Day 4

The Dishonest Manager

from the The Parables of Jesus reading plan

Luke 16:1-17

BY She Reads Truth

In this study of the Parables of Jesus, we are reading many of the stories Jesus used to teach hearers about how to live as His followers. Each day we’ll read parables in their immediate context, focusing on a different category of parables each week. Then we will work through a series of questions to understand the meaning of the text and take to heart the “secrets of the kingdom.”

Editor’s Note: In this Parables study, Jesus Himself is telling us stories—stories He wants us to reflect on and process. Rather than asking our writers to write their own stories about Jesus’ stories, we thought it would serve you and the text better to provide questions to help you dig into the meaning of each day’s parable. If you find a parable or passage particularly confusing, stop and pray. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you in His Word, and thank Him that we can know Him without knowing all the answers to our questions.


Week 1: Parables about God’s Kingdom

Parables are stories with a point. They are designed to make us think about what is being said, why, where, to whom, and in what context. To get to the heart of Jesus’ parables, we need to pull them apart and take a careful look at the details He gives us. One detail that runs through this week’s selection of parables is that Jesus says they all describe the kingdom of God in some way. As you read through these passages, use the following questions to unpack the stories Jesus tells.


Day 4 Reading: Luke 16:1-17


1. Jesus tells many parables that involve the relationship between wealth and justice. How do they relate in the parable about the dishonest manager, and what parallels do you see in this parable that relate to your own life?

2. What is the problem in the particular parable, and what is the outcome of the story?

3. What is the central point of this parable?

4. What was the audience’s response to hearing this parable? What is yours?


Post Comments (89)

89 thoughts on "The Dishonest Manager"

  1. Jessica K says:

    The challenge of wrestling for clarity from the Spirit… such a good feeling in this day of quick answers. Knowing there is something good packed in those words and seeking its revelation… so good for my growth. This is a tidbit of my takeaway: The rich man within the praise makes a point to call him unrighteous… his acts will get him earthly gain, but not eternal. “So when it fails, they may welcome you into eternal dwellings”….. we are eternal beings… we will eternally reap what we sow on this earth. The manager will eternally reap his unrighteous self-preserving actions. He can’t be trusted with more. The rich man praises the manager for maximizing his influence-even for personal gain-while he has the ability. This is what the world does so well- maximizing opportunity. I think the parable calls us to maximize our seasons if influence- producing fruit in and out of season for His glory and our eternal gain.

  2. MJ says:

    In the text, the manager had said he couldn’t dig, was too ashamed to beg, but he was taking money “so that people may receive him into their houses”. He was using his God given gifts (mentioned in previous readings) to survive, and i think the phrase “so that people may receive him into their houses” is important. It shows how as followers we need to be shrewd- to take only what we need from others and help lighten their debts.
    The manager forgave the different people of their debts, taking a little and forgiving the debtors of the rest . With the rich man, money wasn’t the central focus. Since the manager’s actions were to forgive those who owed the rich man, the rich man forgave the manager. This is shows how even though the manager could have taken all of the money the debtors owed the rich man, which would have put those debtors in deeper trouble. Even though he was acting under self preservation, he still had a heart. I could be totally off base, but i just wanted to mention part of the passage that was overlooked in the comments.

    1. Summer Robison says:

      This was so so helpful!

    2. Shelley Edwards says:

      Thank you for this.

  3. Willonda says:

    This study is making me think. Which I am loving but not totally in love with. Its also allowing us to teach each other, which I think is the point of the format. Different but I can make it work.
    Thank all of you for your commentary. This one was tough.

  4. Tamara B says:


    A bit behind, so no-one will probably read, but it is helpfull to write down the thoughts. I don’t know exactly what to understand of it, but at first it made me think of this:
    If we are honest with money (and other things) people will know we are worthy to trust in big things. So, that shines the light of Christ. So, being thrustworthy with money, wich is not a godly thing, makes us trustworthy in godly things too. Or, if we are not to be trusted with money, how can we tell people we are christians? I also thought, what if the manager being fired means us being called to heaven? If we are about to die, are we going to collect more things for ourselves, or are we going to gave grace to others, so that we may be praised by God. Might have nothing to do with the “right” interlretation, but it crossed my mind

    1. Heather (MNmomma) says:

      I’m behind a bit too…..I like your thoughts on this :)

      1. Nicole F says:

        This makes so much more sense to me now. Thank you for your thoughts! I was struggling with this reading.

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