Make friends (Lk 16:9-16:9)

“I tell you!

Make friends

For yourselves

By means

Of dishonest wealth!

Thus,

When it is gone,

They may welcome you

Into the eternal homes.”

 

Καὶ ἐγὼ ὑμῖν λέγω, ἑαυτοῖς ποιήσατε φίλους ἐκ τοῦ μαμωνᾶ τῆς ἀδικίας, ἵνα ὅταν ἐκλίπῃ δέξωνται ὑμᾶς εἰς τὰς αἰωνίους σκηνάς.

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said with a solemn pronouncement (Καὶ ἐγὼ ὑμῖν λέγω) that they should make friends for themselves (ἑαυτοῖς ποιήσατε φίλους) by means of dishonest wealth (ἐκ τοῦ μαμωνᾶ τῆς ἀδικίας).  Actually, this Greek word μαμωνᾶ is a transliteration of the Aramaic word mammon that means money or wealth.  Then, when it was gone or failed (ἵνα ὅταν ἐκλίπῃ), they would be welcomed or received (δέξωνται ὑμᾶς) into their eternal homes (εἰς τὰς αἰωνίους σκηνάς).  What did this mean?  They had nothing with their dishonest wealth and money, if it did not get them into eternal life.  Would you choose wealth or eternal heaven?

The shrewd one (Lk 16:8-16:8)

“His master commended

This dishonest manager

Because he had acted

Shrewdly.

The children

Of this age

Are more shrewd

In dealing

With their own generation

Than are

The children of light.”

 

καὶ ἐπῄνεσεν ὁ κύριος τὸν οἰκονόμον τῆς ἀδικίας ὅτι φρονίμως ἐποίησεν· ὅτι οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου φρονιμώτεροι ὑπὲρ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ φωτὸς εἰς τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν εἰσιν

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this lord or master commended or praised this dishonest manager (καὶ ἐπῄνεσεν ὁ κύριος τὸν οἰκονόμον τῆς ἀδικίας) because he had acted shrewdly (ὅτι φρονίμως ἐποίησεν).  Once again, this term φρονίμως, meaning shrewdly, sensibly, wisely, or prudently, is unique to Luke among all the New Testament writers.  Jesus said that the children of this age (ὅτι οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου) were shrewder (φρονιμώτεροι) in dealing with their own generation (εἰς τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν εἰσιν) than are the sons or the children of light (ὑπὲρ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ φωτὸς).  The sons of light are the righteous ones.  However, those people of this generation were more prudent, sensible, wise, or shrewd compared to the followers of Jesus, who tended to be imprudent in the eyes of the world.  Are you shrewd in business dealings?

Take a discount (Lk 16:7-16:7)

“Then the manager

Asked another debtor.

‘How much do you owe?’

He replied.

‘A hundred containers

Of wheat.’

The manager said to him.

‘Take your bill!

Make it eighty!’”

 

ἔπειτα ἑτέρῳ εἶπεν Σὺ δὲ πόσον ὀφείλεις; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἑκατὸν κόρους σίτου. λέγει αὐτῷ Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα καὶ γράψον ὀγδοήκοντα.

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the house manager asked another debtor (ἔπειτα ἑτέρῳ εἶπεν) how much did he owe his master (Σὺ δὲ πόσον ὀφείλεις).  This debtor replied (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that he owed 100 cors or containers of wheat (Ἑκατὸν κόρους σίτου).  Once again, Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term κόρους that means a cor, about 15 bushels, a dry measure, equivalent to 120 gallons.  This dishonest manager then told him (λέγει αὐτῷ) to take his bill (Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα) and make it 80 cors (καὶ γράψον ὀγδοήκοντα).  This was only a 20% discount or a reduction from 1,500 bushels to 1,200 bushels of wheat.  This corrupt manager was not as kind to this debtor, compared to the first debtor.  Is debt a good thing to have?

Write your debt in half (Lk 16:6-16:6)

“The man answered.

‘A hundred jugs

Of olive oil.’

This manager

Said to him.

Take your bill!

Sit down quickly!

Make it fifty!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἑκατὸν βάτους ἐλαίου. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα καὶ καθίσας ταχέως γράψον πεντήκοντα

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this debtor answered (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that he owed a 100 jugs or baths of olive oil (Ἑκατὸν βάτους ἐλαίου).  Once again, Luke used a word that does not appear any other place in the biblical literature, βάτους, that means a bath, an Israelite liquid measure, between eight and nine gallons.  Thus, this unjust house manager said to this debtor (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) to take his bill (Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα).  Then sitting down, quickly change it to 50 (καὶ καθίσας ταχέως γράψον πεντήκοντα).  This would have been a 50% reduction from about 800 gallons of olive oil to 400 gallons.  That was a nice gesture.  Would his master and lord like that?  Have you ever tried to reduce your debt?

How much do you owe? (Lk 16:5-16:5)

“Thus,

He summoned

His master’s debtors,

One by one.

He asked the first one.

‘How much do you owe

My master?’”

 

καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος ἕνα ἕκαστον τῶν χρεοφειλετῶν τοῦ κυρίου ἑαυτοῦ ἔλεγεν τῷ πρώτῳ Πόσον ὀφείλεις τῷ κυρίῳ μου;

 

This parable story about this dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the plan of this fired house manager was to summon each one of his lord’s or master’s debtors (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος ἕνα ἕκαστον τῶν χρεοφειλετῶν τοῦ κυρίου ἑαυτοῦ).  He asked the first debtor (ἔλεγεν τῷ πρώτῳ) how much he owed his lord or master (Πόσον ὀφείλεις τῷ κυρίῳ μου).  The plan was simple.  He was going to contact his master’s debtors, those who owed money to his lord.  He wanted to know how much they owed?  However, he should have known this, if he was a good manager.  Do you owe any money to anyone?

A plan (Lk 16:4-16:4)

“I have decided

What to do.

When I am

Dismissed

As a house manager,

People

Will welcome me

Into their homes.”

 

ἔγνων τί ποιήσω, ἵνα ὅταν μετασταθῶ ἐκ τῆς οἰκονομίας δέξωνταί με εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ἑαυτῶν

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this fired household manager came up with a plan.  He decided what to do (ἔγνων τί ποιήσω).  After he was dismissed as a house manager (ἵνα ὅταν μετασταθῶ ἐκ τῆς οἰκονομίας), he wanted people to welcome him into their homes (δέξωνταί με εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ἑαυτῶν).  It is always a good idea to make plans before you leave a job.  This dishonest house manager was no exception.  He had a plan to survive.  Do you have any plans in case you lose your job?

What to do? (Lk 16:3-16:3)

“Then the house manager

Said to himself.

‘What shall I do?

My master

Is taking away

This position

Of house manager

From me.

I am not strong enough

To dig.

I am ashamed

To beg.’”

 

εἶπεν δὲ ἐν ἑαυτῷ ὁ οἰκονόμος Τί ποιήσω, ὅτι ὁ κύριός μου ἀφαιρεῖται τὴν οἰκονομίαν ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ; σκάπτειν οὐκ ἰσχύω, ἐπαιτεῖν αἰσχύνομαι.

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this house manager said to himself (εἶπεν δὲ ἐν ἑαυτῷ ὁ οἰκονόμος).  What should he do (Τί ποιήσω)?  His master or lord was taking away his position as house manager from him (ὅτι ὁ κύριός μου ἀφαιρεῖται τὴν οἰκονομίαν ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ).  He was not strong enough to dig (σκάπτειν οὐκ ἰσχύω), but he was too ashamed to beg also (ἐπαιτεῖν αἰσχύνομαι).  What should he do with his unemployment?  What would you do if you were suddenly unemployed?