the parable of the shrewd servant

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
what does it mean? ???


  • can u specify where it is in the Bible exactly?
  • yeah im confused to but if ur confused about the new testament get AN Orthodox study bible

    they are THE BEST theyre heaps helpful
  • It can be found in Luke 16:1-8

    "The Parable of the Shrewd Manager
    1Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’
    3“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg– 4I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’

    5“So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

    6“ ‘Eight hundred gallons[a] of olive oil,’ he replied.

    “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.’

    7“Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’

    “ ‘A thousand bushels[b] of wheat,’ he replied.

    “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’

    8“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.

    There have been several possible meanings proposed. The one that I like the most is in which Jesus is admonishing us about how wise we are when it comes to the things of the earth, but are unwise when it comes to the things of heaven.

    I am not sure - maybe someone else has another answer?

  • Awad:

    The parable basically speaks of an unjust manager of his masters wealth, who is about to be fired for his dishonesty in handling the masters business affairs (verses 1-2). Knowing that his being fired will mean that he will have to either do manual labour, or become a begger (both frowned upon by society of the time) (verse 3), he chooses to use his wisdom and prudence to try and make the most of his situation (verse 4). At this stage, he calls his Masters debtors, those that owe him large amounts of money, and he discounts for them the debt they owe (verses 5-7) his plan is ultimately to result in these debtors "receiving [him] into their houses"? (verse 4) i.e. Kind of like a favour for a favour type of deal. The master has commended his managers actions for he used his business skills wisely, which will as a result save him from the crisis that being fired would have left him in. Christ nonetheless condemns the man for his dishonesty (verse 8). For although the managers action of befriending his masters debtors, was a smart and wise thing to do, it was nonetheless dishonest for now the master wont receive the full amount owed to him by his debtors.

    Christ uses this parable to make the point that, people "of this world"? (verse ) i.e. People whose concern is with earthly matters such as wealth, jobs, friends etc. use their wisdom and prudence to advance in their earthly life, even by means of deceit and dishonesty, whereas "sons of light"? i.e. The believers of God, don't use their own wisdom and prudence in a righteous manner to advance in their spiritual life.

    It is easy for the manager who represents a man "of the world" to use his wisdom and prudence, to dishonestly manipulate business transactions, that he may be welcomed and received into the home of those debtors whom he did a favour for. However it is hard for "sons of light" to use their wisdom and prudence, for righteousness, to help the poor and needy, that they may be received into an "everlasting home" (verse 9)
  • nice words iqbal

  • Iqbal,
    Nice explanation, There was a meditation I heard once about that parable. Think of it this way, everything you have right now, (house, family, car, money, job, etc...) are not yours, they belong to God. You could use your wisdome and use these assets that don't belong to you so you could make friends in heaven. Notice that the servant or the manger rather did not write off all the debts, he gave discounts. He didn't want to waste the money, he just wanted to "use" as much to garantee him a place later. Remember, He said "be peaceful like doves, but wise like serpants" so this is an example of a wise servant.
  • thanks iqbal and coptic boy,
    very helpful!
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