Underwritten by The LORD JESUS CHRIST
The first part of Luke 16 holds the enigmatic account of the unrighteous steward, as related by Our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Everybody knows it deals with wealth, riches, and money (and accounts, too) of every sort. That part is not mysterious. As a matter of fact, 28 verses out of the 31 verses in that entire chapter spoken by The LORD deal with money or, as in the Greek, mamona.
After some research, we discovered mamona was capitalized. It was a proper name: Mamona, the name of the Syrian deity of riches. Hence, mammon came to mean wealth, riches, and money in English.
This information brought the entire passage into focus. It told us that the source, the origination, of a money system was brought to mankind via a foreign deity... that is to say, a demonic entity. The origins even of the English word money come from the idolatrous temple Juno Moneta, the place where the Romans coined their money. (This is found in the etymology of money / mint, from Webster’s 7th New Collegiate Dictionary, p. 540). In other words, mammon was brought to man through the hands of the wicked spirits, the fallen angels. Thus, it is clear to see that in the beginning, the money system was not created by GOD for man’s use but by the wicked spirits.
Now, what would one suppose Our LORD thinks about such a devised system of mammon which HE+ did not develop for mankind? In this 16th chapter of Luke, Our LORD describes all mammon (riches, wealth, money) as unrighteous.
Does the Greek text adequately support this? Yes. Throughout this passage, unrighteous is used in the Greek: that is, the opposite of righteous/righteousness. Adikais and adiko is used throughout as adjectives describing mammon. Verse 8 has a parallel construction in the Greek regarding the unrighteous steward. Thus, it should be read as “unrighteous mammon” instead of simply dishonest wealth. Wealth gotten by dishonest means versus honest wealth is stretching the Greek, grammatically.
Why is this distinction important?
Wealth gotten by dishonest means is bad; wealth gotten by honest means is okay, right? Yes... in the eyes of man.
But how does Our GOD view mammon? His+ estimation of what we labor for night and day is clearly stated in John 6:27. HE+ said, “Labor not for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you. For HIM+ has GOD The FATHER sealed.”
What is His+ estimation of those valuables which men have heart attacks over or what men sell their souls for? HE+ tells us in Matthew, in Mark, and in Luke: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
We can truthfully see that mammon is: 1) always unrighteous---not being created by GOD for mankind, in the beginning, and 2) is the very least thing of value in His+ estimation... and rightly so, since the enemy camp devised the system which has been placed upon man, to his unwitting destruction. Verses 10 and 11 establish this point. HE+ declares if one is faithful in that which is least –or, unfaithful, as the case may be—that one would act the same way in dealing with much.
As a matter of fact, further on in that very passage in Luke 16, our LORD pointed out this uncomfortable truth: that which is highly esteemed by men is abomination before GOD (Luke 16:15 ). This strong Greek word means what is extremely hated, detested, or abhorred. In the 6 places (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Revelation) it is used in the New Testament, it is always used in conjunction with idolatry.
Now, back to the passage of interest... the enigmatic Luke 16: 1-13. Our LORD shows us how worldlings do and what they consider smart or practical in the management of earthly goods. The fellows in this passage all valued shrewdness with money so highly that—even if they were cheated themselves—they had to own up that it was quite a smart or practical thing to do to falsify the bills “for friends.” The fellows who went along with having their bills re-constructed liked the good bargain, naturally! Which of us wouldn’t like to have our bills reduced by some means or other? How many of us would even question why our bill has been reduced? The fellows in this account, however, knew just who had benefited them.
Thus, these fellows—no better than the unrighteous steward—would welcome someone who helped out their finances. They’d welcome him right into their midst as a loyal friend and not as a scoundrel... to them! The LORD accurately pointed out how worldlings conduct their affairs using unrighteous mammon. This still goes on today. Having “friends” in high places benefits the pocketbook, doesn’t it?
But then, Our LORD JESUS CHRIST makes some startling statements. First, HE+ recognizes that money is here, a reality of this life, and that it will not disappear until HE+ returns. So, Our LORD tells us how we sons of Light should do with this unrighteous mammon. HE+ starts out by establishing His+ authority...“And I say unto you....” you sons of Light, you should use this unrighteous mammon in the same way!
However, the difference is exactly WHO our friends are.
In short, “the friends receiving us into Everlasting Habitations” (verse 9) could include all the Church Victorious, all the martyrs and confessors who have not denied The LORD before men (Luke 12:5-9), no matter what the cost nor loss.
Those “friends” could include those servants of HIS+ who were so careful and mindful to do His+ will that HE+ did not order them to depart from HIM+, as in Matthew 7: 21-23. “They” might include those who overcame the devil and satan by the Blood of the LAMB+, and by the word of their testimony, and who loved not their lives unto the death, as in Revelation 12:11.
Unfortunately, we sons of Light+ aren’t as shrewd as the worldlings. We do NOT use our unrighteous mammon to win friends in Heavenly Places. Instead, we use it for our own interests. In short, we use it for the same purpose as the worldlings to procure earthly security instead of Heavenly security... only in a more honest fashion... (perhaps).
In a concrete and practical way, Our LORD is showing us how to procure an insurance policy which HE+ Himself+ underwrites!
He said: But the day of The LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the Heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (2 Peter 3:10).
However, the true, eternal riches will not be touched by judgment’s fire; they will remain. And, our priceless spirit, soul, and body, made in the image and likeness of GOD, will not suffer the loss of even one hair! (Luke 21:18). Furthermore, Scripture says, “And GOD shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. And HE+ that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And HE+ said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. ” (Rev. 21:4-5).
The message of this passage in Luke 16 is clear: use your money, wealth, and riches for The LORD. If you do not and use it for your self or your earthly security just like the worldlings do—no matter how honest you are in your dealings—Our LORD will not entrust unto you the authority and power and the true, eternal riches in the age to come.
Furthermore, verse 12 tells us that we will not even be able to keep our own souls intact. Our LORD said in Matthew 16:26 and in several other places: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Just how clear was this message received when Our LORD spoke it? Look at verse 14, the very next verse. Guess who mocked and derided these important words of CHRIST JESUS ? The Pharisees did, who were lovers of money, lovers of silver, lovers of mammon and that wicked system. Those fellows understood His+ words and account regarding the worldlings exactly. They received it to heart, and like the clever devils in James 2, they believed it. But, being men, in their presumption, they did not tremble as did the demons. Those Pharisees, those men, derided CHRIST JESUS... the only ONE+ Who+ could save them from being consumed by the mammon system and by their sins. And, if they never repented and changed their ways, they would have died in their sins.
As Our LORD truthfully and faithfully told us, Mankind, you humans, you cannot—are absolutely not able—to serve both GOD and Mammon.
You see... this entire account is NOT about a clever money-handler nor even about the bunch of rich rascals who are his friends. THAT IDEA came from the commentators and the editorial staff who put labels in Scripture above certain passages.
It is about mammon and exactly how Our LORD sees it: as an abomination.
The purpose of this account is simply this:
to show us how Our LORD wants us to deal with this unrighteous mammon...
It will soon burn. James 4 says it is the cause of wars and fightings. Our LORD says riches are DECEITFUL, choking out the Word, making that man so deceived by riches unfruitful ( Mt. 13:22). Worse, we know what Our LORD says happens to the unfruitful branches. (See John 15).