Resources » The IVP New Testament Commentary Series » Luke » The Journey to Jerusalem (9:51-19:44) » Generosity: Handling Money and Possessions (16:1-31)

Generosity: Handling Money and Possessions (16:1-31)

The use of wealth is the major topic of Luke 16. Wealth can be a blessing or a curse, depending on whether it is used as a means to exercise power, a tool of self-indulgence or a resource to serve others. Wealth's danger is that it can turn our focus toward our own enjoyment, as the rich fool showed in 12:13-21 and as the rich man of 16:19-31 will show. Money is a tool. It is an excellent resource when put to the right use. It can help to build many things of use to others. But to possess money is also to hold a sacred stewardship. Our resources are not to be privately held and consumed but are to be used as a means of generosity, as a way of showing care for our neighbor, as the good Samaritan showed in 10:25-37 and as a restored Zacchaeus will show in 19:1-10.

Two parables unique to Luke make this twofold point about wealth. Between the two parables comes a short description of the two periods in God's plan, with Jesus' declaration that the new era demands faithfulness in our commitment to others, just like the commitment a spouse makes in marriage.

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