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INTRODUCTION. The parable of the unjust steward is probably the most difficult of all
the parables to understand. In New Testament times a wealthy man hired a manager or
steward to oversee his estate. The steward was responsible to his master, but he had
charge of his master's possessions and controlled large sums of money. This was a position of trust but often presented opportunity for dishonesty.
In this story the steward was accused of wasting his master's goods. The rich man, the
master, called the steward to make an accounting, and then he discharged him. The
steward quickly had to devise a plan. He couldn't dig nor could he beg for a living, so he
contrived a way to make friends so they would receive him into their homes when he lost his stewardship.
He called his master's debtors one by one. To each one he reduced the amount of debt,
telling each to write a new contract. The lord commended the steward for his shrewdness. He did not approve of the steward's dishonesty, but the lord admired his wisdom in preparing for his future. The parable teaches that the sons of light or the spiritually minded must use their worldly possessions to secure spiritual treasures. The world and all it contains belong to God (Ps. 24:1), and we are the stewards of God's possessions. Therefore, we must use wisely what God has entrusted into our care in order that we will be received into the heavenly kingdom.