Luke 16:1-15; Proverbs 6:6-11

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.

Spend some time in worship.




Luke 16:1-15
Jesus tells the parable of the dishonest steward to the disciples, rather than the crowds (although it appears that a few Pharisees were also listening.)
A steward had oversight of money or property. In this account the steward’s employer (the rich man) heard that his employee was cheating him and called him in to give an account of his dealings. The steward knew the writing was on the wall for him, but he was clever and proud and he rejected the ideas of digging or begging. So He made a plan. He called those who owed his employer money to meet with him, and developed better relationships with them by altering their accounts with the rich man and reducing the amounts of their debts. Whilst the rich man did not condone what his steward had done, he did recognize his business acumen. Jesus Himself noted that the people of the world were more skilled at handling their material wealth than the Jews were.
In this parable, Jesus used a situation that would have been familiar to the disciples. They would have known similar crooked stewards, out to make what they could from the wealth of others. The dishonest steward was, in fact a good example for Jesus to have chosen, in spite of the difficulty we have in understanding the parable. The steward knew he would have to give an account of his life, as everyone will eventually have to give an account to God. This can be a joy if a person has lived in line with God’s will. The steward was also aware that he needed to use his present position to provide for a comfortable future after he had been fired. When Jesus spoke of those whose world was dominated by secular materialism, He said they focused on pursuing profit and pleasure to a greater extent than the people of God pursued the things of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus then continued that believers are to use their resources to plan ahead for their eternal life. The term mammon is from the Aramaic word meaning that in which one puts one’s trust (in this case, wealth). But Jesus describes it as ‘unrighteous’ as those who put their trust in mammon rob themselves of the salvation and riches of God. Jesus does not say money in itself is wrong, but instructs them to use their resources for the benefit of the Kingdom of God, even when they don’t think they have
enough assets to do so. Jesus counts money as a little thing. If a person who follows Christ cannot be faithful in managing their money, then they cannot be trusted to handle wisely the things that are important. Anyone who is untrustworthy in regard to their everyday life will be untrustworthy in their spiritual life too; and if a person is not faithful in handling their money before God, then they are unlikely to be faithful in their care of people. Jesus is not talking about the degree of wealth here, but rather in how a believer handles their resources.
Everything we own belongs to God. We ourselves are merely stewards of the resources of the earth. No one can serve two masters. Whilst people can have both money and God in their lives, they cannot serve both of them. The way a person handles their money is an indication of their relationship with God. Whether a person is wealthy or poor, anyone can serve money in the way they lead their lives. If they are prepared to make financial sacrifices for the sake of other people, then money is not their master.
The Pharisees loved money and so they ridiculed Jesus. He knew they could mislead the people, but they could not mislead God for He knows what is in their hearts and He judges people with a different set of values to the ones the world uses. God knows who people really are.
Proverbs 6:6-11
Solomon is speaking to anyone who is lazy here in one of the proverbs in the book of the same name. This book contains a great deal about the value of hard work and the fulfilment it brings. Ants are some of the hardest working creatures in existence and they take great care of their young. They are wise and work without supervision because it is in their nature to do so. So in the summer and at harvest they work to complete what needs to be done. As a result they fill their store rooms so there is plenty for all when the conditions are not so favourable. Solomon, who wrote this proverb, asks the person who is lazy how long they will mess around and waste time. Whilst it is specifically the lazy person who is being addressed, it is a message for an implied audience of any who tend to procrastinate. Excessive sleep for some is a means of escapism whilst they postpone the time when they should work. For these people poverty and need will come crashing down on them. But sleep in itself is not a bad thing. For those who have worked hard, sound sleep is their reward for such effort.


Where have you seen a rich person who is ‘poor’ and a poor person who is ‘rich’? What defines their status for you? Does your answer consider money at all? Why/why not?


  • How do you feel about any wealth you may possess? Entitled? Blessed? Justified? Hard-done-by? Deprived? What makes you feel this way?
  • What is the most important area of stewardship in your life? Your work, your family, your aging parents, the environment, your finances? How do you care for this portion of your life- responsibilities, and why are they important for you? How will you answer to God when He asks you how you stewarded these? Will your answer satisfy you – and Him? What changes
    could/should you make to give an acceptable answer to His question?
  • How do you feel about Jesus’ instruction to use your worldly wealth to gain friends for yourself? What does this mean to you in this day and age? How can you do this? Is it a challenge for you to live in this way? Explain your response.
  • How do you earn all you can? Do you have peace in your heart about the way you earn your money?
  • What were your responses to the three questions posed on Sunday after the sermon? The questions were:
    • How am I going to earn all I can:
      • Honestly …?
      • Healthily …?
      • Responsibly …?
  • Spend a moment of two listening once again to the Holy Spirit. What is He saying to you in regard to what your situation is now – and what He wants it to be? How do you feel about any changes you need to make?
  • Are you carrying the questions and your responses around with you as suggested? Why/why not?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.

This coming week think before you spend/use/invest any money you may have. Does it bring honour to God? How can you use your wealth to benefit His Kingdom? Are you prepared to do so? Make a note of your responses to such thoughts and be prepared to share them with your group next time you meet.


Luke Chapter 16

Proverbs 6

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