Proper 20 Series C
(September 18 - 24)
1 Timothy 2:1–15
O Lord, keep Your Church in Your perpetual mercy, and because without You we cannot but fail, preserve us from all things hurtful and lead us to all thing profitable to our salvation.
The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy
Because God our Savior “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4), He urges “that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1). Christians should so pray “without anger or quarreling,” but “adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control” (1 Timothy 2:8, 9). For the Lord does not forget “the poor of the land” (Amos 8:4). He remembers them according to the foolishness of the cross.
“For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). Though we try to justify ourselves “before men,” God knows our sinful hearts and calls us to repentance (Luke 16:15). Though we are “not strong enough to dig” and are “ashamed to beg” (Luke 16:3), He justifies us by His grace and welcomes us into His “eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9). More shrewd than even “the sons of this world” (Luke 16:8), He requires His stewards of the Gospel to bestow forgiveness freely.
The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions.
Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ πρὸς τοὺς [a]μαθητάς• Ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν πλούσιος ὃς εἶχεν οἰκονόμον, καὶ οὗτος διεβλήθη αὐτῷ ὡς διασκορπίζων τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ.
- A certain rich man who had a manager accused of wasting his possessions. Who is the main character?
-Jesus is teaching to the disciples but the Pharisees are listening. A continuation of His teaching of the Father's mercy.
And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’
καὶ φωνήσας αὐτὸν εἶπεν αὐτῷ• Τί τοῦτο ἀκούω περὶ σοῦ; ἀπόδος τὸν λόγον τῆς οἰκονομίας σου, οὐ γὰρ [b]δύνῃ ἔτι οἰκονομεῖν.
- and hearing he said, what am I hearing of you? Hand over your accounting because you can no longer be my steward. Yet he keeps his job. He's not escorted out of the building. His computer is not shut down. Etc. He has time while there is an audit. (Where is the twist?)
And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.
εἶπεν δὲ ἐν ἑαυτῷ ὁ οἰκονόμος• Τί ποιήσω ὅτι ὁ κύριός μου ἀφαιρεῖται τὴν οἰκονομίαν ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ; σκάπτειν οὐκ ἰσχύω, ἐπαιτεῖν αἰσχύνομαι•
- The manager said to himself "what shall I do? Too weak to dig, too proud to beg."
have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’
ἔγνων τί ποιήσω, ἵνα ὅταν μετασταθῶ [c]ἐκ τῆς οἰκονομίας δέξωνταί με εἰς τοὺς οἴκους [d]ἑαυτῶν.
- I know what I will do. When I am shut out of the stewardship I will be received into other people's houses. He understood mercy.
So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος ἕνα ἕκαστον τῶν χρεοφειλετῶν τοῦ κυρίου ἑαυτοῦ ἔλεγεν τῷ πρώτῳ• Πόσον ὀφείλεις τῷ κυρίῳ μου;
- summoning to himself his Masters' debtors one by one he calls each to himself.
He said, ‘A hundred measures[a] of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’
ὁ δὲ εἶπεν• Ἑκατὸν βάτους ἐλαίου• [e]ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ• Δέξαι σου [f]τὰ γράμματα καὶ καθίσας ταχέως γράψον πεντήκοντα.
- 800 baths of oil. Quickly, write out a ticket for 400.
Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures[b] of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
ἔπειτα ἑτέρῳ εἶπεν• Σὺ δὲ πόσον ὀφείλεις; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν• Ἑκατὸν κόρους σίτου• [g]λέγει αὐτῷ• Δέξαι σου [h]τὰ γράμματα καὶ γράψον ὀγδοήκοντα.
- To another, 1000 bushels of wheat. Take your bill and make it 800.
The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world[c] are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.
καὶ ἐπῄνεσεν ὁ κύριος τὸν οἰκονόμον τῆς ἀδικίας ὅτι φρονίμως ἐποίησεν• ὅτι οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου φρονιμώτεροι ὑπὲρ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ φωτὸς εἰς τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν εἰσιν.
- The Master commended the dishonest manager because he acted shrewdly. For the sons of this age act more shrewdly cleaver, wisdom, than the sons of light.
And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth,[d] so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
καὶ ἐγὼ ὑμῖν λέγω, [i]ἑαυτοῖς ποιήσατε φίλους ἐκ τοῦ μαμωνᾶ τῆς ἀδικίας, ἵνα ὅταν [j]ἐκλίπῃ δέξωνται ὑμᾶς εἰς τὰς αἰωνίους σκηνάς.
- make for yourselves wealth to gain friends for yourself so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
Ὁ πιστὸς ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ καὶ ἐν πολλῷ πιστός ἐστιν, καὶ ὁ ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ ἄδικος καὶ ἐν πολλῷ ἄδικός ἐστιν.
- The trustful with the least can be trusted with much but the one who is dishonest in connection with little will be dishonest with much. Something true to life.
If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?
εἰ οὖν ἐν τῷ ἀδίκῳ μαμωνᾷ πιστοὶ οὐκ ἐγένεσθε, τὸ ἀληθινὸν τίς ὑμῖν πιστεύσει;
- if in connection with money you are not being faithful who will entrust you with true wealth.
And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?
καὶ εἰ ἐν τῷ ἀλλοτρίῳ πιστοὶ οὐκ ἐγένεσθε, τὸ [k]ὑμέτερον τίς [l]δώσει ὑμῖν;
- If you have not become faithful in the property of another who will give you property of your own.
No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
οὐδεὶς οἰκέτης δύναται δυσὶ κυρίοις δουλεύειν• ἢ γὰρ τὸν ἕνα μισήσει καὶ τὸν ἕτερον ἀγαπήσει, ἢ ἑνὸς ἀνθέξεται καὶ τοῦ ἑτέρου καταφρονήσει. οὐ δύνασθε θεῷ δουλεύειν καὶ μαμωνᾷ.
- No servant can serve two masters. Or he will love one and hate the other or be devoted to one and despise the other.
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him.
Ἤκουον δὲ ταῦτα [m]πάντα οἱ Φαρισαῖοι φιλάργυροι ὑπάρχοντες, καὶ ἐξεμυκτήριζον αὐτόν.
- The Pharisees who were lovers of money also ridiculed Him.
And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς• Ὑμεῖς ἐστε οἱ δικαιοῦντες ἑαυτοὺς ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ὁ δὲ θεὸς γινώσκει τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν• ὅτι τὸ ἐν ἀνθρώποις ὑψηλὸν βδέλυγμα ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ.
- you are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men but God knows your heart. What is highest among men is detestable an abomination in the sight of God.
V. 4 the point of the parable The steward is within the context of his knowledge and values planning ahead He must behave now in such a way that will benefit him when (after) he is "removed." μετασταθῶ (Metasstho.) For this he will be commended (v.8) as φρονίμως (phronimos), far-sighted.
All of us, sooner or later, will end up in a plot of earth. Given eternity, how can any thing of a material nature have any lasting consequence? Employment will not last forever. Retirement will not last forever.
But, as Jesus makes clear, even a crook like the steward - a person with no moral compass - recognized the ultimate value of money lay in the acquisition of job-security and to insure his well-being. We need to be far-sighted with respect to our spiritual landscape.
Luke 16:6 About 875 gallons or 3,200 liters
Luke 16:7 Between 1,000 and 1,200 bushels or 37,000 to 45,000 liters
Luke 16:8 Greek age
Luke 16:9 Greek mammon, a Semitic word for money or possessions; also verse 11; rendered money in verse 13
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Scripture quotations marked SBLGNT are from The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software