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Bible Study: Luke, Chapter Sixteen

  • RHM Bible Study, Luke Chapter Sixteen from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Transcript: Today we are going to continue our Bible study and we will be studying Luke Chapter 16 in depth. You can follow along in your own Bible if you like. I will be reading from the World English Bible because it is the only modern English translation that is copyright free. 

    After the meeting today, or sometime this week, please take the matching quiz that I have prepared for you on the website. For those that are having problems with the quizzes, we are now including the questions at the bottom of the teaching. Thanks to everyone that has participated. Let’s get started:

    Let’s set our location. In Luke 9:51 Jesus had came to a Samaritan village on His way to Jerusalem, but they rejected Him. James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven and Jesus called them “Sons of Thunder.” After this, they crossed the Jordan and traveled through Perea. Jesus ministered in this area for about three months, gradually making His way to Jerusalem. This era is called the “Perean Ministry of Jesus” and it spans from the end of Luke chapter 9 through chapter 18. That is where this took place.

    The Perean Ministry of Jesus

    Luke Chapter 16 beginning in verse 1 reading from the World English Bible: He also said to his disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a manager. An accusation was made to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 He called him, and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.
    Jesus spoke to His disciples and told them a parable about a rich man who had a dishonest manager, a steward over his property. Someone told the rich man that his steward was cheating him by wasting his possessions. Such managers would handle the business affairs of a household, an estate, or even a city. The rich man told him to give an account of his management, basically to produce the financial records so that another manager could take over. This gave him a little time to prepare. 

    3  “The manager said within himself, ‘What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don’t have strength to dig. I am ashamed to beg. 4  I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses.’ 

    Managers like this had to be completely trustworthy, and once word got out that he was fired for being wasteful, no one would ever hire him to manage their possessions. His days of being a manger were finished. The other options were manual labor, but he was used to a soft lifestyle and not strong enough to dig, and he was ashamed for people to see him begging. He came up with a plan to improve his image and make people like him. 

    5  Calling each one of his lord’s debtors to him, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe to my lord?’ 6  He said, ‘A hundred batos of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 

    The manager called each one of the rich man’s debtors to him and made a deal with them, though it only mentions the details of two. The first man owed about 100 “baths” of olive oil, which works out to be about 800 gallons. These were very large transactions, probably commercial and involving leasing the land. The manager told the man to write 50, cutting the debt in half. 

    7  Then he said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred cors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’

    Again, this was a very large amount. One hundred “kors” would be around 1,000 bushels of wheat. The manager told him to write 80, which is about 800, 200 bushels less than owed. 

    8  “His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light. 

    This is considered by many to be Jesus’ most difficult parable because the rich man praised the dishonest manger. There are many different views on it, and they all sound convincing. Jews were not supposed to charge interest to fellow Jews, so the interpretation that makes the most sense to me in the context of this chapter is that the manager made these deals and earned a commission on them, so he wrote off what they owed him and in doing so, they became indebted to him. The people owed him for looking out for them, and these were large transactions. The moral of the story seems to come in the next verse: “Use worldly wealth to gain eternal things.” 

    9  I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents. 

    Invest your wealth with an eternal view. It is important to use the resources available to you for the work of the Lord, but so many believe they will wait until they have enough. I read about a survey that was taken in1992, asking people how much money would it take for them to live the “American Dream.” People that earned $25,000 a year said they would need around $54,000. People that earned around $100,000 a year said they would need around $192,000. Basically, everyone who took the survey thought they needed to double their income in order to live the “good life” instead of enjoying it now. 

    Recently I had to help a man near us with some computer issues. He is very wealthy, by our standards at least. He owns about 7 farms, some are about 40 acres with large houses and barns. New cars and trucks all around the yard, and a show car or two, with all of it paid for. He talked to me for a couple of hours as I was working, and I just listened. He had bought some Facebook stock when it first came out and it was now worth just over $100,000. He had more than that in Amazon. Then he stopped and said: “Dion, I just don’t have the money to do what I need to do. I’m thinking of selling this place here and downsizing so I’ll have more to invest.” I said all that to say there is nothing wrong with wealth, but it is a bottomless put that can consume your life if you let it. 

    10  He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 

    Faithfulness scales. Those who can be trusted with a little can also be trusted with a lot. 

    11  If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12  If you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13  No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and Mammon.”

    Jesus makes it clear that you cannot serve two masters whole-heartedly. Your attention will be divided and you will obtain neither. If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both. How can we tell who or what we serve? One way is by what you are willing to make sacrifices for: you will make sacrifices for your God. If you will make sacrifices for the sake of more money, but will not sacrifice for the sake of Jesus, then money is your God. If you are willing to sacrifice your money and time for Jesus, then He is your God. 

    A key to happiness and balance is to seek God first and all of these things will be added to you anyway. If you delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). David loved the Lord and he died a very rich man, because as you love on Jesus, He will love you back. 

    The word ‘mammon’ is an Aramaic word which originally meant, ‘that in which one puts their trust.’ which could be money, property, or wealth. Christians owe their total allegiance to God and not to Money. This means that when the Lord tells you to give someone money, and He certainly will, that you cheerfully give it without question. 

    Now this is something very important that you need to understand: I can tell you from experience that when you start drawing close to the Lord, one of the first things He is going to tug on is your wallet. He did it to me, He did it to all my friends in seminary, and all of the teachers there, and everyone that I know who has earnestly sought Him over the years. It is all about trust. He wants you to learn to trust Him instead of your own strength and possessions. No one is exempt from this and when the Lord tells you to give, any excuse that you make, is just an excuse. Let’s take a moment to look at that. When there was a famine in Israel and people were starving, the Lord sent the prophet Elijah to live with a poor widow and her son, who were about to starve:

    1 Kings 17:8–16 (NKJV) — Then the word of the LORD came to him (Elijah), saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 

    And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’ ” So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.

    God said that He had commanded the widow to provide for Elijah, though she had very little means to do so. They were down to their last meal, and she was just a poor widow, but even then He first asked her for something, and when she was obedient, God took care of her needs all the way through the famine, until the rains came. The poor starving widow living in a famine was not exempt when the Lord told her to give. Here is another one:

    In Mark 12:41-44 NKJV “Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

    How much that you give is relative to what you have. This poor widow gave two copper coins that would have been worth about half a penny. Jesus said that she gave more than all of the rich that were there. She was obedient. She put her trust in God because she gave all that she had, and you can bet that He took care of her. I could share many more stories about this but I want to tell you why it is important and the key is in verse 11:

    Luke 16:11 Amp: Therefore if you have not been faithful in the [case of] unrighteous mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions), who will entrust to you the true riches? 

    You will never be trusted with God’s true riches, until He can first trust you with money. To put it simply: God tests people by giving them money, so that He may know how far He can trust them, and no one is exempt. He does not tell us the details of the “true riches” but you can bet it is the best of the best. If He cannot trust you with a little money, would He trust you with His daughter or His son? Someone is watching what you do with your money.

    I am not saying any of this because I want your money. What I am saying is that there can be no real intimacy in a relationship when you don’t trust the other person, and God will use your money to measure your trust in Him. He always has since the beginning of time. 

    Giving is a part of scripture from Genesis through Revelation, but you don’t have to give, and the Lord will not make you. It is a choice. What I want you to know is that when He tells you to give to someone, or do something and you refuse, then your progress with Him stalls. You can sit there seven years waiting on Him to move in your life and nothing will happen because you are waiting on stage two to come when you did not do stage one yet. Seven years is nothing to Him, but that is a long time in our lives:

    14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they scoffed at him. 

    If you felt offended by what I said about giving, you are not alone. The pharisees got upset with Jesus because “they were lovers of money.” They heard what He was saying, and they scoffed at Him. Which means they responded in a scornful, derisive and mocking way. The words Jesus spoke ran off of them like water off a ducks back. They were immune and felt as right as rain. Just as Jesus said “a man cannot serve two masters, for he will love one, and hate the other.” The pharisees loved their money, and they began to hate Jesus, who kept talking about that painful subject. 

    15 He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. 

    The sharp word of God upset the Pharisees who loved money. They liked to appear righteous and disguise their sin. They saw their money as the blessing of God and the evidence of their righteousness. Even though a lot of it came from charging their neighbors exorbitant interest that was forbidden by the law, they found a workaround. Jesus made it clear that what they loved so dearly, was an abomination in the sight of God. The love of money causes people to take advantage of and hurt other people. It doesn’t have to be money either, shopaholics and hoarding can be just as bad. Also, you don’t have to actually have money to love money. Many who live in poverty will gladly run over others to have just a little more. The poor have just as much potential for greed and covetousness as the rich have.

    16  The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the Good News of God’s Kingdom is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 17  But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one tiny stroke of a pen in the law to fall. 

    The time of Israel was until John the baptizer, then Jesus began teaching “The kingdom of God” and everyone is now welcome to be a part of it. You no longer have to be born a Jew, you just need to be “reborn.” Still Jesus said that the law and prophets, which make up the Old Testament, will be completely fulfilled right down to the smallest dot. All of the prophecies in the Old Testament will still come to pass, many of them were fulfilled during the life of Jesus. 

    18  Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. He who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.

    This verse is an example of the usefulness of the law was divorce. Deuteronomy 24:1 allowed a man to divorce his wife (though strangely a woman was not allowed to divorce her husband). The Pharisees added onto this until they could divorce a wife for simply spoiling a meal, and then later “if he found another woman who was prettier.” They took great liberty in expanding the divorce law. 

    Jesus made it clear that the law was not to be used like that and if you divorced, you committed adultery because you were originally meant to be joined “till death do you part.” Jesus may have been making a remark about Herod as well, who had recently divorced his own wife and married his brother’s wife, which would have fulfilled both of these statements.  

    Since Jesus also taught that sexual immorality was acceptable grounds for divorce in Matthew (5:31–32, 19:7–9) and later the Apostle Paul added that desertion by an unbelieving spouse was also an acceptable reason (1 Corinthians 7:15). Because of those two clear allowances, we must regard Jesus’ command here to refer to the one who divorces his wife without Biblical cause and marries another; that this one commits adultery. Yes, adultery can be forgiven if they ask, for God will show the ex’s the same grace and forgiveness that He shows us. 

    Divorce is a very lengthy subject and too much to get into here. If you want to know how I feel about divorce, please read my teaching on “Marriage and Divorce.” Divorce is never the perfect solution, but I found it better than a slow, agonizing death. 

    19  “Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. 20  A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was taken to his gate, full of sores, 21  and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 

    There was a certain rich man, and a poor man; this tells us that Jesus is going to talk about handling money some more. This story of the rich man and Lazarus is only mentioned in the book of Luke. Lazarus is the only person given a name in the parables of Jesus. The rich man lived a very lavish life. He was clothed in purple and fine linen. The purple dye was obtained from shellfish, which was very expensive and hard to come by. The combination of purple clothing for the outer garment and fine linen for the undergarment represented the ultimate in luxury. 

    Being that the clothing mentioned was that of royalty, the implication is that the rich man lived like a king. Some wonder if the rich man was King Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee and Perea, who had five brothers when Jesus told this story, just as the rich man in the story did. 

    Lazarus lived in complete opposite circumstances. He was hungry, covered in sores and lay at the rich man’s gate, begging. One man had all that he wanted, while the other had nothing.

    22  The beggar died, and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. 23  In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. 

    Lazarus died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom, the place of intimacy with Abraham, the father of the Jewish people. Such a place was considered the place of greatest honor and security. He was probably reclining by Abraham with his head resting on him at the table in the same manner that the disciple John, rested on Jesus (John 13:23, Matt 8:11). The rich man died as well, and went to hades (hell). It does not say that the rich man committed any grave sin, only that he lived for himself while people just outside his gate suffered in need. That was his condemnation.

    Something interesting about this story, when death came to each they were immediately taken to the appropriate place. Angels carried Lazarus to a feast and the rich man was somehow moved to a place of torment. There was no waiting period mentioned.

    24  He cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.’

    Even though the rich man was in torment, he still felt that Lazarus was beneath him and asked Abraham to send him like a servant or messenger to bring him some water, and then again to warn his brothers. 

    25  “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same way, bad things. But here he is now comforted, and you are in anguish. 26  Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that no one may cross over from there to us.’

    There was a great chasm separating the two places and no one could pass from one side to the other. In eternity, where you are is where you will stay. So make this life count. It is really short compared to eternity. 

    27  “He said, ‘I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house; 28  for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won’t also come into this place of torment.’ 

    The rich man implies that if he had known what was coming, that he would behaved differently. Lazarus has nothing to say throughout the parable and accepts what God has given him, both while on earth and after. He does not respond to the rich man still wanting to send him on errands. 

    29  “But Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ 30  “He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31  “He said to him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.’ ” 

    Abraham explains that those who will not heed the writings of Moses and be caring even when a beggar is living outside of their door, will still not believe or change if someone did appear to them from the dead. In the end, it was not money that caused the rich man to be lost, but his attitude and what he did with it. This man was not rich toward God and he did not concern himself with helping anyone but himself. Money itself is not evil, it is the love of money that is. Abraham who was in this story, was a very rich man, and he was very saved. So was David. We should use our money to help those in need. 


    That concludes our Bible study on Luke Chapter 16. Thank you for watching and for being a part of Refreshing Hope!

    Click here or read below to take the quiz on Luke Sixteen!

    Quiz Questions on Luke 16:

    1. Jesus told His disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a manager. An accusation was made to him that this man was _____ his possessions.
    2. “The manager said within himself, ‘What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don’t have strength to _____. I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses.’ 
    3. The manager called each one of his lord’s debtors to him, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe to my lord?’ He said, ‘A hundred batos of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write _____.’
    4. The manager said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred cors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write _____.’ 
    5. His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the _____.
    6. Jesus said: “I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous _____, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents.”
    7. Jesus said: “He who is _____ in a very little is _____ also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”
    8. Jesus said: “If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the _____ riches?” 
    9. Jesus said: “If you have not been faithful in that which is _____, who will give you that which is your own?” 
    10. Jesus said: “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and _____.”
    11. The _____, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they scoffed at Jesus. 
    12. Jesus said to the Pharisees, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your _____. For that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. 
    13. Jesus said: “The law and the prophets were until _____. From that time the Good News of God’s Kingdom is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one tiny stroke of a pen in the law to fall.” 
    14. Jesus said: “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits _____. He who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits _____.”
    15. Jesus said: “Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in _____ and fine linen, living in luxury every day.” 
    16. Jesus said: “A certain beggar, named _____, was taken to his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores.” 
    17. Jesus said: “Lazarus died, and he was carried away by the angels to _____’s bosom.” 
    18. Jesus said: “The rich man also died, and was buried. In _____, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom.
    19. Jesus said the rich man cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send _____, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.’
    20. Abraham said to the rich man, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ “He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the _____, they will repent.’ 

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4 comments
  • 1
Barbara Neahring
Barbara Neahring

I share your teachings. So good!  Thank you! 

December 31, 2017
  • 1
Phynedra Franklin
Phynedra Franklin

Amen 

December 31, 2017
  • 1
Deborah Alexander
Deborah Alexander

Thank you Pastor Dion enjoyed the Bible study

Jan 5
  • 1
Dion Todd
Dion Todd

Thank you all for taking a moment to encourage us!

Jan 7