Luke 16:10
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) He that is faithful in that which is least . . .—The context shows that by “that which is least” is meant what men call wealth, and which to most of them seems as the greatest, highest good. To be faithful in that is to acknowledge that we have it as stewards, not as possessors, and shall have to give an account of our stewardship. The word of warning was meant, we may believe, specially for the disciples. They, coming, for the most part, from the poorer classes, thought that they were in no danger of worshipping mammon. They are told, probably with special reference to the traitor Judas, that the love of money may operate on a narrow as well as on a wide scale, and that wrong-doing in the one case tests character not less perfectly than in the other. This seems truer to the meaning of “much” than to find in it simply the higher wealth of the kingdom of God, generically different from the former, though this also may be included in the wider operation of the laws thus asserted.

Luke

TWO KINDS OF RICHES

Luke 16:10 - Luke 16:12
.

That is a very strange parable which precedes my text, in which our Lord takes a piece of crafty dishonesty on the part of a steward who had been embezzling his lord’s money as in some sense an example for us Christian people, There are other instances in which He does the same thing, finding a soul of goodness in things evil, as, for instance, in the parable of the Unjust Judge. Similar is the New Testament treatment of war or slavery, both of which diabolical things are taken as illustrations of what in the highest sphere are noble and heavenly things.

But having delivered the parable, our Lord seems, in the verses that I have read, to anticipate the objection that the unfaithfulness of the steward can never be an example for God’s stewards; and in the words before us, amongst other things, He says substantially this, that whilst the steward’s using his lord’s wealth in order to help his lord’s debtors was a piece of knavery and unfaithfulness, in us it is not unfaithfulness, but the very acme of faithfulness. In the text we have the thought that there are two kinds of valuable things in the world, a lower and a higher; that men may be very rich in regard to the one, and very poor in regard to the other. In respect to these, ‘There is that maketh himself rich, and yet hath nothing; there is that maketh himself poor, and yet hath great riches.’ More than that, the noblest use of the lower kind of possessions is to secure the possession of the highest. And so He teaches us the meaning of life, and of all that we have.

Now, there are three things in these words to which I would turn your attention-the two classes of treasure, the contrast of qualities between these two, and the noblest use of the lower.

I. The Two Classes of Treasure.

Now, we shall make a great mistake if we narrow down the interpretation of that word ‘mammon’ in the context {which is ‘that which is least,’ etc., here} to be merely money. It covers the whole ground of all possible external and material possessions, whatsoever things a man can only have in outward seeming, whatsoever things belong only to the region of sense and the present. All that is in the world, in fact, is included in the one name. And you must widen out your thoughts of what is referred to here in this prolonged contrast which our Lord runs between the two sets of treasures, so as to include, not only money, but all sorts of things that belong to this sensuous and temporal scene. And, on the other hand, there stands opposite to it, as included in, and meant by, that which is ‘most,’ ‘that which is the true riches,’ ‘that which is your own’; everything that holds of the unseen and spiritual, whether it be treasures of intellect and lofty thought, or whether it be pure and noble aims, or whether it be ideals of any kind, the ideals of art, the aspirations of science, the lofty aims of the scholar and the student-all these are included. And the very same standard of excellence which declares that the treasures of a cultivated intellect, of a pure mind, of a lofty purpose, are higher than the utmost of material good, and that ‘wisdom is better than rubies,’ the very same standard, when applied in another direction, declares that above the treasures of the intellect and the taste are to be ranked all the mystical and great blessings which are summoned up in that mighty word salvation. And we must take a step further, for neither the treasures of the intellect, the mind, and the heart, nor the treasures of the spiritual life which salvation implies, can be realised and reached unless a man possesses God. So in the deepest analysis, and in the truest understanding of these two contrasted classes of wealth you have but the old antithesis: the world-and God. He that has God is rich, however poor he may be in reference to the other category; and he that has Him not is poor, however rich he may be. ‘The lines are fallen to me in pleasant places,’ says the Psalmist; and ‘I have a goodly heritage,’ because he could also say, ‘God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.’ So there is the antithesis, the things of time and sense, the whole mass of them knit together on the one hand; the single God alone by Himself on the other. Of these two classes of valuable things our Lord goes on next to tell us the relative worth. For we have here II. The Contrast between the Two.

That contrast is threefold, as you observe, ‘that which is least.’ or, perhaps better, ‘that which is very little.’ and ‘that which is much.’ That is a contrast in reference to degree. But degree is a shallow word, which does not cover the whole ground, nor go down to the depths. So our Lord comes next to a contrast in regard to essential nature, ‘the unrighteous mammon’ and ‘the true riches.’ But even these contrasts in degree and in kind do not exhaust all the contrasts possible, for there is another, the contrast in reference to the reality of our possession: ‘that which is another’s’; ‘that which is your own.’ Let us, then, take these three things, the contrast in degree, the contrast in kind, the contrast in regard to real possession.

First, then, and briefly, mental and spiritual and inward blessings, salvation, God, are more than all externals. Our Lord gathers all the conceivable treasures of earth, jewels and gold and dignities, and scenes of sensuous delights, and everything that holds to the visible and the temporal, and piles them into one scale, and then He puts into the other the one name, God; and the pompous nothings fly up and are nought, and have no weight at all. Is that not true? Does it need any demonstration, any more talk about it? No!

But then comes in sense and appeals to us, and says, ‘You cannot get beyond my judgment. These things are good.’ Jesus Christ does not say that they are not, but sense regards them as far better than they are. They are near us, and a very small object near us, by the laws of perspective, shuts out a mightier one beyond us. We in Manchester live in a community which is largely based on, and actuated and motived in its diligence by the lie that material good is better than spiritual good, that it is better to be a rich man and a successful merchant than to be a poor and humble and honest student; that it is better to have a balance at your bankers than to have great and pure and virginal thoughts in a clean heart; that a man has done better for himself when he has made a fortune than when he has God in his heart. And so we need, and God knows it was never more needed in Manchester than to-day, that we should preach and preach and preach, over and over again, this old-fashioned threadbare truth, which is so threadbare and certain that it has lost its power over the lives of many of us, that all that, at its mightiest, is very little, and that this, at its least, is very much. Dear brethren, you and I know how hard it is always, especially how hard it is in business lives, to keep this as our practical working faith. We say we believe, and then we go away and live as if we believed the opposite. I beseech you listen to the scale laid down by Him who knew all things in their measure and degree, and let us settle it in our souls, and live as if we had settled it, that it is better to be wise and good than to be rich and prosperous, and that God is more than a universe of worlds, if we have Him for our own.

But to talk about a contrast in degree degrades the reality, for it is no matter of difference of measurement, but it is a matter of difference of kind. And so our Lord goes on to a deeper phase of the contrast, when He pits against one another ‘the unrighteous mammon’ and ‘the true riches.’ Now, there is some difficulty in that contrast. The two significant terms do not seem to be precise opposites, and possibly they are not intended to be logically accurate counterparts of each other. But what is meant by ‘the unrighteous mammon’? I do not suppose that the ordinary explanation of that verse is quite adequate. We usually suppose that by so stigmatising the material good, He means to suggest how hard it is to get it-and you all know that-and how hard it is to keep it, and how hard it is to administer it, without in some measure falling into the sin of unrighteousness. But whilst I dare say that may be the signification intended, if we were to require that the word here should be a full and correct antithesis to the other phrase, ‘the true riches,’ we should need to suppose that ‘unrighteous’ here meant that which falsely pretended to be what it was not. And so we come to the contrast between the deceitfulness of earthly good and the substantial reality of the heavenly. Will any fortune, even though it goes into seven figures, save a man from the miseries, the sorrows, the ills that flesh is heir to? Does a great estate make a man feel less desolate when he stands by his wife’s coffin? Will any wealth ‘minister to a mind diseased’? Will a mountain of material good calm and satisfy a man’s soul? You see faces just as discontented, looking out of carriage windows, as you meet in the street. ‘Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.’ There is no proportion between abundance of external good of any kind and happy hearts. We all know that the man who is rich is not happier than the poor man. And I, for my part, believe that the raw material of happiness is very equally distributed through the world, and that it is altogether a hallucination by which a poor man thinks, ‘If I were wealthy like that other man, how different my life would be.’ No, it would not; you would be the same man. The rich man that fancies that because he is rich he is ‘better off,’ as they say, than his poor brother, and the poor man who thinks that he would be ‘better off’ if he were richer than he is now, are the same man turned inside out, so to speak; and common to both of them is that fallacy, that wealth and material good contribute much to the real blessedness and nobleness of the man who happens to own it.

But then, perhaps, we have rather to regard this unrighteous mammon as so designated from another point of view. You will remember that all through the context our Lord has been insisting on the notion of stewardship. And I take it that what He means here is to remind us that whenever we claim any of our possessions, especially our external ones, as our own, we thereby are guilty of defrauding both God and man, and are unrighteous, and it is unrighteous thereby. Stewardship is a word which describes our relation to all that we have. Forget that, and then whatever you have becomes ‘the unrighteous mammon.’ There is the point in which Christ’s teaching joins hands with a great deal of unchristian teaching in this present day which is called Socialism and Communism. Christianity is not communistic. It asserts as against other men your right of property, but it limits that right by this, that if you interpret your right of property to mean the right to ‘do what you like with your own,’ ignoring your stewardship to God, and the right of your fellows to share in what you have, then you are an unfaithful steward, and your mammon is unrighteous. And that principle, the true communism of Christianity, has to be worked into modern society in a way that some of us do not dream of, before modern society will be organised on Christian principles. These words of my text are no toothless words which are merely intended to urge Christian people on to a sentimental charity, and to a niggardly distribution of part of their possessions: but they underlie the whole conception of ownership, as the New Testament sets it forth. Wherever the stewardship that we owe to God, and the participation that we owe to men, are neglected in regard to anything that we have, there God’s good gifts are perverted and have become ‘unrighteous mammon.’

And, then, on the other hand, our Lord sets forth here the contrast in regard to ‘the true riches’, which are such, inasmuch as they really correspond to the idea of wealth being a true good to a man, and making him rich to all the intents of bliss. He that has the treasures of a pure mind, of a lofty aim, of a quiet conscience, of a filled and satisfied and therefore calmed heart; he that has the treasure of salvation; he that has the boundless wealth of God--he has the bullion, while the poor rich people that have the material good have the scrip of an insolvent company, which is worth no more than the paper on which it is written. There are two currencies-one solid metal, the other worthless paper. The one is ‘true riches,’ and the other the ‘unrighteous mammon.’

Then there is a last contrast, and that is with regard to the reality of our possession. On the one hand, that which I fondly call my own is by our Lord stamped with the proprietor’s mark, of somebody else, ‘that which is Another’s.’ It was His before He gave it, it was His when He gave it, it is His after He has given it. My name is never to be written on my property so as to erase the name of the Owner. I am a steward; I am a trustee; it all belongs to Him. That is one rendering of this word. But the phrase may perhaps point in another direction. It may suggest how shadowy and unreal, as being merely external, and how transitory is our ownership of wealth and outward possessions. A man says, ‘It is mine.’ What does he mean by that? It is not his own in any real sense. I get more good out of a rich man’s pictures, or estate, if I look at them with an eye that loves them, than he does. The world belongs to the man that can enjoy it and rightly use it. And the man that enjoys it and uses it aright is the man who lives in God. Nothing is really yours except that which has entered into the substance of your soul, and become incorporated with your very being, so that, as in wool dyed in the grain, the colour will never come out. What I am, that I have; what I only have, that, in the deepest sense, I have not. ‘Shrouds have no pockets,’ says the Spanish proverb. ‘His glory will not descend after him,’ says the psalm. That is a poor possession which only is outward whilst it lasts, and which ends so soon. But there is wealth that comes into me. There are riches that cannot be parted from me. I can make my own a great inheritance, which is wrought into the very substance of my being, and will continue so inwrought, into whatsoever worlds or states of existence any future may carry me. So, and only so, is anything my own. Let these contrasts dominate our lives.

I see our space is gone; I must make this sermon a fragment, and leave what I intended to have made the last part of it for possible future consideration. Only let me press upon you in one closing word this, that the durable riches are only found in God, and the riches that can be found in God are brought to every one of us by Him ‘in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,’ of goodness and grace. If we will make ourselves poor, by consciousness of our need, and turn with faith to Jesus, then we shall receive from Him those riches which are greatest, which are true, which are our own in that they pass into our very being, in that they were destined for us from all eternity by the love of God; and in having them we shall be rich indeed, and for ever.Luke 16:10-12. He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much — Here our Lord proceeds in the application of the parable. As if he had said, Whether ye have more or less, see that ye be faithful as well as wise stewards: for if you make that use of your riches which I have been recommending, you shall be received into those everlasting habitations, where all the friends of goodness dwell, because, by your fidelity in managing the smallest trust of temporal advantages committed to your care, you show that you are capable of the much greater trust of spiritual and heavenly employments and enjoyments, things of a much higher nature. And he that is unjust in the least — He that useth these lowest gifts unfaithfully; is unjust also in much — Is likewise unfaithful in spiritual things. In other words, If you do not use your riches, and power, and other temporal advantages, for the glory of God, and the good of your fellow- creatures, you shall be excluded from the abodes of the blessed, because, by behaving unfaithfully in the small trust committed to you now, you render yourselves both unworthy and incapable of a share in the everlasting inheritance. For if ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous — Or rather, as the word here signifies, the false, the deceitful mammon — That is, in the use of your riches, and other temporal blessings, very properly called the false mammon, because they always deceive those who confide in them as the sovereign good; who will commit to your trust the true riches? — Spiritual and eternal blessings, which alone are true riches. “The word riches is substituted by our translators instead of mammon, which was the word Christ intended, and which, for that reason, should find its place in the translation of this verse. Mammon, coming from the Hebrew אמן, signifies whatever one is apt to confide in; and because men put their trust generally in external advantages, such as riches, authority, honour, power, knowledge, the word mammon is used to denote every thing of that kind, and particularly riches, by way of eminence.” — Macknight. See note on Matthew 6:24. And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s — The word man is not in the original, and is improperly supplied in the translation, for it is not man but God who is intended; to whom the riches, and other advantages in our possession, do properly belong; who has committed them to us only as stewards, to be laid out for the good of his family, and who may any moment call us to give an account of our management. Observe well, reader, none of these temporal things are ours; we are only stewards of them, not proprietors: God is the proprietor of all: he lodges them in our hands for a season, but still they are his property. “Rich men,” says a late writer, “understand and consider this! If your steward uses any part of your estate, (so called in the language of men,) any further, or any otherwise than you direct, he is a knave: he has neither conscience nor honour. Neither have you either the one or the other, if you use any part of that estate which is in truth God’s, not yours, any otherwise than he directs.” Who shall give you that which is your own — That which, when it is conferred upon you, shall be perpetually in your possession, shall be your own for ever. Our Lord’s meaning, therefore, is, “Since you have dared to be unfaithful in that which was only a trust committed to you by God for a short time, and of which you knew you were to give him an account, it is evident you are not fit to be intrusted by him with the riches of heaven; these being treasures which, if he bestowed them on you, would be so fully your own, that you should have them perpetually in your possession, and never be called to an account for your management of them.”16:1-12 Whatever we have, the property of it is God's; we have only the use of it, according to the direction of our great Lord, and for his honour. This steward wasted his lord's goods. And we are all liable to the same charge; we have not made due improvement of what God has trusted us with. The steward cannot deny it; he must make up his accounts, and be gone. This may teach us that death will come, and deprive us of the opportunities we now have. The steward will make friends of his lord's debtors or tenants, by striking off a considerable part of their debt to his lord. The lord referred to in this parable commended not the fraud, but the policy of the steward. In that respect alone is it so noticed. Worldly men, in the choice of their object, are foolish; but in their activity, and perseverance, they are often wiser than believers. The unjust steward is not set before us as an example in cheating his master, or to justify any dishonesty, but to point out the careful ways of worldly men. It would be well if the children of light would learn wisdom from the men of the world, and would as earnestly pursue their better object. The true riches signify spiritual blessings; and if a man spends upon himself, or hoards up what God has trusted to him, as to outward things, what evidence can he have, that he is an heir of God through Christ? The riches of this world are deceitful and uncertain. Let us be convinced that those are truly rich, and very rich, who are rich in faith, and rich toward God, rich in Christ, in the promises; let us then lay up our treasure in heaven, and expect our portion from thence.He that is faithful ... - This is a maxim which will almost universally hold true. A man that shows fidelity in small matters will also in large; and he that will cheat and defraud in little things will also in those involving more trust and responsibility. Fidelity is required in small matters as well as in those of more importance. 10. He, &c.—a maxim of great pregnancy and value; rising from the prudence which the steward had to the fidelity which he had not, the "harmlessness of the dove, to which the serpent" with all his "wisdom" is a total stranger. Fidelity depends not on the amount entrusted, but on the sense of responsibility. He that feels this in little will feel it in much, and conversely. This is a usual sentence, (our Saviour made use of many such), as to which kind of speeches it is not necessary they should be universally true, it is sufficient if they generally be so. Besides that, our Saviour plainly speaketh here according to the common opinion and judgment of men. Men ordinarily judge that he who is faithful in a little thing, of no high concern or moment, will be faithful in what is of a higher concern, or greater moment; and if they have found a person unfaithful in a small thing, they will conclude that he will he so in a greater, and not trust him: though sometimes it falls out otherwise, that one who is faithful enough in some trifling things, prove unfaithful in a greater trust, where unfaithfulness will turn more to his profit; and on the contrary, he that is untruthful in a little thing, may prove more faithful in a greater; but none will trust to that: and that is our Saviour’s design, to teach us that God will do by us as we in the like case do by our servants or neighbours. He that is faithful in that which is least,.... In quantity and quality, especially the latter; in that which is of little value and worth, at least when compared with other things:

is faithful also in much: in matters of greater consequence and importance: the sense of the proverb is, that, generally speaking, a man that acts a faithful part in a small trust committed to him, does so likewise in a much larger; and being tried, and found faithful in things of less moment, he is intrusted with things of greater importance; though this is not always the case: for sometimes a man may behave with great integrity in lesser matters, on purpose that he might gain greater confidence, which, when he has obtained, he abuses in the vilest manner; but because it is usually otherwise, our Lord uses the common proverb; and of like sense is the following;

and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much: that man that acts the unfaithful part in a small matter, and of little worth, generally does the same, if a greater trust is committed to him.

{2} He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

(2) We ought to take heed that we do not abuse our earthly work and duty and so be deprived of heavenly gifts: for how can they properly use spiritual gifts who abuse worldly things?

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 16:10-12. These verses give more detailed information regarding the precept in Luke 16:9. “Without the specified application of the possessions of Mammon, to wit, ye cannot receive the Messianic riches.” This is shown, on the ground of a general principle of experience (Luke 16:10) from a twofold specific peculiarity of both kinds of wealth, by the argument a minori ad majus.

The faithful in the least is also faithful in much; and the unrighteous in the least is also unrighteous in much[200]—a locus communis which is to be left in its entire proverbial generality. It is fitted for very varied application to individual cases. For what special conclusion it is here intended to serve as a major proposition is contained in Luke 16:11 f.

πιστὸς ἐν ἐλαχ. is conceived as one united idea. Comp. on Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 4:1.

Luke 16:11. In the unrighteous Mammon (here also neuter, and altogether as in Luke 16:9) those are faithful who, according to the precept in Luke 16:9, so apply it that they make for themselves friends therewith. This faithfulness is meant not from the standpoint of the mammon-mind, but of the divine mind (Luke 16:13).

ἐγένεσθε] have become, before the Messianic decision,—an expression of the moral development.

τὸ ἀληθινόν] placed first as a more emphatic contrast to ἘΝ Τῷ ἈΔΊΚῼ ΜΑΜ. (comp. Luke 9:20, Luke 23:31): that which is true, which is not merely a wealth that is regarded as such, but (“Jesus loquitur e sensu coelesti,” Bengel) the ideally real and genuine riches (comp. on John 1:9), i.e. the salvation of the kingdom of Messiah. Observe the demonstrative force of the article. De Wette, Bleek, and many others, following older writers, wrongly understand the spiritual wealth, the Spirit; compare Olshausen: “heavenly powers of the Spirit.” It must be that which previously was symbolized by the reception into the everlasting habitations; hence also it cannot be “the revealed truths, the Gospel” (Ewald), or “the spiritual riches of the kingdom of heaven” (Wieseler), the “gifts of grace” (Lahmeyer), and the like. The objection against our view, that πιστεύσει is not in harmony with it (Wieseler), is not fatal, comp. Luke 19:17. The contrast indeed is not verbally complete (ἄδικονδίκαιον), but substantially just, since anything that is unrighteous cannot be ΤῸ ἈΛΗΘΙΝΌΝ, but the two are essentially in contrast.

Luke 16:12. ἘΝ Τῷ ἈΛΛΟΤΡΊῼ] another specific attribute of the temporal riches, in what is alien, i.e. in that which belongs to another. For ye are not the possessor, but Mammon (in the parable the rich man whose wealth the οἰκονόμος did not possess, but only managed). Altogether arbitrary is the spiritualizing explanation of de Wette, that it is “what does not immediately belong to the sphere of light and Spirit” (comp. Lahmeyer), as well as that of Hölbe, “in the truth which belongs to God.” The contrary: ΤῸ ὙΜΈΤΕΡΟΝ, that which is yours, by which again is characterized not spiritual wealth, but the salvation of the Messianic kingdom,—to wit, as that which shall be the property of man, for that is indeed the hereditary possession, the κληρονομία (Acts 20:32; Romans 8:17; Galatians 3:18; Ephesians 1:14; Matthew 25:34, and elsewhere), the treasure laid up by him in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21), his ΠΟΛΊΤΕΥΜΑ in heaven (Php 3:20), not a mere possession by stewardship of that which belongs to another as its owner, as is the case in respect of earthly wealth. It is an arbitrary interpolation in H. Bauer, op. cit. p. 540 f., who understands ἐλάχιστον and ἈΛΛΌΤΡΙΟΝ as the ἌΔΙΚΟς ΜΑΜ. of the legal condition, to which is to be attributed no absolute significance.

[200] Views in harmony with vv. 10 and 12 occur in Clem. Cor. Luke 2:8; but to conclude therefrom that there is a relationship with the gospel of the Egyptians (Köstlin, p. 223) is very arbitrary.Luke 16:10-13. These verses contain not so much an application as a corrective of the parable. They may have been added by Lk. (so J. Weiss in Meyer, and Holtzmann, H. C.) to prevent misunderstanding, offence, or abuse, so serving the same purpose as the addition “unto repentance” to the saying, “I came not to call,” etc. (Luke 5:32); another instance of editorial solicitude on the part of an evangelist ever careful to guard the character and teaching of Jesus against misunderstanding. So viewed, their drift is: “the steward was dishonest in money matters; do not infer that it does not matter whether you be honest or not in that sphere. It is very necessary to be faithful even there. For faithful in little faithful in much, unfaithful in little unfaithful in much. He who is untrustworthy in connection with worldly goods is unworthy of being entrusted with the true riches; the unjust administrator of another’s property will not deserve confidence as an administrator even of his own. In the parable the steward tried to serve two masters, his lord and his lord’s creditors, and by so doing promoted his own interest. But the thing cannot be done, as even his case shows.” This corrective, if not spoken by Jesus, is not contrary to His teaching. (Luke 16:10 echoes Matthew 25:21, Luke 19:17; Luke 16:13 reproduces verbally the logion in Matthew 6:24.) Yet as it stands here it waters down the parable, and weakens the point of its teaching. Note the epithets applied to money: the little or least, the unjust, and, by implication, the fleeting, that which belongs to another (τῷ ἀλλοτρίῳ). Spiritual riches are the “much,” the “true” τὸ ἀληθινὸν, in the Johannine sense = the ideal as opposed to the vulgar shadowy reality, “our own” (ἡμέτερον).10. faithful in that which is least] Comp. Luke 19:17. The most which we can have in this world is ‘least’ compared to the smallest gift of heaven.Luke 16:10. Ὁ πιστὸς, he who is faithful) The mention of mammon being repeated (Luke 16:9, and Luke 16:11), indicates that this has a close connection with what goes before. And yet it is not prudence now, as heretofore, but fidelity, which the Lord commends. For fidelity generates and directs prudence. Πιστὸς, ἀληθινὸν (נאמן), and πιστεύσει, are conjugates.—ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ, in that which is least) Theology concerns itself with the greatest and with the least things. For it is in this view that the antithetic word πολλῷ, “in much,” acquires also the force of a superlative, as רַב.—ἄδικος, unjust) In antithesis to πιστὸς, faithful.Verse 10. - He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. This and the next three verses are closely connected with the parable of the unjust steward. Our Lord no doubt continued speaking, and these four verses contain a general resume of what may be called his reflections on the important piece of teaching he had just delivered. We have here the broad rule, upon which God will decide the soul's future, laid down. If the man has been faithful in his administration of the comparatively unimportant goods of earth, it is clear that he can be entrusted with the far more important things which belong to the world to come. There is, too, in these words a kind of limitation and explanation of the foregoing parable of the unjust steward. The conduct of that steward, regarded in one point of view, was held to be wise, and we, though in a very different way, were advised to imitate it; yet here we are distinctly told that it is fidelity, not unfaithfulness, which will be eventually re-warded - the just, not the unjust steward. That which is least

A general proposition, yet with a reference to mammon as the least of things. See Luke 16:11.

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