In Luke 16:1-13, the Lord is giving a parable about a rich man who was told that his steward, or manager, had been stealing money from him.  He tells the steward in verse 2, “How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.”  Realizing that his career is almost over, the steward begins to fret about what will happen to him once he has been fired.  He says to himself in verse 3, “I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.”  For some reason, perhaps age or infirmity, this man realized he could not begin a life of manual labor.  To make matters worse, he was too proud to ask anyone for help.  Oddly enough, although he was too proud to beg, he was not too proud to steal.

It was dishonesty that got this man into trouble with his master, and he continues in dishonesty to make sure he was provided for after his dismissal.  He says in verse 4, “I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes” (NASB).  He devises a plan that will cause him to be appreciated by others so that possibly someone might take him into their home.

Luke 16:5-7 says, “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.”  He goes to his master’s debtors and offers them a discount on their debt if they would pay him right away.

Now let’s read the two verses that are in question.  Luke 16:8-9, “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 mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.”  Oddly enough, the master commends his steward for being so shrewd in his dealings.  What the steward did was an unjust thing, but he acted wisely.  He was being dishonest, and his master does not commend him for that.  But, he was making provision for the future, and for that his master applauded him.  Knowing that his time was short; knowing he would soon be out of a job and dependent of the good graces of others, he had endeared himself to his master’s debtors by giving them deep discounts on the money they owed, and assured for himself a place to live.  In no way is the peerless Word of God teaching us that it is permissible to be dishonest to get ourselves out of trouble.  Perish the thought!

The Lord tells them that the ‘children of this world’ or the unsaved, were acting in wisdom beyond what the ‘children of light’ were doing.  The unsaved at least made preparations for their future.  The Lord’s people need to make the proper preparations to live with the Lord forever in the Glory.  The Lord Jesus told them to “make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.”  The lesson is really quite simple…and very important.  We should use our money and other material things in such a way as to attract souls and win them to Christ.  For example, your friend spends $40 on an expensive and enjoyable steak dinner.  You, on the other hand, take $40 and buy Gospel tracts.  After dinner is over, it’s over.  However when we use our resources in an attempt to reach and win souls for Christ, once our money is gone, it literally keeps working.  Purchasing and passing out tracts is an excellent way to meet many people and share the love of Christ for the.  Instead of spending our money going to an NFL game, we give that money to a poor mother who is starving herself in order to feed her children.  These things win the hearts of those we help.  This often leads precious souls to accept Christ as their savior.  In this, we have effectively been good stewards, securing for ourselves, blessings and crowns from our dear savior when we enter “into everlasting habitations.”  (187.10)