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Luke  ◦   Chapter 16

1Jesus told his disciples: "You may have heard of a certain wealthy estate owner whose chief steward was exposed as negligent and fraudulent with the owner's property.2So he called his steward and said, 'I have heard what you have been doing. Bring in the ledgers and sum up the accounts, because I am terminating you as my chief steward.'

3"The steward thought to himself, 'What am I to do? I am being fired. I don't have the strength for manual labor and it is too humiliating to stand on the corner with a sign: Will Work for Food.4I know what I need to do so others will help me when I need it.'

5"So he contacted each person who was indebted to his master. He asked the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'

6" Eight hundred gallons (three thousand liters) of olive oil,’ he told him. The steward offered a discount (that was not for him to give) and said, ‘I’ll reduce your bill to four hundred gallons (fifteen hundred liters).’

7"Then he asked the second debtor, 'How much do you owe?' 'A thousand bushels (or twenty-five tons) of wheat,' he replied. The steward again offered to give what was not his to give and said, 'I'll change your bill to eight hundred bushels (or twenty tons).'

8"When the master found out what the dishonest steward had done, he commended him for so shrewdly preparing for his future. Those driven by the survival-of-the-fittest instinct of this world are shrewder in taking advantage for themselves than people who live in the light of truth and love.9So use up this world's wealth trying to get ahead, and when it fails, take the Remedy and be welcomed into eternal life.

10"Those who are honest and careful in small matters can be trusted with much, but those who are dishonest and negligent in small matters cannot be trusted at all.11So if you have been dishonest and negligent in handling worldly wealth, how can you be trusted with the Remedy?12And if you haven't protected and cared for the property of others, who would give you property of your own?

13"No one can be loyal and true to two antagonistic principles: If you embrace selfishness, you will hate selflessness, and if you love beneficence, you will hate greed. You cannot serve both the God of love and the god of money."

14The theologians of the legalistic Pharisee sect loved money and began snickering at Jesus when they heard this.15He said to them, "You work to promote yourselves and make yourselves look good to people, but God knows the true condition of your hearts. The selfishness and greed that humans value and think so highly of is detestable to God.

16"The symbols and metaphors of the Old Testament were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of what it all means — the reality of the true Remedy from God’s kingdom of love — is being made known, and it is compelling all who understand it to partake of it and enter God’s kingdom.17It is easier to erase heaven and earth and start again than to change — even in the slightest — God’s design-protocol for life, what you call ‘God’s Law.’

18"Anyone who divorces a faithful wife in order to marry another woman commits adultery, and the man who encourages the divorce in order to marry her also commits adultery.

19"You know the circulating story of a wealthy man dressed in fine clothes and who lived in luxury every day.20At the entrance to his estate was a beggar named Lazarus, who was sick and covered in sores.21He would have been happy with the scraps from the rich man's table. He was so badly off, the dogs licked his sores.

22"As the story goes, when the beggar died, angels transported him to heaven and sat him next to Abraham, but when the rich man died, he was buried in the ground.23The rich man looked up while being tormented in hell, spotted Abraham millions of light years away, and noted Lazarus beside him.24So he cries out, his voice carrying over the expanse of the universe, 'Oh Father Abraham! Take pity on me and send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool my tongue because I am in agony in this fire.'

25"But, as the story goes, Abraham replied, 'Son, don't you remember all the wealth and health you had during your lifetime while Lazarus suffered in poverty and sickness, but now he is rejoicing here and you are in agony.26Besides, the kingdom of love and the kingdom of selfishness are separated by such a chasm that those fixed in one cannot cross over to the other.'

27"He answered, 'Then please, Father, send Lazarus to my family,28for I have five brothers who need to know. Have him warn them so they won't end up fixed in selfishness and suffer in torment.'

29"Abraham replied, 'They have the Scriptures — it contains all they need to know.'

30" 'No, Father Abraham,' he pleaded, 'they need more than the Scriptures. If someone from the dead goes to them, they would turn away from selfishness, partake of the Remedy, and be renewed in love.'

31"Abraham said to him, 'If they don't value the Scriptures and won't listen to the instructions God has provided therein, they will not be convinced even if someone returns from the dead.' "