This parable is known by a couple of titles: The Dishonest Steward, and The Shrewd Manager. The commentaries are consistent on one point about this parable: that it is the most difficult one that Jesus told! After that, they go off in a variety of directions and interpretations. And who can blame them, for Luke himself seems to have a few ideas of what this parable meant. Verses 9‐13, which follow the parable, offer 3 possible interpretations:
- verse 9: make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, these friends will welcome you into the eternal homes.
- Verses 10‐12: whoever is faithful in a little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a little is dishonest also in much. If you have not been faithful with dishonest wealth, who will entrust you with true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?
- And verse 13: you can’t serve 2 masters‐‐you’ll either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You can’t serve God and wealth.
Is this parable about where our allegiances lie? Or about how faithful we are with what we have? Or about making the right connections with the right people to ensure our future?
- Luke 16:1 - 13