Digging Deeper into Scripture: Luke 16:1–15 (2023)

Digging Deeper into Scripture: Luke 16:1–15 (1)

Phil Rigdon September 1, 2022

Digging Deeper into Scripture: Luke 16:1–15 (2)

When I teach on the Seventh Commandment, “You shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15), I challenge students to come up with examples of stealing beyond theft, armed robbery, burglary, and the like. I am pleased when they can come up with less obvious examples like tax evasion, falsifying time cards, being late, or breaking a promise.

As with the other Commandments, I stress that breaking the Seventh Commandment is first and foremost breaking the First, “You shall have no other gods” (Exodus 20:3). The parable of the dishonest manager is an excellent example of this truth. While the sinfulness of wasting your boss’s wealth and cheating him is certainly apparent, this parable has much to do with committing oneself completely and firstly to God.

Luke 16:4

I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.

Realizing that his job was gone and that he was unfit for another, the dishonest manager curried favor with the rich man’s debtors by reducing the amount each owed. There is some debate as to whether the manager’s actions were dishonest since the rich man could have been charging too much to begin with. Recall that Jews were not to charge interest to other Jews. To avoid breaking the Mosaic Law, the rich man may have overcharged the debtors to compensate for the lost interest. Either way, what is most important here is that the dishonest manager was committing himself fully to his own future rather than to the rich man.

(Video) A Good Lesson from a Bad Example (Luke 16:1–13)

Luke 16:8

The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.

We are not told if the rich man sought recompense from his debt-lowering manager, but the master thought enough of the manager to commend him. Jesus’ message in this verse is simple: Christians should be as shrewd in stewardship as the dishonest manager was in dealing with the rich man’s debt. The sons of this world are unbelievers. The sons of light are Christians. It is important to keep in mind that Jesus is not commending or advocating dishonesty, even when such behavior helps the Church on earth. Rather, Christians are to be shrewd in stewarding all that the Lord has given them, whether it be time, talent, or treasure. Most important, we are to be shrewd in sharing God’s greatest gift, Jesus Christ.

Luke 16:11–12

If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

Jesus seems to use the behavior of the dishonest manager for two different purposes. Earlier in the chapter, the Lord presented the dishonest manager as some who commits himself fully to one master. In these two verses, on the other hand, Jesus pointed to the dishonest manager to reinforce His point. If Christians are not faithful with what the Lord grants them in this world—that is, they are not careful to use the things in this world to serve God and His kingdom—then they are in danger of losing their faith in Jesus Christ, the salvation God freely offers. Again, the issue is one of commitment; Christians are to be faithful to the Lord in earthly gifts, and fully devoted to God in salvation. God should be first in all things.

Luke 16:13

No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Here, Jesus expands on His point by explaining why full devotion to the Lord is needed. There is no sitting on the fence. At the beginning of the parable, the dishonest manager was on the fence. On the one hand, he was serving, at least in part, the rich man, his boss. On the other hand, he was also wasting the rich man’s possessions. By the end of the parable, the dishonest manager was serving his own interests. This is part of what makes the parable challenging to understand. At first blush, it seems that Jesus is commending dishonesty. But in fact, Jesus is illustrating the need to commit fully to God as the dishonest manager became fully devoted to his own interests.

Luke 16:14–15

The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

(Video) The Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-13) — A Sermon by R.C. Sproul

We don’t know how many, but Luke shares that some Pharisees were present among Jesus’ disciples. Jesus warned the Pharisees against their love of money and preoccupation with the approval of others. Thankfully, where the Pharisees’ interests were divided, Jesus was and is fully devoted to His Father in heaven. Jesus set aside His interests to serve His Father. Fully committed to obedience and our salvation, Jesus took on human flesh, lived a perfect life in that flesh, and then took it to the cross to pay for our sins. In Christ, God is fully devoted to us.

Scripture: ESV®.

The parables from the Gospel of Luke are dissected by Dr. Arthur A. Just Jr. in Luke 9:51–24:53, Concordia Commentary.

Digging Deeper into Scripture: Luke 16:1–15 (3)

New Testament

(Video) Luke ~ 16:1 to 16:31

Digging Deeper into Scripture: Luke 16:1–15 (4)

Written by

Phil Rigdon

The Rev. Dr. Philip Rigdon and his wife, Jamelyn, live in Kendallville, Indiana, with their two rabbits, Frankie and Buttons. He serves as pastor of St. John Lutheran Church and School in Kendallville. He enjoys writing, running, and playing guitar.

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(Video) The Parable of the Shrewd Manager | Luke 16: 1-15


Digging Deeper into Scripture: Luke 16:1–15? ›

Jesus' message in this verse is simple: Christians should be as shrewd in stewardship as the dishonest manager was in dealing with the rich man's debt. The sons of this world are unbelievers. The sons of light are Christians.

What does Luke 16 teach us? ›

The Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16:1-13) The key to security about the things we need is not anxious earning and saving, but trustworthy service and spending. If God can trust us to spend our money to meet the needs of others, then the money we ourselves need will also be provided.

What is the meaning of Luke 16 15? ›

You can justify yourself to others, but you cannot justify yourself to God. This passage is a mirror, a challenge, for us to examine our lives and our desires. The Luke 16:15 meaning is an invitation to center our lives around things that truly matter and not the desires of the moment that leave us wanting more.

How to dig deeper with God? ›

14 Ways to Go Deeper in Your Personal Relationship With God
  1. Start the day with prayer. Develop a daily habit of starting out with a blessing and prayer. ...
  2. See God everywhere. Thank God for his glorious creation. ...
  3. “Wear” God. ...
  4. Hear God. ...
  5. Talk to God. ...
  6. Retreat at home. ...
  7. Serve others. ...
  8. Study the Bible.
Jul 13, 2022

What does dig deeper into mean? ›

Digging deep refers to your ability to look inside yourself and see your potential, and using all you have to reach your goals, to live out your values and to overcome obstacles. It refers to your resiliency, or your ability to bounce back after setbacks.

How do you dig deeper into yourself? ›

10 Ways to Dig Deeper into Self-Care
  1. Being yourself at all times. ...
  2. Listening to your favorite artist with your eyes closed. ...
  3. Saying NO to things you don't absolutely love. ...
  4. Saying YES to things you absolutely love. ...
  5. Taking a risk. ...
  6. Taking your time when you eat. ...
  7. Listening to your intuition. ...
  8. Treating yourself to ME time.
Mar 24, 2019

What is the lesson of Luke 16 1 15? ›

Jesus' message in this verse is simple: Christians should be as shrewd in stewardship as the dishonest manager was in dealing with the rich man's debt. The sons of this world are unbelievers. The sons of light are Christians.

What was Jesus talking about in Luke 16? ›

Jesus added the thought that the businessmen of his day (sons of this world) were more wise, bold, and forward-thinking in the management of what they had (more shrewd) than the people of God were with managing what they had (the sons of light). i.

What is the lesson of Luke 16 1 13? ›

The Gospel is all about trust and about the Lord's first commandment, which is that we shall not have any other Gods beside Him. Since the Gospel is about trust and the first commandment, it tells me to be honest because with honesty comes with trust. If we exercise honesty, other people will tend to trust us.

What can we learn from Luke 16 9 15? ›

Gospel: Luke 16, 9-15

The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?

What does Luke 15 teach us? ›

Jesus' teaching in Luke 15 is geared toward a heart transformation. He wants us all to see that, whether sinner or Pharisee, we are all broken. The prodigal son is written for the Pharisee to see the pride they harbor in their own works, and because of this they miss the glory of God in salvation.

What is Luke chapter 16? ›

Bible Gateway Luke 16 :: NIV. Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, `What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.

How to go deeper spiritually? ›

Here are five tips on how to be more spiritually aware.
  1. Start a Daily Meditation Practice. One of the most effective ways of becoming more spiritually aware is to have a daily meditation practice. ...
  2. Cultivate Emotional Intelligence. ...
  3. Practice Self-Love. ...
  4. Connect More Deeply with Others. ...
  5. Cultivate Gratitude.
Feb 22, 2019

What is digging into the word of God? ›

Digging Into God's Word presents a systematic method for studying the Bible, providing a tool for studying any passage of Scripture, either on your own or with a small group. The only items needed to put this method to use are the Bible, paper, and a pencil.

What is the purpose of going deeper with God? ›

Going deeper with God means studying His word for yourself, life your life and future depend on it. Because they do. So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine.

What is an example of dig deeper? ›

We are asking people to dig deep to help the victims of the war. If I'd dug deeper, I might have found out what happened to his wife.

What is an example of dig into? ›

phrasal verb

The family was digging into a delicious meal. They dug into their steaks. The detectives dug into his past and learned that he had once lived in another country. The bed's springs are digging into my back.

What happens if you dig really deep? ›

To make things more difficult, as they drill deeper into the Earth, they'll encounter extreme temperatures, possibly in excess of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (538 degrees Celsius), and fantastic amounts of pressure — as much as 4 million pounds per square foot in the vicinity of the mantle.

What is another word for dig deeper? ›

▲ To examine or explore something to a greater degree. delve deeper. probe. investigate.

What prevents us from digging deeper? ›

As depth increases into the Earth, temperature and pressure rise. Temperatures in the crust increase about 15 °C per kilometer, making it impossible for humans to exist at depths greater than several kilometers, even if it was somehow possible to keep shafts open in spite of the tremendous pressure.

What does it mean to lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven? ›

So what does it look like to lay up treasures in heaven? It means believing God's promises and identifying with God's people despite the sure affliction that will follow (Hebrews 10:32-34). God is faithful to his promises and what he promises his people—salvation, life and inheritance—is eternal and incorruptible.

What lesson do we learn from luke 16 19 31? ›

This teaches us that we should help all those that need our help and those that want justice. This also tells us to learn to serve which is similar to what God is teaching us in today's gospel. We should serve others instead of being served without expecting others to do the same for us.

What can we learn from luke 16 10 13? ›

This Gospel passage warns us that if we are not faithful in this life with the things of this world and the riches we have been given, then we will not be faithful with the true riches promised to us in heaven. As Christians, we must show our faith in God also in the area of our finances, money, and possessions.

What does Luke 16 1 to 9 mean? ›

All of our material possessions belong to God. We will not take any material possessions into the next world. But God desires that we “squander” our possessions on others. He wants us to use His material possessions, which He entrusted to our stewardship, in order to benefit others.

What does Luke 16 verse 8 mean? ›

It means that there will come a time when everything, and that includes our money, will fail. There will come a time when we have to let everything go. Inevitably that time will come. The moment of death will arrive, that moment that no one can put off, not even that person who controls world affairs.

What is the meaning of Luke 16 14 15? ›

Luke informs the readers that the Pharisees who had been listening to Jesus teach about money were scoffing at what He said. Luke describes the Pharisees as “lovers of money.” Jesus rebukes them as self-justifiers who seek to appear righteous before men and reminds them that God sees the reality of their wicked hearts.

What does the cleansing of the temple teach us about Jesus? ›

Professor David Landry of the University of St. Thomas suggests that "the importance of the episode is signaled by the fact that within a week of this incident, Jesus is dead. Matthew, Mark, and Luke agree that this is the event that functioned as the 'trigger' for Jesus' death."

What does Luke 16 12 mean? ›

He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much greater things. The second parallel of the Faithfulness Principle is negative: He who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much greater things.

What is the lesson of Luke 16 12? ›

[Jesus said,] "And if you are not faithful with other people's things, why should you be trusted with things of your own? No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.

What can we learn from Luke 16 1 8? ›

God did and God has provided your money and possessions to you. The money and possessions you have are God's gift to you. You did not earn them and you don't deserve them, they are given by grace. But, just because you do not own them doesn't mean that you are not responsible for them.

What can we learn from the parable of the shrewd manager? ›

In the words of this parable, we are to imitate the wise manager and scatter the possessions of God, the richness of his grace, extravagantly and lavishly and act wisely in determining what stands the test of time and be merciful as He his merciful (cf. Lk 6:36), all the more so in times of adversary and conflict.

Why do you seek the living among the dead Luke? ›

The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. The reading in countless churches around the world this Easter Sunday from which I have taken the title of this blog will be from Luke's Gospel, 24:1-12.

What is the moral lesson of Luke? ›

To live a fulfilling life in Christ, we need to choose good things for the right reasons and under the right circumstances. Begrudgingly doing good for someone else isn't nearly as fulfilling or good as doing it out of love.

What are the three lost things in Luke 15? ›

Jesus Christ told three parables about things that were lost: a sheep, a piece of silver, and a son (see Luke 15). He told these parables after the Pharisees and scribes criticized Him for associating with sinners who had come to hear Him (see Luke 15:1–2).

What is the life lesson from Luke? ›

Luke shows Jesus—fully God and fully human—moving among the people in compassion to free them from the myriad of things oppressing them. The disregarded, the outcast, the forgotten and the marginalized all got to see and experience the love of Christ—even if Jesus had to confront the Jewish leaders to do it.

What is meant by Luke 16 13? ›

Jesus reminds His disciples that they can only have one master; it is impossible to serve two. He applies this truth to God and Money, again warning them that they cannot serve both. They will have to choose. This parallel gospel accounts for these teachings is found in Matthew 6:24.

What did Luke 16 11 mean? ›

'Faithfulness Matters!' — Luke 16:10-11. Thursday, September 21, 2023. [Jesus said,] "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities.

What is the preaching on Luke 16 19? ›

Today our scripture reading is from Luke 16: “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

How to walk deeper with God? ›

5 Ways to Enrich Your Daily Walk With the Lord
  1. Start and End Every Day With God in Prayer. ...
  2. Know What Is and Isn't Important. ...
  3. Place Spiritual Boundaries in Your Life. ...
  4. Read and Meditate on Scripture. ...
  5. Remember You Are an Ambassador for Christ.
Feb 3, 2022

How do I dive deeper into my faith? ›

Simple Ways to Dig Deeper into Your Faith
  1. Keep your Bible out. ...
  2. Grab a favorite devotional and keep it with it. ...
  3. Invest in a Bible Study. ...
  4. Download the Blue Letter Bible app. ...
  5. Carve out quiet time to pray, journal, and meditate on God's word.
Aug 6, 2020

How do I make my faith deeper? ›

3 Tips to Deepen Your Faith
  1. Read your Bible. It's your roadmap for how to get where you want to go on the road of life. ...
  2. Pray. You can never maintain a close relationship with God unless you spend time with him. ...
  3. Be obedient. God is your heavenly father; he knows what is best for you.

What does start digging into mean? ›

(dig into something) ​informalto try to find information about something. Synonyms and related words. To try to find out information. investigate.

What is the Bible story about digging? ›

Genesis 26:12–33 tells a contentious story of wells during a time of famine, when God commands Isaac to remain in the land of his father, Abraham, and dig for water. The land is blessed because of a promise that God made to Abraham and Isaac is, therefore, blessed in his gritty task.

What Scripture does God say you are mine? ›

Isaiah 43:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)

But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.

How to know Jesus deeper? ›

Read about Him in the scriptures.

The only way to truly know someone is to spend time with them. The primary manner in which we spend time with Jesus is by spending time in the Word. Start by reading a chapter a day and asking yourself two questions. What did God say to me?

What does it mean to go deeper? ›

If you say that something goes deep or runs deep, you mean that it is very serious or strong and is hard to change. His anger and anguish clearly went deep. The problems went deeper than mere teething difficulties. See full dictionary entry for deep. Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

What are the three things that God tells us to do? ›

Instead, Micah listed out the three principles of what God asks of His people: to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with Him.

How do we go deeper in prayer? ›

Learn How to Deepen Your Prayer Life with these tips below:
  • Remember that prayer is worship. Prayer is a way of worshiping God. ...
  • Use a journal for your prayers. ...
  • Pray through specific passages of Scripture. ...
  • Make prayer your lifestyle. ...
  • Pray in the Spirit.

How do I go deeper in prayer? ›

I hope they will encourage you to make 2023 a year of prayer.
  1. Know to whom you are speaking. ...
  2. Thank him. ...
  3. Ask for God's will. ...
  4. Say what you need. ...
  5. Ask for forgiveness. ...
  6. Pray with a friend. ...
  7. Pray the Word. ...
  8. Memorize Scripture.
Dec 21, 2022

What are the three main ways to understand the Bible? ›

We consider a three-step approach to studying the Bible. The three steps are observation, elucidation, and application. Observation answers the question, “What does the text say?” Elucidation answers the question, “What does it mean?” Application answers the question, “What does it mean to me?”

What are the four ways of understanding the Bible? ›

There are four major types of biblical hermeneutics that have arisen throughout history, although only the first is widely accepted today amongst evangelical churches.
  • Literal Interpretation. ...
  • Moral Interpretation. ...
  • Allegorical Interpretation. ...
  • Anagogical Interpretation.
Jan 4, 2022

How do you study a passage of Scripture? ›

  1. Read the paragraph carefully for its main thought or subject.
  2. Rewrite the Text. ...
  3. Make an Outline. ...
  4. Use a Concordance. ...
  5. Study it by the verbs in the verse. ...
  6. Study a verse through the personalities revealed. ...
  7. Study a verse by looking for the great ideas revealed in it. ...
  8. One is called the inductive method.

What are the 3 powerful prayers? ›

The prayer of protection. The prayer of transformation. The prayer of restoration.

How do we develop a deeper relationship with God through prayer? ›

Spend time with him through prayer and by reading his word

If you want to develop a personal relationship with God, start by praying and reading his word consistently. This is the most important way to grow your relationship with him because practically, no relationship would thrive without intentional communication.

What is the secret to powerful prayer? ›

The secret to powerful prayer never starts with us. It always begins with Him and is sustained by Him. When we seek Him, He is faithful to draw near and fill us with more of Him. To God be all the glory.


1. Luke 16 • A Parable, A Story and the Kingdom of God
(Calvary Chapel Ontario)
2. The Parable of the Dishonest Manager (Luke 16:1-13) - 119 Ministries
3. THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD PARABLE EVER...EXPLAINED! | The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
(THE BEAT by Allen Parr)
4. 31st Friday of Ordinary Time – Gospel Luke 16:1-8 - JMT Gospel Reflection
5. Luke 16 - NKJV (Audio Bible & Text)
(23:59 TIME IS UP)
6. Mark 16:1-20 - Skip Heitzig
(Calvary Church with Skip Heitzig)
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