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Luke 16:1-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Unrighteous Steward

16 Now He was also saying to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was [a]reported to him as squandering his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my [b]master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’ And he summoned each one of his [c]master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ And he said, ‘A hundred [d]measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred [e]measures of wheat.’ He *said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ And his [f]master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own [g]kind than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the [h]wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.

10 He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous [i]wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12 And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No [j]servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and [k]wealth.”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 16:1 Or accused
  2. Luke 16:3 Or lord
  3. Luke 16:5 Or lord’s
  4. Luke 16:6 Gr baths, a Heb unit of measure equaling about 7 1/2 gal.
  5. Luke 16:7 Gr kors, one kor equals between 10 and 12 bu
  6. Luke 16:8 Or lord
  7. Luke 16:8 Lit generation
  8. Luke 16:9 Gr mamonas, for Aram mamon (mammon); i.e. wealth, etc., personified as an object of worship
  9. Luke 16:11 Gr mamonas, for Aram mamon (mammon); i.e. wealth, etc., personified as an object of worship
  10. Luke 16:13 Or house-servant
  11. Luke 16:13 Gr mamonas, for Aram mamon (mammon); i.e. wealth, etc., personified as an object of worship
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Luke 16:1-13 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Unjust Steward (Manager)

16 Now Jesus was also saying to the disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a manager [of his estate], and accusations [against this man] were brought to him, that this man was squandering his [master’s] possessions. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management [of my affairs], for you can no longer be [my] manager.’ The manager [of the estate] said to himself, ‘What will I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig [for a living], and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from the management, people [who are my master’s debtors] will welcome me into their homes.’ So he summoned his master’s debtors one by one, and he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred [a]measures of [olive] oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write [b]fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred [c]measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ And his master commended the unjust manager [not for his misdeeds, but] because he had acted shrewdly [by preparing for his future unemployment]; for the sons of this age [the non-believers] are shrewder in relation to their own kind [that is, to the ways of the secular world] than are the sons of light [the believers]. And I tell you [learn from this], make friends for yourselves [for eternity] by means of the [d]wealth of unrighteousness [that is, use material resources as a way to further the work of God], so that when it runs out, they will welcome you into the eternal dwellings.

10 “He who is faithful in a very little thing is also faithful in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little thing is also dishonest in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of earthly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12 And if you have not been faithful in the use of that [earthly wealth] which belongs to another [whether God or man, and of which you are a trustee], 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 he will stand devotedly by the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon [that is, your earthly possessions or anything else you trust in and rely on instead of God].”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 16:6 Gr baths, a Hebrew unit of measure equaling about 7-8 gal.
  2. Luke 16:6 It is possible that the manager was releasing the debtors from unlawful interest he was charging them (cf v 2)
  3. Luke 16:7 Gr kors, one kor equals 10-12 bushels.
  4. Luke 16:9 Gr mamona, from Aram mammon, signifying riches, wealth, etc., personified as an object of worship.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Luke 16:1-13 The Message (MSG)

The Story of the Crooked Manager

16 1-2 Jesus said to his disciples, “There was once a rich man who had a manager. He got reports that the manager had been taking advantage of his position by running up huge personal expenses. So he called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? You’re fired. And I want a complete audit of your books.’

3-4 “The manager said to himself, ‘What am I going to do? I’ve lost my job as manager. I’m not strong enough for a laboring job, and I’m too proud to beg. . . . Ah, I’ve got a plan. Here’s what I’ll do . . . then when I’m turned out into the street, people will take me into their houses.’

“Then he went at it. One after another, he called in the people who were in debt to his master. He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

“He replied, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’

“The manager said, ‘Here, take your bill, sit down here—quick now—write fifty.’

“To the next he said, ‘And you, what do you owe?’

“He answered, ‘A hundred sacks of wheat.’

“He said, ‘Take your bill, write in eighty.’

8-9 “Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.”

God Sees Behind Appearances

10-13 Jesus went on to make these comments:

If you’re honest in small things,
    you’ll be honest in big things;
If you’re a crook in small things,
    you’ll be a crook in big things.
If you’re not honest in small jobs,
    who will put you in charge of the store?
No worker can serve two bosses:
    He’ll either hate the first and love the second
Or adore the first and despise the second.
    You can’t serve both God and the Bank.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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