Question Text what does luke 16:1-12 mean?explain please.
Answer Text This is a portion of the Scripture which gives a lot of discomfort to casual readers of the Bible. Here our Lord seems to appreciate the character of an unfaithful servant who showed more shrewdness when he was dismissed from work and the master appreciating his latter behavior is really hard to understand. In order to understand this story, one must know the difference between a parable and an allegory. A parable is a story told to bring home one point. But an allegory is a story where each participant or incident in the story represents some thing else in real life. There are several allegories in the Old Testament. Isa. 5:1-7 is a good example of an allegory. But there are many parables in the New Testament. The present one is a good example. It is told to teach one point and that one point is found in v.8.
The Lord commended his wisdom in that he planned for his future. If you begin to allegorize parables, you are going to end up in real trouble and come out with many funny interpretations of the Bible. Let us come to the story itself. Vv.1-7 is the parable. When an unfaithful steward was dismissed from work, he thought very carefully and he cunningly PLANNED FOR HIS FUTURE. Planning for his future was appreciated by the Lord. V.8 says that the children of this world are wiser than the children of light. How are they wiser? They are wiser because they plan for their future! Their only future is their retired life here on earth. They plan very well for the same. But the children of light are not wise enough to plan for their future which is ETERNITY. V9 our Lord says that we should use the ‘unrighteous mammon’ (earthly riches are unrighteous simply because they are earthly) which you have to leave one day, any way, to make friends for eternity. That means spend your money to win souls and the souls there in heaven because you used your money to spread the gospel will receive you gladly as they probably would not have heard about Christ if you had not shelled out your money to reach them with the gospel. V.10 is a simple statement of truth. One’s faithfulness is tested in small things. No one can be faithful in much if he is dishonest in small things. V11. Unrighteous mammon represents earthly riches. True riches at the latter part of the verse represent spiritual things. No one who is unfaithful in earthly things will ever be given spiritual responsibilities. So earthly riches/responsibilities given to you, are really a test of your faithfulness to God. V.12. Earthly riches are really not yours as you have to leave it one day and go. That is why it is described as ‘another’s’. Spiritual riches are yours forever to keep for ever. That is why it is described as ‘one’s own’.
The moral is, if you are not faithful in earthly things, then you are never going to get spiritual riches which are going to be yours forever to keep. So be wise and plan for your future which is eternity. Use your earthly riches, which is going to fail you one day, to make as many eternal friends as is possible. Only the spiritual riches that you gained on earth are going to be with you as your own for ever to keep. May the Lord bless you.
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