Summary: A puzzling parable which is actually explains itself when we read it carefully. The contrast between the children of the world and Christians in the way they manage what is entrusted to them. Our accountability to God.
TITLE: Parable of the Unjust Steward
TEXT: Luke 16:1-13
INTRO: A farmer discovered that his favorite cow had given birth to twin calves. He said to his wife, "You know, dear, I think we ought to give one of these calves to the Lord. We will raise one for ourselves and give one to the Lord who has given us this unexpected blessing." She said, "Which one are you going to give to the Lord?" "Well," he said. "I haven't decided. We'll treat them alike and feed them the same and when it comes time to market them we will decide which one to give to the Lord." So he fed the calves, took care of them, and they grew through the summer. Then one day he came into the house looking miserable, and his wife said, "What is the matter?" "Oh," he said, "a terrible thing has happened. The Lord's calf has died." She said, "But I thought you hadn't chosen yet which one it was." "Oh, yes," he said, "all the time I was thinking that the white calf would be the Lord's, and it was the Lord's calf that died."
I. THE PARABLE (vs.1-7)
A. This Parable Can be Puzzling
1. John McArthur called this parable "A Good Lesson from a Bad Example"
2. To understand it, you need to realize who Jesus was talking about
B. It is About the Pharisees
1. The Pharisees were the keepers and interpreters of God's law
2. Jesus was telling them that they had been mismanaging the law that was entrusted to them
3. They had taken 10 commandments and turned them into 600 plus burdensome rules and regulations. They were applying the same principles they used in earthly riches to their stewardship of spiritual riches.
II. THE PUZZLE (Vs.8-9)
A. Who Commended the Unjust Steward? (v.8)
1. The language of v.8 is a little confusing & some think it was Jesus praising the steward
2. Remember, Jesus is the one telling the parable
3. So, in v.8 when He says, "the lord" He is talking about the lord or master of the steward.
4. The steward's master praised him for being shrewd.
5. In the world's way of thinking the wise are those who look out for themselves, rather than those who put God first
B. Jesus Comments on the Parable (v.9)
1. The parable ends with v.8 and Jesus comment is v.9
2. "Mammon" is money and we are to use it wisely
III. THE PRINCIPAL (vs.10-13)
A. We Are Stewards of all we Receive
1. Material possessions.
(Eph 5:15-16 ESV) Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
3. Our Gifts and Abilities
(1Pe 4:10 ESV) As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:
4. We are stewards of the Gospel.
(1Th 2:4 ESV) but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
B. Stewardship Involves Accountability
(2Co 5:10 ESV) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
CONCL: God blesses us with many things and He expects us to use them for His glory.