The Parable of the Shrewd Manager – Luke 16:1-15
What is the “mammon of unrighteousness” and why is it unrighteous?
1 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.”
14 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.
Food for Thought
1. In what ways does our culture pressure us to love money?
2. How can the love of money hurt a person?
3. How did the rich man respond to the servant “wasting his goods?” (16:1-2)
4. Why was the servant scared to lose his job? (16:3)
5. What plan did the servant devise to secure his future? (16:4-7)
6. How did the rich master react to the dishonest dealings of the servant? (16:8)
7. Who are the “sons of light” to whom Jesus refers? (16:8)
8. How does Jesus want us to use money? (16:9)
9. What does it mean to be faithful in “what is least?” (16:10)
10. What are “true riches” and what are false riches? (16:11)
11. What exactly belongs to another man and what belongs to us? (16:12)
12. What main principle should govern the way we use our resources? (16:10-12)
13. Why is it impossible to serve two masters? (16:13)
14. Why were the Pharisees upset with Jesus’ teaching? (16:14)
15. How did the Pharisees “justify” themselves? (16:15)
16. How does God judge people? (16:15)
17. What does God think of the things that we typically value? (16:15)
18. What is the relationship between a believer and worldly wealth?
19. In what conceivable ways could the steward have been “wasting” his master’s goods?
20. Why is it that the steward can no longer continue to be a steward?
21. Why is it that the steward cannot dig and is too ashamed to beg?
22. Why did the master commend the steward for being smart and shrewd?
23. Why are men wise to do evil, but do not know how to do good? (Jer. 4:22)
24. Why are unbelievers “wiser in their generation” than believers?
25. What does Jesus mean when he says that we should use worldly wealth to gain friends for ourselves?
26. What is the “mammon of unrighteousness” and why is it unrighteous?
27. Why is it so difficult to keep a proper perspective on money?
28. How do you think God wants us to change the way we handle our resources?
29. How can we ensure that we will be welcomed into eternal dwellings?
30. Why is it impossible for a man who loves money to also truly love God?
31. How can what is highly esteemed among men be an abomination to God?
32. What can you do during this next week to become a better steward of the resources God has given you?
33. During the next few weeks, what is one way you can use money to serve others and show them the love of God?