Luke 16:2
And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
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(2) How is it that I hear this of thee?—(1) The opening words of the steward’s master imply wonder as well as indignation. They remind us so far of the words of the lord of the vineyard in another parable, “Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?” (Isaiah 5:4). Speaking after the manner of men, it was a marvel and a mystery that men with so high a calling as the scribes and teachers of Israel should have proved so unfaithful to their trust. (2) The words that follow, “Give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward,” while they admit legitimately enough a personal application to each individual at the close of any period of trust and probation, and therefore at the close of life, are yet far from being limited to that application, and in their primary significance, do not even admit it. The close of a stewardship, for a party like the Pharisees—for a school like that of the scribes—for any Church or section of a Church—is when its day of judgment comes, when its work in the Kingdom is done, when history, and God in history, pass their sentence upon it. And that day of judgment was coming fast upon those who then heard the parable.

Luke 16:2-4. And he called him, and said, How is it that I hear this of thee — His lord, having called him, told him what was laid to his charge; and as he did not pretend to deny the accusation, he ordered him to give in his accounts, because he was determined he should occupy his office no longer. Then the steward said, What shall I do? — The steward, having heard his doom pronounced, began to consider with himself, how he should be supported when he was discarded. He was of a disposition so prodigal, that he had laid up nothing; he thought himself incapable of bodily labour, (being old, perhaps,) or could not submit to it, and to beg he was ashamed. He was not, however, as appears from what follows, ashamed to cheat! This was likewise, says Mr. Wesley, a sense of honour! “By men called honour, but by angels, pride.” I am resolved what to do — So he said within himself after a little consideration; a lucky thought, as he doubtless accounted it, coming into his mind. He was not yet turned out of his office; he therefore resolved to use his power in such a manner as to make himself friends, who would succour him in his need. That they may receive me into their houses — That the tenants or debtors of his lord, who paid their rents or debts, not in money, but in wheat, oil, or other produce of the ground they rented or possessed, might give him entertainment in their houses, or provide for him some other means of subsistence.

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.Give an account - Give a statement of your expenses and of your conduct while you have been steward. This is not to be referred to the day of judgment. It is a circumstance thrown into the parable to prepare the way for what follows. It is true that all will be called to give an account at the day of judgment, but we are not to derive that doctrine from such passages as this, nor are we to interpret this as teaching that our conscience, or the law, or any beings will "accuse us" in the day of judgment. All that will be indeed true, but it is not the truth that is taught in this passage. CHAPTER 16

Lu 16:1-31. Parables of the Unjust Steward and of the Rich Man and Lazarus, or, the Right Use of Money.

1. steward—manager of his estate.

accused—informed upon.

had wasted—rather, "was wasting."

See Poole on "Luke 16:1"

And he called him,.... By the prophets, sent one after another; by John the Baptist, by Christ himself, and by his apostles:

and said unto him, how is it that I hear this of thee? of thy corrupting the word; of thy covetousness, rapine, and theft; of thy adultery and idolatry, and sad violation of the law; see Romans 2:21

give an account of thy stewardship: what improvement is made of thy gifts; what care has been taken of my vineyard, the Jewish church; and where are the fruits that might be expected to have been received at your hands:

for thou mayest be no longer steward. This was foretold by the prophets, that God would write a "Loammi" upon the people of the Jews; that he would cut off three shepherds in one month, and particularly lay aside the idol shepherd, by whom the Pharisees may be meant, Zechariah 11:8 and by John the Baptist, who declared the axe was laid to the root of the tree, and it was just ready to be cut down, Matthew 3:10 and by Christ, that the kingdom of God should be taken from them, Matthew 21:43 and by the apostles, who turned from them to the Gentiles, Acts 13:46.

And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
Luke 16:2. Τί τοῦτο ἀκούω περὶ σοῦ;] what is this that I hear concerning thee? quid hoc est, quod de te audio? A well-known contraction of a relative clause with an interrogative clause; Plat. Gorg. p. 452 D, and elsewhere. See Kühner, II. § 841. 1; Fritzsche, ad Marc. p. 780; Bornemann, Schol. p. 97, and in the Stud. u. Krit. 1843, p. 120. Comp. Test. XII. Patr. p. 715: τί ταῦτα ἀκούω; Acts 14:15. The frequency of this usus loquendi, and the appropriateness of the sense just at the opening of the reckoning, gives to the interpretation the preference over this: wherefore do I hear, etc., Kuinoel, de Wette, Meuss, and others (comp. Luther, and so early as the Gothic version).

ἀπόδος κ.τ.λ.] give the (due) reckoning of thy stewardship. The master desires to see the state of affairs made plain. On λόγον διδόναι, ἀποδιδόναι (Matthew 12:36; Acts 19:40; Romans 14:12), see Schweighäuser’s Lex. Herod. II. p. 74. Comp. τὸν λόγον ἀπῄτουν, Dem. 868. 5.

οὐ γάρ] for thou shalt not, etc. The master decides thus according to what he had heard, and what he regards as established.

Luke 16:2. τί τοῦτο, etc. τί may be exclamatory = what! do I hear this of thee? or interrogatory: what is this that I hear of thee? the laconic phrase containing a combination of an interrogative with a relative clause.—τὸν λόγον: the reference may be either to a final account previous to dismissal, already resolved on (so usually taken), or to an investigation into the truth or falsehood of the accusation = produce your books that I may judge for myself (so Hahn). The latter would be the reasonable course, but not necessarily the one taken by an eastern magnate, who might rush from absolute confidence to utter distrust without taking the trouble to inquire further. As the story runs, this seems to be what happened.

2. give an account] Rather, render the account.

thou mayest be no longer steward] Rather, thou canst not be any longer steward.

Luke 16:2. Τί τοῦτο, what is this?) The rich man speaks as if something had happened which he was not expecting. This implies that God puts trust in man.—ἀκούω, I hear) from the complaints which have been made to Me concerning thee. God is represented as hearing of his proceedings, as if He did not see them Himself. Thus the steward was left to himself.[166]—τὸν λόγον) the account [‘libellum,’ the account-book].

[166] That is, to his own free agency, the rich master not interfering with him: just as God seems, as it were, not to interfere with man, and only to hear of man’s doings, though He really sees and controls all things.—E. and T.

Luke 16:2How is it that I hear this (τί τοῦτο ἀκούω)

Better as Rev., What is this that Ihear?

Give an account (ἀπόδος τὸν λόγον)

Lit., "give back" (ἀπό). Rev., render. The (τὸν) account which is due. Aristophanes has a striking parallel: "And now give back my signet; for thou shalt no longer be my steward" ("Knights," 947).

Thou mayest (δυνήσῃ)

More strictly, as Rev., thou canst.

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