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Straight Talk About Money

Gospel of Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts

Introduction

Jesus’ teaching is always:
True
Practical
Luke 16:1–13 ESV
He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Luke 16:1–13 ESV
He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
PRAY

You’re Fired

He also said to the disciples – Jesus continues to teach. In this context, he is specifically addressing his disciples. He is aiming to help them understand the importance of this subject.
There was a rich man who had a manager – This man is extremely wealthy. He has steward who administrates the various activities of his ownings. Reminds us of Joseph in Egypt.
And charges were brought… – The owner is not near, so someone sends word (slander) that the manager is mismanaging. He is squandering what he is supposed to be taking care of.
And he called him… - In his best interest, the owner summons the steward into his presence to discuss the matter. It seems from the next phrases that he knew the report was true.
Turn in the account… – He calls the manager to give an explanation of his work and practices. He is to give a reckoning or a report on the details of his stewardship.
For you can no longer be manager – You are fired! You are terminated! You might want to start looking for another job. You cannot manage (mismanage) my possessions any longer.

What Can I Do? Ah, Yes!!!

What Am I Going to Do? Ah, Yes!!!

And the manager said to himself – After losing his job, he has to do some serious thinking about his future. He begins to mull over the situation and details in his mind.
What shall I do… - His concern is “What shall I do?” He is in serious trouble. He is losing his job, his home, his power, his prestige, his reputation, his everything.
I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. – Not only is he losing everything, he has other limitations. He is weak related to manual labor and he is too proud to plead for a handout.
I have decided what to do – After some consideration, he determines his next course of action based upon his dilemma. What was the goal his idea and plan?
So that…people may receive me into their houses – He is going to take action to insure his future. He wants a place to stay each night and food for his belly. His plan will get him that, he hopes.

By Any Means Necessary

So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one – He begins to put his plan into action by calling those that owe his master money into his office individually.
He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ – This could be why he was fired. He asks the debtor what is owed. He should have been able to look this up himself. We know, he was in a rush.
He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ – The first debtor owes 100 measures of oil. Most estimate this to between 800 and 900 gallons or worth three years of wages.
He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ - This is a dishonest, self-motivated action, but he is desperate. He gives the debtor a 50% discount in a hurry. What a deal!!!
Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe? – Jesus only tells of two debtors, but the implication is that there were many and the steward brought them all in to cut a deal.
’He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ – The second debtor mentioned owes 1,000 bushels of grain. The estimated value of this debt was 8-10 years’ wages.
He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ – Once again, he strikes a deal. This time, it is a 20% discount on a much larger sum. This is basically two years in value.
•How does this plan work? We must remember that this is a society with strict cultural rules of honor and reciprocation. By accepting these discounts, these debtors now owe the steward.

That Was a Smart Move!!!

The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness – He is applauded for his shrewdness (resourcefulness, astuteness, prudence, sharpness, cleverness).

The Lesson to Be Learned

For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. – This is a comparison between the unbelieving people, who belong to the work and the children of God.
Are more shrewd – Jesus is saying that unbelievers are more resourceful, prudent, sharp and clever than believers in how they handle what they have been given to manage.
•A problem: Jesus is commending a dishonest manager and an unrighteous world.
•An answer: Jesus is not commending their morality, but their shrewdness.

Practical Application #1

And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth – Use the money of this world to make friends or quality relationships. Why?
So that when it fails – To prepare for the end of time when this currency is gone or passed away. Jesus points to the reality of this world and its system ending.
1 John 2:17 ESV
And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
They may receive you into the eternal dwellings – This is giving charitably to kingdom causes, to help believers or to spread the gospel. Those helped by us will welcome us to our forever home.
John MacArthur,
John MacArthur, “You invest in those who preach the gospel, those who teach people to preach the gospel. You invest in missionaries and those who send missionaries. You invest in every gospel enterprise that multiplies teachers and preachers and evangelists and the spread of the Word and the spread of the truth around the world and you are purchasing friends for eternity. Endless personal accumulation is meaningless. Life is short and you don’t know how short. You don’t want to waste it. There isn’t much you can send up. You can’t send your house up; you’ll have a better one. You can’t send your car up; you’ll fly everywhere. You don’t have anything you’re going to send up. Whatever your little treasures are, they’re staying here and somebody else is going to figure out what to do with them. But there is one thing you can send up; isn’t that amazing? It is your wealth if it’s invested in the proclamation of the gospel and in the preparation and training of those who proclaim the gospel.”
“You invest in those who preach the gospel, those who teach people to preach the gospel. You invest in missionaries and those who send missionaries. You invest in every gospel enterprise that multiplies teachers and preachers and evangelists and the spread of the Word and the spread of the truth around the world and you are purchasing friends for eternity. Endless personal accumulation is meaningless. Life is short and you don’t know how short. You don’t want to waste it. There isn’t much you can send up. You can’t send your house up; you’ll have a better one. You can’t send your car up; you’ll fly everywhere. You don’t have anything you’re going to send up. Whatever your little treasures are, they’re staying here and somebody else is going to figure out what to do with them. But there is one thing you can send up; isn’t that amazing? It is your wealth if it’s invested in the proclamation of the gospel and in the preparation and training of those who proclaim the gospel.”
•We have the blessed privilege and responsibility to convert currency that will not last into a return that will last forever. In what are you investing?

By Any Means Necessary

That Was Resourceful Action

It is best to interpret the manager’s actions as being dishonest. This traditional interpretation takes the parable at face value. The only serious criticism in understanding the behavior as being dishonest is a moral one. How can the master commend someone for his dishonesty? Yet the manager is not commended for his dishonesty but for his shrewdness. He is commended for acting and preparing himself for the judgment awaiting him. He is commended essentially for being a shrewd scoundrel and taking care of his future.

Practical Application #2

The Lesson to Be Learned

Practical Application #1

invest in missionaries and those who send missionaries. You invest in every gospel enterprise that
One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much – A person who is trustworthy with a small amount of money will be trustworthy with a larger sum.
A
Comparing
And one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much – A person who is wasteful and unjust with a small amount of money will be the same with a larger amount.
A wise saying
A word about worship
Character counts, not the amounts.

Practical Application #2

If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? – If a Christian is wasteful, unjust with worldly goods, they forfeit the opportunity for true riches.
And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? – If a Christian is not faithful in what belongs to God, how can they receive an eternal reward.
•It is not about the amounts, it is character that counts. Who you are and what you value is reflected by your use of everything financial. What does your spending say about who you are and your values?

Practical Application #3

No servant can serve two masters – A slave cannot slave for two owners. To be a slave was to be completely possessed for total service to the one who owned you. Only one master was possible.
For either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other – Even if one tried, one lord or master would be neglected and the other served.
You cannot serve God and money – Straight-talk: It is impossible to be God’s bond-servant and be bound to the love of money. Impossible!!! Why are we tempted to try?
•Money is a great tool, but a terrible God. We must serve God only and money must be spent to serve him.
The Test of Thoughts
The Test of Energy
The Test of Attachment
multiplies teachers and preachers and evangelists and the spread of the Word and the spread of the
truth around the world and you are purchasing friends for eternity. Endless personal accumulation is
meaningless. Life is short and you don’t know how short. You don’t want to waste it. There isn’t
much you can send up. You can’t send your house up; you’ll have a better one. You can’t send
your car up; you’ll fly everywhere. You don’t have anything you’re going to send up. Whatever your
little treasures are, they’re staying here and somebody else is going to figure out what to do with
them. But there is one thing you can send up; isn’t that amazing? It is your wealth if it’s invested in
the proclamation of the gospel and in the preparation and training of those who proclaim the gospel.
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