4 Outlines


Luke 16:1-13



This is perhaps the most difficult parable in all of Luke.  We find the story of the unjust steward.  The problem with this parable is the commendation of an unrighteous man by our Lord Jesus.

The theme of the parable and the section that follows is the use of money as a proper investment in the Kingdom of God. Tonight we want to look at



Vs. 1 – According to C. Marvin Pate, “The economic setting presupposed here has been analyzed by two authors and J.D.M. Derrett.


They have shown that the rich man was typical of an absentee landlord, the owner of a Galilean latifundium (a large land estate), who entrusted the transaction of his business to a steward. This person was properly trained and given great authority, able to represent his master in significant financial matters (e.g., the renting of land to tenant-farmers, the making of loans against a harvest, the liquidation of debts, the keeping of all financial accounts).

C. Marvin Pate, Luke, Moody Gospel Commentary (Chicago, Moody Press, 1995), p.313


This particular steward had a problem.

He was not honest and he evidently squandered his master’s resources for his own pleasures. He was accused before his master.


Vs. 2 – The steward was fired.  He had make a final account

of his stewardship and then he was done! Of course, we are reminded that at the Judgment Seat of Christ, we too, will have to give account of our stewardship of the things that God has blessed us with.


Vs. 3 – The steward, obviously is in a quandary.  He is not physically able to do manual labor, and he would be too ashamed to be a beggar.


Vs. 4 – The steward thinks and comes up with a plan.  He decides to make friends with his master’s debtors, so they, also, people of means, might receive him graciously into their homes.  His plan is a very clever one.


Vss. 5-7 – The way the promissory note was written, according too many scholars, the agent’s commission was written right into the note.  The first debtor probably actually owed only 50 measures or baths of oil, about 400 gallons worth. The rest was possibly a very stiff commission that the steward was to receive.  By the way, the cost of the oil was the equivalent of a little over three years salary for a common laborer.


The second debtor owed about a thousand bushels of wheat or about 8-9˝ years wage. The bill was reduced to a little over 800 bushels of whet.  Again, this was a significant savings.


According to many commentators, the steward was eliminating his commission. 

This would have endeared him to his master’s debtors, who would have shown appreciation by receiving him into their homes after he was done his job.


Not every commentator thinks that the steward was just eliminating his commission.  Some commentators think that he was being downright dishonest and cheating his master some more.  But remember, this is a parable and Jesus is making a point.


Vs. 8 – The unjust steward was commended not for his honesty, but for his shrewdness.  It doesn’t mean that the unjust steward was right, but he was shrewd and helped solve his personal problem.


Jesus goes on to make an application.  The children of this world are wiser than the children of light.

The children of this world would be those who are unsaved.

The children of light would be those who are saved.


You have met or heard of many people who were shrewd in business dealings in order to further themselves.  But how many Christians, who might be shrewd in their finances for their own worldly pleasure, use that shrewdness in business to invest Heavenly dividends?





In verses 9-13 our Lord gives us three principles that this parable would teach.  These are things which we should learn for our own lives.




Luke 16:9 - And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.


First of all, we know that Jesus is not teaching that you can buy your way into Heaven. John 14:6, John 3:36, Ephesians 2:8-9


Now we have to ask the question, how can we make friends with money that will mean something in “everlasting habitations” or Heaven?   


The immediate context of Jesus’ day was the perhaps the giving of alms to the poor.

However in our day, there are a few ways money can be invested that will bring reward in Heaven.


The first thing that comes to mind for me is investing in missions.  We can earn money so that we can give to the cause of bringing people to Christ.


Imagine the joy of a heavenly reunion someday where you are welcomed by the missionary who was on the mission field with you help and by the people he won to the Lord because you gave.


Another way of investing is giving to evangelistic efforts in our own church or through evangelistic outreaches in the United States.


Another way of giving is giving to those in need both Christian and non-Christian. Galatians 6:9-10


Imagine Christians in Heaven receiving you thankful that you had invested in them because you helped them when they had need.   



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 also in much.


The context is concerning money, but this statement is true for every endeavor.

If we are faithful in little issues, we will be faithful in big issues.

If we are unrighteous in little issues, we will be unrighteous in big things.

The person who is faithful in a small job at work or at church would be faithful if you gave him or her a big job.   

The person who is unfaithful in a small job at work or at church will be unfaithful in a big one.

The person who is faithful to the Lord in little behavior issues will be faithful in big issues, such as honesty.

The person who is unfaithful in little behavior issues, will be faithful in big behavior issues, such as honesty on a larger scale.


Luke 16:11 - If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?


Money and the things money can buy won’t go with you to Heaven.   

Faithful use of it, however will lead you to receive true riches, the riches that do not pass away. I believe that often we are not blessed with other responsibilities for the Lord because we have not been faithful in using our money wisely. Matthew 6:19-21, Ephesians 4:28


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?


God owns everything.

Anything that we own is simply a gift from Him.

Therefore how we use the resources God has given us is of the utmost importance.

Our poor people in America are rich compared to many other people around the world.


God will not give us true riches in Heaven of our own if we have not been good stewards of what He has given us here.


3.      BE FERVENT

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.


Actually, you will be fervently in love with either God or money.  Jesus says you can’t love both.

You will love one and despise the other.

Most people love money and don’t even realize it.

They are tied up with the things that money can buy.

If they don’t have money, they dream and talk of things they would like to have if they had money.


Here is a very convicting test.

Listen to what you think about and what you talk about.

If you love money you will think and talk about things that money can buy.


If you love someone or some activity you will talk about that.

If you love God, you will talk about Him.

If you love God, you will use your money as much as possible to further the Kingdom of God.




Luke 16:19-31



TWO PEOPLE – Vss. 19-21

1.     The Rich Man

2.     Lazarus



1.     Lazarus Passed Away – Nothing said of burial

2.     The Rich Man Passed Away – He was buried


TWO PLACES – Vss. 22-24

1.     Lazarus in Heaven – At rest.

2.     Rich Man In Hell – In torment


TWO PROBLEMS – Vss. 24-31

1.     There Is No Relief In Hell – Vss. 24-26

2.     There Is No Returning To Evangelize – Vss. 27-31




Luke 16:19-31









Luke 16:19-31



All of us have problems.  Many of our problems are not very serious, others are very serious.  The most serious problem a person can have is unbelief.  See John 3:36.  The rich man in this story told by Jesus found himself in hell, not because he was rich, but because he was an unbeliever!  His story shows us the seriousness of unbelief!



CRY FROM HELL Vss. 22-26



According to our Lord's account here, people in hell are very evangelistic. Shouldn't we be?