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Luke 16:1-15

  • What attitudes do people in our world have toward money? (See how many different attitudes to money you can think of - not just the obvious ones!)

  • Think of people who are too careless with money - and of people who are too careful with money. Who do you think is worse off - and why?

Jesus told this fascinating parable to his disciples to help them to think about the true value of money in the Kingdom of God. But it is a strange parable, as Leon Morris puts it, "notoriously one of the most difficult parables to interpret." So read carefully!

Read Luke 16:1-9

  • How did the manager deal with the crisis of losing his job?

  • How do you feel about the characters in this story?

  • How does this parable help us to understand the value of money in the Kingdom of God? [1]

  • In verse 9, Jesus gives his brief conclusion. What do you think of this instruction from Jesus? Is this the conclusion you would have expected him to draw from the parable?

Read Luke 16:10-15

  • How do these verses help to untangle the parable Jesus has just told? (Notice especially this use of the word 'dishonest'!)

  • Verses 11-12 seem to imply that our 'worldly wealth' is 'someone else's property'. Who's property is it?

  • Verse 13 is a very famous verse. Do you have any examples of this truth in your own life? In what ways can the love of money draw us away from God?

Spend a moment reflecting:

  • What do you 'value highly' in your life? Consider the things you work for, or worry about, or admire in others, or protect at all costs. Are those things truly valuable, or are they 'detestable in God's sight.'

If you want to, you could share some of your reflections and ask someone to pray with you. Otherwise, spend some time in prayer on your own about your heart's desires.

[1] N.T. Wright explains the parable this way:

It looks as though the master in the story had himself been acting in a somewhat underhand manner. Jews were forbidden to lend money at interest, but many people got round this by lending in kind, with oil and wheat being easy commodities to use for this purpose. It is likely that what the steward deducted from the bill was the interest that the master had been charging, with a higher rate on oil than on wheat. If he reduced the bill in each case to the principal, the simple amount that had been lent, the debtors would be delighted, but the master couldn’t lay a charge against the steward without owning up to his own shady business practices. Thus, when the master heard about it, he could only admire the man’s clever approach.


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