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Luke 16:13-18

Sunday Morning Bible Study

October 2, 2016


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Video:  Chris Tomlin Shout Out

If you are intending to go but haven’t gotten your ticket yet, we have more than half the seats sold already, so go online and get your ticket.

In Two weeks we will have new classes on Thursday Nights (Oct. 20 – Nov. 17)

David Cathers – using Chuck Smith’s book “Calvary Chapel Distinctives” – this is what Calvary Chapel is all about.

Dave Ritner – using Warren Wiersbe’s book “50 People Every Christian Should Know:  Learning from Spiritual Giants of the Faith”.  It’s about significant people in church history.

Luke was a doctor and a traveling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

Jesus has been talking about money.

He’s been talking about how we believers are “stewards” of what God has given us and we need to be careful to leverage our resources to build relationships with unbelievers and ultimately lead them to Christ so they will be with us in heaven for eternity.

Jesus was talking about our relationship with money when He said,

(Luke 16:10 NKJV) He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
We need to cultivate “faithfulness” when it comes to handling money.

We stopped short just before Jesus said,

16:13-16 Trust the Unchangeable

:13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

:13 No servant can serve two masters

servantoiketes – one who lives in the same house as another, spoken of all who are under the authority of one and the same householder

This is based on the word for house (oikos), which is the basis for the word for “steward” (oikonomos).
I think Jesus still has this parable of the unjust “steward” (oikonomos) in mind.

masterskurios – he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord

This is the same word used for the “master” of the parable.

In any business, it’s important that there is a clear line of authority.

When there are two different “bosses” of equal authority, the employees are going to be confused when each boss wants something different.
Employees will ultimately take sides with one boss or the other.

servedouleuo – to be a slave, serve, do service

hatemiseo – to hate, pursue with hatred, detest

loveagapao – to love, to feel and exhibit esteem and goodwill to a person, to prize and delight in a thing.

be loyalantechomai – to hold before or against; cleave to, paying heed to him

despisekataphroneo (“against” + “to be minded”) – despise, disdain, think little or nothing of

:13 You cannot serve God and mammon

mammonmammonas – treasure; riches

Jesus clarifies for His listeners just what two “bosses” He’s concerned about.

Which one has the ultimate authority in your life?

Is it God, or is it your money?
Jesus wants us to learn to “use” our money to serve our Master (God).
He doesn’t want you to try and “use” God to serve money.


Identify your Master

While God wants us to take money seriously and learn to “leverage” our resources like money for His kingdom, we need to be careful that we don’t step into the trap of being so fixated on our money that we lose sight of our true Master.
For many years Hetty Green was called America’s greatest miser. When she died in 1916, she left an estate valued at $100 million, an especially vast fortune for that day.  But she was so miserly that she ate cold oatmeal in order to save the expense of heating the water. When her son had a severe leg injury, she took so long trying to find a free clinic to treat him that his leg had to be amputated because of advanced infection.  It has been said that she hastened her own death by bringing on a fit of apoplexy while arguing the merits of skim milk because it was cheaper than whole milk.

:14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.

:14 the Pharisees, who were lovers of money

werehuparcho – to begin below, to make a beginning; to come forth, hence to be there, be ready, be at hand; to be

lovers of moneyphilarguros (“love” + “silver”) – loving money, greed

A form of this word is found in:
The word is used in two other places.
(2 Timothy 3:1–2 NKJV) —1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Does that sound like the days we live in?

(1 Timothy 6:9–10 NKJV) —9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Keep in mind the Pharisees are the “church people” of the day.  They are the ones who believe all the right things and try to do good things.

Yet they are in a dangerous place.

Church people can be way too in love with their money.


A missionary in Africa had been witnessing faithfully to a certain individual.  Following their conversation one day, the unconverted man placed a small statue and a silver coin on the table before him.  Then he took two slips of paper and wrote something on each.  Putting one beside the image and the other with the money, he turned to the Christian worker and said, “Please read this.”  On the note by the idol were written the words, “Heathen god.”  The sheet next to the coin bore the inscription, “Christian god.”  From what that needy soul had observed in the lives of the merchants from so-called “Christian” nations, he concluded that money was the object of their devotion!

:14 they derided Him

They were literally “turning up their noses” at Jesus.

deridedekmukterizo – to deride by turning up the nose, to sneer at, to scoff at
Jesus was talking about learning to use your money for the sake of the kingdom, and they didn’t like anybody telling them what to do with their money.

Talking about money in church is not a pleasant thing.

There are churches that go overboard when it comes to money, and yes it seems that with some churches all they can think about is how to fulfill that old 16th century English proverb (Dr. John Bridges):
“A fool and his money are soon parted”.
Don’t let bad, abusive churches be your reason for not being a good steward with the money God has given you.
You are still accountable to God for how you use your money.
Be careful that you aren’t offended every time the subject of money comes up in church.
You may have the same problem the Pharisees did, that they loved their money too much.

:15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

who justifydikaioo – to render righteous or such he ought to be

beforeenopion – in the presence of, before

highly esteemedhupselos – high, lofty; metaph. eminent, exalted

in the sightenopion – in the presence of, before

The same word translated “before” in the previous sentence.

:15 what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God

You could paraphrase this as, “the things that men think are the coolest are actually stinking, rotten things that make God want to vomit.”

abominationbdelugma – a foul thing, a detestable thing

It comes from a word which means to feel nausea because of a bad smell.
from bdelusso – to render foul, to cause to be abhorred; abominable; to turn one’s self away from on account of the stench

:15 who justify yourselves before men


People pleasing

The Pharisees were more concerned about how other people saw them than how God saw them.
They were more concerned with the outside, the things that people saw, than they were with the inside of their heart, which God sees.

(Matthew 23:25–26 NLT) —25 “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! 26 You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.

The problem with having people admire you is that people tend to admire the wrong things.
People admire things like fancy cars, big houses, and outward appearances.

Those kinds of things make God sick.

God cares about what’s going on in the heart.  God cares about integrity.
The Emperor's Seeds
Once there was an emperor in the Far East who was growing old and knew it was coming time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or one of his own children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, “It has come time for me to step down and to choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.” The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One seed. It is a very special seed. I want you to go home, plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring to me, and the one I choose will be the next emperor of the kingdom!”
There was one boy named Ling who was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the whole story. She helped him get a pot and some planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept going home and checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by. Still nothing. By now others were talking about their plants but Ling didn’t have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by—still nothing in Ling’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she encouraged him to go, and to take his pot, and to be honest about what happened. Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace.
When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by all the other youths. They were beautiful—in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kids laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, “Hey nice try.”
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!”
All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!” When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,” he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!”
Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?
Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grown, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!”

Edited from More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice. Copyright 1995 by Youth Specialties, Inc.

:16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.

:16 The law and the prophets were until John

Up until the time of John the Baptist, the teachings of the Law of Moses and the Old Testament prophets were the things that guided the people.

:16 Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached

From the time of John the Baptist until the day Jesus was speaking, there was a change in the message as the things that were long ago prophesied were now coming to pass.

preachedeuaggelizo (“evangelize”) – to bring good news, to announce glad tidings

Jesus was the long awaited King, the Messiah. 

He was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

The message of the Pharisees was that you were either “perfect” like they obviously were, or you were hopeless.

God’s message was that people everywhere could be saved, that they needed to repent of their sins and believe in the Messiah.

:16 everyone is pressing into it

is pressingbiazo – to use force; inflict violence on

This word is one other place:

(Matthew 11:12 NKJV) And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
Some of the same language is used here by Matthew, and I think this is an unfortunate and confusing translation.  You could also translate Mat. 11:12 like this:

“the kingdom of heaven is being pressed in towards, and those pressing in are seizing it”

Try to remember the context of where we are at with Jesus.

(Luke 15:1 NKJV) Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him.
In our passage, Jesus is referring to these sinners that have been “pressing” and getting into the kingdom.

:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.

:17 than for one tittle of the law to fail

Jesus had a fuller form of this teaching earlier in His teaching ministry:

(Matthew 5:18 NKJV) For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
The “jot” and “tittle” are names for the two smallest letters of the Hebrew alphabet. (Hebrew text from Deut. 6:4)
The “jot” was the smallest, the “yodh”, sometimes called the “jot”, which looks like an apostrophe and carries the sound of a “y”.
The “tittle” was the Hebrew letter “waw” (or, “vav”) looks like our small letter “l” and carries the sound like a “w”.

:17 easier for heaven and earth to pass away

One day heaven and earth will actually pass away (Rev. 21:1)

(Revelation 21:1 NKJV) Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

Yet God’s Word will not pass away.

(Isaiah 40:8 NKJV) The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

Just in case you got to thinking from verse 16 that the Law is no longer important, think again.

God wasn’t changing the rules to get into heaven with Jesus. 

The Law was still in effect. 
The Law still shows us we are sinners.
The Law shows us we need sacrifice to atone for our sins.
Jesus came to fulfill the Law, not get rid of it.
He is the perfect sacrifice.
The entire Bible has the same message – you need to believe God.
In the Old Testament times you needed to believe that God would provide Himself a sacrifice, as Abraham believed. (Gen. 22)
The entire 11th chapter of Hebrews has one consistent message – that all the Old Testament “saints” had faith in God.

(Hebrews 11:6 NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

easiereukopoteros – (comparative adjective / “good” + “labor”) with easy labor; easy

pass awayparerchomai – to go past, pass by; to pass away, perish

tittlekeraia – a little horn

to failpipto – to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall (either from or upon)


Trust what doesn’t change

Sometimes it’s good for things to change.
Video:  Quilted Northern Rustic Weave

Aren’t you glad some things change?

The problem comes when it’s our morality that changes, our sense of what’s right and wrong.
Fifty years ago it was wrong to get a divorce.  Now it’s okay.
Forty years ago, it was wrong to kill a baby inside it’s mother’s womb.  Now it’s okay.
Twenty years ago it was wrong for two people of the same sex to be married.  Now it’s the “Modern Family”.
Jesus doesn’t change
(Hebrews 13:8 NKJV) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
He has always been a friend of sinners, the people who were “pressing in” on Him (vs. 16)
He has always been God’s solution to man’s sin.
He wants to forgive you.  He wants to help you.  He wants to help you turn from your sins.
God’s Word doesn’t change.
(2 Timothy 3:16–17 NKJV) —16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Don’t let your ideas of wrong and right be based on the latest polls, court decisions, or TV shows.

What’s “right” never changes.  It’s in God’s Word.

:18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.

:18 Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery

How does this fit the context?  It sounds like Jesus just changed channels and started a completely different subject.

Perhaps this is one of the things that are “abominable” to God (vs. 15) (He hates divorce – Mal. 2:16)
(Malachi 2:16 NKJV) —16 “For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the Lord of hosts. Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”
Perhaps this is something that isn’t supposed to “change” (vs. 17)

divorcesapoluo – to set free; to let go, dismiss, (to detain no longer); used of divorce

marriesgameo – to lead in marriage

commits adulterymoicheuo – to commit adultery; to be an adulterer


Divorce and remarriage

Notice that here Jesus doesn’t give any valid reasons for divorce.
He simply says that divorce and remarriage is equivalent to adultery.
Note to teachers:  Sometimes we take so long to talk about how a particular passage doesn’t apply to us, that we take the bite out of the conviction that Holy Spirit would like to give some folks.
This is a difficult subject to deal with because I’ll bet somewhere around half of you have been divorced and remarried.
Some more than once.
In Jesus’ day, this was just as difficult an issue as it is in ours.
Moses was the first to write about divorce

(Deuteronomy 24:1 NLT) “Suppose a man marries a woman but she does not please him. Having discovered something wrong with her, he writes a document of divorce, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house.

Some were quite strict and taught that the only reason allowable for divorce was if the wife wasn’t a virgin when she married, or if she committed adultery.

This view was held by Rabbi Shammai, and he taught that divorce was allowed only if the wife was guilty of immorality.  This was generally interpreted to mean that she either wasn’t a virgin when the marriage took place, or that she had committed adultery after the marriage.

Others were more liberal and taught that you could divorce your wife for any reason you wanted, even if she burned the toast too many times.

This view was held by Rabbi Hillel, and he taught that if the wife did anything offensive or disagreeable, it was grounds for divorce.  Another Rabbi went so far as to say that if another woman was more pleasing to the man than his wife, then that constituted grounds for divorce.

Are there any valid reasons for divorce and remarriage?  I see two.

Jesus Himself said,

(Matthew 19:9 NKJV) And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

immoralityporneia – this is a very broad term simply meaning “any kind of sex outside of marriage”.

If you are divorced because your spouse was unfaithful, you are allowed to remarry.


Paul wrote,

(1 Corinthians 7:15 NKJV) But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.

In the narrowest sense, if you are married to an unbeliever and they want out of the marriage, you are allowed to get out. 

Some have suggested that even if the other person claims to be a believer, but they walk out on the marriage, they are acting like an unbeliever.  I’m not sure I disagree with that view.

Some see spousal abuse under this as well.  If your spouse is abusive, they are acting like an unbeliever and have “left” that marriage.

Some of you may be wondering…

What if I’ve been divorced and remarried and I don’t fit into one of these exceptions?

You need to consider that perhaps you’ve sinned.  But rather than ruining the marriage you’re currently in by walking out of it, you need to make a commitment to God that you’re going to be committed to your current marriage.

While it’s true that there are allowable reasons for divorce, don’t forget that Jesus is trying to get you to do the hard work of staying married.
Video:  OneTimeBlind – Marriage Promise
Most of the problems you will face in your marriage are NOT reasons for divorce, they are reasons to work harder and make a better marriage. 
Maybe get counseling.
Maybe start checking out the “Coupleship Connection” on the 1st Saturday of each month.