Passage: Luke 16
v1-13 - Luke organizes Jesus' teachings by topic, not time. In other words, the teachings in chap. 16 likely didn't occur in sequence, rather Luke has taken three years of teaching and organized it in themes. Yesterday we read three parables on the lost being found, and today we read multiple teachings on how citizens of the Kingdom of God should use their money. The opening section isn't a primer on how to justify fraud or cheating, rather it's an example of a speaking tool Jesus utilized often: hyperbole, which are exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. The takeaway of the parable is that for disciples to be faithful with the money God has entrusted to them, they must benevolently show kindness to others with their wealth.
v14-18 - Time and time again Jesus has shown how even though the Pharisees looked like meticulous on the outside, on the inside they reeked of sin. In these verses, Jesus emphasizes that it's not the holy and perfect law that's flawed, rather God expects that every letter of the law must be fulfilled by His people. That law has been fulfilled for those who are in Christ.
v19-31 - As we come to the parable of the conversation between the rich man in Hades and Abraham in heaven, we need to be reminded how much hyperbole Jesus used. This passage is not to be read as a description of what heaven and hell are actually like, rather it's an object lesson on the importance that actions we take in this lifetime (v25) have eternal consequences, especially our response to the gospel. Notice also the value Jesus puts on the Word of God. He says that if people are not convinced of the need to repent by "Moses and the Prophets" (in other words, the Bible), they won't be convinced by anything.
Old Testament Reference -
Jesus said in v15, "What people value highly is detestable in God's sight." Go back to 1 Samuel 16:7 where God informs Samuel that He doesn't look at the things people look at.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions.
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, how many brothers did the rich man have? (v28)
Jesus mentions two specific masters in v13. In your own words, how would you define what it means to serve each one?
Discuss how much you agree or disagree with this statement: In light of the teaching in this chapter, it is best in life to have as little to do with money as possible.
Question 1-3 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: A God who gives us so many good things so that we will use those things to bring ourselves and others closer to Him
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: You cannot serve two masters... You cannot serve both God and money (v13)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: