Friday, February 5, 2016

The Unjust Steward

JST Luke 15
1 Then drew near unto him, many of the publicans, and sinners, to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.
He then related the parables of lost sheep, the lost piece of silver, and the prodigal son.  That is the apparent background and audience for this.
JST Luke 16
1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man who had a steward; and the same was accused unto him, that he had wasted his goods.
2 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.
3 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.
4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
5 So he called every one of his lord's debtors, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?
6 And he said, A hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.
8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely; for the children of this world are wiser in their generation, than the children of light.
9 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.
Questions:
  1. Who does the rich man represent?
  2. What are the Lord's goods?
  3. What does it mean to waste the Lord's goods?
  4. Who has actual power to call every one of his Lord's debtors to himself and "adjust" their bills?
  5. Who then does the steward represent (see question 11)?
  6. Who are the Lord's debtors?
  7. What do the bills represent?
  8. What does wheat represent?
  9. What does oil represent?
  10. What does it mean to be unjust?
  11. What does it mean for a disciple to fail?
  12. What houses / everlasting habitations is the Lord referring to?
10 He who is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in the least, is also unjust in much.
11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give unto 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 else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Mammon is that which gives rise to the feeling of temporal security: money, property, business, social status, armies and navies, a year's supply of food, etc.
14 And the Pharisees also who were covetous, heard all these things; and they derided him.
Covetous means, merely, desiring to possess stuff.
15 And he said unto them, Ye are they who justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men, is an abomination in the sight of God.
16 And they said unto him, We have the law, and the prophets; but as for this man we will not receive him to be our ruler; for he maketh himself to be a judge over us.
17 Then said Jesus unto them, The law and the prophets testify of me; yea, and all the prophets who have written, even until John, have foretold of these days.
18 Since that time, the kingdom of God is preached, and every man who seeketh truth presseth into it.
19 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than for one tittle of the law to fail.
20 And why teach ye the law, and deny that which is written; and condemn him whom the Father hath sent to fulfill the law, that ye might all be redeemed?
21 O fools! for you have said in your hearts, There is no God. And you pervert the right way; and the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence of you; and you persecute the meek; and in your violence you seek to destroy the kingdom; and ye take the children of the kingdom by force. Woe unto you, ye adulterers!
A fool is someone who believes a lie.  The Pharisees were closet atheists.  What, therefore, accounts for their seeking and attaining prestige in a religious community?  What would that imply about their activities in that community?

Adultery is for one's heart to depart from one's wedded spouse.  So how would closet atheists, who were the leaders in the religious community, be adulterers with respect to God?  Might mammon be involved?
22 And they reviled him again, being angry for the saying, that they were adulterers.
23 But he continued, saying, Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery; and whosoever marrieth her who is put away from her husband, committeth adultery. Verily I say unto you, I will liken you unto the rich man.
24 For there was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple, and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day.
25 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores,
26 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
27 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried of the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried.
28 And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
29 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.
30 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus, evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
31 And besides all this, between us and you, there is a great gulf fixed; so that they who would pass from hence to you, cannot; neither can they pass to us that would come from thence.
32 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house,
33 For I have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
34 Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
35 And he said, Nay, father Abraham; but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
36 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one should rise from the dead.