The Dishonest Manager, The Law, And Anguish In This Flame

The Dishonest Manager, The Law, And Anguish In This Flame

Little And Much

Christ's grace is freely given, but it also calls for disciples to embrace a new life. Chapter 16 emphasizes the importance of money and possessions. Those who follow Jesus do not rely on money but instead use their wealth to help others in need generously. The chapter starts with a tricky parable, the unjust manager. A manager is caught in financial wrongdoing and fired by his master. Not wanting to beg or do manual labor, he forgives those who owe his master money, from 50 to 20 percent. As a result, those he helped financially will provide for him. The master praises the manager for his cleverness in acting in his self-interest. It is suggested that the parable ends after verse 7, with Jesus commenting on it. Using wealth to secure a future is expected in the worldly realm. Jesus encourages his followers to use their wealth to gain "eternal dwellings" rather than just earthly advancement.
Jesus teaches that people should not follow the manager's example of dishonesty but rather be like him in planning their future. Disciples must use their funds wisely and be faithful, as this will determine if they will be entrusted with more. The main issue here is what a person worships, either God or worldly wealth, as there is no middle ground. The Pharisees ridicule Jesus' teaching on money due to their love for wealth, but Jesus rebukes them for being hypocrites. Despite their attempts to justify themselves before others, God sees their hearts and knows their love for money is an abomination.

God Knows Your Hearts 

A brief interlude appears between two texts about wealth (Luke 16:1–15 and 16:19–31), which touches upon the subjects of law, the kingdom, and divorce (vv. 16–18). The reason for their inclusion may be unclear, as they appear to diverge from the primary focus. However, one could argue that Jesus' teachings about the kingdom align with the Old Testament's teachings. All that Jesus teaches regarding the kingdom, discipleship, and the law is in harmony with and completes the Old Testament.
The era of the Law and the Prophets ended with the Baptist's ministry. Now a new age has dawned in which the kingdom of God is being proclaimed, requiring people to choose whether to belong to it or not (v. 16). However, the arrival of the kingdom does not render the Old Testament law invalid, but instead completes it (v. 17). The relationship between verse 18 and verses 16-17 is unclear. Jesus' teachings on divorce may be seen as fulfilling the true intention of the OT law rather than disregarding it altogether. Essentially, Jesus teaches that divorce and remarriage after divorce are tantamount to committing adultery.

Let Them Hear Them

The chapter started with a story and guidelines on the proper use of money (Luke 16:1–15), followed by a brief section on the relationship between the kingdom and the Old Testament scriptures (16:16–18). The parable of the rich man and Lazarus shows that scripture alone is sufficient evidence of the truth, and one's use of wealth affects their eternal destiny, revealing their true priorities. The rich man lived extravagantly and ignored a poor man named Lazarus, who lay at his gate every day. After death, the rich man suffered in Hades while the poor man enjoyed fellowship with Abraham. The rich man begged for relief, but Abraham denied him and reminded him that he received what he deserved. The rich man pleaded with Abraham to send Lazarus to his five brothers so that they would repent, but Abraham refused, saying that the Old Testament scriptures were enough. The rich man argued that people would believe if someone was raised from the dead, but Abraham said that if they did not believe the scriptures, they would not believe even if someone was raised from the dead.





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