T Y 1-8-. Parable. The Unjust Steward. Z -8-12. Application: re "Mammon". Y 13-. Illustration. Two Masters. Z -13. Application: re "Mammon".
Y g 1,2. His master's requirement. h 3,4-. The steward's unjust resolution. i -4. Its object. Subsequent reception. h 5-7. The steward's unjust action. g 8. His master's approbation.
1 And He said to His disciples also, "There was a certain rich man, which had a steward (a house manager, or agent, managing the house and servants, assigning the tasks, &c., of the later); and the same was accused (Gr. diaballomai = to be struck through, implying malice, but not necessarily falsehood) to him as wasting his goods.
2 And he called him, and said to him, 'What is this that I hear this concerning you? render the account of your office of the steward; for you can be no longer steward.
3 Then the steward said in himself, 'What shall I do? for my master is taking away from me the office of steward: to dig, I am not strong enough; to beg I am ashamed. (Ashamed to beg, not ashamed to embezzle)
4 I am resolved (or, I have it! I know,&c.) what I will do, that, when I shall have been removed from the office steward,
they (i.e. the debtors) may receive me into their own houses.'
5 So he called (separately) each one of his lord's debtors to him, and said to the first, 'How much owe you to my lord?'
6 And he said, 'An hundred measures of oil.' (about 600 gallons) And he said to him, 'Take back your writings (i.e. agreement), and sitting down, quickly write fifty.' (It was a secret and hurried transaction.)
7 Then said he to another, 'And how much owe you?' And he said, 'An hundred measures of wheat.' (about 800 bushels) And he said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.'
8 And his master commended the unjust steward, because he had done shrewdly:
Z j -8. Christ's judgment. k 9-. Do I say? What the steward's master said? l -9. Object. Subsequent reception. k 10. [No, I say], "He that is faithful", &c. j 11,12. Christ's judgment.
for the sons of this age are to (i.e. in reference to) their own generation more shrewd above the children of light [are with reference to theirs]. (In the former case they are all unscrupulous alike.)
9 And, Is this what I say to you, (In vv. 10-12 the Lord gives the reason why he does not say that; otherwise these verses are wholly inconsequential, instead of being the true application of vv,1-8)
Make to yourselves friends out of the mammon (riches) of unrighteousness; that, when it shall fail, they may receive you into eternal tents.' (Answering to the "houses" of v.4)
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 in much also. (This is the Lord's own teaching, which gives the reason why "No!" is the true answer to His question in v.9)
11 If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches?
12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is a foreigner's (cp. Acts 7:6 and Heb. 11:9 ["strange"], and Matt. 17:25,26 ["stranger"]), who shall give you that which is your own?
13 No domestic household servant is able to serve two lords:
for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You are not able to serve God and mammon."
14 And the Pharisees also, who being then money-lovers [referring to mammon, v.1113], heard all these things: and they were turning up their noses to Him. (This was the immediate cause of the 2nd parable [vv.19-30], and the solemn application [v.31].)
15 And He said to them (addressed to the Pharisees), "You are they which justify yourselves before men (see 15:7,29; 7:39. Matt. 23:25); but God knows your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination (in contrast with their derision) in the sight of God.
S A 15. What the Pharisees esteemed [God's abomination]. B 16,17. The Law and the Prophets Proclaimed. A 18-30. What the Pharisees taught [God's abomination]. B 31. Moses and the Prophets. Not believed.
16 The law (see Matt. 5:17) and the prophets were until John: since then the kingdom of God is preached, and every man (put for many. "But not you!") presses into it. (See Matt. 11:12)
17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. (See Matt. 5:18)
A C¹ 18. Concerning divorce ["the Law"]. C² 19-30. Concerning the dead ["the Prophets"].
18 Whosoever (this verse is not "loosely connected", or "out of any connection" with what precedes, as alleged. The Pharisees made void the law [as to divorce]; and they made void the prophets [vv.16,17] and the rest of Scripture as to the dead [vv.19-23]) puts away his wife, and marries another, commits adultery: and whosoever marries her that is put away from her husband commits adultery. (The Rabbis made void the law and the prophets by their traditions, evading Deut. 22:22, and their "scandalous license" regarding Deut. 24:1)
19 But there was (this commences the 2nd part of the lord's address to the Pharisees, against their tradition making void God's word as to the dead, which may be seen in Pss. 6:5; 30:9; 31:17; 88:11; 115:17; 146:4. Ecc.9:6,10; 12:7. Isa. 38:17-19,&c. It is not called a "parable" because it cites a notable example in the Pharisees' tradition, which had been brought from Babylon) a certain rich man, which habitually clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared i splendor every day:
20 And there was a certain poor man named Lazarus (a common Talmudic contraction of the Heb. Eleazar; but introduced by the Lord to point to His own closing comment in v.31), which was cast down at his gate, full of sores,
21 And eagerly desiring (but in vain, as in 15:16) to be fed from the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: but [instead of finding food] the dogs came and licked off (i.e. licked clean) his sores. (Gr. helkos = ulcers)
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died (so he was already in the spiritual body), and was carried by the angels (the Pharisees taught that there were 3 sets of angels for wicked men; and others for good men) into Abraham's bosom (the Pharisees taught that there were 3 places:  Abraham's bosom;  "under the throne of glory";  in the garden of Eden [Gr. Paradise]. Speaking of death, they would say: this day he sits in Abraham's bosom"): the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell (Gr. Hades = the grave) he having lifted up his eyes (similar imagery in Judg. 9:7-15. Isa. 14:9-11), being there in torments (= touchstone. Tests metal, made of Basalt. If you touch gold or silver to the stone, it will leave a mark that can be recognized as to the true worth of the metal. The rich man came up and left the wrong mark. He didn't have what it takes, no value, thus he grieved. God's test, not man's opinion. Touchstone never lies. Christ is our touchstone/cornerstone), and sees Abraham from afar, and Lazarus in his bosom. (The Pharisees taught that in life 2 men may be "coupled together", and one sees the other after death, and conversations take place.)
24 And crying out he said (the Pharisees gave long stories of similar imaginary conversations and discourses), 'Father Abraham (Cp. Matt. 3:9), have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water (living water), and cool (Gr. katapsuchō, a medical term) my tongue; for I am distressed (or grieved) in this flame.'
25 But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your life (as being the opposite of death) did receive back (or had all) your good things (he lived it up), and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are distressed.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there has been a great chasm established (a transliteration of the Gr. chasma, from chaskō, to gape. A medical word for an open wound): so that they which desire to pass from here to you are not able; neither can they pass to us, that would come from there.' (Itís not a permanent resting place. They are there awaiting judgment and of course the outcome of the Millennium, but their process could be altered through the Millennium, IF they are intelligent.)
27 Then he said, 'I entreat you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house: (The rich man had asked for the Living Water for himself, but it was too late. He began thinking about his family instead of himself.)
28 For I have five brethren; that he may earnestly testify unto them, that they may also not come into this place of torment.' (Don't think of this torment as fire. The torment was the fact that he didn't make it to the other side of the gulf.)
29 Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses (see 5:14 and the prophets (the later including the historical books. Cp. John 1:45; 5:39,46); let them hear them.' (Abraham means "father of many nations". Abraham is the father figure, and he is speaking for our Heavenly Father. The rich man was asking God to give his family a sign. What was the response? God's signs may be found in Moses and the prophets.)
30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham: but if (implying a contingency) one went to them away from the dead, they will repent.'
31 And he said to him (the lesson of the parable. From these final words Lightfoot says "it is easy to judge what was the design and intention of this parable". The Lord's words were proved to be true, by the results of the resurrection of another Lazarus [John 12:9], and of Himself [Matt. 28:11-13), 'If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded (much less repent), not even if one rose from the from among dead.' " (Christ rose from the dead and still most don't believe. Note the Lord's true word, in contrast with the rich man's in v.30. Let's take Moses for example. Israel was held in captivity by Egypt, when Moses was born. The population of Israel was growing and Pharaoh decided it was time to kill the newborns. Baby Moses was placed in a basket in a river full of crocodiles and floating towards the Egyptians. The deliverance of Israel out of the hand of Pharaoh didn't look to promising at this point. Remember Moses was also a type for the Deliverer, Jesus Christ. Moses was a sign from God to Israel, and to you today, that there is nothing to worry about. God is in control. God will take care of you, if you do things His way. Look to Moses and the prophets. You can trust God. Events in these days will happen exactly as it is written. Father's plan is set in concrete and will come to pass. The entire life of Mose is a sign from God set before you. Moses not only survived the crocodiles, but with God's help, he delivered Israel from Egypt. God utilizes His people to accomplish His will. As we prepare for the events we know will soon come to pass, we have nothing to fear. Look to the signs God has given through Moses and the prophets.)