The purification of the holy place in order to come to “the end of all flesh”
In and by Christ, we must be willing to be delivered from all unholy desires for earthly things (such as: money, unholy sex, fame)
This chapter, too, we are to see in the light of the veil (i.e. the curtain that separated the Holy Place and the Holy of holies) of the Israeli Tabernacle: hereby is meant the breaking off of all (powers of) sin in our flesh – by the union with His body that was broken for us, and His blood that was shed for us – in the strength of the Holy Spirit.
We will now have a closer look at those sins, which will always reveal the (sinful) flesh by the unholy desire for (much) money and property; for unholy and unrestrained sexual experience and for receiving fame and honor (thus applause) from people.
In and by Christ, we must be willing to be cleansed of all Mammonish idolatry
The Scriptures start with the greatest and most committed sin: namely the desire for (much) money, riches and possessions. It is the dance around the gold calf, the worship of the mammon, which is done in many ways and in all intensity in this world… The Scriptures warn us emphatically for this: “For the love of money is the root of all evil…” (1 Timothy 6:10).
LUKE 16 verse 1-8, “And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. I am 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 lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.”
The Lord here pictures the way of life of a dishonest steward. He was a man who had no difficulty using his lord’s money for himself. But these dark practices of his were discovered, and his lord dismissed him and asked him to account for his stewardship. But, being self-centered and unjust, he looked for a way to still be able to provide for himself, after his dismissal, if in a dishonest way… He even made his lord’s debtors accessories to his dishonest practices, that he might blackmail them later, when he would be pressed for money, with the papers they themselves signed in hand. He did this for the purpose that these debtors might not deny him the necessary money as part of the loot, for fear to be accused by him of being accessories to the deceit. And that lord praised the well thought-out action of that dismissed steward, whereby he insured the future for himself.
The Scriptures then make a comparison and compare the action of the children of this world regarding their future, with that of the children of God. And the Scriptures conclude that worldly people insure themselves more carefully of a “good” (earthly) future than the children of God do regarding their eternal future. Children of God should manage their finances as carefully and honestly as possible, yet with a “loose hand” as well; that hereby neither the “100 measures of oil”, namely the 100% ministry in the Spirit they owe their heavenly Father nor the “100 measures of wheat”, namely the 100% ministry of the Word, are influenced unfavorably. The child of God should rather spend his money on the labor of the Lord. And those who receive this money will thank God for the (generous) gift and pray for the mercy and blessing of the Lord for the (generous) giver. This last thing is said in different words in the following verse:
LUKE 16 verse 9, “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.”
According to the Lord the being of the mammon (as it is the god of the money) is unrighteous and in practice we also notice this to be so. Often “trade” in essence is swindle; one often competes with one another in a dishonest manner, and one recommends things as being “fantastic”, while one would not want to buy them oneself. The stain of unrighteousness clings to money… Therefore the Lord advises us to rather make friends with this “unrighteous mammon”. Whereby is meant that we had rather, by means of gifts from a loving heart, act in such a way with our money that, if we should be in need (this is: when we, spiritually seen, are lacking towards the Kingdom of God), God will be gracious towards us to call us (again) to repentance and to His mercy. It goes without saying that such a child of God could still be lost if he does not want to respond to God’s gracious call to repentance.
By E. van den Worm
If you want, see also the ‘verse by verse’ study of:
- LUKE Chapter 1
- LUKE Chapter 2
- LUKE Chapter 3
- LUKE Chapter 4
- LUKE Chapter 5
- LUKE Chapter 6
- LUKE Chapter 7
- LUKE Chapter 8
- LUKE Chapter 9
- LUKE Chapter 10
- LUKE Chapter 11
- LUKE Chapter 12
- LUKE Chapter 13
- LUKE Chapter 14
- LUKE Chapter 15