In Luke 16.1-8, we find one of the most difficult parables to understand, because it seems to allude to the manipulation of authority for self-benefit. The title says it all: Parable of the Unjust Steward, this is, against everything that is taught in Scripture, which is based on Justice.
In this parable, the unjust steward, knowing that he would be fired, uses his authority to manipulate debts between the debtors and his master, and “adjusts” the debts for less, thinking of obtaining favor from them once he becomes unemployed.
The truth is, he charged them more than they owed, and kept the profit. By doing so, he did not take anything from his boss. But he wanted to ensure that his life, here in the world, remained safe and comfortable by making those rich men his “friends.”
In verse 9, we find the fundamental teaching, which is produced by this parable, though many read it and do not understand:
And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.
So the Lord Jesus commands us to make “friends” with unrighteous riches. Unfair wealth, in context, regards the way people become rich in this world: Causing others to get poor. Usually, riches are conquered to the detriment of the less fortunate, as described in James 5.4.
Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
Continuing with verse 9, we see that the Lord Jesus says we should use every financial resource to make “friends” or to do good to someone. What is the greatest good we can do for someone? Help the person know the Lord Jesus and become a steward of the Work of God and, by doing this, offering more and more options for the lost to be found and find the Good Treasure – Salvation!
Also, in the same verse, it mentions a moment when riches will fail. When does this happen? When a person dies. After all, how do riches benefit us after death? THEY DON’T! We do not take ANYTHING with us!
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6.19-21
However, the good that was done to the “friends,” the value given to eternal life, and the effort to maintain it, by forsaking riches for personal enjoyment, will give the Faithful Steward the right to dwell in an Everlasting Home! Hallelujah!!!
Place your ALL at God’s disposal, make “friends” with what God has given you, and you will CERTAINLY see this promise of Jesus being fulfilled in your life:
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. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? Luke 16.10-11
I hope that now this wealth, which was hidden, can bless you even more!