Sometimes Jesus’s parables are a tad confusing, and this one is no exception. It appears that Jesus is making a good example out of someone that does a corrupt and dishonest thing. It has bothered some enough that they have speculated that the steward wasn’t actually doing anything that dishonest.
But Jesus wasn’t making a good example of this dishonest man—He doesn’t expect us to copy him in his dishonesty, but Jesus does draw some lessons for us from him. First, we’ll work through the parable of the unjust steward and then look at the two lessons we can learn.
The parable of the two sons show us two kinds of people—the moral stickler and the moral rebel. The elder son is a stickler for the rules. The younger son is, of course, the moral rebel.
The moral stickler looks at the moral rebel and says, “The problem with our nation is you immoral people who don’t respect authority.”
The moral rebel looks at the moral stickler and says, “The real problem is you bigoted, homophobic people. We need to have progressive polices and tolerance in order to really be happy.”
These two patterns of living are followed by everyone to some degree—we have a leaning one way or another.
Some people will even begin one way and, not finding the satisfaction that they thought would be there, slingshot to the other side. There are also those who live the life of a moral stickler on the outside, but maintain the life of a moral rebel in secret. They may even make the news when their life is exposed!
Let’s take a look at these two patterns of living by looking at…
What is the parable of the Prodigal Son about? Probably more than you think. Most Christians will say something about it’s about how God welcomes the lost sinner home. It’s true…that’s there.
Have you ever noticed when you read what we call “The Story of the Prodigal Son,” that there are, in fact, two sons?
Luke 15:11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
If this is the story of the prodigal son, why are there two sons? Why does the second son, get over one-third of the space in the story? Because this is not the story of the prodigal son—it’s the parable of two sons—a younger son and an elder son.
According to sociological family studies, the oldest sibling in a family is often the responsible one. It makes sense, because they are often tasked with caring for their younger brothers and sisters.
The youngest sibling tends to be more of a rebel, perhaps because they were spoiled rotten.
The parable of the two sons follow this family psychology to a tee. Let’s look at the parable. There are basically two acts: the first is about the younger son. The second is about the elder son.
In the last lesson, we saw how Satan, indwelling a serpent, tempted the woman to eat of the fruit of the tree that God had warned them not to eat from. We saw how both Satan and the woman and Adam rationalized their sin—for instance: by blaming others or by making God out to be the bad guy. Now we see the results of their sin and the promise of atonement.