Luke 16:6-10

Luke 16:6 (KJB)
And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.

The oil in view would be that of olive oil and because it was that there was a great debt involved. The measure here was a “bath” which was a Hebrew term which meant about 8 or 9 gallons or about 40 liters. The value of this would have been about one thousand denarii or approximately three years average pay for a laborer. This steward told the man to cut that bill in half and make it only fifty. This would have placed the customer under a great obligation to the unjust steward. This had to be done in haste because his stewardship was coming an end very quickly. The reason that the steward could get away with doing something like this is because many times the masters placed these stewards in control of all their goods and many times did not even know how much they had. Such a man was Potiphar who trusted Joseph. (Gen 39:6 KJV) And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.

Luke 16:7 (KJB)
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.

Then the steward made his way to another of his master’s debtors. This man owed his master one hundred measures of wheat. The measure in this verse would have been the Hebrew term “kor.” A kor was approximately ten to twelve bushels. Rabbinic sources from that day state that a bushel of wheat went for anywhere between 25 to 30 denarii. So the total of this man’s debt was between 2500 to 3000 denarii. It was estimated that the 100 measures of wheat would have been enough to make over 200,000 loaves of bread. This time the steward had discounted 20% instead of 50% which would have amounted to about 500 denarii.

Luke 16:8 (KJB)
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.

Now it must be understood that the lord in this parable is not the Lord Jesus Christ because He never would have condoned such behavior. The steward was an employee of the master and was subject unto him. Yet, here we have the lord commending or approving of what the steward did. According to the laws of self-preservation, the steward had realized that he could not do physical work or beg, so he gave discounts to his master’s debtors and placed these people under obligation to him. The reason that he is told to us that he acted wisely was because he had planned and prepared for the day which was coming close, that his present stewardship was ending. He had planned, and boldly executed that plan, so he could come to these people and seek similar employment once he was finally dismissed. This is why it was stated he was doing this wisely. The dishonest act itself is not being approved of but the fact that this man was taking care of himself and preparing.

Then Jesus makes a comparison between the children of this world and the children of light. He emphasizes the fact that the unjust steward had acted quickly upon his own plan. He did not hesitate to enact the plan. He was acting wisely according to the world by making sure he was taken care of. Then Jesus mentions the children of light are not as wise in their generation as the children of the world. (Acts 13:36 KJV) For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: Acts 13:36 states that David had served his own generation and every Christian is called upon to serve their own generation because it is no accident that each of us were born where we are and at a specific time. How wise are we in getting out the Gospel? Are we seeking opportunities to evangelize? Are we like the unjust steward who made a plan and acted on it immediately? These things should be on our minds as we seek to send forth the Gospel all over this world. We must not concern ourselves with the things of this world. (2 Tim 2:4 KJV) No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. As a soldier in the King’s army, we must plan and execute those plans for the purpose of working in our own sphere of influence for the sake of the Gospel. We must never neglect any opportunity which comes our way.

Luke 16:9 (KJB)
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.

Jesus now gives a principle which every Christian needs to heed. How are we to make friends with the mammon of unrighteousness? Mammon can be referred to as either wealth or property. One of the tenets of friendship is that we give ourselves to help others. We are also to view our wealth and property in the same way. We do not need to have millions of dollars to enact this principle, all we have to do is catch the vision of giving. When we give money to missions or to godly ministries, people become saved through them and as a result will go to Heaven when they die. Some day it will be our turn to die and all those who were in Heaven because of our personal ministries, will welcome us into glory. If we hoarded money just to pass it down to greedy relatives and did not give, then who will welcome us, since we did not give and no one became saved because of our hoarding? Money and property are neutral and only take on meaning when used. Will ours be used for the Gospel or for hoarding?

Luke 16:10 (KJB)
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.

A person’s principles remain steady. If a person is faithful when they have limited goods or money and if they become wealthy and obtain much property, then they will transfer those same principles of faithfulness to the wealth. It is the same with those who are unfaithful. If a person does not have much wealth yet borrows and charges things until they are in debt bondage, will do the same thing even if they have much wealth or property. There are many who won the lottery for millions and wind up in worse financial shape than when they worked for a living. No scruples or principles is a dangerous way to live. (1 Cor 4:2 KJV) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. Faithfulness is always needed for a steward.