Jesus used a really interesting example to encourage us to do the wise thing. His parable of the diabolical steward in Luke 16 demonstrates how people of the world operate to their own advantage, but believers do not always behave wisely in ways that really matter. These words should move us to keep sharing the Truth so that we shall have friends in everlasting habitations. (Luke 16:1-13)
Speaker(s): Justin Schaller
6:30 PM on 1/9/2022
P. Justin Schaller –
I wasn’t sure if it was my turn! They’re still playing music. It was a smooth exit. If we can just take a few
moments and just pray together. We can be relaxed this evening and spend some time with our
neighbor and we can just pray. If you have someone on your mind or a situation or what the
Lord wants. That was a very beautiful song. Very practical. Pragmatic song. I’m available. And
then I’m singing, “use me any way you want” and then I go, really? It’s kind of scary to say that!
But we can think 2022, what does the Lord want for us as a church, us as individuals, us as the
Body of Christ, corporately, around the world. We can come up with our own amibitions, can’t
we? I’m going to run a 10K this year or lift finally, bench press 35 pounds. I’m working towards
that. Or I’m going to make this amount of money.
Get a job promotion or whatever it might be. Isn’t it easy as a church you can come up with ambitious goals of what we think the church should be, but the Apostle Paul said he had one ambition in his life, and do you know what it
was? 2 Corinthians 5, to be pleasing to him. Our focus as a church, what do you want from us this
year, Lord? So maybe that could be a prayer. Many of you know Danielle from Puerto Rico.
He’s been in the hospital for a week, GBMC. You can lift him up in prayer. We’re praying he can
pull through. Let’s break up in little groups with your neighbor and let’s just pray for a few
Great to be here with you tonight. Thank you for being here. My father, he’s coming back
tomorrow, so keep him in your prayers. He had a great time in Finland for the last few days with
the church, and they celebrated his birthday early. I don’t know if you know how old he is, but
he’s young. He’s a leap year. He’s a leap year. Did you know that he turned ten years old the
same year that I turned ten. How good was that! On February 15th, he’s leap year and we turned
ten the same year. I actually turned ten before he did! He’s amazing. He’s amazing. He’s an
amazing servant of God and man of God.
Thank you for loving him and our family and this church is, for all of us, it’s our home, isn’t it? This church is our home, and we’re building relationships with each other forever. Can you say that? FOREVER! We have friendships that
are going to be forever. Bill Alexson, one of my closest friends. Gulf partner. He’s a friend and
mentor and discipler. We love P. Bill Alexson very much. We have these friendships. Aren’t they
beautiful? What would we do without friendships? What would we do? We’d be stuck at home
watching CNN. Angry! Fox News! We have a life because we have friends and we have
brothers and sisters and this is eternal.
I want to encourage you tonight. Can I encourage you by God’s grace? Encourage you tonight.
Like I said before we prayed, the Apostle Paul had this one ambition, 2 Corinthians 5. He said if it’s in this life or the next life it doesn’t matter. The ambition is exactly the same. And that’s to be well-
pleasing to him. His reasoning behind it was he was going to stand before the Lord and give an account at the bema seat which isn’t a judgment but rather an evaluation. What are you going to
be evaluated on? If what you did was based on pleasing the Lord and loving the Lord, the right
The Apostle Paul saw himself as not much. The beginning of his life he saw himself as the least
of the apostles. Then he moved on a little bit worse, the least of all the saints. And then at the
end of his life, I’m the chief of all sinners. The Apostle Paul really didn’t see himself as much. He
called himself a clay pot. You know, clay pots in the ancient world they brought out the good
dinner – the steak or the lamb – on what? On the gold or silver plate. He says that to Timothy.
The honorable things are brought out on the golden plate but the trash is put in the clay pot,
cause clay pots in the ancient world were very disposable. If they broke, it wasn’t a big deal.
You just got another one. And Paul said, I’m just a clay pot, but in this clay pot is a treasure and
that treasure is in this clay pot. So that makes the clay pot unbelievable valuable.
And when he was saying about the treasure in the earthen vessel, he was speaking of the Gospel, that you
have been given the Gospel and you are carrying around the Gospel in this clay pot. But he just
saw himself as a funnel, just an instrument, a tool. One of the pictures I love is he says in 1 Corinthians
3 he calls himself a steward. But the word is interesting. It means under rower. He’s on those
great big ships and each slave that was at the bottom of the ship had one oar. His one job was just to row. And you had the higher slaves on the top and the lower slaves on the bottom, and
Paul said I’m an under slave at the bottom of the ship with my one oar in the water doing what
God’s commissioned me to do. He says I’m not much.
That whole passage is amazing because he’s saying you guys are all worried about I’m of this guy and I’m of that guy. I’m glad I didn’t baptize you people cause you’re all about people, but I’m the Apostle Paul and I see myself as a
simple under rower which is I could be easily displaced. The only value that I have is that this
treasure has been placed inside of me and I can proclaim the Gospel. Isn’t that great? Cause
we all feel that way that we are just simple under rowers.
I think the motivation and goal of this ministry and this church and I know I’m speaking to the
choir when I say this, is to win the lost. Is to preach the Gospel. And Jesus, Mark. 4, I’m going to
go through a text. I’m not going to be that long, but I’ll go through a text in Luke 16 but before I
get there look at what Jesus when he’s telling his disciples about the kingdom. You know the
parables, when Jesus is talking about the parables? Forty parables and they’re all about
salvation and what the church is going to look like in the future. And he’s telling his disciples,
when you guys go out and preach the Gospel, it’s going to look like this. Like a dragnet that you
put at the bottom of the sea and you drag it, and then when you drag everything in, you pick up
the good and you throw out the bad. That’s going to be like the church. Or the wheat and the
tares. There’s the wheat that grows up and the tares grow right alongside of it. You can’t tell
between the two, but there’s going to be a day of reckoning where the wheat is going to be
removed from the tares.
So he’s always trying to explain to his disciples about salvation and what the church is going to
look like in the future. In Mark 4, he talks about the kingdom of God and he says the kingdom of
God in vs. 26. Mark 4:26. Look at this. This is what he says, vs. 27. then he goes to bed. He
sleeps. Then he rises night and day and the seed should spring and grow up and he doesn’t
know how. vs. 28-29. So this is what Jesus is saying. He’s saying the guy that goes out and
throws the seed, he’s not much. There’s not much talking about the guy who throws the seed.
He’s not even talking about how the seed is thrown. He’s not talking about trying to make the
seed more penetrable into the ground. He’s not genetically modifying the seed. He’s not taking
the seed and saying we got to do something different with it or how about the sower going out
and having a fancy seed bag or the sower being charismatic in the way that he presents the
seed in the ground. There’s none of that. He doesn’t even talk about the sower. The sower isn’t
even a part of how the seed grows.
I think in our Christianity we can think that we need to change the Gospel, that we have to
attract the world in different ways so that they receive the Gospel and they forget that part of the
Gospel that the seed is what brings forth the fruit. That’s it. So all we have to do is one thing.
Ready? Throw seed and go to bed. That’s it. You don’t even have to worry about it. Paul says, 1
Corinthians 3, one plants, one waters, God brings the increase, right? Isn’t that awesome about our
God that he doesn’t even say it’s up to your intelligence, up to your personality, up to you being
charismatic, up to you having a good show at church so people receive Jesus and think Jesus is
cool. It’s none of that. It’s the seed for the last 2,000 years that’s flipped the world upside down.
Little old seed with people like you and me that are under rowers that just wake up one day and
just go [throw the seed]. The Gospel is never meant to be an argument. It’s always meant to be
That’s it. We don’t even have to argue with people about it. We just say this is
what it is. The world’s going to hell in a handbasket. But Christ came into the world not to
condemn the world but to save the world. And through the name of Christ, you can receive
salvation freely by grace. Oh what? I don’t know man. That’s the Gospel. That’s what it says.
The Word of God says that’s the power that will bring forth the fruit, right? That’s awesome.
Now, look. Luke 16. I wanna, I wanna just for a few moments speak about this parable which is
an interesting parable and I know many of you know it. But let’s just make one simple point. All
the parables in the Bible usually have one point. We like to go all these fancy different ways
with them where Jesus is just saying one point and he’s saying it in Luke 16.
Luke 15 we know very well, don’t we? The prodigal son. Prodigal meaning wasteful son. Luke 16 is the prodigal
manager, the wasteful manager. So this is what I’m going to do. I’m just going to read through it and just make a few points, okay? And then we’ll go to sleep! Does that sound good? Okay.
Luke 16:1-2, aka, you are fired! vs. 3-13. Interesting story. Raise your hand if you ever read it?
You’ve probably read it, many of you. Now this parable is a parable. Parables are stories that
Jesus made up. Okay. And many times they worked from least to greater meaning that it was a
rabbinal tool that they had. You worked from lesser to greater. So Jesus is going to use in this
specific parable a really bad guy who did not do a good job to prove a really good point. Let’s
look at it.
vs. 1. This rich man in these days they owned property, and on those properties they would
have managers. And the manager was a person who lived on the estate. The manager had the
responsibility, many responsibilities, if not most of the day-to-day operational responsibilities. He
would pay the workers. He would feed the workers. He would go out and do business for his
owner. He had great responsibility, and this man probably more than likely lived on the owner’s
property and took care of all of his affairs.
But this steward was an unjust steward. He was a wasteful steward. And the word got back in
vs. 1, someone came and accused unto him that he had wasted his good. He just wasn’t good.
He was lousy. Was he corrupt? Was he stealing from his owner? Was he not doing his
responsibilities? Where did he go wrong? We don’t know but the word “was accused” is the
word “diabolical.” It’s the same word we see for devil. It was he did something that was a
diabolical thing. He wasn’t a good man and he wasn’t doing his job properly. So in vs. 2, the
owner called him and said how is it I hear this? Give account of yourself? There’s a million
dollars missing at the year end profit/loss statement. Where did that money go? Or why did you
make that deal? Or whatever it might be.
He had to give account of himself. Vs. 2. You’re fired. But it’s interesting in the story that Jesus is making and telling that this owner didn’t fire him on the spot but he must have given him an ability, a period of time that he continued working.
If you read commentators, they do say if someone was fired, they would give them a period of
time to be able to go out and try to find another job and find another place to live. Because when
you lost this job, you lost your house. You lost your income. You lost your reputation. This was
an honor society, so if this guy gets fired from this man, everyone in the community knows
about it and they’re not going to hire him. So he is probably going to have to move a very long
distance away to get another job. This thing in this guy’s life is the end of his life. I don’t know if
you’ve ever been in a situation where you lost your job, and you come home and you say to
your wife, what are we going to do? But this is that times ten.
Where are we going to go? vs. 3. Now he’s talking to himself and look at what he says. What am I going to do? The lord
took away from me everything I had in the future. No retirement. No house. No money. No job.
He took everything away from me. That’s a depressing place to be, but look what he says. You
have to remember this is an unjust steward. He did not do a good job. He was crooked, but look
at what he says. I can’t dig. I can’t do manual labor. I got soft hands. I get these babies
manicured every single day! I can’t dig. And I can’t beg. Jesus, it’s amazing he puts this in there.
I can’t beg cause I’ll be ashamed. This man wasn’t ashamed for what he did wrong. He’s
ashamed of begging. He doesn’t want to humble himself to the level of begging. And that’s like
the world in the sense that they are ashamed for the wrong things.
They’re ashamed of their image. They’re ashamed of what the world says about them. They’re ashamed about the fact
that they didn’t make it and make good decisions and have their life set up, but they’re not
ashamed about the fact that they’re crooked or sinful.
This man is saying I can’t dig. I can’t beg. vs. 4. He concocts a plan. He comes up with a plan.
The world has a system, and do you know what that system is? I need to take care of myself in
the future. And they’ll do anything that they can possibly do to set themselves up in the future.
And we can understand that. We understand that. But Jesus is saying that this man is unjust,
and he is going to do unjust things to get himself into a position for the future. So he’s crafty.
This is what he does, vs. 4. I have a plan that when I get fired, I’ll have a job and a place to live in the future, and this is what I’m going to do. vs. 5. Now the sums of money, Jesus only gives
us two examples of two of these debtors, but it says that he called every single one of them.
And the sum that we see of what these men owed in vs. 6 and vs. 7 is large sums of money. So
this man had connections all throughout this area.
The plan is this: vs. 5-6. A lot of money. Watch what he does. vs. 6. Now if you are going to have someone come to you and you owe money to them and they tell you you’re going to get a 50% discount, you’re going to sit down
even quicker than they tell you to sit down and you’re going to write fifty. That was the plan.
Who’s getting ripped off here? The owner. So he goes to the next guy and says in vs. 7. He
doesn’t give him quite the deal. It must have been maybe as he’s moving through and seeing
how people are loving the discount, he’s like well I’ll give this guy 50 and this guy 30 and this
guy maybe 10. Who knows? What is he doing here though? Vs. 8. What is he doing? You know
what he’s doing? He’s setting himself up for the future.
So when he gets fired, and he’s living in an honor society, when he gets fired, he’s going to go right to these guys and say, hey. You remember the favor that I gave you, the 50% discount? You owe me. And you owe me. And if
you don’t do it, that guy who got the same discount, he’s going to know that you’re not honoring
it. So now all of a sudden, he’s got these guys in his pocket. Great plan, right? You guys are
starting to think about it. It’s a great plan.
vs. 8. that means that the owner when he heard what he did said, why weren’t you doing this the
whole entire time? That is such a smart plan. And it could be that he commended how cut-throat
he was, because the owner did it the same exact way. Maybe. But it says in vs. 8 that the lord
commended the unjust steward because he had done wisely.
Look at what Jesus said. This is the part that is hard to understand. Are you ready? Jesus is
saying this. vs. 8. Jesus is saying this man took what he had to set himself up for the future and
he’s wiser than you disciples. And the disciples are scratching their head thinking what do you
mean? He’s an unjust steward. He ripped everybody off. Well, he ripped his owner off and he
was doing it for his own selfish gain. What do you mean Jesus? vs. 9. Here’s the point. Ready.
The world has a certain system, and that certain system is dog eat dog. Set yourself up for the
future. Whatever you have to do, you use every opportunity you have to set yourself up for
security in the future. And money, a third of Jesus’ parables are about money by the way.
Money is the thing that people use to give themselves security in the future.
And Jesus is saying take a lesson out of their play book, but don’t use your money for earthly security and earthly
pleasures, but use your money so that you have eternal friends. vs. 9. Mammon meaning
wealth of unrighteousness. Money doesn’t have any intrinsic morality to it whatsoever because
Paul says money is the root of all evil. It’s not money itself. But Jesus is saying the world uses
money to set themselves up for the future. You use your money to set yourself up for eternal
friendship in heaven. He’s saying that your a steward over everything that you have, and you
use your stewardship to win souls is what he’s saying.
Let’s look at vs. 9-10. He that is faithful in little – we could say I only have a little bit. Jesus is
saying it doesn’t matter if you have a little bit or a lot. It’s not based upon how much you have.
It’s based upon your heart. Didn’t Jesus say don’t put up treasure here on earth, but put it in
heaven? Where your heart is, that is where your treasure is. He’s saying use every opportunity
you have to preach the Gospel. Use every opportunity you have to propel the Gospel to all
people, because if you win one soul you have a friend for life in eternity. That’s why it says in
Proverbs 11:30, “he that wins souls is wise.” Everything that we have, and I think this parable – Jesus
uses this parable of the steward in other places – he says you also are a steward. Meaning that
your stewardship is from God.
There’s one place in, ah man, is it in Luke? I forget where it is, but Jesus says there’s a certain man who has a kingdom but he leaves and goes into a far country and he gives his – where is it? I’m drawing a blank. King goes into a far country to receive his kingdom. He gives each one of his servants a what? Talent. Thank you. Is it Luke
19? thank you. Luke 19, he gives each one of them a talent, and then he says that he’s going to
come back again. And each steward is going to have to give an account of what he did with
what he had. And this hit me. Just follow this with me. This hit me in the sense that everything
that I own does not belong to me. I’m just a steward of it. What I do with it – I think Jesus in this
parable is telling his disciples what you do with it can be like the world system or it can be a heavenly system. You can use everything that you have to propagate the Gospel in this life.
And when you do, you’re going to be a person that has friends in heaven. This is the last point. And I
don’t really even know. Maybe I shouldn’t say this cause I don’t really even know what the
answer is. But the unjust steward made friends and set him up for the future. What does it mean
if we win a friend by preaching the Gospel to them and they become a person that we have as a
friend for all eternity. What does that mean? Well, for the man that was an unjust steward, it
meant that he had security and safety for the rest of his life. For us, we have that in heaven. But
what does it mean that we have friends in heaven forever? Isn’t that what Jesus says right
there? That you have friends forever.
Let’s read it. Last part. Luke 16:9 “when you fail” meaning in the Greek that when you die, they
may receive you into everlasting habitations. Isn’t that awesome to think? You preach the
Gospel. You give for the Gospel’s sake. Your whole life is I’m a steward over what God has
given me, but really what he has given me is just for the sake of the Gospel. I’m talking about
I’m sitting at the airport looking at an airplane thinking this airplane, the only reason this thing
was invented is so we can travel the globe and preach the Gospel. Everything we have in our
life if you really boil it down what is your life all about? It’s to glorify Christ to preach the Gospel.
If you spend, if we just spend the rest of our life – what’s your church all about? Someone told
me that one time. What’s your mission statement for the church? To preach the Gospel. I don’t
know. I could come up with something. It’s to go out and throw seed.
Throw seed. Use every resource that we have to throw seed. Wherever we go, we throw seed. We preach the Gospel.
And Jesus is saying take a play book out of the world. All they’re concerned about is what their
future looks like, and they’re going to die in thirty years. How about you take a little bit of their
enthusiasm about setting their next twenty years up and have the same amount of enthusiasm
for setting yourself up for eternal friends in heaven forever. Isn’t that awesome? He uses a
terrible example to bring an amazing point home to us.
You go, duh? You’re right. Preaching the Gospel. What matters in a hundred years. The Gospel.
People. What is this church? This is why this church is still here. This is why the church around
the world is still doing what they do. It’s not cause we’re trying to make people happy. It’s not
because we have great plans and all these different things and keep people entertained. It’s so
the Gospel is being preached and what greater mission, what greater purpose, what greater joy,
what greater enthusiasm can you get behind but the fact that the message is being preached
and people are leaving the gates of hell and are going to spend eternity in heaven. C. T. Studd
said – he was crazy at the end of his life.
I love it! He said at the end of my life I want to be at the gates of hell catching people before they fall in. I get so caught up in what? What, my life? And then I’m like, everything that we have is only for that purpose, right? Preach it. You say,
hey, I don’t know how to preach. It doesn’t really matter. It’s right in there. Just the Gospel. It’s
simple. The simplicity of the Gospel. To our neighbors. To our co-workers. To our friends. I love
– you know what I love? Evangelizing people in the church cause we can think, oh, they’re in
the church. They’re saved. Probably not. Some people. How about I build a relationship and I
give them the Gospel. How about the fact that I’m living next to somebody and it’s no
coincidence that I’m living next to them. Lord, let me build a relationship with them so that I can
give them the Gospel.
You know our faith – I said I was going to close like fifty times but – our faith is like this. Are you
ready? Last part. If I truly believed in who God says he is, I would look exactly like Jesus Christ,
would I not? But I don’t. Lord, help my unbelief, right? And Jesus, when you’re following him,
he’s leading you into places and he’s showing you where you don’t have faith. And the first
place he stops a lot of times is money. And then he stops at the fear of man. And he brings us
there because he’s saying do you really believe me when I say this to you that eternity, and
setting yourself up for eternity is much more important than setting yourself up for life here? Do
you believe me? I go, ahh. That’s a hard one. I can see, touch, and taste and feel all of this. But
when he speaks to our heart like that, you know what he’s doing? He’s building us up in faith.
He’s the Good Shepherd. He’s the good pastor. I’m saying, Lord, I don’t know. Let me tell you a little parable. And he’s building us up in faith. The Word of God is the most powerful thing in the universe. You know why? Because it’s the only thing that can penetrate your heart that doesn’t
have the faith to actually believe it, right? And mine. And it’s the only thing that can penetrate a
sinner’s heart to bring him to a place to receive Christ into their life is the Word. So let’s be
about that business in 2022 and have a good time doing it. Cause when you’re throwing seed all
over the place, it’s a good time. Cause you don’t even have to worry about it. It’s not your
problem. You know you can just go to bed and God can do with it however he pleases.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.