“And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” — Luke 16:9
Luke 16 is the famous chapter on hell, but it is really all about money. Jesus begins by teaching His disciples to be very careful in their dealings with money. How we handle money in this life has a big impact on what happens to us in the next (v.1-12).
Jesus goes on to say that we cannot serve both God and money (v.13). We are either serving one or the other. We are either using money to serve God and impact eternity, or we are serving money and, in effect, despising God. God and money are polar opposites. To serve one is to despise the other. So who are we serving? If we say it is God, then how are we using money to impact eternity?
The hit dogs bark because, in verse fourteen, the Pharisees reveal their covetousness by scoffing (“deriding”) Jesus for His teaching. Jesus told them that they might look good before men, but God knows your hearts (v.15). He then went on to tell the famous story about the rich man who died and went to hell (v.19-31).
The point of the story was to let them know that plenty rich people are in hell. Just because they had a lot of money and were well respected by the people did not mean they were righteous before God. This was quite shocking in their culture. It goes contrary to our culture today and sadly even amongst certain religious groups. Riches do not necessary mean righteousness. Just as poverty is not necessarily a sign of unrighteousness.
The key thing is not how much money we have but what we do with our money. Do we serve money or does money serve us? The parable of the unjust steward in v.1-8 teaches us that Christ is not against money. On the contrary, He wants us to “make friends of the mammon [money] or unrighteousness” so that we may wisely impact eternity.
So a few applications:
- How we handle money says a lot about our spirituality.
- Money is a great servant but a poor master.
- Money will try to compete for first place in our lives.
- Riches can deceive a person and take them to hell.
- The key to getting people saved is the Word of God; there is really no greater way to convince them (v.31).