The Pharisees react with ridicule to Jesus example of the unrighteous manager. This man had discounted his masters promissory notes for his own gain. And in this example, this man is called shrewd, gaining “unrighteous wealth”. Then Jesus moves on saying “a certain man was rich” and “a certain poor man named Lazarus”. Their roles are reversed when they die and Lazarus is in paradise and the rich man in Hades, but their personalities, their way of behaving is the same. Their choices in life have an eternal consequence. Jesus then moves on to those that sin, that cause an offence but repent. Jesus said if they repent, forgive them. And then forgive them again. And then forgive them again, if they repent again. But this is tiresome and taxing and then Jesus told them, the servant has only done wht they were obligated to do.
He Was Lost and is Found!
There are many emotions that might have been felt by the people in this parable. The father whose son refused to listen, what wasted years and loss of joy. The son who stayed with his father and worked faithfully and maybe even taking on more to fill the gap in the family business and for what? Then the prodigal son returns in shame having lost everything. They all lost something because of a young mans impetuous decision. There isn’t anything they can do to get back what they have lost.
Wisdom comes from the father in Luke 15:20-24 “this son of mine was dead, and is alive again! He was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate”. It never helps to look back at what might have been or how we thought life would be. There is only from this moment forward. Celebrate the future, the hope, the plans God has for you, and enjoy the company of those you love.
The One Who is Faithful in Very Little
There is a shrewdness that the world counts for wisdom but it is in Luke 16:9 unrighteousness wealth. And sadly, there are those that are very wise in this way as Luke 16:8 says, “the sons of this age are shrewder than the sons of light with regard to their own generation”. But here is what God has to say in
Luke 16:10 (LEB) 10 “The one who is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in very little is also dishonest in much.
God Knows Your Hearts!
Jesus had just finished the example of the unrighteous manager and he gets a reaction from the Pharisees in Luke 16:14 “they ridiculed him”. They are described as ones “who were lovers of money”. And described further in Luke 16:15 as “the ones who justify themselves in the sight of men”. Sure, money is part of this, but it is the praise of men, position, influence, power to be above others that Jesus is talking about. Now, Jesus says bluntly in Luke 16:16 “what is considered exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God”. And then Jesus says in
Luke 16:16 (LEB) “The law and the prophets were until John; from that time on the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is urgently pressed into it.
Jesus draws a line in time saying “… until John; from that time on …”. The kingdom of God has come near, Jesus Christ himself is standing in front of them. Salvation is only through him as it says in
Ephesians 2:8 (LEB) For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God;
But Jesus finishes this example to them by saying in
Luke 16:17 (LEB) But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the law to become invalid.
These things that were abomination to God, the things “exalted among men” were now done away with but “the kingdom was not the end of the law. True, the little details and regulations of the ceremonial law were wiped out. No one was to think that Christianity offered an easy way in which no laws remained. The great laws stood unaltered and unalterable”.1
You Received Your Good Things During Your Life
In Luke 16:21 Lazarus “was longing to be filled with what fell from the table of the rich man”. Then, after they both died, the rich man dried out from Hades in Luke 16:23 because he was “suffering pain in this flame”. Then in
Luke 16:25 (LEB) But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you received your good things during your life, and Lazarus likewise bad things. But now he is comforted here, but you are suffering pain.
Their roles are reversed. Now Lazarus is comforted and the rich man tormented, but now for eternity. But in Luke 16:26 “a great chasm has been established between us” because the rich man is still looking for Lazarus, someone, to serve his needs and kind hearted Lazarus would be willing to do it. God has established a border between them that neither can cross.
Finally, in Luke 16:27-31 the rich man gets past himself and his own needs and realizes that his family will also follow him into this horrible place. He cries out for someone to do his bidding again in Luke 16:28 “I have five brothers … warn them”. But in this place, the truth is spoken, in
Luke 16:31 (LEB) But he (Abraham) said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone rises from the dead.’ ”
If You Have Faith Like a Mustard Seed
People often quote Luke 17:6 and this is an important principle in the kingdom of God. Jesus sometimes said “according to your faith be it done” and he said “ask, believe you receive it and you will have it”, here though, the disciples respond to Jesus in Luke 17:5 with “Increase our faith” after, in Luke 17:4 Jesus tells them to forgive their brother “seven times in a day”. It is the forbearance, the enduring of a wrong against you with only an apology that caused them to say “Lord, increase our faith”. Jesus is saying that we must stand the test of anothers sin against us. But Jesus doesn’t stop. He doesn’t accept their reaction that they need more faith. He instead talks to them about the duty of a slave. He says a slave will fulfill his duty to his master and not expect his master to be grateful because in Luke 17:10 “we have done what we were obligated to do”.
Your Faith Has Saved You
The Kingdom of God is in Your Midst
As the Lightning Shines Forth
- Luke 16:14–17 God Knows Your Hearts
- Luke 16:19–31 You Received Your Good Things During Your Life
- Luke 17:1–10 If You Have Faith Like a Mustard Seed
- Luke 15:20-32
- Luke 16:1-31
- Luke 17:1-37
The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ – The Gospels
This series follows the order of readings from the Tyndale One Year Chronological Bible. Covering these events chronologically as they happened, gives a much different context and helps us understand the move of God as He is introducing the Saviour, the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. This series begins with Return To Me And I Will Return To You at the end of Malachi and introduces the “Witnesses” writing the Gospels.
is helping Jewish people return to their homeland. You might fund one that desires to go home. http://operationexodususa.org/Overview
- 1. Barclay, W. (2001). The Gospel of Luke (p. 250). Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press.