Parable of the Unjust Steward - Bible Study |

The Parable of the Unjust Steward in Luke 16 is one of the more difficult parables in the synoptic gospels.  At first reading, Jesus appears to commend the steward for being a liar and a thief.  More recent scholarship has understood this parable in light of what precedes it (the parable of the Prodigal Sons) rather than what follows (Luke 16:9ff).  For example:

T.W. Manson writes that the parable of the unjust steward “may almost be regarded as an appendix to the parable of the Prodigal Son.”
Kenneth Bailey writes:  “I am convinced that this parable continues to discuss theological themes that appear in the parable of the prodigal son.  The subject is God, sin, grace and salvation — not honesty in dealing with money.”

Notice the similarities between the two parables:

  • Both parables have noble master who demonstrates extraordinary grace to a wayward underling.
  • Both parables feature a wayward underling who wastes his master’s resources.
  • In both parables, the wayward underling reaches a moment of truth regarding his actions.
  • And finally in both, the wayward underling throws himself on the mercy of his noble master.

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Next: The Unforgiving Servant, Matthew 18:21-35

Previous: The Lost Sheep, Lost Coin & Lost Sons, Luke 15:1-32

Series: Parables of Jesus

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