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Luke 16:8-12

16:8 The 1  master commended the dishonest 2  manager because he acted shrewdly. 3  For the people 4  of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their contemporaries 5  than the people 6  of light. 16:9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by how you use worldly wealth, 7  so that when it runs out you will be welcomed 8  into the eternal homes. 9 

16:10 “The one who is faithful in a very little 10  is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 16:11 If then you haven’t been trustworthy 11  in handling worldly wealth, 12  who will entrust you with the true riches? 13  16:12 And if you haven’t been trustworthy 14  with someone else’s property, 15  who will give you your own 16 ?

1 tn Grk “And the.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

2 sn Is the manager dishonest because of what he just did? Or is it a reference to what he had done earlier, described in v. 1? This is a difficult question, but it seems unlikely that the master, having fired the man for prior dishonesty, would now commend those same actions. It would also be unusual for Jesus to make that point of the story the example. Thus it is more likely the reference to dishonesty goes back to the earliest events, while the commendation is for the cleverness of the former manager reflected in vv. 5-7.

3 sn Where this parable ends is debated: Does it conclude with v. 7, after v. 8a, after v. 8b, or after v. 9? Verse 8a looks as if it is still part of the story, with its clear reference to the manager, while 8b looks like Jesus’ application, since its remarks are more general. So it is most likely the parable stops after v. 8a.

4 tn Grk “sons” (an idiom).

5 tn Grk “with their own generation.”

6 tn Grk “sons.” Here the phrase “sons of light” is a reference to the righteous. The point is that those of the world often think ahead about consequences better than the righteous do.

7 tn Grk “unrighteous mammon.” Mammon is the Aramaic term for wealth or possessions. The point is not that money is inherently evil, but that it is often misused so that it is a means of evil; see 1 Tim 6:6-10, 17-19. The call is to be generous and kind in its use. Zacchaeus becomes the example of this in Luke’s Gospel (19:1-10).

8 sn The passive refers to the welcome of heaven.

9 tn Grk “eternal tents” (as dwelling places).

10 sn The point of the statement faithful in a very little is that character is shown in how little things are treated.

11 tn Or “faithful.”

12 tn Grk “the unrighteous mammon.” See the note on the phrase “worldly wealth” in v. 9.

13 sn Entrust you with the true riches is a reference to future service for God. The idea is like 1 Cor 9:11, except there the imagery is reversed.

14 tn Or “faithful.”

15 tn Grk “have not been faithful with what is another’s.”

16 tn Grk “what is your own.”

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