Thursday, March 25, 2021

2021.03.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 16:1–13

Read Luke 16:1–13

Questions from the Scripture text: To whom is Jesus speaking (Luke 16:1)? What did the rich man have? What accusation was brought? What did he demand from the steward (Luke 16:2)? What can he no longer be? Why was this such a tough spot for the steward (Luke 16:3)? What does he hope to accomplish (Luke 16:4)? Whom does he call in Luke 16:5? What does he ask? What does one say (Luke 16:6)? What does the steward tell him to do? What does another say (Luke 16:7)? What does the steward tell him to do? How does the master respond to this (Luke 16:8)? To whom is the unjust steward compared? How do they compare to the sons of light? For what does Jesus say to use money (Luke 16:9)? Into what kind of home should disciples of Christ hope to be received by friends they gain? What does being faithful in the least mean someone will be (Luke 16:10)? What does being unjust in the least mean someone will be? What should we use well (Luke 16:11)? With what will we then be faithful? With what should we be faithful (Luke 16:12)? What can no servant do (Luke 16:13)? What are his two options? What specifically can we not serve? 

The “wasting” (Luke 16:1) of the swindling steward connects him to the younger brother, of whom the same verb was used in Luke 15:13. We knew at the end of chapter 15 that the older brother and younger brother had both begun in the same sin (failing to treasure the Lord Himself). It turns out that not just in parables, but in our ordinary living, how we use wealth can show us a lot.

How we use wealth can show us what we treasure, Luke 16:1-9. In Luke 16:8-9, Jesus Himself gives us the lesson of the parable (which spares us agonizing over the morality of what the steward did): “the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light, and I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.” 

Wealth has the same problem as your life in this world: it runs out; it fails. But when life in this world ends, there is an everlasting home. If you’re a son of light (Luke 16:8), you should be hoping that your everlasting home will be the one where other sons of light are waiting to welcome you (Luke 16:9). So that is what should set the priority for our use of wealth: we should be clever (“shrewd,” verse 8) to leverage our wealth for evangelism and for the support and sanctification of believers. Don’t slouch into worldly comforts and pleasures; wheel and deal for eternal treasures—particularly for others’ eternal treasures.

How we use wealth can show us where we are going, Luke 16:10-12. When the Lord Jesus asks the rhetorical question in Luke 16:11, “who will commit to your trust the true riches,” we realize that these true riches are not the wealth of this world but the welcome to the everlasting home to which He has just referred in Luke 16:9 (n.b. that He uses the same phrase “unrighteous mammon” in both verses). 

So, faithfulness in using money is a direct indicator as to whether we can expect to be welcomed in that home. The wealth of this world is a small thing. Either we are faithful in it or unfaithful in it. And what we do with it is an indicator of whether we will have the true riches. When God saves someone, He changes what they treasure (cf. Luke 16:1-9 and the discussion above), in order that we may see from how we use our wealth the value of the home to which He is bringing us. This should, of course, give us great pause if we do not recognize this change in ourselves.

How we use wealth can show us whom we serve, Luke 16:13. God and mammon cannot both be masters. When push comes to shove, either we will attempt to use wealth to serve God, or we will attempt to use God to serve our wealth. In that moment, we will know whom we are truly serving. 

What do you work at with your money? How are you faithful in using it? Whom does your spending say is your Master?

Suggested Songs: ARP45B “Daughter, Incline Your Ear” or TPH187 “I Belong to Jesus”

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