Luke 16:10-18 Teachings on Stewardship

10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will 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 he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

The Law and the Kingdom of God

14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. 15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

16 “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. [1] 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

Divorce and Remarriage

18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

  • From a parable about money, now Luke gives us Jesus’ actual teaching about money.  Jesus gives us a strong warning about the dangers of wealth.  Has the Church or the world taken this warning seriously?  “Some where along the line serious repentance, and a renewed determination to hear and obey Jesus’ clear teaching, seems called for.” N.T. Wright
  • The key to this passage is that it is about faithfulness.  “Money is not a possession, it’s a trust.” N.T Wright  Our money is entrusted to us by God and should be used to His glory not for our glory.  Money also leads to true wealth (verse 11) in the life to come but we must first learn faithfulness.
  • Without faithfulness we will be torn between two masters.  The Pharisees believed their wealth was a blessing from God.  Jesus already warned back in chapter 14 verse 33 that this was not so.  How easy it is to look at my own material wealth and just assume these are God’s blessings?  The Pharisees looked to the law and the prophets to validate their belief.  The prosperity gospel is not a new concept.
  • Was Jesus contradicting the law and the prophets?  No!!!!  The law and the prophets were not God’s last word.  After John the Baptist, God’s word has come again, in a new way.  But this doesn’t negate what came before.  “They (the law and the prophets) are a true signpost to what God is going to do, even though they cannot themselves bring about the new day, the new world, that God is creating through Jesus.” N.T. Wright
  • The last verse on divorce (verse 18) is mainly an example of a commandment that was being set aside by many within Judaism at that time.  Jesus was highlighting  the unfaithfulness of the religious leaders to God’s law.   The Pharisees believed Jesus was contradicting the law, when in fact it was them.
  • I must be faithful.  Faithful with money, faithful to God, faithful to the Kingdom, faithful to my wife and children, and faithful to my friends.  “As soon as we begin to think of money, or land, or other people, as commodities we might own or exploit, we take a step away from our vocation to be truly human beings, God’s true children, and towards the other master, who is always ready to accept new servants.” N.T. Wright
  • Which master do I serve?
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