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"And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.
And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do, for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship? I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
I am resolyed what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?
And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammont of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
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.
If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
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."
1. What is a Steward?
A man who manages the domestic concerns, or looks after the fields, business, and property of his Master.
* A measure of oil is calculated to be seven gallons, two quarts, and half a pint.
A measure of wheat is calculated to be eight bushels and a half.
Mammon means riches.
2. How did the unjust Steward try to take care of himself? By settling the accounts of his Master's debtors at less than they really were, he hoped to make them his friends, and to secure their assistance when he lost his place.
3. Who is the "lord" that commended the conduct of the unjust Steward?
His own master: not the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. What was this Master's reason for commending the unjust Steward?
Because he had taken good care of himself, and showed much cunning and contrivance; for the children of this world are, in their generation (or affairs of this life), wiser than the children of light: that is, they pay a more vigilant regard to their own temporal interests, than we do to spiritual and eternal blessings.
5. What is the object of the parable of the unjust Steward? To show the right use of worldly enjoyments, and to urge us to great zeal, decision, and activity in the pursuit of spiritual blessings.
6. How are we required to improve worldly property and the means of grace?
"As good stewards of the manifold grace of God." -(1 Peter iv. 10.) Riches when properly improved are a blessing to their possessor and others; but when abused, they produce present evil and everlasting ruin.
7. Is fidelity required in the least, as well as in the greatest concerns?
Yes: for "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."-(ver. 10.)
8. Can we serve two such opposite masters as God and the world at the same time?
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.
9. What are the duties taught by the parable of the unjust Steward?
A wise regard to spiritual and eternal blessings-a right improvement of worldly property-faithfulnessand the dedication of our hearts entirely to God.
10. What are the sins forbidden by the parable of the unjust Steward?
All injustice-neglect of true riches or spiritual blessings-the abuse of worldly property-and "covetousness, which is idolatry."-(Col. iii. 5.)
"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day;
And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores.
And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bo
And 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 tormented in this flame.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy life-time receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us that would come from thence.
Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house;
For I have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead."