And I say to you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when you fail…
By the "mammon of unrighteousness" we are very clearly to understand money; but why it has been so called by Christ is not so evident. Perhaps the simplest, as it is certainly the most obvious explanation, is because it is so frequently unrighteously acquired, and so much more frequently as the man's own possession, and not as a trust of which he is merely a steward. But, however the epithet "unrighteous" may be accounted for, the thing which it characterizes is money. Now, there is a time when that shall fail. Death says to each man, "Give an account of thy stewardship, for thou mayest be no longer steward." We can carry with us nothing out of this world. Money cannot-simply and only as money — be transferred into the world beyond; but it may be so used in this world as to add to and intensify a Christian's happiness in the next. We are familiar with the fact, in our daily lives here, that money may become the means of procuring that which is better than itself. Thus knowledge is better than wealth; yet by a wise use of wealth we may acquire knowledge. So, by a judicious employment of money as trustees for God, in communicating to the necessities of the saints, we shall secure that those whom we have thus relieved shall receive us into everlasting habitations. This use of money will not purchase our admission into heaven; but it will make friends for us there, whose gratitude will add to our enjoyment, and increase our blessedness. It will not open the gates for our entrance. Only Christ is the door. Through Him alone can we gain ingress. But it will affect what Peter calls the "abundance" of our entrance, for it will secure the presence there of those who have been benefited by our faithful stewardship; and, chiefest of all, it will be rewarded with the approbation of Him who will say, "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye did it unto Me." It is of grace alone, through Christ, that we are permitted to enter heaven; but once there, the measure of reward will be graduated according to that of our faithfulness here as "good stewards of the manifold bounties of God." Those who have been helped and blessed by our service will lead us up to the throne, and say, "This is he of whom we have often spoken, and to whom we were so much beholden in the life below"; and He who sitteth thereon will reply, "Well done: let it be done unto him as unto the man whom the King delighteth to honour." Thus, though money cannot be taken with us into the future life, we yet may so employ it here, in stewardship for God, as to send on treasure before us into heaven, in the shape of friends, who shall throughout eternity redouble and intensify our happiness.
(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.