Verse of the Day: Parable of the Unjust Steward

February 27, 2007

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1 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. 2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred £measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred £measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

Luke 16:1-8 (NKJV)

From the Nelson Study Bible:

Verse 1: A steward was a servant who supervised and administered an estate. The charge brought against this steward is incompetence.

Verse 2: Give an account…you can no longer be steward: The rich man responded to the charge that his steward was incompetent by firing the steward and asking for his records to be brought up to date.

Verse 6: A hundred measures of oil…fifty: Three explanations are commonly given concerning the steward’s right to alter the amount his master was owed: (1) The steward simply lowered the price on his own authority; (2) the steward removed the interest charge from the debt, according to the Law; or (3) the steward removed his own commission, sacrificing only his own money and not that of his master. The different rates of reduction reflect the different rates for different commodities.

Verse 8: The master recognized the foresight in the steward’s generosity. He was shrewd in using his authority to discount the goods.

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