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Verse 9. I say unto you. I, Jesus, say to you, my disciples.

Make to yourselves friends. Some have understood the word friends, here, as referring to the poor; others, to holy angels; and others, to God. Perhaps, however, the word should not be considered as referring to any particular persons, but is used in accordance with the preceding parable; for in the application our Saviour uses the language appropriated to the conduct of the steward to express the general truth that we are to make a proper use of riches. The steward had so managed his pecuniary affairs as to secure future comfort for himself, or so as to find friends that would take care of him beyond the time when he was put out of the office. That is, he would not be destitute, or cast off, or without comfort, when he was removed from his office. So, says our Saviour to the publicans and those who had property, so use your property as to secure happiness and comfort beyond the time when you shall be removed from the present life. Have reference, in the use of your money, to the future. Do not use it so that it shall not avail you anything hereafter; but so employ it that, as the steward found friends, comfort, and a home by his wisdom in the use of it, so you may, after you are removed to another world, find friends, comfort, and a home—that is, may be happy in heaven. Jesus, here, does not say that we should do it in the same way that the steward did, for that was unjust; but only that we should secure the result. This may be done by using our riches as we should do; that is, by not suffering them to entangle us in cares and perplexities dangerous to the soul, engrossing the time, and stealing away the affections; by employing them in works of mercy and benevolence, aiding the poor, contributing to the advance of the gospel, bestowing them where they will do good, and in such a manner that God will approve the deed, and will bless us for it. Commonly riches are a hindrance to piety. To many they are snares; and, instead of positively benefitting the possessor, they are an injury, as they engross the time and the affections, and do not contribute at all to the eternal welfare of the soul. Everything may, by a proper use, be made to contribute to our welfare in heaven. Health, wealth, talents, and influence may be so employed; and this is what our Saviour doubtless means here.

Of the mammon. By means of the mammon.

Mammon. A Syriac word meaning riches. It is used, also, as an idol—the god of riches.

Of unrighteousness. These words are an Hebrew expression for unrighteous mammon, the noun being used for an adjective, as is common in the New Testament. The word unrighteous, here, stands opposed to "the true riches" in Lu 16:11, and means deceitful, false, not to be trusted. It has this meaning often. See 1 Ti 6:17; Lu 12:33; Mt 6:19; 19:21.

It does not signify, therefore, that they had acquired the property unjustly, but that property was deceitful and not to be trusted. The wealth of the steward was deceitful; he could not rely on its continuance; it was liable to be taken away at any moment. So the wealth of the world is deceitful. We cannot calculate on its continuance. It may give us support or comfort now, but it may be soon removed, or we taken from it, and we should therefore so use it as to derive benefit from it hereafter.

When ye fail. When ye are left, or when ye die. The expression is derived from the parable as referring to the discharge of the steward; but it refers to death, as if God then discharged his people, or took them from their stewardship and called them to account.

They may receive you. This is a form of expression denoting merely that you may be received. The plural form is used because it was used in the corresponding place in the parable, Lu 16:4. The direction is, so to use our worldly goods that we may be received into heaven when we die. God will receive us there, and we are to employ our property so that he will not cast us off for abusing it.

Everlasting habitations. Heaven, the eternal home of the righteous, where all our wants will be supplied, and where there can be no more anxiety, and no more removal from enjoyments, 2 Co 5:1.

{3} "mammon of unrighteousness" "riches"

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