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THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS

 

The Wise (Shrewd) Steward (2)

Luke 16:1-15

Victor M. Eskew

 

 

I.                    THE PARABLE (Luke 16:1-8a)

 

A.     The Accusation (Luke 16:1)

 

B.     The Accountability (Luke 16:2)

 

C.     The Alarm (Luke 16:3)

 

D.    The Actions (Luke 16:4-7)

 

E.     The Applause (Luke 8:11a)

 

II.                THE POINT (Luke 16:8b)

 

…for the children of this world are in this generation wiser than the children of light.

 

A.      The children of this world

1.       Those who are “devoted” to this world and who live for this world.

2.       The business men and women of this world who are seeking financial profits.

 

B.      Wiser

1.       They are more prudent, cunning, and anxious about their particular business.

2.       Their actions:

a.       Show more skill

b.       Study more plans

c.        Contrive more ways to provide for themselves

d.       See possibilities

e.        Seize opportunities

f.         Sacrifice present comforts for future prospects

g.       Make good bargains

h.       Active and industrious

i.         Good use of time

 

C.      The children of light are not so.

1.       God’s children, Christians

2.       Quote:

 

“Sadly, ‘the people of light’ are often less than shrewd.  Unbelievers outpace disciples in their foresight, their ingenuity, and their risk-taking.  They study their world see opportunities, and seize them, knowing that opportunities missed are usually opportunities lost.  Too often, God’s people are lethargic or uncreative or unstrategic in their thinking.  We spend money, but do not use it well.  Our planning is careless; our strategy is simplistic and naïve” (Inrig, p. 114).

 

III.             THE PRINCIPLES

 

A.      We are all stewards (Luke 16:1a).

 

There was a certain rich man, which had a steward…

 

1.       We are stewards of the earth.

2.       We are stewards of money.

3.       We are stewards of our bodies.

4.       We are stewards of our children.

5.       We are stewards of our souls.

6.       We are stewards of our talents.

7.       We are stewards of the gospel.

 

B.      Stewards are required to be faithful (I Cor. 4:2).

 

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

 

C.      Temptations can come to a steward (Luke 16:1b).

 

…the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.

 

1.       The temptation to be lazy.

2.       The temptation to steal.

3.       The temptation to use goods of the master for personal gain.

4.       The temptation to extravagance (wastefulness).

 

D.     Stewards will be held accountable to their master (Luke 16:2).

 

And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I have heard this of thee?  Give an account of thy stewardship.

 

1.       Matthew 25:19

 

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

 

2.       Romans 14:12

 

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

 

E.      Stewards need to act wisely (Luke 16:8).

 

And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely…

 

1.       One of the things that made him wise is that he prepared for the future.

a.       He was going to be dismissed from his position as a steward (Luke 16:2b).

 

…for thou mayest be no longer steward.

 

b.       He went to the lord’s creditors, reduced their bill, and in so doing created for himself a possible position with them after he was released.

c.        NOTE:  It would have been better had he had more foresight when acting as a steward.  He should have foreseen that his wastefulness would end his stewardship.

d.       Often we fail to act with foresight.

1)      We get caught up in the necessary things instead of in the truly important things.

2)      We get caught up in the fun and excitement.

3)      We get caught up in the things that bring personal satisfaction.

2.       A second thing that made him wise was that he made friends of the mammon of unrighteousness (Luke 16:9a).

 

Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness…

 

a.       One of the keys to success that is taught in business is networking.  The definition of networking is “interaction with others to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one’s career.”

b.       If a person has many friends and contacts, he can be received into everlasting habitations.  He will always have opportunities (Luke 16:9b).

 

…that, when ye fail, they may received you into everlasting habitations.

 

F.      Stewards need to be faithful in the small things (Luke 16:10).

 

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much:  and he that is unjust in the least is unjust in much.

 

1.       There is an old saying that says:  “Count your pennies.”

2.       There are some jobs in the church that are small.

a.       Changing the numbers on the attendance boards up front.

b.       Making sure that batteries are in the remote mics.

c.        Ordering various supplies for teachers or for our fellowship meals.

3.       Those who do these jobs faithfully could be trusted to do other jobs faithfully also.

 

G.     Faithful stewards will receive great rewards.

1.       True riches (Luke 16:11)

 

If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

 

2.       That which is your own (Luke 16:12)

 

And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s; who shall give you that which is your own?

 

H.     A steward can only faithfully serve one master at a time (Luke 16:13).

 

No servant can serve two masters:  for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 

IV.              THE PHARISEES (Luke 16:14-15).

 

A.      The Ridicule (Luke 16:14)

 

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things, and they derided him.

 

1.       The Pharisees’ sin:  they were covetous

a.       Definition

1)      Strong (5366):  fond of silver

2)      Thayer:  loving money

b.       A covetous man is not a good steward.  He longs for and often takes what which belongs to another.

c.        When the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parable, they were cut to the heart.

2.       The Pharisees’ sneer:  they derided him

a.       Definition

1)      Strong (1592):  to sneer outright at

2)      Thayer:  to deride by turning up the nose, to sneer at, to scoff at

b.       Evil hearts are not receptive to the truth.  Instead of accepting it, they sneer at the message and reject the messenger.

 

B.      The Rebuke (Luke 16:15)

 

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men:  but God knoweth your hearts:  for that which is highly esteemed amongst men is abomination in the sight of God.

 

 

1.       God’s perception:  He can see what men cannot see.

a.       Man’s outward display can seem good, but the heart can be corrupt.

b.       God sees and knows the heart of man (Ps. 44:21; Jer. 17:10).

 

Shall not God search this out?  For he knoweth the secrets of the heart.

 

2.       God’s evaluation:  What men hold high, God views as an abomination.

a.       The Pharisees were highly esteemed by the people.

b.       God knew their hearts and saw them as an abomination (See Matt. 23).

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.      May each of us seek to be good stewards of all that has been placed in our charge.

 

B.      Help us as God’s children to be wiser than those in the world.