Summary: The first commandment of the world is “self-preservation”. A shady business deal is winked at, questionable practices tolerated, and a clever crook is highly praised by the world. The law is on the side of the crook and the criminal many times.
Title: Handling Money
Text: “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Luke 16:13)
Bible Reading: Luke 16-1-13
Today’s lesson concerns money, and it is based on Luke 16:1-13, where Jesus gives His disciples and us the PARABLE OF THE UNJUST STEWARD.
This parable has been greatly misunderstood, and one of the reasons is because it looks as though our Lord is commending a crook.
This steward is an out-an-out crook.
Some folk assume that anyone whom the Lord Jesus mentioned in a parable is a hero and an example of a decent person.
But this man is a scoundrel.
In this parable the Lord uses as an example a man who followed the principles of the world.
We are told in the Word of God that the world loves its own but hates those who belong to God.
Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15:18-19)
A child of God doesn’t belong to this world and doesn’t live by the principles of this world.
In Galatians 1:3-4 Paul says, “…our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.”
Again in Romans 12:2 Paul says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Finally, in 1 John 2:15 it states, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Now, out in the world there’s what we call the “law of life” and the unjust steward is a man who operates by that law.
The first commandment of the world is “self-preservation”.
A shady business deal is winked at, questionable practices tolerated, and a clever crook is highly praised by the world.
The law is on the side of the crook and the criminal many times.
Every man, according to the world’s law, is considered innocent until proven guilty.
The Word of God takes the opposite approach.
God says that man is guilty until proven innocent.
He says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
There isn’t a man or woman around today that are innocent before God, but anyone certainly can become justified before Him.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1)
When a man trusts Jesus Christ as his Savior, he is justified by faith.
This is the only way a person can be justified.
The first part of the lesson is--
Consider the Future (Luke 16:1-4)
1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.
2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
This is the story of a rich man and his unjust steward.
A steward is a man who is in charge of another man’s goods.
Abraham had a steward, you remember, who had charge of all his possessions.
It was Abraham’s steward who went on a trip to Haran to find a bride for Abraham’s son Isaac.
David also had stewards, and they had charge of all the kings’ possessions, including his children.
Paul tells us, “Moreover it’s required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (1 Cor 4:2)
The steward in this parable would correspond to the president of a corporation.
He had charge of this rich man’s goods.
No charge of immoral activity is made here; what he was guilty of was mismanagement and misappropriation of funds.
He was like those in the Enron scandal who by fraudulent accounting practices stole millions.
The unjust steward wasted the goods of his master.
The day of reckoning had come for this man.