The Unrighteous Steward and the Importunate Widow



He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.  So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you?  Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’  Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me.  I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’  So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’  And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’  So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’  Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’  So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’  And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’  So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly.  For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.  And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.  He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?  No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Luke 16:1-13

Possible Discussion Questions:

  1. Compare and contrast with the last parable.
  2. What might the master have “heard” about the steward?
  3. What must it feel like to be “fired”?
  4. Why did the steward cancel part of the debt? Why did the master praise him?
  5. To whom do any riches we have in this world really belong? St. Cyril of Alexandria put is this way: “Anyone may readily learn the meaning and view of the Savior's words from what follows. He said, “If you have not been faithful in what is another's, who will give you what is your own?” We again say that what is another's is the wealth we possess. We were not born with riches, but on the contrary, naked. We can truly affirm in the words of Scripture that “we neither brought anything into the world, nor can carry anything out.”
  6. What is the purpose of wealth in this parable?
  7. Is money evil?
  8. What does the Lord want us to do with our own money? St. John Chrysostom makes this point in his reading of the parable: “What excuse will we have if we heedlessly lock our money behind doors and barricades, and we prefer to leave it lying idle? Instead, we should make it available to the needy now…”




Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.  Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’  And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”  Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.  And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?  I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.  Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Luke 18:1-8

Possible Discussion Questions:

  1. What is Jesus’s purpose for this parable and how is it fulfilled?
  2. What was the judge like? The widow?
  3. Why might the judge have delayed?
  4. How did each feel during the delay in decision?
  5. How is God’s response to prayer like/unlike that of the judge?
  6. How is God’s judgment like/unlike that of the judge?