Question 19: Does Luke 16:9 mean that we should have friends of the world?

Save for Later

Question 19

Does Luke 16:9 mean that we should have friends of the world?

Here we are at question number 19. This person says,


“Luke 16:9 has been used by some of my old friends to say that having friends of the world is something God encourages. Is that what the passage means?"  

~ Abe

Okay, I'm looking forward to reading that Luke 16:9 and see how God encourages us to make friends with worldly people.


All right, now, I've recorded the entire 15 verses of this passage, because you can only understand if you read the whole thing. I'm going to go ahead and read the portion he gave. The passage says, "Make yourselves friends of the mammon” money “of unrighteousness, that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations."  Luke 16:9

Now, if that verse was isolated, here's what it says: "Make friends with money possessed by people who are unrighteous. Buddy up to people who have money that are unrighteous, that when you fail and you die or fail or go under or something, these friends will receive you into everlasting habitations. They're going to take you into the house and keep you forever," and that's what the passage says. So you can see why he says someone used this to say, "Go out and make friends with sinners.

The Context of  Luke 16:9

Now, it's really important to look at the context, right? So let's look at the context of this passage. I can't wait.

Luke 16:1 "And He also said unto his disciples: There was a certain rich man which had a steward."  So this is a parable. A steward is somebody that does your bookkeeping and gets your clothes laundried and all that sort of thing. "And the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods."  So this steward was accused of being a scoundrel, mishandling the funds. And he, the master, called him, said unto him, "How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of that stewardship, for thou mayest no longer be steward."  This guy was in real danger with the courts here. He told him, "I want to see the books, and we're going to have a couple accountants look at it. We're going to check and see where this money's gone, if you've been dishonest."

Then the steward said within himself, "What shall I do? For my lord taketh away from me the stewardship. I cannot dig”  like a ditch, “and to beg, I am ashamed."  So this guy, he's a shirt-and-tie guy all of his life, and he says, "I can't dig ditches for a living. I'm going to be thrown out. Nobody's going to hire me. What am I going to do?" He said, "I am resolved to do," and he said, "I know what I'm going to do. When I'm put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses like the everlasting habitation." He said, "I know what I'm going to do. I got a plan here, so that other people take me in to live with them. This what I'll do. I'll call every one of his lord's debtors unto him."

So this lord had lots of money he'd lended out, and lots of people owed him money, and they were paying back the interest and paying back the debt, so much each week, each month, and his job was to go out and collect it, keep the books. He was pocketing a lot of it. He said, "I know what I'll do. I'll go out to those people with all this money, and I'll say: 100 measures? Okay, write out a bill for 10 or 50. Sit down and do it quickly. Just pay me 50, and we'll settle the debt."

And he said to another, "How much owest thou?" He said, "100 measures of wheat," and he said, "Take the bill and write four score." That's 80. He said, "You pay me right now for 80, and we'll wipe the debt out." So he's quickly making friends with these people by short-changing his master, by trying to get enough money to account for all the cheating he'd been doing. So he's trying to build up the account there.

Luke 16:8 “And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he'd done wisely.”  So his lord saw that big pile of money come in, people he thought he never would get any money for. Been trying to get that money paid back for years. He said, "Hey, guy, you're pretty smart. Look at all the money you made doing this. You're okay." So the lord commended him for his cheating, because he'd done wisely.

Luke 16:8b "For the children of this world," Jesus said, "are in their generation wiser than the children of light." Jesus said that sinners are a little smarter than Christians. They're wiser. They'll make more money, quite often, because they'll cheat. They can get away with stuff. They'll connive. The Christian's got a very limited path he can walk in business, a very narrow path he can walk. The sinner's got no controls. He can buy people off. He can bribe people under the table. The people of this world are wiser than the children of light.

Luke 16:9 "I say unto you," Jesus says to these scribes and Pharisees, "make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when you fail, like a steward cast out, they may receive you into everlasting habitations."

That's sarcasm. Can you see it's sarcasm? He said to these Pharisees, "Yeah, you better make friends right now with the unrighteous sinners that have money, because when you fail, they'll receive you into eternal life." Everlasting habitation: a place to live forever. So he's being sarcastic, and you know that by the way it continues: "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much. He that is unjust in the least is unjust also in the much."  Luke 16:10So he called this guy an unjust steward. This guy's unjust. He said, "If you're unjust, not only be unjust in much. “If ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?"  So he said, "If you're not faithful in money, that's unrighteous mammon, who's going to commit to you something of really of value?" God wouldn't.

Luke 16:12-13 "If you have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters."  That's God and mammon. This guy couldn't serve two masters. He wanted to cover for himself, so he went out and tried to serve these people that owed money. You can't serve both, “for either he'll hate the one and love the other, or he'll hold the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."  Now, mammon is more than just money; it's the entire system of return and all that you get from this life that's financial and so forth. You cannot serve God and mammon. That's your properties, not just the cash in your pocket.

Luke 16:14-15 "And the Pharisees, also, who were covetous, heard all these things, and they derided Him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves with men, but God knows your heart, for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."

So that passage is Jesus' sarcasm toward a bunch of religious leaders who were dishonest in handling their money. He said, "God's not going to trust you with anything, because you're unjust stewards." He said, "Go on out and make yourselves friends of these people with unrighteous money, because when you fail, they'll receive you into everlasting habitation." "Not anything here for you. I'm not going to trust you." So that was sarcasm.

It helps to read the Bible and read it like literature. Don't just look at it like everything in it was written to you. Look at the context of it. I mean, that's a great little story right there, great parable, great drama. I'd love to see that acted out in a movie. I volunteer for a part in it. I don't want to be one of the Pharisees.

Bible teaching with Michael Pearl.
Learn more about The Door