The word “steward” is from the Greek oikonomos. The root oikos means house, and nemo - to arrange. The steward was a manager of a household or estate. Stewards did not own the property; rather, they managed it. “Steward” is used figuratively to describe our relationship to what God has entrusted to us.
Luke 12:42-48 The principle of stewardship is a common theme in Scripture, whether it is concerning financial stewardship or stewardship of knowledge and understanding as is the case in this parable. There will be varying degrees of reward when Christ returns and varying degrees of punishment. What we have graciously been given is to be used for God’s intended purposes.
1 Peter 4:10-11 When we use our God-given abilities to serve others, God gets glorified.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Paul, the great example for all believers to follow, considered himself a servant of Christ and a steward of God’s mysteries. We should think likewise about ourselves. The fundamental requirement of a steward is to be trustworthy, faithful.
1 Corinthians 9:16-18 The stewardship responsibility should weigh heavy on us to compel us to action, but not by forced compulsion, rather voluntarily to God’s glory. If we do this right, we have a reward.
Ephesian 3:1-3; Colossians 1:25 Paul identified himself as a steward. He is held up as the example, after Jesus, that we are to follow.
Titus 1:7-9 A church leader is required to function as a steward. If the person does not live this way, he or she is not qualified to serve.
We should think of ourselves as stewards of all that God has given spiritually and materially. Everything we have belongs to God--our relationships, material things, abilities, and so on. Good stewards are diligent, faithful, and sensible.
Christ has given us the responsibility over our relationship with people and resources.
Luke 16:1 “Manager” is the Greek oikonomos, most often translated “steward”.
To whom He is speaking is important to acknowledge. The words “now also” connect what follows with that which came before in chapter 15.
Luke 15:1-3 Pharisees and scribes
Luke 16:1 He is speaking to disciples, but in the background (according to verse 14), the Pharisees are still there.
The three parables of chapter 15 were directed at the Pharisees who judged Jesus for the right things he was doing while they who proclaimed to represent God totally neglected God’s work and instruction for them. Although Jesus was speaking to his disciples, he was talking about the Pharisees.
“Squander” is to waste something in a reckless and foolish manner. He was considered unrighteous for what he neglected to do, not for what he was about to do.
8 “Shrewd” is also translated wise, prudent, sensible, “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
He did what was advantageous for his future. His unjustness was regarding his squandering his master’s stuff, not in collecting part of what was owed (for which he received praise). He had the authority, and he used it to settle the affairs in a favorable way. His dealing was good for his master and for himself.
9 Most parables have one main point, but the verses that follow seem to indicate that Jesus with this parable had more than one point.
Unrighteous wealth, material or things of this world, compared to righteous wealth; spiritual realities – Luke16:11; 1 Timothy 6:17; Luke 12:33; Matthew 6:19; 19:21
The steward made friends that would receive him by means of financial dealings. This is not saying we copy the manner in which he did business, rather our dealings are to be so that we accomplish the same result of making friends with unbelievers. Our dealings are always to be honest, equitable, generous, loving, and godly (not selfish schemes that are so common today). Such dealings indeed make an impression on people.
“When it fails” according to Matthew 6:19, unrighteous wealth will fail. It always fails to fill the godly void in people, and it will certainly fail when Christ returns.
“They” (refer to the people who have become friendly with you) will receive you or seek you for help, and the help you give will lead them to the greater treasure--eternal life.
We use our dealing in the world, not like the unjust steward, but for the purposes or blessings of our manager, God. See 15:7, 10, 23-24. The Pharisees were like the unjust steward; we are different.
We can use money for selfish purposes or with a greater view of God’s purposes. Everything we do in life should be directed toward godliness.
10-11 A very little thing is again understood by comparison to the very big or great thing. Material things are compared to spiritual things. Children must be taught to properly care for their toys, clothing, room, etc.
We squander our money on foolish things like five-dollar coffee that could be made at home for a lot less. Many people overuse the credit card then pay huge interest rates. We squander our time as busy bodies on social media. Why would God entrust us with spiritual abilities or matters of much greater importance?
12 If we are not faithful with another person’s stuff, who will give us our own.
13 Cannot have it both ways: either we trust God, or we trust money.…
14-15 The Pharisees were just like the unjust steward: 1) they were unfaithful to their master’s purposes, and 2) they were all about money and 3) concerned about how others viewed them.
Luke 19:1-2 Zacchaeus was not just a tax collector, but a chief tax collector. Tax collectors were hated because they were notorious for being greedy extortionists.
5-7 Jesus cared little about how others viewed his godly actions. Matthew was a tax collector, Matthew 9:10-13.
8 Zacchaeus’ attitude toward his money was the complete opposite to that of the rich young ruler.
Matthew 13:44-46 Money and material possessions are often more important to people than Jesus, but not for Zacchaeus.
The parable that follows can be reviewed about money and behavior before Christ returns. All our possessions really belong to God. We are just stewards.
Luke 19:11 Christ uses the parable to teach about the coming Kingdom of God on earth. Whatever we have, God has provided so we can use it to advance God’s purposes in our lives. This verse indicates the Kingdom was not going to appear immediately.
12 The nobleman in the parable is Jesus.
13 A mina was about three months’ wages.
14 His citizens did not want him to reign over them.
16-19 He first dealt with the faithful ones. Considering the scope of the Scriptures, Jesus must be referring to the Millennial Kingdom (Matthew 19:27-30). The first resurrection deals with the faithful; the second with the unfaithful.
27 Finally, the king commanded that his enemies—those who had rebelled against his authority—be brought before him. Right there in the king’s presence, they were executed.
THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS
Matthew 25:14-30 The parable of the talents is different than the parable of the minas. The parable of the minas was told on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem; the parable of the talents was told later on the Mount of Olives. The audience for the parable of the minas was a large crowd; the audience for the parable of the talents was the disciples by themselves. The parable of the minas deals with two classes of people: servants and enemies; the parable of the talents deals only with professed servants.
Matthew 16:27; Psalm 62:12; Proverbs 24:12; Romans 2:6; 14:10-12; 1 Cor 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Eph 6:8; Col 3:23-25; Revelation 2:23; 20:12; 22:12
The rewards for the faithful service with the parable of the ten minas will be authority over sites in the Millennial Kingdom.