Luke 16:1 And He said also to the disciples, There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and this one was accused to him of squandering his possessions. (3) And the steward said within himself, What shall I do, because my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. (4) I know what I will do so that when I am removed from the stewardship they may receive me into their own houses. (5) And when he had called to him each one of his master's debtors, he said to the first, How much do you owe my master? (6) And he said, A hundred measures of oil. And he said to him, Take your bill and sit down quickly and write fifty. (7) Then to another he said, And you, how much do you owe? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. He said to him, Take your bill and write eighty. (8) And the master praised the unrighteous steward because he had acted prudently; for the sons of this age are more prudent in their dealings with their own generation than the sons of light. (9) And I say to you, Make friends for yourselves by means of the mammon of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles.
[Part 1 of 3] The parable regarding the prudence of a steward is simple and brief. Nevertheless, this parable contains a puzzling point, and this is the Lord's using an unrighteous steward to illustrate the service of a steward in God's house. ...this does not mean that the Lord is teaching us to be unrighteous as we are serving. The important matter here is the steward's prudence. In verses five through seven we see that the discharged steward, while he was still in the house, took the opportunity to do something for others in order that later they might do something for him. This was the steward's prudence. Here [vs. 8] the Lord certainly is not teaching us to be unrighteous. Instead, He is teaching us to be prudent, that is, to do things at the right time, to take the opportunity at hand.
To make friends by means of mammon [vs. 9] is to help others by the use of money to do things according to God's leading. Mammon, that is, money, is of the satanic world. It is unrighteous in its position and existence. The steward in the parable exercised his prudence by his unrighteous act. The Lord teaches us, His believers, to exercise our prudence in the use of unrighteous mammon. Verse nine indicates that those who have been benefited by our proper use of money will welcome us into the eternal tabernacles. This will be in the coming age of the kingdom. When the Lord Jesus comes back and we are received into His kingdom, some of us will have a number of people welcoming us. Who will be these welcomers? They will be those who have received benefit in this age by our prudent use of money.
Let me give a simple illustration of this. Suppose you use an amount of your money to publish gospel tracts for the purpose of bringing people to the Lord. Those who have been benefited by this use of your money will welcome you in the future. They may say, "Brother, we want you to realize that we were saved through one of the tracts paid for by you."...while we are still on the way to the kingdom, we should use our money for the benefit of others. We should not use it for ourselves, for our luxury, amusement, pleasure, or indulgence. There is a great deal of need, and there is much that we can do that will be a benefit to others. This is to be prudent in serving the Lord.
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