The Story of the Clever Manager
1Jesus told his disciples another story. He said, “There was a rich man who had a manager. Some said that the manager was wasting what the rich man owned. 2So the rich man told him to come in. He asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Tell me exactly how you have handled what I own. You can’t be my manager any longer.’
3“The manager said to himself, ‘What will I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig. And I’m too ashamed to beg. 4I know what I’m going to do. I’ll do something so that when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’
5“So he called in each person who owed his master something. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
6“ ‘I owe 900 gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.
“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill. Sit down quickly and change it to 450 gallons.’
7“Then he asked the second one, ‘And how much do you owe?’
“ ‘I owe 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ he replied.
“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill and change it to 800 bushels.’
8“The manager had not been honest. But the master praised him for being clever. The people of this world are clever in dealing with those who are like themselves. They are more clever than God’s people. 9I tell you, use the riches of this world to help others. In that way, you will make friends for yourselves. Then when your riches are gone, you will be welcomed into your eternal home in heaven.
10“Suppose you can be trusted with something very little. Then you can also be trusted with something very large. But suppose you are not honest with something very little. Then you will also not be honest with something very large. 11Suppose you have not been worthy of trust in handling worldly wealth. Then who will trust you with true riches? 12Suppose you have not been worthy of trust in handling someone else’s property. Then who will give you property of your own?
13“No one can serve two masters at the same time. Either you will hate one of them and love the other. Or you will be faithful to one and dislike the other. You can’t serve God and money at the same time.”
14The Pharisees loved money. They heard all that Jesus said and made fun of him. 15Jesus said to them, “You try to make yourselves look good in the eyes of other people. But God knows your hearts. What people think is worth a lot is hated by God.
16“The teachings of the Law and the Prophets were preached until John the Baptist came. Since then, the good news of God’s kingdom is being preached. And everyone is trying very hard to enter it. 17It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest part of a letter to drop out of the Law.
18“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery. Also, the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19“Once there was a rich man. He was dressed in purple cloth and fine linen. He lived an easy life every day. 20A man named Lazarus was placed at his gate. Lazarus was a beggar. His body was covered with sores. 21Even dogs came and licked his sores. All he wanted was to eat what fell from the rich man’s table.
22“The time came when the beggar died. The angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In the place of the dead, the rich man was suffering terribly. He looked up and saw Abraham far away. Lazarus was by his side. 24So the rich man called out, ‘Father Abraham! Have pity on me! Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water. Then he can cool my tongue with it. I am in terrible pain in this fire.’
25“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember what happened in your lifetime. You received your good things. Lazarus received bad things. Now he is comforted here, and you are in terrible pain. 26Besides, a wide space has been placed between us and you. So those who want to go from here to you can’t go. And no one can cross over from there to us.’
27“The rich man answered, ‘Then I beg you, father Abraham. Send Lazarus to my family. 28I have five brothers. Let Lazarus warn them. Then they will not come to this place of terrible suffering.’
29“Abraham replied, ‘They have the teachings of Moses and the Prophets. Let your brothers listen to them.’
30“ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said. ‘But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will turn away from their sins.’
31“Abraham said to him, ‘They do not listen to Moses and the Prophets. So they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”