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The Parable of the Shrewd Steward

(55)

Sermon shared by John Hamby

December 2002
Summary: This parable gives us three principles for being Shrewd Disciples.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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stewardship. The first is the requirement stated in 1 Corinthians 4:2,
“Moreover, it is required in stewards that they be found faithful.” The second is an explanation of the reward; found here in verse ten, “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?”
“Mammon” which is sometimes translated money, refers not just to money but to all our possessions.
To quote Barclay again, “ … what you get in heaven depends on how you use the things of earth. What you will be given as your very own will depend on how you use the things of which you are only a steward.” [Barclay. p. 209]
We Are Called To Use Material Possessions Faithfully…

3. We Are To Serve God Wholly (v. 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."
The point is that we have to keep our priorities straight. Wealth is to be used, not served. The truth about money is that we can either be stewards of it or we can be servants of it. The follower of Christ is called to yield himself totally to the service of God. There is no such thing as a part-time Christianity.
Jesus has been speaking to the disciples but the Pharisees have been listening and their response is anything but spiritual for we read in verse fourteen, “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.”
They sneered at him (the Greek word means to “turn up one’s nose”). These supposed men of God were greedy lovers of money and to make matters worse they justified their hypocrisy with Scripture. Not unlike some Television Prosperity Preachers of our day. They bent God’s word to support their lifestyles, adding their own interpretation to what God had said.

Conclusion
“The story is told of man shipwrecked on a lonely unknown island. To his surprise, he found that he was not alone; a large tribe of people shared his island. To his pleasure, he discovered that they treated him very well. In fact, they place him on a throne and cater to his every desire. He was delight but perplexed. Why such royal treatment? As his ability to communicate increased, he discovered that the tribal custom was to choose a king for a year. Then, when his term was finished, he would be transported to a particular island and abandoned.
Delight was now replaced by distress. Then he hit on a shrewd plan. Over the next months he sent members of the tribe to clear and till the other island. He had them build a beautiful house, furnish it, and plant crops. He sent some chosen friends to live there and wait for him. Then, when his time of exile came, he was put in a place carefully prepared and full of friends delighted to receive him.” [Inrig. p. 119]
We are not headed to a desert island, but to the Father’s house. Yet the preparations we make here follow us there.

Conclusion
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