Jesus told this story to his disciples: "A rich man hired a manager to handle his affairs, but soon a rumor went around that the manager was thoroughly dishonest. 2So his employer called him in and said, 'What's this I hear about your stealing from me? Get your report in order, because you are going to be dismissed.'"
3"The manager thought to himself, 'Now what? I'm through here, and I don't have the strength to go out and dig ditches, and I'm too proud to beg. 4I know just the thing! And then I'll have plenty of friends to take care of me when I leave!'"
5"So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, 'How much do you owe him?' 6The man replied, 'I owe him eight hundred gallons of olive oil.' So the manager told him, 'Tear up that bill and write another one for four hundred gallons.a'"
7"'And how much do you owe my employer?' he asked the next man. 'A thousand bushels of wheat,' was the reply. 'Here,' the manager said, 'take your bill and replace it with one for only eight hundred bushels.b'"
8"The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the citizens of this world are more shrewd than the godly are. 9I tell you, use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. In this way, your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven. c"
10"Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities. 11And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12And if you are not faithful with other people's money, why should you be trusted with money of your own?"
13"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."14
The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, naturally scoffed at all this.
Then he said to them, "You like to look good in public, but God knows your evil hearts. What this world honors is an abomination in the sight of God."
16"Until John the Baptist began to preach, the laws of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and eager multitudes are forcing their way in. 17But that doesn't mean that the law has lost its force in even the smallest point. It is stronger and more permanent than heaven and earth."
18"Anyone who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."19
Jesus said, "There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed and who lived each day in luxury. 20At his door lay a diseased beggar named Lazarus. 21As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man's table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores. 22Finally, the beggar died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. d The rich man also died and was buried, 23and his soul went to the place of the dead. e There, in torment, he saw Lazarus in the far distance with Abraham."
24"The rich man shouted, 'Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish in these flames.'"
25"But Abraham said to him, 'Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. Anyone who wanted to cross over to you from here is stopped at its edge, and no one there can cross over to us.'"
27"Then the rich man said, 'Please, Father Abraham, send him to my father's home. 28For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them about this place of torment so they won't have to come here when they die.'"
29"But Abraham said, 'Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read their writings anytime they want to.'"
30"The rich man replied, 'No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will turn from their sins.'"
31"But Abraham said, 'If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead.'"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)