16:1 And he said also unto his disciples, 1 There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.
(1) Seeing that men often purchase friendship for themselves at the expense of others, we are to be ashamed if we do not please the Lord or procure the good will of our neighbours with the goods which the Lord has bestowed on us freely and liberally, making sure that by this means riches, which are often occasions of sin, are used for another end and purpose. 16:8 And the lord commended a the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the b children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
(a) This parable does not approve the stewards evil dealing, for it was definitely theft: but parables are set forth to show a thing in a secret way, and as it were, to present the truth by means of an allegory, even though it may not be exact: so that by this parable Christ means to teach us that worldly men are more clever in the affairs of this world than the children of God are diligent for everlasting life. 16:9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon c of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting d habitations.
(b) Men that are given to this present life, contrary to whom are the children of light: Paul calls the former carnal and the latter spiritual.
(c) This is not spoken of goods that are gotten wrongly, for God will have our bountifulness to the poor proceed and come from a good fountain: but he calls those things riches of iniquity which men use wickedly. 16:10 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.
(d) That is, the poor Christians: for they are the inheritors of these habitations; Theophylact.
(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? 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the c true [riches]?
(c) That is, heavenly and true riches, which are contrary to material wealth which is worldly and quickly departing. 16:12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is f another mans, who shall give you that which is your own?
(f) In worldly goods, which are called other mens because they are not ours, but rather entrusted to our care. 16:13 3 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
(3) No man can love God and riches simultaneously. 16:15 4 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
(4) Our sins are not hidden to God, although they may be hidden to men, yea although they may be hidden to those who committed them. 16:16 5 The law and the prophets [were] until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
(5) The Pharisees despised the excellency of the new covenant with respect to the old, being ignorant of the perfect righteousness of the law; and Christ declares by the seventh commandment how they were false expounders of the law. 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her g that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery.
(g) They that gather by this passage that a man cannot be married again after he has divorced his wife for adultery, while she lives, reason incorrectly: for Christ speaks of those divorces which the Jews had which were not because of adultery, for adulterers were put to death by the law. 16:19 6 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in h purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
(6) The end of the poverty and misery of the godly will be everlasting joy, as the end of riotous living and the cruel pride of the rich will be everlasting misery, without any hope of mercy. 16:23 And in hell i he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
(h) Very gorgeously and sumptuously, for purple garments were costly, and this fine linen, which was a kind of linen that came out of Achaia, was as precious as gold.
(i) Heavenly and spiritual things are expressed and set forth using language fit for our senses. 16:27 7 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my fathers house:
(7) Seeing that we have a most sure rule to live by, laid forth for us in the word of God, men seek rashly and vainly for other revelations.