Jan Luyken etching of the parable of the unjust steward, Bowyer Bible.

He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. … If you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

Luke 16:10.12

The Lord Jesus added this lesson to a parable that He had told His disciples concerning the accusation against a steward who had not managed his master’s property faithfully, but had wasted his goods. Applying this to ourselves, we think of the physical, mental and spiritual abilities and the earthly possessions that God has granted us. How do we treat them? Do we deal with them as God would approve it?

The Lord designated what we possess on earth as “the least”. We may consider ourselves important on account of our abilities. However, in comparison with heavenly gifts earthly things are slight indeed.

Our earthly goods are termed “another man’s”. We are only stewards, not owners. God has entrusted these earthly goods to us for a time only. We might lose them from one minute to another. And when we die, everything stays behind. Nevertheless it is very important how we go about with “the least” and “another man’s goods”. God expects us to manage them obediently and faithfully.

In His explanation the Lord contrasts “the least” and “another man’s” goods with the riches that He has prepared for His own. Heaven’s treasures belong to us. We can rejoice in them even now here on earth. But our conduct in the earthly sphere influences the way we receive and enjoy spiritual gifts. Only if we are faithful with what we have on earth can God reveal the heavenly treasures for our enjoyment.

Image: By Phillip Medhurst – Photo by Harry Kossuth, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7550875