The teachings of Messiah, 9:51-19:44

4. Who enters the kingdom? 13:22-16:13

vi] Faithfulness - the parable of the shrewd manager


In the context of speaking with the disciples Luke records the parable of the shrewd manager, v1-8a, Jesus' application of the parable, v8b and three appended sayings: generosity with money, v9; faithfulness with money, v10-12; serving God rather than the things of this world, v13.


"Disciples who do not show faithfulness in this life cannot expect to enter the life of the age to come", Ellis. Thus we are reminded that the "children of light" are foolish to think that it is possible to be loyal to God, and at the same time dabble in this worlds things. Given the immediacy of the kingdom we face disaster and need urgently to find a way of escape.


i] Context: See 13:22-30. The parable of the shrewd manager, 16:1-13, is the sixth episode in the section dealing with the question, Who enters the kingdom?, 13:22-16:13. The six episodes that make up this section, as with the next six episodes, 16:14-18:14, reveal the bad news and good news of the coming kingdom in Christ - the condemnation of the "righteous" under the law and the blessing of the humble (repentant) under grace.


ii] Structure: This passage, The parable of the shrewd manager, presents as follows:

Parable - the shrewd manager, v1-8a;

Saying / application, v8b:

"the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with its resources than the sons of light."

Sayings on stewardship, v9-13:

"make friends for yourselves by means of worldly mammon so that ....."

"whoever can be trusted in very little can also be trusted with much, and ....."

ei oun, "so if", v11

kai ei, "and if", v12

"no servant can serve two master, for either he will hate one and love the other, or ..."


iii] Interpretation:

The passage before us is notoriously difficult to interpret. The opening parable has prompted numerous interpretations and so the interpretation offered here, namely that the children of light are anything but prudent, v8b, is but one among many. The point made by the parable is supported by appended sayings on the proper handling of material possessions, v9-13. These sayings have also proved notoriously difficult to interpret since they serve as further examples of Jesus' utopian ethic. Obviously, allegorical interpretations of the parable itself can be abandoned, although most commentators stray a little in this direction, eg. Johnson: Like the manager's clever response, "the children of light should be discerning in their response to the 'visitation of their Lord'" and "as the manager used possessions to secure a place for himself, so should the disciples". Note also how Johnson, at this point, is dangling his toe into a salvation by works theology. Also Plummer: a believer should lay up "treasure in heaven" by using their "wealth to promote their welfare in the next world" - Oh dear! NO.

We are on fairly safe ground if we look for one central idea in the parable which is addressed by the following sayings. Interpretations vary greatly, but most focus on discipleship. Danker stands out from the crowd with his simple exposition; "in the everyday world of business, prudence is exercised to secure temporary advantage. God's people, who have higher goals and expectations, ought to display at least as much prudence in relation to God and their future hope. Yet, when it comes to material possessions, they often forget that the proper use of those possessions is an integral part of their total religious experience."

The discipleship line of interpretation sits well with the previous episode, 15:1-32. Believers, who have reached a point of repentance and faith, are now called to service. Having placed ourselves under the grace of God we need to remember that "no person can serve two masters ... You cannot serve God and the things of this world." The dishonest steward wisely prepared for his judgment day (unemployment), similarly, the sons of light need to prepare for their judgment day (the great assize). So, let us wisely use our resources of time, talent and tinkle, all of which is on loan from the Creator, before it's too late. "One serves a master no matter what, so make sure that it is God", Bock.

Commentators tend to develop this general discipleship exhortation in different ways. For example, Fitzmyer suggests that Luke has actually provided 3 separate applications: a prudent use of material possessions, eg. almsgiving, 8b-9; a day-to-day responsibility and fidelity, v10-12; and a warning - don't let wealth become the god we serve, v13.

In principle, the law (here, the utopian [as opposed to utilitarian] ethic of Jesus) always serves as a guide to the Christian life and so there is little doubt that this passage reminds the believer to handle their resources of time, talent, energy, money, ... wisely. Yet, we need to consider the possibility that Luke still has in mind his great reversal / judgment theme. The primary purpose of the law is to expose our condition of loss, our state of sin. Ellis, in his uncompromising style, describes the discipleship demanded on us in this passage in rather dramatic terms - "disciples who do not show faithfulness in this life cannot expect to enter the life of the age to come." Well! maybe, but then here's the rub, can any believer claim to have faithfully used their resources wisely and well? Pharisaic reductionism (reducing the law's demand to the point where it can be obeyed) is oft suggested (eg. Jesus is only talking about alms-giving / the tithe), but such provides no protection on the day of judgment.

So then, we are bound to consider that although the passage serves as a guide to discipleship, it also serves as a warning about judgment. Jesus' words remind us that none of us are "faithful"; they serve again to expose our sinful state (here our attachment to the things of this world) and thus our eternal loss. When it comes to securing our eternal future, we "children of light" are fools, anything but "prudent". How do we know that this is the case? Because when it comes to the things of this world, things on loan to us by God, we serve them, always serve them to secure our future here on earth, rather than our eternal future in heaven. We cannot serve God and at the same time the things of this world, but that is exactly what we do and thus we stand condemned. How then shall we be saved?

The parable of The Shrewd Manager confronts us with the crisis caused by the coming kingdom, cf. Dodd. It serves as "a warning .... to take resolute and immediate action in the face of impending disaster", Caird. In the attached sayings, v9-13, the "utopian" ethic of Jesus again performs its prime function to expose sin and thus reinforce the disaster we face. By the placement of this episode in his gospel, Luke maintains his prime directive to reveal, in the presence of the coming kingdom, the condemnation of the "righteous" under the law, in contrast to the blessing of the humble (repentant) under grace.


iv] Synoptics:

The parables is unique to Luke.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 16:1

The stewardship demanded of a disciple, v1-13: i] The parable of the Shrewd Manager, v1-8a. This illustrative parable teaches that in the face of disaster a worldly-wise person will use whatever opportunity they have to find a way out.

de kai "-" - and. This construction is common in Luke, here presumably a connective, see 2:4.

touV maqhtaV (hV ou) "disciples" - Jesus is now addressing his disciples, rather than the Pharisees. The Pharisees are certainly listening on, cf. v14, but what Jesus has to say is of particular reference to the disciples. This doesn't mean that "the children/sons of light", v8, is a descriptive title for disciples. The children of light are the "righteous" = the self-righteous, godly, churchies, religious and often disciples of Jesus / Christians - the ones who are imprudent when it comes to the things of this world.

plousioV adj. "rich" - The adjective is attributive, describing the man, he was rich, "a rich man", not predicative, "a certain man was rich."

oikonomon (oV) "manager" - steward. A trusted manager of a person's estate.

dieblhqh (diaballw) aor. pas. "accused" - [this person] being charged. Once only use in NT, expressing an aggressive accusation.

autw/ dat. pro. "-" - to him. Dative of interest, disadvantage; "a charge was brought against him."

wJV + part. "-" - as [one who squandered]. This particle + a substantive participle, gives the sense "with the assertion that, on the pretext that, with the thought that" = "with the assertion that this man was squandering his possessions", cf. BDF 425(3). With the particle w{sper, or wJsai a conditional sense would be expected "he was accused as if he had squandered", but that is not the sense here.

diaskorpizwn (diaskorpizw) pres. part. "wasting" - squandering, scattering. Taken as a substantive, see above. Durative action, but we are not told in what way the manager was wasteful, neglectful, or careless.


fwnhsaV (fwnew) aor. part. "so he called" - having called. The participle is adverbial, probably consecutive, expressing result, "so, as a result, he called him", as NIV and the majority of translations.

autw/ dat. pro. "[asked] him" - [said] to him. Dative of indirect object.

ti "what" - Here obviously interrogatory, asking a question.

peri + gen. "about [you]" - Reference / respect; "about, concerning."

apodoV (apodidwmi) aor. imp. "give [an account]" - give back. "Render", "produce your accounts", REB.

ton logon "an account" - the word. Obviously the final accounts, not a record of accounts for consideration.

thV oikonomiaV (a) "of [your] management" - of stewardship, agency [of you]. The genitive is adverbial, of reference / respect; "with respect to your stewardship." "I want to see your books at once", Barclay.

gar "because" - for. Expressing cause/reason; the master wanted to see the final audited accounts "because" he was going to fire him; "for you are finished as my manager", Barclay.

oikonomein (oikonomew) inf. "be manager" - to manage, administer. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "able"; "you are no longer able = you do not have the ability to administer". "You are no longer going to work for me", CEV.

eti "any longer" - still. Temporal adverb.


en + dat. "to [himself]" - in himself. Local, expressing space/sphere; he deliberated inwardly.

ti poihsw (poiew) subj. "what shall I do" - Deliberative subjunctive with the interrogative ti, "what?" Deliberating over his future, not the accounts.

oJti "-" - because. Possibly causal, "since, because, for", or epexegetic, "now that", TH.

oJ kurioV (oV) "[my] master" - lord. "Employer". The word is used here, in v5 and v8. Its use in v8 is problematical.

skapein (skaptw) pres. inf. "[I'm not strong enough] to dig" - The infinitive is usually classified as complementary, completing the sense of the verb "I am [not] strong enough / have [not] the strength (so also the following infinitive "to beg"). Yet, a complementary infinitive usually follows the verb it is completing, so here we may have a dependent statement of perception expressing his musings over the question "what shall I do now that my employer is taking the management of the accounts away from me?" Obviously "I'm not strong enough for manuel labor and I'm not up for charity."


egnwn (ginwskw) aor. "I know" - The action is punctiliar so possibly expressing an immediate insight; "Ah, I know what I'll do ...", Phillips.

iJna + subj. "so that" - that [... they may receive]. Forming an adverbial clause expressing either purpose or result, or better, intended result; "to make sure that", Barclay.

oJtan + subj. "when" - This construction forms an indefinite temporal clause; "when I'm turned out in the street", Peterson.

metastaqw (meqisthmi) aor. subj. "I lose my job here" - I am removed. "Summarily fired", Bock.

ek + gen. "-" - from [the stewardship]. Expressing separation; "away from."

dexwntai (decomai) aor. subj. "people will welcome" - they may receive [me ..]. The unstated subject "they" is obviously the debtors. The play on words here, where the manager is out of his house/stewardship oikonomiaV and into their house oikouV, simply describes the manager's future advantage. Due to a mutually agreed embezzlement of the master's funds, the manager now has the capacity to draw on a "reciprocal benefit", Johnson, from his fellow conspirators, eg. future "employment", Bock. So, "welcome me into their houses" = "so that the master's debtors will help finance my forced retirement."


proskalesamenoV (proskaleomai) aor. part. "so he called in" - having called, summoned. The participle is adverbial, temporal; "after summoning each of the master's debtors (one by one, TH)." "Then he called his master's debtors", NJB.

twn creofeiletwn (hV ou) gen. "[each one] of [his master's] debtors" - [each one] of the debtors [of the master of himself]. The genitive is adjectival, partitive. The genitive tou kuriou, "of the master", is adjectival, possessive, and eJautou, "of himself", is also adjectival, of subordination, "over him."

tw/ protw/ dat. adj. "[he asked] the first" - The adjective serves as a substantive, dative of indirect object.

tw/ kuriw/ (oV) dat. "[my] master" - [how much do you owe] to the master [of/over me]. When the sense is "obligated [to do something]" this verb is followed by an infinitive, when "indebted [to someone]" it is followed by a dative of interest, disadvantage, and when "owe [something to someone]", as here, it is followed by a dative of indirect object.


Two examples are provided describing the nature of the embezzlement, v6-7.

batouV (oV) acc. "[nine hundred] gallons" - [one hundred] barrels [of olive oil]. Accusative after the assumed verb "I owe." The Hebrew batos / barrel measure was aprox. 9 gallons / 35 liters - the total amounting to three years' wages for a laborer.

elaiou (on) gen. "of olive oil" - The genitive is adjectival, of content; "one hundred barrels full of / containing olive oil."

kaqisaV (kaqizw) aor. part. "sit down" - sitting down. An attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "make (write)", "sit and write." Obviously describing the preparation of a new, but fraudulent, invoice.


The syntax is the same as v6.

korouV (oV) acc. "[a thousand] bushels [of wheat]" - A cors is a dry measure of aprox twelve bushels, or about 390 liters. The total here would amount to ten years' wages for a laborer.


In telling the story, Jesus makes the point that the employer was impressed by the excellent business acumen of the manager in so effectively setting up a superannuation plan at such short notice and so the employer "commended" his shrewdness, without necessarily rewarding his embezzlement.

This is a highly contentious verse. There are three basic ways to approach it: a) The verse is wholly part of the parable, where the narrator notes the master's/employers response and comments on it; b) The verse is wholly part of Jesus' application of the parable, "The Lord (Jesus) commended the worldly manager ...."; c) The first half of the verse is part of the parable and the second half is Jesus' application of the parable, or even an editorial comment by Luke rather than Jesus, so Nolland. The second option gets a run by some commentators, so Ellis, but Marshall, Lagrange, Nolland, Stein, Bock, Danker, disagree, opting for the third option. Johnson suggests the first option. The second option seems best.

oJ kurioV (oV) "the master" - Either, "the employer" or "Jesus"; see above.

ephnesen (epainew) aor. "commended" - praised. The sense "to speak well of", cannot be ignored, although we should note that this is the only use of the word in Luke, so a sarcastic sense is possible, although unlikely. It is usually suggested that the master praised his employee because: i] the discounted invoice made the master look generous; ii] the manager had rewritten the invoice removing improperly added interest, interest applied in defiance of the Law; iii] the master admired the shrewdness of his employee. The third option seems best. "Now here's a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he know how to look after himself", Peterson.

thV adikiaV (a) gen. "dishonest [manager]" - [the steward] of unrighteousness. This articular genitive noun functions as an adjective, attributive, limiting "manager", ie. a Hebraic genitive. Possibly not as strong as "wicked", so "the worldly manager", Nolland.

oJti "because" - because. Expressing cause/reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why the "master" commended the worldly manager; "because ......"

fronimwV adv. "shrewdly" - wisely. He had acted "cleverly", or "wisely / sensibly" from a worldly point of view.


ii] The parable's application, v8b. Jesus draws a sad observation from the parable, namely that unlike the worldly-wise who secure their future, the "righteous", although fully aware of the inevitable day of judgment, for some reason don't use their resources to avert the coming doom. The "righteous" know full-well that their life on earth, under God, is but a grain of sand compared to the beach of eternity, and yet, instead of using their mammon to secure their place in eternity and thus avert the coming judgment, they use it for their own welfare here and now.

oJti "for" - because. Possibly again expressing cause/reason, as NIV. Yet, for those who hold the third option, this conjunction is functioning here as either a connective, or serving to form a dependent statement, direct speech, so Marshall. "Commenting on the parable Jesus said, 'the people of this world .....'"

tou aiwnoV toutou gen. "[the people] of this world" - [the sons] of this age. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "sons / people"; "the people who are of (belong to) this age" = "worldly people." "The sons of this age" stand diametrically opposite to touV uiJouV tou fwtoV, "the sons of light", ie., "the sons of the age to come", so worldly people as compared to religious people (theists). Similar language was used by the Qumran community and so is obviously a Palestinian descriptor for the secular / religious divide.

fronimwteroi adj. "[are more] shrewd [.......than]" - [are more] wise [than]. Predicate adjective following the verb to-be eisin, as NIV, set up as a comparative by uJper + acc.; "worldly people are shrewder than religious people when it comes to dealing with ....."

eiV thn enean thn eJautwn "in dealing with their own kind" - to/towards the generation of themselves / their own generation. The introductory preposition is possibly expressing relationship, so "in dealing with / relating with", so Fitzmyer, and "generation of themselves" possibly "their contemporaries", Barclay, or better, "their own time frame", but the meaning still remains illusive. The description applies both to the "children of this age" and the "children of the age to come", except that the "children of this age" are "more sensible" (comparative adjective) when it comes to "relating to their own time frame." The "children of this age" sensibly use the resources that come their way to secure their future in the here and now, whereas the "children of the age to come" do not sensibly use the resources that come their way to secure their future in the hereafter. Although a stretch, CEV surely hits the mark with "the people of this world look out for themselves better than ...."


iii] Sayings on stewardship / the proper use of resources, v9-13: a) "Act shrewdly to prepare for the great meeting", Stein, v9. It seems likely that this is an independent saying attached to the parable by Luke, or possibly even added to the parable during the oral period - 30AD to 60AD. It would only work as an integral part of the parable if the parable is taken (in part) as allegorical. As noted above, the utopian ethic of Jesus serves primarily to expose sin and thus drive the repentant sinner to God for mercy. As such, this saying reinforces the judgment theme evident in the passage as a whole, namely that in the face of the coming kingdom the righteous under the law stand condemned / cursed. Yet, it is important not to forget the law's function as a guide to the Christian life. In that sense, the utilitarian element in this, and the following sayings, should be noted and applied as best we can. As the Didache put it, if you can't be perfect do what you can.

egw pro. "I [tell you]" - I [say to you]. Emphatic by position and use. This saying usually serves to introduce an important statement.

poihsate (poiew) aor. imp. "use... to gain" - make.

ek + gen. "-" - from, of, out of. Possibly expressing separation, "apart from", therefore "and not from worldly wealth", or better, "from/out of worldly wealth", expressing means, "by means of"; "make friends by means of the proper use of worldly wealth."

thV adikiaV (a) gen. "worldly [wealth]" - [mammon = wealth, money, livelihood, possessions] of unrighteousness, dishonesty. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting mammon; "unrighteous mammon." Mammon entails everything that makes up this world's resources upon which humans rely for their existence: time, energy, talents, possessions and specifically that which these generate, namely, "money". A general sense seems best, the stuff of life, "things", although the literal intention is "money". As for "mammon" being "unrighteous", the sense is possibly of "mammon" immorally acquired, or originating from an evil world, but better as a religious description of "that in which one puts one's trust", possibly "tainted as it is", Phillips, but even better, just of this world, so "worldly", so, "use the things of this world ......."

filouV (oV) "friends" - There is much to support the view that the friends are "the poor" to whom alms must be given, cf. Marshall, Nolland. Thus the exhortation in this verse concerns the generous allocation of wealth for the poor, which kindness will be repaid in eternity. By giving alms, the poor become our friends, and since the poor, like Lazarus, are found in eternal dwellings, they will be there to welcome us when we are rewarded for our generosity. The salvation by works line in this interpretation is not necessarily a problem as long as we recognize that we can never be generous enough to earn our salvation (cf. The rich young ruler). The implication that "the poor", by being destitute, gain entry to heaven, is also not a problem, as long as we recognize that this serves as part of "the great reversal" image, the prophetic picture that, in the coming day of the kingdom, God's favor is toward "the poor = lost/sinner", rather than "the rich = righteous", ie. Jesus is referring to the theological poor. "Let me tell you this, the person who wins the eternal prize is not the person with the most number of toys when they die, but the person who has given them all away before they die."

eJautoiV dat. reflex. pro. "for yourselves" - Dative of interest, advantage; emphatic by position, so "I tell you, for you yourselves, make friends..." "In your own interest make friends", Plummer.

iJna + subj. "so that [...... you will be welcomed]" - that [they may receive]. Forming a purpose clause; "in order that."

oJtan + subj. "when [it is gone]" - when [it fails]. The construction forms an indefinite temporal clause, although usually expressed with a definite "when ....." The subject of "it is gone" is not identified but is probably "mammon", "when money is no more"; "when it comes to an end", Rieu. Not "when we run out of money/things", but "at the moment of death" when money is no longer of any use to us, so Nolland.

dexwntai (decomai) aor. mid. subj. "you will be welcomed" - they may welcome [you]. Possibly a hebraistic passive form with God as the agent so not "they will welcome you", NJB, but rather "you may be received (by God)", REB. Yet, it is more likely that "they will welcome you" is intended, the subject (the agent), the "they", being the "friends", ie. "the poor."

eiV + acc. "into" - to, toward. Spacial.

taV aiwniouV skhnaV "eternal dwellings" - the eternal tent, tabernacle.


b) A person who is reliable with little is reliable with much; a person who is unreliable with little is unreliable with much - and will be treated accordingly, v10-12. The saying identifies the divine expectation for the proper use of resources, mamwnaV, "mammon / the things of this world." This saying of Jesus reinforces the point of the parable, namely that the "children of the age to come" are anything but sensible when it comes to using mammon wisely. "The wise stewardship of possessions", Stein, is not something we do well. We have not wisely used the resources on loan to us from God, we "have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth" for we try to "serve both God and money", and therefore we have no hope of being "welcomed into eternal dwellings." We face disaster. Again, this fact prompts two responses: First, to look to the grace of God in Christ for our standing before him rather than our own paltry discipleship; Second, to have a go at doing better.

oJ pistoV "whoever can be trusted" - the faithful. The articular adjective serves as a substantive - the oJ serves as a nominalizer; "the man who is reliable", Barclay.

en + dat. "with [very little]" - As with "with very much", the preposition here is adverbial, reference /respect; "with regard / respect to." "In the use of", TH.

elacistow/ adj. "very little" - least. Superlative adjective.

adikoV adj. "dishonest" - It would be right to assume that the word here is intended as the opposite of "faithful/reliable", so "unreliable". A person who is unreliable with small responsibilities can't be trusted with big responsibilities.


oun "so" - therefore. Drawing a logical conclusion / inferential.

ei + ind. "if" - Conditional sentence, 1st class, where the condition is assumed to be true; "if, as is the case, .... then ...."

ouk egenesqe (ginomai) aor. "you have not been" - were not. "You have proved not to be", cf. Plummer.

pistoi adj. "trustworthy" - faithful, reliable. It is an interesting idea that we are mere custodians, rather than owners, of earthly resources, such that we are to faithfully use them for a higher purpose, rather than just possess them. The idea is repeated in v12.

en + dat. "in handling [worldly wealth]" - in [the unrighteous mammon]. As in v10, adverbial, reference / respect; "with respect to worldly wealth."

uJmin dat. pro. "[who will trust] you" - [who will entrust true riches] to you. Dative of indirect object.

to alhqinon adj. "with true riches" - the genuine, real thing. The articular adjective "the real", functioning as a substantive, is opposite to "unrighteous mammon". Assuming that "unrighteous mammon" = "the things / resources of this world", then "the real/true thing" is "the thing(s) / resource(s) of the age to come" = "all the riches of heaven." "If you have proved that you can't be trusted (are unreliable) with the riches of this world, how can you be trusted with all the riches of heaven?"


Note the allusion again to the parable - "someone else's property". Are we to understand the "someone else" as God, or is this just reflecting, in a general way, the issue of trustworthiness in our dealings with others? Note also the negative slant, so maintaining the judgment theme; "if you have not proved to be." "If you cannot be faithful in caring for someone else's things, who will give you responsibility for your own things?" Bock.

ei + ind. "if" - Syntax as in v11.

en + dat. "with" - Adverbial; reference / respect, as above.

tw/ allotriw/ dat. adj. "someone else's property" - the belonging to another. The articular adjective serves as a substantive. As noted above, the someone else may be an employer, or landlord, etc., but is usually taken as God, so reinforcing the idea that the things of this world, life and all that, do not belong to us, but are on loan from the Creator.

to uJmeteron adj. "property of your own" - [who will give to you] that which is yours / belongs to you. The articular adjective serves as a substantive. An eschatological interpretation is dominant among the commentators such that, what is on loan to us here on earth does not compare with what we will actually possess in eternity (if we are "trustworthy"!!!). So, "that which is your own" = "all the riches of heaven" - an eternal possession.


c) No one can serve two masters. The mutual exclusiveness of wealth and its rivals indicates the impossibility of serving both, v13. Again this saying draws out the judgment theme evident in the passage, reminding us of our need to join the sinner in the temple with the words "God, be merciful to me a sinner." Only with this attitude will we go home "justified", Lk.18:9-14.

douleuein (douleuw) pres. inf. "[can] serve" - to serve. Complementary infinitive completing the sense of the verb "is able."

dusi kurioiV (oV) dat. "two masters" - Dative of direct object after the verb douleuw, "to serve", here as an infinitive.

h] ...... h] "either ..... or ....." - Comparative construction.

gar "-" - for. Expressing cause/reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why a person cannot serve two masters; "because ...."

mishsei (misew) fut. "will hate" - The string of future tenses indicates "what may be naturally expected", TH. The "hate /love" dichotomy is typical of Jesus' colorful language. Here "love" is probably something like "affection / devotion." The CEV "you will like one more than the other" heads in the right direction, but is too soft. The CEV also dilutes the either/or dichotomy ("the contrasting alternatives", Nolland), replacing it with a greater than. See below. The sense is, "you will be devoted to one and not to the other."

anqexetai (antecomai) fut. "he/you will be devoted to" - he will cling to, hold fast to. Probably in the sense of "be committed to / loyal to."

enoV gen. adj. "the one" - one. The adjective serves as a substantive, genitive after the anti prefix verb "to be devoted to."

katafronhsei (katafronew) fut. "despise" - he will despise, disdain, hold in little respect. Again, the CEV "be more loyal to one than to the other" is on the mark with "loyal", but off the mark with "more loyal." In ancient society a slave can indeed serve two masters, but the nature of the beast is such that, in the face of divided loyalties, we will come to "be devoted" to one, "be committed" to one, rather than the other. The lesson from Israel's past is that syncretism, the merging of Baal with Yahweh, is an anathema with our God.

tou eterou gen. adj. "the other" - The articular adjective serves as a substantive, genitive of direct object after the kata prefix verb "to despise".

qew/ (oV) dat. "[you cannot serve both] God [and money]. Dative of direct object after the verb "to serve", so also mamwna/, "money".


Luke Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]