Luke Chapter 16

Posted by Dion Todd August 17th, 2015 4,113 Views 0 Comments

Bible Study on Luke 

Luke Chapter 16


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Luke 16 Outline:

16:01-09 The unjust steward.
16:10-13 God and mammon.
16:14-15 The covetous Pharisees.
16:16-17 The law and the prophets.
16:19-31 The rich man and Lazarus.


Fun Facts:
— The parable 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.


Study Notes:
Luke 16:01-09 The parable of the unjust steward is one of the most difficult parables of Jesus to interpret. Mainly because the manager was dishonest, and the Lord commended him. Reconcile that one.

The most acceptable answer that I have heard is that managers then often added a commission, or interest onto the bill for themselves. The manager removed this extra charge and used what was coming to him, to buy the favor of those that owed it. That also fits with the next sentence of: “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” (Luke 16:9).

Luke 16:10-13 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. The key is to seek God and all of these things will be added to you anyway. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Ps. 37:4).

Luke 16:14-15 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 other people.

Luke 16:16-17 The time of Israel was until John, 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, if they have not already and many were fulfilled in the life of Jesus.

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 spoiling a meal, and then later “if he found another woman that was prettier.” They took great liberty with the 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 the statements.

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 sometimes it is better than a slow death.

Luke 16:19-31 The parable of the rich man and Lazarus is only mentioned in the book of Luke and 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, 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. It does not say that the rich man committed any grave sin, only that he lived for himself. That was his condemnation.

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. When Lazarus died, he was taken by angels to a great feast and seated at a table with Abraham. 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).

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.

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. Make this life count. It is short compared to what is coming.

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. 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.

Abraham explains that those that 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.

It was not money that caused the rich man to be lost, but his attitude and what he did with it. Abraham himself was very rich and very saved. So was David. This man was not rich toward God and did not concern himself with helping anyone else.


Study Questions: (if your answers are very long, you may want to type them first in something like Notepad, which doesn't require an Internet connection, then copy and paste (Ctrl-A to select, Ctrl-C to copy, Ctrl-V to paste), to prevent mishaps. If you have a lot to say, feel free to post more than once, and just answer a couple of questions at a time, to avoid your post getting cut off. Also, you are welcome to post any questions you may have. We look forward to your thoughts!)

1. In Luke 16:1-13, Jesus described the parable of the dishonest manager. In this story, the master commended the manager for his shrewdness. As we know that He would not have us be dishonest, what can we learn from this parable?

2. Jesus said in Luke 16:15 that “what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God”. What do you think some of the things are that we, as people, may value that are abhorrent to God? What do you think God values in us?

3. In Luke 16:18, Jesus said that “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.” What are your thoughts on this subject?

4. In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man neglected to show mercy on someone who was only asking for the scraps from his table. After they had both died, the rich man asked for mercy, but there was none. What can we learn from this story?

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