Luke 16:1-9

Talks for Growing Christians

The Parable of the Unjust Steward

Luke 16:1-9

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Lesson Number 42

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers are not commended for dishonesty.
  2. Believers are commended for prudence.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t be a financial failure!


  1. Explain in your own words what occurred in the parable of the unjust steward.
  2. What is the shocking part of this story?
  3. List some common misunderstandings about this parable.
  4. Explain the statement in verse 8, “For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.”
  5. What does it mean to be prudent?


  1. A certain rich man had a financial planner to care for his estate finances. It was reported to the estate owner that his financial manager was squandering the estate’s property. The manager was told to write his letter of resignation, because he was being terminated as an employee. The shrewd manager quickly called his master’s creditors and reduced their bills, so that they would provide for him when he lost his job.
  2. That the wheeling and dealing manager was praised by the estate owner!
  3. 1) It seems that dishonesty is being commended. 2) It seems that the master praising unrighteousness, in the parable, is the Lord. 3) It seems that “the ends justify the means” is being taught here.
  4. The Lord is commending the wise and shrewd use of money in view of the future. You can’t take it with you! Believers, who are sons of light, sometimes do stupid things with their money!
  5. To be prudent means to think ahead and use good judgment and common sense in handling practical matters.


  1. 1. Discuss how several misconceptions can be cleared up if we think of this story not as a parable, but as a true story used to illustrate how people of this world deal with each other when it comes to money.
  2. Discuss the application in verse 9, “You can’t take it with you,” but you can exchange your money for souls who will greet you when you reach heaven! How are you using your money to help win souls for Christ? If you would like to learn more about this topic, you can read Dave Reid’s Devotion for Growing Christians entitled “Smart Money”.


  1. How do you transfer funds to your heavenly bank account? By giving to the Lord’s work now, where you see souls being saved and blessed. You will be welcomed into heaven by people who are there because you gave, and you will never regret it!

Key Verses

  • “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 16:8
  • “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.” Luke 16:9

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