LUKE 16:1-13  


Luke 16:1-13
The BELIEVER’s stewardship over material resources (Verses 10-11).
Teaching aid:
The shrewd actions of the unrighteous steward (Verses 1-8).
Use material resources wisely to promote social benefit (Verses 9-13).
Rebuke of the religious leaders: Verses 14-18.
The story is quite clear. (NASB)

1 Now He was also saying to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions. 2 "And he called him and said to him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.' 3 "The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig ; I am ashamed to beg. 4 'I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.' 5 "And he summoned each one of his master's debtors, and he began saying to the first, 'How much do you owe my master ?' 6 "And he said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' 7 "Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe ?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.' 8 "And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly ; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.

The master commended the “shrewdness” of the steward - not the dishonesty.
This would often be done even by “righteous” ones as they observe the cleverness and resourcefulness of someone. A good example is when we might be impressed with the clever way that someone pulled off a particular robbery - although, certainly not be pleased with the crime itself.

Jesus uses the incident to illustrate that SMART actions are necessary to deal with the many twists and turns of life here on earth. He is not advocating dishonesty or an inordinate occupation with material things. But he is saying that we should manage our material resources wisely so that they are used for the maximum benefit of our families and the society in which we live.
Jesus will LAUNCH from this story and teach several COMMON-SENSE "proverbial" truths and principles that relate more to our earthly life than to our future heavenly life.

Verse 8b
"for the sons of this age are wiser than the sons of light concerning their own generation."

Both “sons” live in the same generation. They both live in the same time sphere and both must operate according to the same societal and economic protocol that governs all the people.

PRINCIPLE: It is usual for the unbelievers to be more wise (clever) in managing material resources than are the believers (sons of light).:

9 "And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.

Verse 9 is a little tricky.
The NASB reads, “make friends for yourselves by means of the mammon of unrighteousness.”

Make friends indicates to treat others properly, kindly, fairly.
It probably refers to dealing with unbelievers. Verse 8 states that unbeliever usually has more "worldly" wisdom in dealing with the material things of this life than the believer has.

The mammon of unrighteousness refers to material things (time, energy, resources) that are limited to this earthly sphere. The use of the term unrighteousness simply indicates that which has a “material” focus rather than a spiritual focus. It does not mean that the things are in some way sinful.

When it fails: this is an aorist active subjunctive of ekleipo in the SINGULAR. It refers to the time when you might suffer a deficiency of the material things; when you are without food and shelter. The singular subject is mammon, not a person.

This verb is used only by Luke (16:9; 22:32; 23:45 ) and in the quote from the Old Testament at Hebrews 1:2.

The ones you helped, are probably UNBELIEVERS. I suggest this because if they were believers, they would HELP the needy believer out of Christian charity rather than out of any “repayment” factor.

But the unbelievers who are helped by the believer, would be more inclined to “pay back” the generosity by giving food and shelter when needed. 

The “everlasting” dwellings refers to PERPETUAL assistance by providing food and shelter for the rest of your life, or for AS LONG as needed.

The use of the adjective, aōnios (everlasting, eternal, perpetual) is used in this way outside the Bible.

“In later poetry and prose aōnios is also used in the sense of ‘lifelong’ or ‘enduring,’ in accordance with the basic meaning of aiōn.” (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament; Edited by G. Kitttel; Eerdmans, 1973, page 208).

It is perhaps used this way at Philemon 15-16.
”For perhaps he was for this reason parted from you for awhile, so that you should have him back forever, no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother.”

The more popular understanding for this verse is that advocated by most commentators. I.E., that if the believer helps OTHER BELIEVERS with material things, then when they die and you die, you will be happily welcomed by these friends into eternal dwellings “in heaven.”

I don’t prefer this interpretation.
1. The language does not appear to be speaking of eternal reward as at Matthew 19:21; Luke 11:41 and 12:33.
It seems that the NATURAL understanding is that, in an EARTHLY context, if you use your material resources wisely to help others, then when you are in need, others will help you.

2. Jesus tells us to MAKE FRIENDS. Surely this is not something that needs to be so actively “pursued” with fellow BELIEVERS. But it would certainly be something that is needed with the unbelievers, who usually do not think too favorably toward Christians.

3. The phrase, “when it fails,” refers to the singular noun, mamōnas. It indicates that the believer’s material resources have been depleted and he is in need of assistance from others. There is no hint of anyone DYING here.

4. The reference in verse 8 to, “the sons of this AGE” (aiōn), seems to relate directly to “perpetual” (aōnios). In other words, the sons of this age are able to provide for the needy believer “this age’s” dwellings.

PRINCIPLE: When you are generous toward others when they are in need, those people are more likely to be generous toward you when you are in need.

Verse 10 "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.

Verse 10 describes the basic HABIT of one’s character related to financial issues.
A person is characterized in general by how he lives and what he does.  If a person is dishonest (unrighteous) in one area of life, is quite likely to be dishonest in other areas of life.

PRINCIPLE: A pattern that is evidenced in reference to handling minor things of this life, will probably be the same pattern that is practiced in reference to everything else.

Verse 11 "Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you?

The idea of “unrighteous” wealth is not suggesting that these material things are in some way to be considered sinful or evil. As in verse 9, the contrast is simply between “spiritual” things and earthly things.

PRINCIPLE: A person who fails to properly manage minor things will not be entrusted by others to manage major things.

But the big question at this point is the significance of the term, “the true riches.”
Verse 12 seems to suggest that these “true riches” are the ones that belong personally to you.  In other words, the TRUE riches are of course, those things that you can claim as your own personal possession. But the focus here is on someone GIVING you those “true riches” that are “your own.”

This does not seem to be something of a “spiritual” nature that GOD is giving. Otherwise Jesus would indicate it as such instead of saying IMPERSONALLY, “who will entrust to you.”

Verse 12 "And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?

Again, it seems that Jesus is simply giving some proverbial type wisdom to the disciples rather than trying to contrast SPIRITUAL things with earthly things. We are to be responsible with the things of others so that we can be disciplined and wise in managing our own possessions.

PRINCIPLE: If we manage the material resources of others wisely and generously, opportunity will be given us to possess and manage our OWN resources.

These last two principles are stated in a question format and have an “earthly” focus as it is recorded by Luke. A similar principle was taught in a different parable as recorded by Matthew at Matthew 25:14-30 (See Commentary).
But there, Jesus gave a clear “salvation” application.
21 "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
22 "Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, 'Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.' 23 "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
29 "For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 "Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Luke 16:13 "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."
Jesus taught this same principle at Mathew 6:24 in a context that deals more specifically with priorities. But here too, as the issues of managing ones material things is discussed, the priority of serving God rather the material things of life is important.

1. No servant can serve (at Matthew 6:24, it reads, “no one.”): The rest of the verse is identical to Matthew 6:24.
a. has ability: dunamai as a present middle indicative communicates an absolute
       principle, that no one is able to serve equally, two opposing entities.

   b. to serve: douleuo (present active infinitive).

2. Two masters: The word for master is kurios (lord) and refers to the one whom you answer to; the one who commands your allegiance, devotion, respect and love.

   a. The two masters refers to spiritual value vs. material value.
b. These two are mutually exclusive.
c. You cannot give equal devotion to the pursuit of earthly pleasure, which serves
       the lusts of the sin nature, and to the pursuit of truth, which serves the plan of

3. for either he will hate one and love the other (miseo vs. agapao) The issue of dedication to and pursuit of benefit for.

4. He will hold to one and despise the other:
a. hold to: antecho (future active indicative) communicates dedication.
       The word means to hold down or ONTO.

    b. despise: kataphroneo means to think down or against and indicates mental
        attitude antagonism.

5. Light and darkness are mutually exclusive.
a. 1 John 1:5
   b. John 3:19-21

6. You cannot serve:
a. you are not able -present middle indicative of dunamai.
    b. to serve: douleuo - present active infinitive.
        That is, place maximum value on the one served.

7. God: theos - reference to the plan and viewpoint of God
8. And mamonas - possessions, wealth
a. Luke 9:57-62
    b. Luke 14:15-27

9. Now by way of application, surplus details include ANYTHING that is not necessary to sustain one's physical life. This then, would include family and friends, which is exactly what Jesus addressed at Matthew 10:34-39. He who loves OTHERS more than Jesus is not expressing true devotion to Him and is not worthy to be called a disciple. IN fact, in another setting, Jesus emphasized this with hyperbole when he said, "unless one HATES" these others, "he cannot be my disciple." Now of course, this does not mean that we are to hate others, but by way of comparison, when it comes down to the promotion of spiritual values, our love for Christ should be so fine-tuned, that it would appear as though we hated others, because we give Him most of the attention.

Verse 14
Luke records the response of some wealthy and legalistic religious leaders who were listening to him and mocking his principles of wisdom

1. The Pharisees: A group of religious leaders who prided themselves in their good works. Thinking themselves to be better than the common man.
See Topic: The Pharisees and Sadducees

2. Lovers of money: Adjective –
   A. philos, indicates a soul totally occupied and enraptured with money or material
   B. arguros, silver (money), refers to material things in general.

   C. These people were rich and were rich-minded.
        Rich minded is
an attitude that elevates material possessions
      (See Topic: Details of Life)
      as more important and valuable than anything else in life.

3. Were listening to all these things: this indicates that the information of verses 1-12 was given in the hearing of the multitudes and the religious leaders.
The sermon on the mount was given in public with the multitudes in attendance. But there is no indication that any Pharisees were present.
This setting seems to be different than the sermon on the mount.
They heard and are responding to verses 1-12 rather than verse 13.

4. and were scoffing: The verb is ekmuktāridzo and occurs only here and Luke 23:35.
It means to ridicule, to sneer, to “turn up the nose” at someone.
It is an imperfect active indicative, which indicates a continuous expression of ridicule toward the teachings of Jesus.

The word occurs in the LXX (Septuagint) at Psalm 2:4 of God toward His enemies.
At Psalm 21:8 (22:7) for the mockers of the Messiah on the cross.
At Psalm 34(35):16 of David’s enemies toward him.

The shorter verb (without the preposition EK) muktāridzo means the same thing and occurs at Galatians 6:7, and at Psalm 79:7 (80:6), Proverbs 1:30; 15:20, and Jeremiah 20:7 in the LXX.

Verses 15-17
Jesus answers the rich-mindedness of the Pharisees

Verse 15
1. And He said to them: Personal application to the rich-minded.
2. You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men: The idea here is that they make themselves appear righteous before others.
Matthew 23:5, “but they do all their deeds to be noticed by men.”

The rich religious Pharisees justified their wealth in the face of the poor people of the land by claiming spiritual superiority. And then used that assumed religious authority to further oppress the people through extortion and plundering of their material resources.
But of course, God knows their true motivations and desires; He knows they are rich-minded, arrogant, selfish and self-righteous.
But these attitudes and possessions that are valued by these religious hypocrites is detestable to God.
The standards and values that God desires are proclaimed and amplified throughout the Old Testament; Law, Prophets, Psalms, Proverbs. Micah 6:8; Mat. 23:23; Luke 11:42

3. But God knows your hearts:
Proverbs 21:2, “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
But Yahweh weighs the hearts.”
Hebrews 4:13, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight,
but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”

4. for that which is highly esteemed among men: the adjective, hupsālos, means HIGH, and thus communicates the idea of value and priority.
5. is detestable in the sight of God: This adjective is, bdelugma. Detestable indicates something of LOWEST value. The contrast is between that which is of greatest importance in life, and what is of least importance.
The Pharisees thought that through their wealth and their Jewish heritage, they had a guaranteed entrance into the kingdom of God.
   A. Matthew 3:9, “And do not suppose that yu can say to yourselves, ‘We have
       Abraham for our father;’ for I say to you, that God is able from these stones
       to raise up children to Abraham.”
   B. John 8:33, “They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s offspring,
       and have never yet been enslaved to anyone.’”

Verse 16

1. The law and the prophets were proclaimed until John: Basically, the PROMISE of the Messiah’s arrival; His character and His work (both advents), and salvation through faith/trust in the Messianic promise.
The authority, plan and viewpoint of God was proclaimed in the Old Testament THROUGH the law and the prophets which included Psalms and Proverbs.
God's authority, plan and viewpoint resolved around love for God and love for others. This is the core doctrine of God's kingdom. It was never designated as such throughout the OT, but by comparing the Old with the New, it can be established, that what was proclaimed in the Law and the Prophets was the same authority and viewpoint of God that is ascribed to the kingdom of God. And throughout the OT, God's authority and viewpoint held just as much jurisdiction over the human race as it did when Jesus and the apostles proclaimed it, and just as much as it has to this very day.
A. Mat. 22:37-39, "And He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets."

B. The ones who truly loved God would put their trust in the Messianic promise; God's provision of a Savior to give forgiveness of sins and a personal relationship with God.
C. This trust in the Messianic promise was indicated by the attitude and expression of "the fear of the Lord." This iniital attitude of reverence not only established one's relationship with God, but also became the attitude that showed continued faithfulness to God's authority and viewpoint throughout that believer's life.
Ec. 12:13, "The conclusion when all has been heard: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person."
The continued attitude of reverence (fear of the Lord) would perpetuate the growth process and produce sinless consistency through an ever increasing expression of love for God and love for others. Prov. 1:7; 9:10.
The purpose of evangelism is to produce the fear (reverence) of the Lord, which in turn leads to acceptance of the Messianic promise and acquisition of relationship with God. Ps. 67:1-7.
The everlasting gospel is the invitation to "fear (reverence) God and give Him glory." Rev. 14:7

2. Since then the gospel of the kingdom is proclaimed:
A. The kingdom of God is the authority, plan and viewpoint of God that has jurisdiction over the realm of humanity. In the OT it was proclaimed through the teachings of the Mosaic law, the prophets, Psalms and Proverbs.
B. When John and Jesus began to teach about the kingdom of God, it was something that was understood by the people. Accordingly, I suggest that the "kingdom of God" had been taught throughout the Old Testament period through the ORAL teachings of God's communicators without actually using that terminology.
C. When Jesus came into this world, His very presence represented the authority, plan and viewpoint of God in the person of the promised Messiah/Savior.
Luke 17:21, "the kingdom of God is among you."
Throughout the OT, salvation was through believing God's Messianic promise. That is, that He would send a Savior into the world Who would pay the penalty for man's sin and provide forgiveness through faith in His person (name). Luke 24:45-47; Acts 10:43. (Ps. 2:11-12; Luke 2:30-31; John 4:25, 42; Isaiah 55:1-3; 53:5-12; 1 Peter 1:10-11; Job 19:25-26).

D. Now that the Savior has come, relationship with God is through trust in the actual person of the Messianic promise - the words and works of Jesus.
Relationship with God now is based on acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah/Savior and is designated as ENTRANCE into the kingdom of God. John 3:1-16. (Col. 1:13).

E. The gospel of the kingdom is FAITH in the Messiah.
   Matthew 3:2, John’s message: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
   Acts 19:4, “telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is in Jesus.”
   Mark 1:15, the message of Jesus: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

3. And everyone is forcing his way into it: The verb here is, biadzo,
    as a present active indicative. The use of FORCE is figurative. What it indicates is the attempt to “force” oneself into the kingdom on terms other than those established by God. It thus seeks to OVERTHROW by “spiritual violence” the authority of God.
and everyone is forcing his way into it.
A. Everyone, refers to those who want relationship with God on their own terms and specifically has the Pharisees in view. They FORCE their own standards and viewpoint onto "finding" God. Luke 16:15-17,
"And He said to them, You are the ones who justify yourselves in the sight of people, but God knows your hearts; because that which is highly esteemed among people is detestable in the sight of God."
John 5:39-44, "you search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life. . . how can you believe when you receive glory (praise, acceptance) from one another and you do not seek the glory (praise, acceptance) that is from the one and only God?"
Paul stated it at Romans 10:3. "For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God."

4. Matthew 11:12, “And from the days of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.”
They claim to carry heaven's authority and use it as a bludgeon on the people to steal from them; they PLUNDER (steal from) the kingdom of heaven (in the name of God).
   A. Suffers violence: This is biadzo as a present PASSIVE indicative.
       The kingdom is being “violently” assaulted.
   B. and violent men: The noun is biastās. These are the religious people who seek
       to force their own terms for entrance into God’s kingdom.
   C. Taking it by force: This is the verb, harpadzo. It means to steal something
       or to PLUNDER a place for its possessions. They want to possess the benefits of
      God’s kingdom on their own terms; WITHOUT -
       1. Creature humility: Recognition of God as the Creator and sustainer of all life.
       2. Or sin humility: Recognition that I am a sinner and fall short of God’s righteousness.
       3. Or salvation humility: Recognition that God has provided the ONLY way to find
          forgiveness of sins and eternal life, and that is through faith alone in Christ alone.
   D. Matthew 23:25
       “Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup
       and of the dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.”
       The word, plunder, is harpagā (the noun from the verb harpadzo).
       It indicates that they are OUTWARDLY following the law (cleaning the cup), but
       inside they are trying to possess the benefits of the kingdom of God on their own
       At Luke 11:39, the word ponāria is used, which refers to an intense infectious evil,
       that affects and destroys others.

       The religious people of Israel (rich, Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes) claimed to have relationship with God; claimed to have access to the kingdom of God. But they did not have it nor could they provide it for their followers.
In fact, Jesus gave the most extreme condemnation of their religious endeavors at Matthew 23:13, "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut the kingdom of heaven in front of people; for you do not enter it yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves."

   E. Their inward character and EVIL motivations are indicated at Matthew 23:28.
       “outwardly you appear righteous, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and
        lawlessness.” ( The word, anomia, indicates that they are in rebellion against the true
        laws of God)

Matthew 11:12, "from the days of John the bapitzer, the kingdom of heaven is being attacked and attackers are plundering it."

Luke 20:47, "devour widow's houses."
Mat. 23:25, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery (plunder) and self-indulgence."
(Religious leaders today are guilty of the same thing when they force tithing onto their members).

And everything they do is in violation of the Law and the Prophets; the issue of love for God and for others. And if they do not listen to what was previously taught through them, there can be no relationship with God.
So Jesus takes this opportunity to restate and reinforce the principle that the standards of God's word; His authority and viewpoint; the value system of the kingdom of God - will remain in force and have jurisdiction over all of humanity FOREVER.
This principle was proclaimed by Jesus on AT LEAST 2 occasions, and probably more.
Luke 16:17, "But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail."  Mat. 5:18; 24:35 (Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33).

Verse 17
“But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away
than for one stroke of a letter of the law to fail.”

According to verse 16, the religious people are trying to possess the benefits of the kingdom of heaven on their own terms contrary to the established policy of God.
The policy of God that revolved around the Messianic promise of salvation provided through the person and work of God’s Messiah.
That policy is what has been taught in “the law and the prophets.” Luke 24:44; Acts 3:18.
John 3:10, “Jesus answered and said to him,
‘Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?’”

Luke 24:27, “And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”
Acts 10:23, “of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

The attempt of the religious people to FORCE their way into God’s kingdom on their own terms is totally contrary to the LAW OF GOD. Jesus REMINDS and REBUKES when He says that there is not ONE little stroke of any letter of the Hebrew alphabet that will or CAN be removed or overthrown.

However, there will come a time when the law of Moses will no longer be needed; when it will have become completely fulfilled. That will be in the eternal kingdom of resurrected humanity and the elect angels. Jesus indicated the permanence of the Mosaic law from this perspective at Matthew 5:18.
"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished."

In this verse, the word, heōs, occurs two times. The first time it refers to the law in GENERAL, and the second time, to SPECIFIC factors within the law.

1. Until: heōs an (plus the subjunctive mood of the following verb), introduces an unknown time factor, although the event that is in view is specific and certain.

2. heaven and earth: the PRESENT physical universe.

3. Pass away: the verb is parerchomai as an aorist active subjunctive to indicate a future reality but with an unknown time for its occurrence.

4. the smallest letter or stroke of the law:

a. The negative (not) is with the verb.

b. This is hyperbole to indicate that the law as an entire entity or whole unit, will be pertinent until the renovation of the universe. (smallest letter = yodh; stroke = any mark made by a stylus, or other writing implement)

5. Shall not pass away: the negative is doubled (ou me) to indicate certainty (shall not ever), and the verb is parerchomai again, in the same form.

6. Until: heōs an + pas (all) to refer to the specific details of God's plan for the human race as taught in the Mosaic law. There is still the same UNKNOWN time factor indicated by the subjunctive mood of the verb.

7. Be fulfilled: The verb is ginomai which means to become something that it was not before, thus the idea of COME TO PASS. The physical universe will remain in place until God's entire plan for the human race is brought to completion. That means it occurs AFTER the millennial kingdom of Christ.
However, various details of the law will be ACCOMPLISHED before the entire WHOLE is accomplished. For example, based on the book of Hebrews and Paul's writings, the worship system of the law was fulfilled by Christ and is not in operation during the time period known as the church age.

B. Luke 16:17

"But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away
than for one stroke or letter of the law to fail."

It is EASIER only because in fact, God's plan has the renovation of the universe as the FINAL item of the law to be fulfilled.

C. Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33

Illustration of priority in permanence and pertinence.

"Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not ever pass away."

1. The verb is parerchomai again, first as a future middle indicative, and then as an aorist active subjunctive plus the DOUBLE negative (ou me = not ever). But Mark and Luke both have the future middle with the double negative instead of the aorist.

2. My words refers to the divine viewpoint that Christ taught, which revolved around relationship with God, first, and then the principle of beneficent love as the core factor for how creatures are to relate to one another.

See Topic: The Renovation of the Universe

Luke 16:17
"It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the law to fail."
These standards of the Law and the Prophets will never cease to have jurisdiction over the human race. Jesus is not talking about the ritual system of the law. He is talking about "the weightier provisions of the law; justice, mercy, faithfulness and the love of God." Mat. 23:23; Luke 11:42; Micah 6:8.

Micah 6:8. "He has told you O man, what is good; and what does Yahweh require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God."
Hosea 6:6, "For I delight in grace-kindness rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings."
Paul also stated the true focus of the kingdom of God. Romans 14:17-18, "for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For the one who serves Christ in this way is acceptable to God and approved by other people." (Rom. 12:9-21).

And later, Jesus will focus on the fact that the real issue in the Law is the fact that it pointed to HIM. In other words the issue of the love of God is recognition and acceptance of His Messianic promise. And Jesus clarified that the Messianic promise finds its fulfillment in HIM; in His person and in His work.

Jesus taught at John 5:39-40. "You examine the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is those very Scriptures that testify about Me; and you are (simply) not WILLING to come to me that you may have life.
And verses 46-47, "For if you believed Moses you would believe me, for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"
Later in the story of Lazarus, Abraham says, "They have Moses and the Prophets, let them hear them . . . If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead." (Luke 16:29-31).
The information about the Messiah and the Savior is scattered throughout the Old Testament as Jesus Himself clarified at Luke 24:44-47.
" Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all the things that are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “So it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem."
Peter was able to state the same thing as he proclaimed the gospel to the Gentiles at Acts 10:43.
"All the prophets testify of Him, that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."
Such passages as Psalm 34:22; Isaiah 28:16 and 53:1-12 speak of this salvation provision.

This statement about the authority, jurisdiction and endurance of God's word was taught by Jesus at Matthew 5:18 and 24:35. At Matthew 5:18, Jesus stated, "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter shall pass from the Law, until all is accomplished!"
Then, in order to validate the "spirit" of the law, in contrast to the many distortions from the religious leaders, Jesus follows that statement with "I say to you" 7 times.
One of the clarifications is at verses 31-32, where He forbids divorce except for the cause of sexual infidelity.

Verse 18
Here Luke adds the teaching about divorce.
It "seems" out of place, and Luke is prone to place things in a different order than what is found in Matthew and Mark.
Luke has received teachings about Jesus from the disciples and from copies of the gospels. Then through the Holy Spirit, he collected and presented the facts in his gospel account.
And his promised accuracy is thus guaranteed by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:3-4.
Although the events related by Luke are historically accurate, the exact chronology of many events is not presented.
This fact can be observed by one's study of the book and is aptly summarized by William Hendriksen, "To him a logical or topical connection is frequently more important than precise chronological sequence." Page 57 of his commentary on Luke.

Thus, here, Luke makes that "logical" connection to what was previously taught by Jesus several months earlier.
When Luke recorded the statement by Jesus about the jurisdiction of the OT, he was reminded about the many examples given by Jesus and it seems that this one stood out as significant in his mind and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so he placed it here. And it certainly relates to the previous fact that the law of God will not be done away with. Especially in view of the challenge issued by the Pharisees at Matthew 19:3, “And some Pharisees came to Him, testing Him, and saying, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?’”

The moral standards of the Mosaic law have vital application to Christians of all ages. Divine morality does not change. Morality is God’s system of truths and principles designed to preserve order, stability and freedom within the human race.
See Topic on: MORALITY

Verse 18
“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.”

For details about marriage see Topics: MARRIAGE

DIVORCE and separation

1. The original design of marriage:

A. Gen. 2:18-24

1. God's attitude: not good
2. God's provision: I will make
3. God's intent: leave and cling
4. The marriage unit: One flesh

a. Primary purpose: help meet (fellowship and assistance)

b. Secondary purpose: fruitful and multiply.

2. Mat. 19:3-9 - the issue of divorce

Verse 3, the challenge: Divorce for any reason.

1. School of Hillel permitted this.
2. School of Shammai permitted divorce only for sexual immorality.

Verses 4-6, The divine viewpoint answer.

1. Quotation of scripture.
2. Therefore what God has joined: Divine design and pattern for morality in the human race.

3. Let no man break apart: Reference to divorce that does NOT have any divine sanction.

4. In verse 9, Jesus will tell us on what terms divorce could have divine sanction.

3. The distortion of the soul: Gen. 2:25 and 3:7; 8:21; Ec. 9:3

A. All moral relationships are now subject to human viewpoint corruption because of the presence of the sin nature. Ec. 7:29

B. This is expressed by the term "hardness of heart." Jer. 17:9; Mark 7:21-22

4. Therefore, the existence of divorce. Mat. 19:8, because of the hardness of heart.

A. Deuteronomy 24:1-3a
Verse 1

1. When a man marries a wife:

a. baal: becomes lord or master over her.
b. indicates a normal and bona fide social arrangement.

2. And it happens: in the normal course of married life (rather than on the wedding night).

3. That: Actually, "if" - to indicate the possibility of negative factors arising in the relationship.

4. She finds no favor: chān - no elegance or soul attraction as at Prov. 5:19.

5. Because he has found: discovered, realized - in the normal course of married life.

6. indecency (uncleanness): erwAh dAbhAr = some nakedness of a thing.

a. This construction only occurs here and at Deut. 23:14.
b. God's standard of something which is unclean, immoral, shameful and therefore detrimental to the welfare of society.

c. Not initially "adultery" because that required the death penalty.
d. Later, adultery was included since the death penalty for adultery was never carried out in the nation. CF. Joseph at Mat. 1:19.

7. And writes: divorce procedure

a. Let us assume that the reason is "not" adultery.
b. Then, either he is unforgiving toward her failure in some area, Ie, hardness of heart.

c. OR - she is unchanging concerning her error, ie, hardness of heart.

d. In either case, no spiritual values are present in their life and divorce is permitted apparently to prevent any greater sin by either party.

1. Mat. 19:8, permitted
2. Mark 10:5, this commandment
3. But it is because of hardness of heart (sklārokardia)

8. A certificate of divorce: keriythuth

a. A book of cutting off: speaks of breaking off that which clings; Ie, the one flesh unit of marriage.

b. Probably originated in Egypt.

Verse 2, Remarriage permitted.
Verse 3a, 2nd husband is allowed to divorce.

B. Observation that Moses divorced and remarried. Ex. 18:2; 4:24-26; Num. 12:1

5. The issue of legitimate divorce for the believer. I.e., right of remarriage while maintaining fellowship with God.

A. The scenario in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 does not condone divorce.
B. It recognizes what takes place in the normal course of life tainted by the sin nature.

C. And that takes place because of the absence of spiritual values in the soul. Ie, hardness of heart, Matthew 19:8.

D. Thus it is accommodation to believers out of fellowship and unbelievers who have no compatibility with divine standards - in order to prevent greater inequities and problems in society.

E. For indeed, God hates divorce. Malachi 2:13-16
F. And Jesus clarifies the issue when he makes adultery (sexual immorality) the only reason for legitimate divorce. Matthew 5:32; 19:9

G. Application to the wife: Mark 10:12, The exception clause (ie, for adultery) is not mentioned by Mark, but Jesus still spoke it.

H. Luke 16:18, "everyone," with the exception clause again not mentioned by the writer. Apparently understood by the recipients of the book.

I. The only other reason for legitimate divorce is taught by Paul at 1 Corinthians 7:15. I.e., desertion by an unbelieving spouse.

6. The issue of marriage and remarriage:

A. Matthew 19:9, the exception clause indicates right to remarry if you are the innocent party when your spouse has committed adultery.

B. 1 Corinthians 7:16, "not under bondage" indicates right to remarry.
C. Deut. 24:4, no right to remarry spouse if she remarried after a divorce.

1. defiled: tame - both soul and body.
2. Abomination before Yahweh.
3. Shall not bring sin on the land: produces moral instability and chaos.
4. Amplified at Jeremiah 3:1, yet here we learn of God's grace attitude in this "spiritual" situation. We can make application to actual divorce situations and always seek to use the grace attitude.

D. Guidelines for the Levitical priesthood. Leviticus 21:14
E. Application to 1 Timothy 3:2, Church leadership: The husband of one wife. Indicates a bona fide marriage or remarriage on biblical terms.

F. Romans 7:1-4, the death of a spouse severs the marriage bond and gives right for remarriage.

G. But apply the principle of 1 Corinthians 7:39.

7. The issue of separation from the spouse: 1 Cornthians 7:10-11

A. Wife: do not leave, chōridzō refers to a cultural divorce form the standpoint of society, but not biblical divorce.

B. Remain unmarried: this establishes it as a separation issue, not divorce.
C. There are times when a woman has to leave the authority of the husband because of abuse. Physical, soul or authority abuse.

D. Spousal abuse enslaves and destroys the freedom factor in morality. Thus to reestablish personal freedom, the woman needs to separate.

E. But this is never to be called divorce or achieved through legal divorce according to society's standards.

F. It is separation and has no option for marriage to another - that is, and maintain fellowship with God.

G. OPTION: Or be reconciled to the husband - obviously when differences are resolved.

H. But apply the principle of Deuteronomy 24:4; Jeremiah 3:1

8. The issue of Grace provision and recovery.

A. Regardless of past failures, when the soul gets right with God, grace provides for all man's detail needs.

B. Illustration at Jeremiah 3.
C. But apply the principle of fellowship. Recovery from sin is required.



Questions and comments are always welcome

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