Don’t misunderstand what Jesus is saying in the parable of the clever steward (16:1-13)! He’s merely pointing out how shrewd people can be in worldly matters, and suggesting that we should be just as clever regarding spiritual matters, especially when it comes to money. We should make sure that we are using our money wisely with regard to the kingdom of God. We need to please our spiritual Lord, because “you cannot serve God and money.”
The Pharisees disagree, since they are all about earthly prestige and influence. Jesus warns them that God knows their hearts, and that they should be worried (16:14-15)! It’s time for the kingdom of God, and they should be so moved by Jesus’ teaching that they want to enter into it (16:16). But the coming of the kingdom doesn’t negate the law (16:17). We understand that the law still affects mankind, because we are guilty of breaking it (Romans 3:23). But our belief in Jesus means we are forgiven (Romans 5:8)! We understand that the coming of the kingdom is all about grace, and that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross fulfilled the law for us (Romans 5:9). Jesus then uses a command to show them of the continued importance of the law: the sanctity of marriage (16:18).
What we have next appears to be a parable, although some wonder if it actually relays literal events (16:19-31). Regardless, it teaches us some important truths:
- There is life after death.
- Life circumstances don’t predict your destiny.
- You can go to one of two places, and you go there immediately.
- There is torment in one and comfort in the other.
- It is eternal.
- Faith (understanding and repentance) is necessary for salvation.
- We have everything we need to make a choice now.
For worship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPRdX6N2HGw