Luke 16:1-12 Steward

            A steward in Bible days was not a servant. He had full charge over all the servants and the household as well. He acted for his master in all matters. He was not paid a salary. He was part of the family, although not a blood relative. It was considered the highest of honors to be selected as a steward. (Verses used are according to usage not KJV).


Luke 16:1

And Jesus said unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man who had a steward; and this steward was falsely and maliciously accused by the slave servants as reported to the master, that his steward had and was wasting the master's goods.


He was given the master's signet ring which means power of attorney to put the master's official seal on legal papers: to buy and sell, engage and fire servants, allot money to the master's wife, appear in court in behalf of the master.



Luke 16:2, 3

And the master called his steward and said, What is this I hear of thee? Give back the account book to me plus my signet ring, for maybe thou canst no longer be my steward.

Then the steward said to himself, What shall I do? If my master takes away my stewardship? I cannot dig: to beg I am ashamed.

In other words, the steward stands next to the master himself in all matters. He can forgive debts.

Luke 16:4

Oh, I know what I will do, so that if I am put out of the stewardship, that then they who are now my master's creditors may receive me into their houses.

It is therefore, of great importance that a steward be skillful, discreet, wise and honest with much love. The steward in the story was such a one.


Luke 16:5-8

So he called to him each one of his master's creditors and said to the first, How much owest thou unto my master?

And he said, An hundred baths (850 gallons) of oil. And he said to him, Quickly sit down and take thy written report and write fifty.

Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred cors (1000 bushels of wheat). And he said unto him, Take thy written report and write eighty.

And the master commended the steward for his skillful and discreet management who had been falsely and maliciously accused as unjust. For the children of this world are in their generation more skillful and discreet than the children of light.


He acted even as a benefactor, which was entirely in his province to do. Through the years he had kept record, but not required from the hands of two of the poor creditors all that was due his master. Stewards had this right.


Luke 16:9-12

And I say unto you be on friendly terms with the skillful and discreet of this world that if the need arise they may receive you and care for you in their dwelling as long as you live.

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in the most: And he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in the most.

If ye therefore have not been skillful and discreet in your management of things of this world, who will commit to your trust the keeping of the spiritual truths?

For if ye have not been faithful in that which belongs to another how do you expect to be given the true spiritual riches for yourself?


For if in the event the future would be bad for his master or himself, those to whom they had served as benefactors would then become their benefactors in return. It is an Eastern practice even to this day.


Bishop K.C. Pillai, D.D.


Anthony Gilmore,
May 16, 2012, 9:14 AM