Luke 16:4
I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
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(4) I am resolved what to do.—More literally, I know, or even, I knew, as of a man to whom a plan occurs suddenly. The dramatic abruptness of the parable leaves us uncertain who “they” are that are to “receive” him. The context that follows immediately supplies the deficiency. What answers to this, in the interpretation, is the moment when a Church or party or an individual teacher, halts between two policies—one that of striving after righteousness, and the other of secular expediency—and makes up its mind to adopt that which promises the most immediate and most profitable results.

16:1-12 Whatever we have, the property of it is God's; we have only the use of it, according to the direction of our great Lord, and for his honour. This steward wasted his lord's goods. And we are all liable to the same charge; we have not made due improvement of what God has trusted us with. The steward cannot deny it; he must make up his accounts, and be gone. This may teach us that death will come, and deprive us of the opportunities we now have. The steward will make friends of his lord's debtors or tenants, by striking off a considerable part of their debt to his lord. The lord referred to in this parable commended not the fraud, but the policy of the steward. In that respect alone is it so noticed. Worldly men, in the choice of their object, are foolish; but in their activity, and perseverance, they are often wiser than believers. The unjust steward is not set before us as an example in cheating his master, or to justify any dishonesty, but to point out the careful ways of worldly men. It would be well if the children of light would learn wisdom from the men of the world, and would as earnestly pursue their better object. The true riches signify spiritual blessings; and if a man spends upon himself, or hoards up what God has trusted to him, as to outward things, what evidence can he have, that he is an heir of God through Christ? The riches of this world are deceitful and uncertain. Let us be convinced that those are truly rich, and very rich, who are rich in faith, and rich toward God, rich in Christ, in the promises; let us then lay up our treasure in heaven, and expect our portion from thence.I am resolved - He thought of his condition. He looked at the plans which occurred to him. He had been dishonest, and knew that he must lose his place. It would have been better to have "considered before this," and resolved on a proper course of life, and to be faithful to his trust; and his perplexity here teaches us that dishonesty will sooner or later lead us into difficulty, and that the path of honesty is not only the "right" path, but is the path that is filled with most comfort and peace.

When I am put out ... - When I lose my place, and have no home and means of support.

They may receive me ... - Those who are now under me, and whom I am resolved now to favor. He had been dishonest to his master, and, having "commenced" a course of dishonesty, he did not shrink from pursuing it. Having injured his master, and being now detected, he was willing still farther to injure him, to take revenge on him for removing him from his place, and to secure his own interest still at his expense. He was resolved to lay these persons under such obligations, and to show them so much kindness, that they could not well refuse to return the kindness to him and give him a support. We may learn here,

1. That one sin leads on to another, and that one act of dishonesty will be followed by many more, if there is opportunity.

2. Men who commit one sin cannot get along "consistently" without committing many more. One lie will demand many more to make it "appear" like the truth, and one act of cheating will demand many more to avoid detection. The beginning of sin is like the letting out of waters, and no man knows, if he indulges in one sin, where it will end.

3. Sinners are selfish. They care more about "themselves" than they do either about God or truth. If they seek salvation, it is only for selfish ends, and because they desire a comfortable "abode" in the future world rather than because they have any regard to God or his cause.

4. may receive me, &c.—Observe his one object—when cast out of one home to secure another. This is the key to the parable, on which there have been many differing views. See Poole on "Luke 16:1"

I am resolved what to do,.... Or "I know what to do"; I have a scheme in my head, and I am determined to execute it, which will provide for me, and secure me a maintenance:

that when I am put out of the stewardship; drove from Jerusalem, and from the temple and the synagogues:

they may receive me into their houses; either Jews or Gentiles, after their dispersion.

I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
Luke 16:4. The word ἔγνων, coming in without any connecting particle, depicts in a lively manner what was passing in his mind, and is true to nature. The aorist is used not as being the same as the perfect, although de Wette will have it so, but expresses the moment of occurrence: I have come to the knowledge. Bengel well says: “Subito consilium cepit.”

ὅταν μετασταθῶ] when (quando) I shall have been dismissed. He thus expresses himself to indicate the critical point of time, imminent to him by reason of the near experience that he is expecting, after the occurrence of which the δέχεσθαι κ.τ.λ. is to take place. Comp. Luke 16:9.

δέξωνται] the debtors of his master, οἱ ῥηθῆναι μέλλοντες, Euthymius Zigabenus. See Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 117 [E. T. 134].

οἴκους] houses, not families (Schulz), comp. Luke 16:9.

Luke 16:4. ἔγνων: too weak to dig, too proud to beg, he hits upon a feasible scheme at last: I have it, I know now what to do.—ἔγνων is the dramatic or tragic aorist used in classics, chiefly in poetry and in dialogue. It gives greater vividness than the use of the present would.—δέξωνται: his plan contemplates as its result reception of the degraded steward into their houses by people not named; probably the very people who accused him. We are not to suppose that permanent residence in other people’s houses is in view. Something better may offer. The scheme provides for the near future, helps to turn the next corner.

4. I am. resolved what to do] The original graphically represents the sudden flash of discovery ‘I have it! I know now what to do.’

into their houses] Literally, “into their own houses” I will confer on them such a boon that they will not leave me houseless. This eating the bread of dependence, which was all the steward hoped to gain after his life of dishonesty, was after all a miserable prospect, Sir 29:22-28. If different parts of the parable shadow forth different truths, we may notice that the steward has not enriched himself; what he has had he has spent. So at death, when we have to render the account of our stewardship to God, we cannot take with us one grain of earthly riches.

Luke 16:4. Ἔγνων, I know [better the Eng. Vers. I am resolved]) He suddenly formed a plan.

Verse 4. - I am resolved what to do. The first part of the parable teaches, then, this great and all-important lesson to men - that they will do well to provide against the day of dismissal from life. The second part points out very vividly how kindness, charity, beneficence, towards those poorer, weaker, more helpless than ourselves is one way, and that a very sure and direct way, cf. so providing against the inevitable dissmission, or death. Luke 16:4They may receive

The debtors of his master (Luke 16:5).

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