Q. Could you explain the story of the shrewd servant in Luke 16:1-8? I never have been able to understand this.
A. It’s a complicated parable that I explained in detail in a 2 part series. I’ve included links to the series below if you want to study this parable further. But here’s the simple answer.
The shrewd servant’s current position is coming to an end, so he’s trying to make sure that after he leaves he’ll have some way to guarantee that he’ll be OK in the future. By giving his master’s debtors favorable settlements on their accounts, he knows they’ll return the favor and help him out later. Since the master commends him, it’s clear that he’s not stealing. He’s just being shrewd.
We should act the same way. Our life on Earth will soon end. To improve our position in the next life we should focus on doing things for the Lord here that will bring rewards there. I’m not talking about working to earn our way into heaven. If we’re saved, that’s a free gift. But several times the Bible mentions rewards we’ll receive in heaven as a result of things we do on Earth. 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15 is a good place to begin studying this idea.
As one commentator has said, “You can’t take it with you, but you can send it up ahead.” Here are the links.