Skip to main content

Search LearnTheBible

The Parable of the Unrighteous Steward

Please explain Luke 16:1-12...I don't understand the parable of unrighteous steward.  Is there any commentary or materials?

I do not see this parable as teaching dispensational truth or
dealing with eternal salvation. Rather, it is a lesson in Christian discipleship. Much of Luke emphasizes discipleship.

Christ shows the wisdom of the world in certain areas. Here, even the unjust steward understood that he could make things easier on himself by being kind to those under him. That is, if he were not greedy with his goods, others might be generous to him in his time of need.

Jesus contrasts that with the greed and covetousness of the Pharisees.  They strictly followed religious traditions, but were stingy in their worldly goods. They made a great distinction between the spiritual and the secular and felt that their obedience to the spiritual rules made it unnecessary to live holy in the secular realm. But this parable teaches us that the way we deal with the earthly and secular areas of our life is how we will deal with the spiritual. If a man is not a hard worker on his job, he will not be a hard worker for God. The two are connected.

This parable also teaches us that God tests us in our secular areas of life to see if we are ready for spiritual responsibility (see Luke 16:10-12). If we cannot righteously do our work or handle our finances, why would God trust us with more important spiritual responsibilities?

The "everlasting habitations" statement in verse 9 is a difficult one for me. I believe the friendship with the mammon or unrighteousness simply refers to having a good report and testimony with the lost and with the people we deal with in the world. Consider this verse:

1 Thessalonians 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

It says must the same as Luke 16:9.

But the everlasting habitations are more difficult. The best I can say is that it refers to their hospitality from their viewpoint and not from God's viewpoint. They would receive the believer who has failed financially as if they were receiving him into everlasting habitations.  This is total acceptance. Christ is referring to their generous hospitality, not to an absolute time period.