Luke 16 – No One Can Serve Two Masters – The Gospels

Gospel of Luke OnlineJesus said to his disciples: “There was a rich man who had a steward; and this steward was maliciously accused by him of wasting his estate. 2 So the master called him and said: ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give in your accounts, for you cannot act as steward any longer.’”

3 “‘What am I to do,’ the steward asked himself, ‘now that my master is taking the steward’s place away from me? I have not strength to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I will do so that, as soon as I am turned out of my stewardship, people may welcome me into their homes.’”

5 “One by one he called up his master’s debtors. ‘How much do you owe my master?’ he asked of the first. 6 ‘Four hundred and forty gallons of oil,’ answered the man. ‘Here is your agreement,’ he said; ‘sit down at once and make it two hundred and twenty.’ 7 And you, the steward said to the next, ‘how much do you owe?’ ‘Seventy quarters of wheat,’ he replied. ‘Here is your agreement,’ the steward said; ‘make it fifty-six.’”

8 “His master complimented this dishonest steward on the shrewdness of his action. And indeed the children of the world are shrewder in dealing with their fellows than the children of light. 9 And I say to you: ‘Win friends for yourselves with your dishonest money,’ so that, when it comes to an end, there may be a welcome for you into the eternal home.”

10 “He who is trustworthy in the smallest matter is trustworthy in a great one also; and he who is dishonest in the smallest matter is dishonest in a great one also. 11 So, if you have proved untrustworthy with the dishonest money, who will trust you with the true? 12 And, if you have proved untrustworthy with what does not belong to us, who will give you what is really our own?”

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13 “No servant can serve two masters, for, either he will hate one and love the other, or else he will attach himself to one and despise the other.1 You cannot serve both God and money.” 14 All this was said within hearing of the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, and they began to sneer at Jesus. 15 “You,” said Jesus, “are the men who justify themselves before the world, but God can read your hearts; and what is highly esteemed among men may be an abomination in the sight of God.”

16 “The law and the prophets sufficed until the time of John. Since then the gospel of the kingdom of God has been told, and everybody has been forcing his way into it. 17 It would be easier for the heavens and the earth to disappear than for one stroke of a letter in the law to be lost. 18 Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman is an adulterer, and the man who marries a divorced woman is an adulterer.”

19 “There was once a rich man, who dressed in purple robes and fine linen, and feasted every day in great splendor. 20 Near his gateway there had been laid a beggar named Lazarus, who was covered with sores, 21 And who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the very dogs came and licked his sores. 22 After a time the beggar died, and was taken by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.”

23 “In the place of death he looked up in his torment, and saw Abraham at a distance and Lazarus at his side. 24 So he called out: ‘Pity me, Father Abraham, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering agony in this flame.’

25 “‘Child,’ answered Abraham, ‘remember that you in your lifetime received what you thought desirable, just as Lazarus received what was not desirable; but now he has his consolation here, while you are suffering agony. 26 And not only that, but between you and us there lies a great chasm, so that those who wish to pass from here to you cannot, nor can they cross from there to us.’”

27 “‘Then, Father,’ he said, ‘I beg you to send Lazarus to my father’s house; 28 For I have five brothers to warn them, so that they may not come to this place of torture also.’ 29 ‘They have the writings of Moses and the prophets,’ replied Abraham; ‘let them listen to them.’ 30 ‘But, Father Abraham,’ he urged, ‘if someone from the dead were to go to them, they would repent.’ 31 ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets,’ answered Abraham, ‘they will not be persuaded, even if someone were to rise from the dead.’”

To read the next chapter of the Book of Luke, please go to: The Gospel of Luke – 17.

  1. Read the Living Hour interpretation of this Gospel of Luke passage and how it relates to prayer in Chapter 5 of The Lord’s Prayer for Daily Life. []