The Unjust Steward Who Was Commended

The lesson was brought by Daniel Osborne, Director of Camp Jacob.  Daniel’s family sang and did some skits about camp life.  Daniel taught a lesson from Luke 16.

Luke 16: 1And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 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. 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. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 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. 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. 10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also 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 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.

A rich man—lord—with lots of possession hired a manager in hopes that his business would profit and make money for him. It’s like someone owning a business today and hiring a CEO to run it. This manager—steward—wasted the privilege.  The owner told the steward to get the books together for a report.  He knew he was in trouble.  He went to the people who were indebted to the owner and asked what they owed.  He told them if they would pay up right away they would get a discount.  This unjust steward was commended by the owner for what he did.  Let’s look at why.

This steward was the manager not the owner.  We may think we own things but we don’t.  God owns it all and has entrusted the management of things to us.  The steward used what he had for himself not the owner.  We do that.  God gives us things to bring us joy but we lose sight that it comes from God.

He was confronted by the owner and told to give account.  We’re going to give account of our life to God.  We want to condemn this steward when in fact this is about us.  We’ve not done what we should with what God has entrusted us.   When confronted the steward came up with a plan.  He was unjust—like us.  He was confronted—like us.  He responded wisely.  He made a deal with the debtors using his time wisely to track them down.  We still have time to change the description the Lord gives us.  The steward was unjust but then commended.

The opportunity was there for the steward to get his act together.  God will give us the opportunity we need and we should seize it.  The steward still had the power to settle debt for the owner and he did.  God has given us the same.  He doesn’t hold us responsible for what we don’t have but will hold us accountable for what we do.  We have some control there.  The ability to speak and influence others is ours.  It’s about how we use what we have.  The steward made connections with those outside the castle.  We have connections to help us reach those outside the kingdom of God.  There are things we won’t take with us when we die but those we win to Christ can go to heaven with us.  Use what we have to win the lost to Christ.

Verse 8 says for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.  What?  Did I read that right?  It blows your mind. Why would Jesus say this?  Those wise children are focused and put lots of energy into what they do.  We get satisfied and lose focus of the goal.  What is the goal?  To seek the lost.  We need to be more focused on our goal.  Use our things for influence to bring others to God.  I play basketball and when I play with those who aren’t saved I have the opportunity to witness to them and reach them for Jesus.  I’m using that resource to make connections.

We hear people say “if I had this or that I would serve God better.”  We may have little things but they need to be used now; when we use what we already have more wisely God may entrust us with more.  Let’s use what we have to make connections.  Don’t be like the unjust steward and waste it.  Don’t let pleasure, power, and prestige be our lord.  Let Christ shape and direct us.

Yes.  The steward had a problem.  He was confronted.  The lightbulb went off and he responded wisely.

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