing in order to carve out some sort of survival for himself. Again, how can one trust a person, with great responsibility and authority, when they themselves are not trustworthy and are inconsistent in what they say, verses what they have done throughout their past life?

Doesn't this sound very much like our current national election?

By the way we live in a very interesting time. We have the opportunity to watch as the politics of the day play themselves out. The lines between truth and evil have never been so clear as they are in this coming election. What with Kerry's liberal history and current inconsistencies, with the latest CBS fiasco and obvious bias, there is more than the presidency at stake. Our national spiritual barometer is going to be tested.

A big win for Bush (by the way I am for Bush) will be an indication that our population is not fooled by a liberal media and the propaganda coming out of Hollywood. A very close election will indicate a disturbing lack of spiritual discernment within the nation (storm clouds on the horizon).

A win for Kerry will mean we need to batten down the hatches, for sooner or later the world will be neglected and evil will come visiting us once again. Just as the eight years of Clinton left a lot of things in the world untended to - and we know what happened on 9-11-01. God in all his wisdom left us with a leader who dealt with the terrorist issue proactively instead of a leader who would have been passive on the matter. A passive leader invites even greater trouble.

I only mention these last few things in passing because our Bible study is not just a study in cute stories. Sooner or later you have to make the application of doctrine to real life. The Bible is there to help you orient to reality, not to escape from it and pretend that you will be ok.

If you do not agree with me, then that is fine. Don't sacrifice your Bible study just because of an opinion I might state from time to time. Your spiritual life is far more important than any issue or opinion in this world.

Now back to our steward which is all of us by the way. The master hears of his dealings and commends Him in his actions. What kind of commending is this? A good mark for his effort? No. This is an observation that the steward has used ingenuity (although by use of deception and wrong doing) in order to make his life better. His goals are worthy - having a better and secure life. But his methods are wrong.

The steward (all of us) understands that he will be fired one day from this life (we will all die). Some people will ignore it and just close their eyes to reality and plow through life to get whatever they can and to satisfy their pursuit for happiness even though that pursuit is an erroneous one.

There is always a better way to happiness and to a happiness that will fulfill ones desires forever. That way is through Bible study and advancement to spiritual maturity. But then people read the Bible, and they wait. They read the Bible, and they wait. They read the Bible, and they wait. Did I mention that they read the Bible, and they wait?

And what happens? Apparently nothing. So in our drive up window, microwave oven life, we become impatient and we close the Bible and we pursue our life in accordance with our own defined path. And we hustle and we hustle and we hustle and our goal remains elusive. We are always running into problems and barriers. If only we had a little luck. If only we had a little help. If only we knew someone who could help us out. And then suddenly life ends, and our life of perhaps decades is over, and we go to heaven and we discover that we wasted our entire life hustling after and pursuing something that would never amount to anything anyway. We could have expended just one percent of that same energy and let God play our life out for us, and we would have had, could have had, infinitely more.

Now as for this coming election, remember that Jesus Christ controls history. Whomever wins the election, he will win only because God wants or allows Him to be the winner for Gods purpose. History is driving toward a climax and that climax is the Rapture which will be followed by the Tribulation. We know that when that date comes, the world will be in the hands of some very evil people.

There will be those who will try to define their own history sooner than Gods timeline. But neither terrorists, nor misguided news organizations, nor politicians in all their collective arrogance can change that which God has decreed. If our time is not right for the terrorists of the world to take over, then they will lose or be held in check. But one day they will be turned loose and when that day arrives, then watch out world.

As for believers in Christ, the current state of the world is irrelevant. God takes care of His flock. So with trouble swirling all around we remain at peace within the calm eye of the storm as it were. You just do the things you are expected to do, you pray, and you wait and watch what the Lord is going to do. He always has the last word.

And that brings us to the last phrase of this passage, 'for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.'

People who pursue their worldly lusts, desires, passions, objectives, etc. do so with great energy. Look around you. Look even at yourself. What amount of energy do you spend on your worldly pursuits and what amount of energy do you spend on your spiritual pursuits?

Thus people of the world act with more vigor in their pursuits even though their pursuits are in vain, than do people who know and understand the spiritual life, even though those latter people know that the spiritual life will yield phenomenal riches. So the moral we are driving toward in this parable is this.

Pursue that which is far better (the spiritual life), rather than that which is only temporary at best and will be no more (any pursuits in this life which exclude God).

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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