Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 16:1-13

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Luke 16:1

disciples. Jesus focused on a different group for the following parable (vv. 1-13; 15:3). rich man. A picture often used in Jesus's parables (v. 19; 10:30; 12:16; 14:16; 19:12). manager. One of the rich man's slaves who would have had responsibilities for overseeing the master's finances as well as the other slaves. Unlike more modern forms, slavery in the ancient world was not based on ethnicity. Though masters could be cruel, slaves were not seen as less than human. They could be well-educated, hold many responsibilities, and more easily gain their freedom. wasting. Losses due to incompetence by the manager.

Luke 16:2

The manager was called upon to turn in his record books and give a final report before being fired.

Luke 16:4

The manager devised a scheme that would help him find support for himself after he has been fired. The master told the manager to turn in his accounts. But until that happens, he's still in control of the rich man's books. His motivation and actions (vv. 5-7) were selfish. He was working for himself, not his master.

Luke 16:5-7

See WLC 145.

Luke 16:6-7

The manager offered huge amounts of discounts on the debt owed his master. hundred baths. A bath was the usual Jewish measurement for oil of the day. It was the equivalent of 8.75 gallons (33.1 liters). The total value would have been around 1,000 denarii, or three years' worth of wages for the average worker. hundred cors. A cor was the same as ten ephahs or thirty seahs in ancient measurements. This is about 10-20 bushels (almost 400 liters) in modern terms. A hundred cor was worth about 2,500 to 3,000 denarii, or about eight to ten years salary for an average worker.

Luke 16:8

shrewdly. Acting with cleverness or cunning. The manager did not offer commendation of the dishonest and disrespectful action. He commended the clever way the manager wisely planned for his future. By giving the master's debtors huge discounts, he made them feel indebted to him. Soon, the manager would need a new job (v. 2) and these debtors would help. children of this world. A phrase for unbelievers which emphasized their focus on the present age. children of light. A name for God's people among certain believing communities in that day. more shrewd. Unbelievers know how to employ their money and their energy in order to secure their own interests. The manager saw what was coming and knew how to plan for it. If pagans can be wise in their pursuit of thing in this life only, how much more should God's people be wise in how they pursue eternity (v. 9)?

Luke 16:9

unrighteous wealth. Not money gained by sin, but wealth that exists in this world only. It is unrighteous because people often trust in it rather than God. friends . . . eternal dwellings. If we are to be wise and faithful stewards, then we will be shrewd with our resources (v. 8). Rather than live for this world alone, we will plan for our future glory in God's presence. Specifically, we are to focus on people. Jesus uses the language of friendships. His disciples should use their resources to love other and spread the gospel that more people will enter the kingdom through faith and repentance (Mark 1:15; 2 Cor. 5:11-21).

Luke 16:10-13

See WLC 142; HC 110.

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