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Wesley's Notes/ Commentary on Luke 16:9-18

Luke 16

9. And I say to you - Be good stewards even of the lowest talents wherewith God hath intrusted you. Mammon means riches or money. It is termed the mammon of unrighteousness, because of the manner wherein it is commonly either procured or employed. Make yourselves friends of this, by doing all possible good, particularly to the children of God: that when ye fail, when your flesh and your heart faileth, when this earthly tabernacle is dissolved, those of them who have gone before may receive, may welcome you into the everlasting habitations.

10. And whether ye have more or less, see that ye be faithful as well as wise stewards. He that is faithful in what is meanest of all, worldly substance, is also faithful in things of a higher nature; and he that uses these lowest gifts unfaithfully, is likewise unfaithful in spiritual things.

11. Who will intrust you with the true riches? - How should God intrust you with spiritual and eternal, which alone are true riches?

12. If ye have not been faithful in that which was another's - None of these temporal things are yours: you are only stewards of them, not proprietors: God is the proprietor of all; he lodges them in your hands for a season: but still they are his property. Rich men, understand and consider this. If your steward uses any part of your estate (so called in the language of men) any farther or any otherwise than you direct, he is a knave: he has neither conscience nor honour. Neither have you either one or the other, if you use any part of that estate, which is in truth God's, not yours, any otherwise than he directs. That which is your own - Heaven, which when you have it, will be your own for ever.

13. And you cannot be faithful to God, if you trim between God and the world, if you do not serve him alone. Matt. vi, 24.

15. And he said to them, Ye are they who justify yourselves before men - The sense of the whole passage is, that pride, wherewith you justify yourselves, feeds covetousness, derides the Gospel, ver. 14, and destroys the law, ver. 18. All which is illustrated by a terrible example. Ye justify yourselves before men - Ye think yourselves righteous, and persuade others to think you so.

16. The law and the prophets were in force until John: from that time the Gospel takes place; and humble upright men receive it with inexpressible earnestness. Matt. xi, 13.

17. Not that the Gospel at all destroys the law. Matt. v, 18.

18. But ye do; particularly in this notorious instance. Matt. v, 31; xix, 7.

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