106. The Shrewd Steward
1And Jesus also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.
2And he called him and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.'”
3“And the steward said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4I have decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses when I am put out of the stewardship.' 5So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?' 6He said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' 7Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' He said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.' 8Even his master commended the dishonest steward for his shrewdness.”a
“The sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.b 9And I tell you, make friends for yourselves with righteousness like those who make friends with unrighteous mammon,c so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.”
10“He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11If then you have not been faithful in handling worldly wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?”
13“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
14The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at him.
a “shrewdness”—shrewd•ness n. the quality or state of being shrewd, as a: sagacity in practical affairs (the political shrewdness that characterized his later career—Carol L. Thompson) b: keenness of discernment : ACUMEN (the tradition of rural shrewdness—Malcolm Cowley). (Webster's Unabridged)
b “The sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.”—The sons of this world sometimes show more wisdom in their preparation for the future than do the children of the kingdom.
c “mammon”—Semitic word for money or riches.
Lk. 16:8 Even his master / The master (RSV) • The / for the (RSV)
Lk. 16:9 yourselves with righteousness like those who make friends with unrighteous / yourselves by means of unrighteous (RSV)
Lk. 16:11 in handling worldly wealth, who (TEV) / in the unrighteous mammon, who (RSV)
Lk. 16:13 No man can / No servant can (RSV) (169:2/1853–4)