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Hidden In Him

Parable of the Unjust Steward

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, GandalfTheWise said:

This is one of those sections of scripture I've never really heard an explanation I'm completely content with.

 

I was planning on waiting till the weekend to post my interpretation, so tell me what you think when you get a chance. I respect your input : )

Edited by Hidden In Him

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Who me said:

Obviously, the steward knew the master was a generous person, otherwise he would not have taken such a risk; after all, he wasn't jailed to begin with.

In verse 9 Jesus is not praising the dishonesty, but the ability of the steward to recognize the generosity of his master, see what was coming, and use what he had at the time to obtain something far greater: self preservation.

This is significant.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.  God can condemn you to eternal damnation.  It is wise to seek a way out of that. In fact, the judgment of damnation is so terrible, that praise is offered to the one who, in desperation, seeks a way out of it.

If the unrighteous steward was praised for trusting the master, how much more will you be rewarded if you trust the true and holy Master, the Lord Himself."

That's a different take. I'll take a look, and thanks for the link. My interpretation differs from this one, so give me your opinion of mine in comparison after I post it.

Blessings in Christ!

Edited by Hidden In Him

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The master was incredibly generous and merciful. He could have had his dishonest steward thrown straight into prison – but merely gave him notice to quit his job. This gave the steward a short window of opportunity – and he seized it with both hands!

Aware that he was about to be ‘found out’, and knowing that he faced certain dismissal, he knew that he had to act quickly if he was not to become destitute. Without a good reference, he would never work as a steward again; and he was too lazy and proud to do any menial job. So he needed a strategy to re-invent himself as the hero of the community. He had just two assets: (1) for the time being, nobody else was aware of the situation, and (2) his master’s books were still in his hands. So he cheated his master again, but this time to the benefit of his debtors, so that he would earn their gratitude and they would feel obliged to help him when he became unemployed!

The master was evidently a landlord, and his ‘debtors’ rented land from him in exchange for an agreed annual amount of produce. The steward allowed them to rewrite their bonds with a generous reduction – which they would assume he had negotiated with the master on their behalf. When the master saw the account books, he commended the steward – not for his dishonesty, but for his astuteness. 

The master could have cancelled the new contracts, since they had been drawn up without his authority. But that would have generated great anger in the local community and would also be against his own generous character. The steward had gambled on his master’s mercy and generosity – and it had paid off! If only mankind were equally astute in their management of their spiritual affairs! 

Interpretation 

Like the steward, we are ‘on notice to quit’ – we all face certain death, sooner or later, and at the end of our lives we shall have to give account to God for how we have lived. It is sheer folly to bury our heads in the sand, when we have the opportunity now to ensure our future in the next world. 

Worldly wealth is not ours: it belongs to God, and we are accountable to Him for how we use it. It is merely a means to an end – a means of blessing other people while we can. For it will be worthless in heaven; but if we use our money, possessions and time for the benefit of others, we can convert them into heavenly treasure (I Timothy 6:18,19).

In summary: to exchange the temporary things of this world for the permanent ones of the next is a very wise investment! 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/22/2019 at 9:17 PM, Hidden In Him said:

Greetings all, and blessings in Christ!

Wanted to throw a parable out there and ask what others thought the meaning of it was, and what Christ was trying to communicate to His disciples. I believe I know the answer here, but I will withhold my responses to give those who wish to an opportunity to answer.

Blessings in advance to those who respond!

___________________________________

The Parable of the Unjust Steward
16 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was [a]wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So 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?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 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?

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.”

 

image.png.d3d0dab4dce581e1ba8f43d3c41fae86.png

"You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Those that are unjust sorely lack an understanding of provisions in the spirit.

I wonder if the man that received the Lord with joy and was then choked by desires of wealth of this world was ever actually sincere. 

Was it The Lord who said,"let the unjust be......."?

https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Injustice,-Hated-By-God

 

Edited by pinacled
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Posted (edited)
On 7/22/2019 at 9:17 PM, Hidden In Him said:

Greetings all, and blessings in Christ!

Wanted to throw a parable out there and ask what others thought the meaning of it was, and what Christ was trying to communicate to His disciples. I believe I know the answer here, but I will withhold my responses to give those who wish to an opportunity to answer.

Blessings in advance to those who respond!

___________________________________

The Parable of the Unjust Steward
16 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was [a]wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So 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?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 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?

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.” (Luke 16:1-13)

 

image.png.d3d0dab4dce581e1ba8f43d3c41fae86.png

 

Alright, thanks to everyone who responded. I appreciate it. Let me see if I can't knock this out, and see what everyone thinks.

For starters, what Jesus was doing here was preparing the disciples for the time when they would take over leadership of the church. This is important to understand. As scripture records elsewhere:

28 Then Peter began to say unto him, "Behold, we have left all, and have followed thee." 29 And Jesus answered and said, "Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life." (Mark 10:28-30)

Who would the disciples receive these "lands, brethren, and houses" from? The prosperity people say that "God" will give them to you personally in exchange for giving to His work, but this is entirely foreign to the context. He was talking here about inheriting a new spiritual family of "brothers, sisters, mothers, children etc" when they became the heads of the church after His ascension into Heaven. As such, they would also inherit their lands and houses as well, not personally, mind you, but these would become the property of the entire family of God once many started coming into the fold. This would be fulfilled in the following verses:

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Acts 4:32-35)

This is what Jesus was preparing the disciples for. They would soon be reliant upon the support of a different "master," so to speak. The minute they began preaching Christ was raised from the dead the Jewish leadership would no longer support them, but rather decry them as heretics and liars. So they needed to wisely prepare in advance to be welcomed into the homes of those who would believe by giving to them now of their earthly substance - more specifically those who were likewise believing in Jesus but not on as close to Jesus as the disciples were - to make themselves trustworthy in their eyes when the time came for them to become the leaders of the church. 

This is thus the meaning of the parable. Let me quote it in full:

The Parable of the Unjust Steward
16 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So 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?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 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?

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.” (Luke 16:1-13)

The translation here is actually a little off. The phrase is actually, "that when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations (plural)". In other words, that "when you no longer have the support of the Jewish community, the faithful will receive you into their homes (plural), and take care of you like family." By giving to believers when they still had "little," they would prove themselves worthy of handing the "much" when they took over leadership. 

The confusing part for many is where it says, So the master "praised" or "commended" the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. The Greek word used here is  ἐπῄνεσεν, which can also be translated as "complimented," or "congratulated," and does not necessarily carry a positive sense. Sort of a "well-done" in the sense of "Touche'. You might have been out on the street, but you managed to find yourself new people to welcome you in by cheating me one last time." It must be kept in mind that the phrase was a reference to the Pharisees and Jewish leadership, and how they would react to what the disciples did in earning the trust of the faithful in advance, and it is likely the Pharisees weren't too happy about it. But they would have to come to terms with the fact that the disciples were not at their mercy after they were denounced as heretics. Very quickly they were being supported by an entire family of believers in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and there was nothing the Jewish leadership could do about it.

Well, that's my interpretation. For anyone interested, tell me what you think, and blessings in Christ.

Hidden In Him

 

Edited by Hidden In Him

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On 7/25/2019 at 4:02 PM, Deborah_ said:

The master was incredibly generous and merciful. He could have had his dishonest steward thrown straight into prison – but merely gave him notice to quit his job. This gave the steward a short window of opportunity – and he seized it with both hands!

Aware that he was about to be ‘found out’, and knowing that he faced certain dismissal, he knew that he had to act quickly if he was not to become destitute. Without a good reference, he would never work as a steward again; and he was too lazy and proud to do any menial job. So he needed a strategy to re-invent himself as the hero of the community. He had just two assets: (1) for the time being, nobody else was aware of the situation, and (2) his master’s books were still in his hands. So he cheated his master again, but this time to the benefit of his debtors, so that he would earn their gratitude and they would feel obliged to help him when he became unemployed!

The master was evidently a landlord, and his ‘debtors’ rented land from him in exchange for an agreed annual amount of produce. The steward allowed them to rewrite their bonds with a generous reduction – which they would assume he had negotiated with the master on their behalf. When the master saw the account books, he commended the steward – not for his dishonesty, but for his astuteness. 

The master could have cancelled the new contracts, since they had been drawn up without his authority. But that would have generated great anger in the local community and would also be against his own generous character. The steward had gambled on his master’s mercy and generosity – and it had paid off! If only mankind were equally astute in their management of their spiritual affairs! 

Interpretation 

Like the steward, we are ‘on notice to quit’ – we all face certain death, sooner or later, and at the end of our lives we shall have to give account to God for how we have lived. It is sheer folly to bury our heads in the sand, when we have the opportunity now to ensure our future in the next world. 

Worldly wealth is not ours: it belongs to God, and we are accountable to Him for how we use it. It is merely a means to an end – a means of blessing other people while we can. For it will be worthless in heaven; but if we use our money, possessions and time for the benefit of others, we can convert them into heavenly treasure (I Timothy 6:18,19).

In summary: to exchange the temporary things of this world for the permanent ones of the next is a very wise investment! 

I think this explanation gets to the heart of what Jesus was saying.

Convert worldly goods into heavenly treasure.

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