(Luke 16:1 NASB)  Now He was also saying to the disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and this steward was reported to him as squandering his possessions.

Luke 16:1:      This is called by most to be the parable of the “Unjust Steward.”  This particular parable has been the most difficult for people to understand.


(Luke 16:2 NASB)  “And 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.’

Luke 16:2:      Normally in a parable, “a certain man” would be Elohim or Yeshua.  But here we have a “certain rich man” who is a wealthy man of the world.  Scripture is consistent in it’s symbols.  So far, when we have a “certain rich man” in parables, it was not a good man, but a man of the world (Luke 12:16-21).  We will also see a rich man in a parable with a man named Lazarus later in this chapter.
The steward is also a man of the world, but he works for the certain rich man.  The rich man notices that the steward has not been managing his master’s possessions well enough.  The steward must give an account of his Master’s possessions.


(Luke 16:3 NASB)  “And the steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg.

Luke 16:3:      The man is not willing to physically work for a living.  And he is too proud to beg.


(Luke 16:4 NASB)  ‘I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the stewardship, they will receive me into their homes.’

Luke 16:4:      The steward is a man of the world.  He sees that he is about to lose everything and he must invent a scheme that will help provide for him when he loses his job.


(Luke 16:5 NASB)  “And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
(Luke 16:6 NASB)  “And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’
(Luke 16:7 NASB)  “Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’

Luke 16:7:      The people that the steward is calling upon are apparently men who could not pay their bills.  The Master was not receiving what they owed Him regardless.  With this scheme, the Master receives much of what is owed, and the people paying get a large break in what they owe.


(Luke 16:8 NASB)  “And his master praised the unrighteous steward because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.

Luke 16:8:      The steward is one of the children of (this age) this world.  For them, their only portion is in this life (Psalm 17:14).  He acted shrewdly and the master benefited as well as the people who owed the master.
This was an unrighteous business deal because it was not according to contract.  But it was shrewd and everyone benefited.  The steward collected partial payment from people who apparently were not going to pay what they owed at all.
Notice that the Master did not have the man arrested or punished.  He was praised for his shrewdness.


(Luke 16:9 NASB)  “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

Luke 16:9:      Unrighteous mammon is any material resource not used according to the will of Elohim.  “Mammon” is an Anglicized form of the word that signifies “That in which one trusts.”  It is a derogatory term for “money.”
Yeshua says to make friends with the men of this world by using money and using it shrewdly.  Money is not that important and cannot be what we worship.  Use it to benefit others and to make friends and gain the trust of the world.


(Luke 16:10 NASB)  “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.
(Luke 16:11 NASB)  “If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous mammon, who will entrust the true riches to you?

Luke 16:11:      Be faithful in your use of money.  Be righteous in your use of unrighteous mammon even in the smallest of deals and details.


(Luke 16:12 NASB)  “And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

Luke 16:12:      How can we expect to receive much in the Kingdom if we cannot be trusted with little issues in this world concerning something as insignificant as money?


(Luke 16:13 NASB)  “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Luke 16:13:      If money is the most important thing to a person, they are wasting their time studying the Word of Elohim.
The next verse is the primary reason for Yeshua giving this parable.


(Luke 16:14 NASB)  Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things, and they were scoffing at Him.

Luke 16:14:      This is the key verse to understanding this parable and the one a few verses later.  The Pharisees were lovers of money.  This is the reason Yeshua told the parables in this chapter.  He knows the Pharisees are lovers of money and He is going to call them out for what they are and tell them Elohim’s true opinion of them.
In this parable of the shrewd steward, He was telling the people to be righteous with their money.  That was another way of saying “do not give it to the Pharisees.”  That’s why they were scoffing at Him.


(Luke 16:15 NASB)  And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.

Luke 16:15:      We are not to be concerned about justifying ourselves in front of other men (Psalm 49:13-20).  It is Elohim that knows our hearts (Psalm 139:1-4).  If we are doing that which is highly esteemed among men, we are doing what is detestable in the sight of Elohim.


(Luke 16:16 NASB)  “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.

Luke 16:16:      The words “were proclaimed” are not in the verse.  It should read, “The Law and the Prophets until John; since then the Gospel of the kingdom of Elohim is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.”  The subject of the chapter is the Pharisees and their love of money and power.  They are the ones trying to “force their way” into the kingdom.
It is saying that the Law and the prophets until John AND since then the the gospel of the kingdom of Elohim is preached.  The kingdom of Elohim was preached in the Law and the Prophets and it has been preached since John (Matt. 3:1-3).
The similar passage in Matthew tells us that the Law and the Prophets tell us the Kingdom of Elohim suffers violence, until John and now they are trying to take the Kingdom by force (Matt. 11:12-14).  This was during the time that John was being dealt with violently in prison.

Patrick McGuire

Copyright 2014
Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews.
Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
Fort Smith, Arkansas

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