Let’s read about the parable of the dishonest steward which was mentioned by Jesus in Luke 16:1-13:
1 [Jesus] also said to his disciples, ‘There was a rich man and he had a steward who was denounced to him for being wasteful with his property.
2 He called for the man and said, “What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer.”
3 Then the steward said to himself, “Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed.
4 Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes.”
5 ‘Then he called his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, “How much do you owe my master?”
6 “One hundred measures of oil,” he said. The steward said, “Here, take your bond; sit down and quickly write fifty.”
7 To another he said, “And you, sir, how much do you owe?” “One hundred measures of wheat,” he said. The steward said, “Here, take your bond and write eighty.”
8 ‘The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.’
9 ‘And so I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into eternal dwellings.
10 Anyone who is trustworthy in little things is trustworthy in great; anyone who is dishonest in little things is dishonest in great.
11 If then you are not trustworthy with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches?
12 And if you are not trustworthy with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?
13 ‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’
Jesus was well aware of the sinful behaviors of the people, especially towards the use of money. He knew that some sinners are sly enough to avoid a nasty outcome due to being caught in their sins. However he wanted to highlight that even if a sinner seemingly escapes punishment while on earth, there’s no such escape in the afterlife. No wonder Jesus used this parable to rebuke the love of money which leads to sin and which in turn leads to punishment in hell forever. This is also a calling by Jesus to give up all greed towards money and give up all dishonesty even those that might seem small sins.
Here are a few lessons we can learn from this parable:
- You are accountable for whatever has been entrusted to you, so do not misuse things for you will need to given account for it. For example, this can be money, resources, privileges etc.
- Even while on earth its possible for sinners to be asked by the earthly authorities to give an account for their sins and face the due consequences.
- The eternal consequences of your sin will take you to hell unless you repent in the name of Jesus.
- The children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light. Therefore a child of light must learn to interact in a wise and holy way with another child of light instead of avoiding each other for the sake of it.
- Even if sinners are able to get favorable outcomes in their dealings with fellow sinners, they will only end up increasing their punishment and fellow friends to accompany them in hell.
- Money that is gotten by dishonest means will eventually fail you.
- Anyone who is trustworthy in little things is trustworthy in great; anyone who is dishonest in little things is dishonest in great.
- If then you are not trustworthy with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches?
- And if you are not trustworthy with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?
- No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money
- Seek the Lord while He may be found; call to Him while He is near. (Isaiah 55:6)
- So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows. (Psalm 61:8)
- I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. (Psalm 119:60)
- As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” So he got up and followed Him. (Matthew 9:9)
- And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him (Mark 1:20)
- And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. (Luke 19:5)
Note: This song was sung by Paul Wilbur.
These are the days of Elijah, declaring the word of the Lord
And these are the days of Your servant Moses, righteousness
And though these are days of great trials, of famine and
darkness and sword
still we are the voice in the desert crying, “Prepare ye the way
of the Lord”
Behold he comes riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call
So lift your voice it’s the year of Jubilee
And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes
And these are the days of Ezekiel, the dry bones becoming as
And these are the days of Your servant David, rebuilding a
temple of praise
And these are the days of the harvest, the fields are white in
And we are Your laborers in Your vineyard, declaring the Word of
Who was and Who is and Who is to come
Who was and Who is and Who is to come
Be ashamed when you sin, don’t be ashamed when you repent [To repent means to have a change of heart and mind. It is not simply a feeling of sorrow ,but a psycho/spiritual growth away from evil/death and a turning to God/life]. Sin is the wound, repentance is the medicine. Sin is followed by shame; repentance is followed by boldness [ Boldness means to beg God for undeserved mercy]. Satan has overturned this order and given boldness to sin and shame to repentance. (Saint John Chrysostom)
Value wisdom like your family. Treat wisdom like your own sister. For good reason too. Because a good sister keeps her brother from all obscene women. Her dauntless desire to be bold in the truth is a big deterrent to any adulteress. She will openly mock the Jezebel woman or the shameless woman who tries to induce her brother to sin. Though a seducer speaks to beguile a man into sexual immorality, the man will be very fearful of acting loose in front of his sister who will retaliate strongly. This can apply even if you think of wisdom as a brother who will not let his sister fall prey to the licentious man who only wants to use the girl. A good brother will protect his sister from all perverted men no matter what they promise.
Walking with wisdom, is not like you get a wise brother or sister walking alongside with you in the flesh. Here Proverbs 7:4-5 is about realizing the presence of wisdom around you. God tells you some warning about stealing and you believe him and avoid stealing. That is walking with wisdom. Not following God’s advice is like trying to get away from your great sister wisdom.
Some man decides he can do without sister wisdom, so he listens to the seductive voice of evil spirits and then goes into the occult. He without wisdom accepts his damnation very easily from the lying spirits. Had he walked with sister wisdom he would have given respect to her and shooed away all profane thoughts that whisper to him. O if he just would respect sister wisdom and leave the occult.
A young lady tries to roam around without brother wisdom. Voices of the world tell her ‘You will look very beautiful if you starve a little, it won’t harm you. Just think of how many men will admire you when you are a bit more thinner’. In absence of brother wisdom, she bites into the lie.So then she eats little, very little and gets a bit of praise about her looks and decides to starve a little more. This damages her health.
One fine day her old blind grandma who cannot see at all, calls her out at her place. The grandma lives with brother wisdom and the brother is quite amused to see the anorexic girl walking towards grandma. Brother wisdom gets a plan and whispers into the old lady’s mind. So then grandma says ‘O child I can’t see you at this age when I’m blind but your act of visiting me in my weakness shows me how beautiful you are’. The girl accepts her grandmother’s wisdom and wonders why she felt only being thin is beauty. As she walks out the house, brother wisdom starts walking with this girl again. The girl now leads a healthy lifestyle.
You might feel you lost out on life because you despised wisdom at some time in your life. The good news is that God can give you wisdom again. James 1:5 says that; If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
I encourage you to be with God’s wisdom by your side. The Gospel is the greatest wisdom of God that a man can ever receive. Though it is so great, yet it is easy to grasp if a person is willing to just pay attention. Plus you have the Holy Spirit to guide you and lead you into all truth. So take time and cherish the Word of God in your life.
And Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27)
When telling people about their need to repent sometimes some of them act like pompous Bible scholars. They will churn out their favorite verses to justify themselves. Here’s what they will normally use the following verses and that too out of context:
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven (Luke 6:37)
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)
So their logic is that nobody is to judge them and they can continue in their sinful lifestyle as long as they please. Any other Christian who tells them to please not speak vulgar jokes, to avoid drugs etc is given the ‘Judge not’ bible verse to counter the need to repent. Such is either their shamelessness or ignorance that they totally chose to forget the same Lord Jesus who spoke about ‘Judge not’ also said in Matthew 4:17 that “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
However, these same ‘Judge not’ Christians will pay up the their fines for going over the speed limit with no questions asked. No questions at all. They are the same people who will never dare use the ‘Judge not’ verse in front of a Judge when they are convicted for drug peddling etc. Why so? Because they know well that their ‘Judge not’ joker card won’t work against those who are trained to interpret the law (civil) and not aligned to any religion at least when carrying out their duties in dispensing justice.
Another crafty ploy used by the ‘Judge not’ Christians is that the person telling them to leave a specific sin himself/herself is a sinner. So going by that logic they imply that if the person telling them not to steal a million even stole a wee penny then it’s perfectly fine for them to steal as much as they want and they won’t be at risk by the law of the land nor even punished in hell. Such is their profound wisdom in misusing the Holy Scriptures. These people must realize that there is an abundance of scriptures verse that also tell us to repent. May they learn the need for actual repentance before it’s too late!
Here are a few Bible verses that show us the need to repent:
- Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matthew 3:8)
- Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out (Acts 3:19)
- Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14)
- Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. (Revelation 3:3)
Luke 13:20-21 says; And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”
Again the Lord Jesus gives an explanation about the Kingdom of God. Here the emphasis is on its overcoming nature. Even though the leaven was hid in three measures of flour it ended up leavening the entire flour. Thought the flour was more in quantity it couldn’t stop the leaven from doing it’s work. Leaven doesn’t work in an instant but it does work eventually. We are called to be patient therefore.
So we can realize, that the Kingdom of God influences everything eventually. It will end up shaking the established order of chaos and confusion that the world is in.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:13-14)
Let’s read about the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector which was mentioned by Jesus in Luke 18:9-14
9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Jesus was aware of the thoughts of the people around him. He knew that though he preached the Gospel of repentance, there were those who took it the wrong way. These people didn’t deny the need to be righteous but in fact were very proud of their own righteousness. So proud were they, that they scorned everyone else who didn’t measure up to their standard of righteousness. No wonder Jesus had a fitting parable to such self righteous attitudes. This is also a calling by Jesus on our attitudes towards prayer.
Here are a few lessons we can learn from this parable:
- The righteousness that comes from Christ is the only true righteousness you need.
- Do not display your own righteousness before the Lord expecting a goodie for that.
- Avoid boasting of your achievements in prayer to God.
- Stop comparing yourself to others in prayer even if they are proven to be more worse than you.
- No justification comes from self exaltation.
- If you humble yourself before God then you will be exalted by him.
- You need to believe in God to make you righteous by his Son Jesus Christ.
- A simple prayer of repentance is of more value than fancy words made to look like prayer.
- Express your emotions about your weakness to the Lord in good faith so that you overcome them.
- God is fully aware of the real attitude of your heart no matter how much you hide it from people.
1 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
Zacchaeus was a Jew and one of the descendents of Abraham. He was also a great sinner. Tax collectors were hated in those days very greatly because they misused their authority. These tax collectors worked not for the Jews but for the Romans who had conquered Israel. They cheated both the people and the government and kept huge sums of money for themselves. While the poor kept getting poor they kept getting rich.
Jesus the Son of God was aware that Zacchaeus was looking for a way out. Zacchaeus was fed up of sinning and needed salvation. He was aware that collecting so much money was not going to get him to a good place after he dies. Now Jesus preached the Gospel where ever he went. So somehow Jesus’ message must have reached Zacchaeus and he sought the way to meet the Lord Jesus.
Due to his short height Zacchaeus tried to see Jesus in Jericho on a tree. Yes, he needed a better vantage point. Sometimes to look at the Lord Jesus you need to stop letting others obstruct your view in their way of life. It was the nature of the people to be taller that Zacchaeus and it was his nature to not let that come in the way of seeing Jesus.
Jesus rewarded his faith by asking that he be a guest at Zacchaeus’ house. This didn’t go well with others who despised Zaccheaus and grumbled. They didn’t see the point of Jesus going to his house.
Now Jesus the Lord was not considered as the Lord by the scribes and the Pharisees of the Jewish faith. They didn’t acknowledge him as the Son of God who would come to save not just the Jews but also the Gentiles from their sins. Though it was mentioned in the prophecies about Jesus, they willfully chose to ignore it. However, when Jesus came to Jericho, that day there was one man who did call him Lord no matter what the religious elite felt.
Zacchaeus called Jesus as the Lord. He realized his need to repent of his sins and accept the Lord as his savior. He recognized that Jesus is the Lamb of God who comes to take the sins of the world and happy was he to receive him under his roof. Though all he had to do was to accept Jesus as the Son of God, he went to declare he will make good all the losses to those whom he had cheated.
Jesus went to say that salvation came to this man’s house and reminded people of his ministry which to seek and save the lost. Christ even today seeks and save the lost. He still through his disciples on earth tries to reach out to those who yearn for salvation. He accepts even the worst of sinners in to the Kingdom of God. Those who are ‘public’ sinners like drug sellers, racists and even terrorists too can receive salvation from Jesus if they turn away from their sinful ways and accept Jesus as the true Lord.