Title: "The Parable of the Shrewd Manager"
Text: Luke 16:1-14
He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him.
- “When Jesus talks about money, you sense that there is more going on. There is a battle for the heart.” In light of Luke 16:13, what do you think of this statement?”
- How do you react to the parable of the dishonest manager in Luke 16:1-7? What questions are raised in your mind?
- According to Luke 16:8, what is the point of the parable?
- Jesus applies the parable to us in Luke 16:9-13. What are some of the applications?
- In commenting on Luke 16:9, one writer says, “Worldly wealth can and should be used in God’s service.” What are some examples of this in our time? What does this look like practically?
- According to Luke 16:10-12, we are stewards of what God has entrusted to us. How does he want us to handle our stewardship of money?
- What do you think it means for God to entrust the “true riches” to us?
- As we said before, Jesus seems to get to the heart issue (devotion) in Luke 16:13. What kind of “tug” does mammon have on the heart?
- “Mammon is a spiritual force who works with attracting power to draw us into its orbit and out from under the service of Christ." (Dale Bruner) What does it look like when this happens?
- According to Romans 8:32, how is God a different kind of Master?
- What are some practical ways that we can cultivate a love for God instead of a love for money?
- What is your biggest takeaway from this passage?