Zoom Bible Study - Parable of the Dishonest Manager
St. Philip’s Zoom Bible Study
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Welcome! So glad you can join us today to study God’s Word. We are going to discuss Jesus’ parable of the Dishonest Manager. We’ll read the text from Luke 16 and then work through some discussion questions (listed after the Scripture). You are very welcome to participate in conversation, raise questions, etc. – or you can listen in, whatever you prefer. Let’s dive in.
The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
Jesus also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’
3 And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’
5 So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
8 The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Bible Study Guide
Inductive Bible study means ‘drawing out’ the meaning from the text as opposed to ‘reading in’ our own ideas. It’s a way of letting the Bible speak for itself by listening carefully to what it says. Once learned, this method can be done in as little as 5-10 minutes or as long as an hour or more.
Part 1: Pray
We start by asking God’s Spirit – who wrote the Scriptures – to be our Guide in helping us understand the Scriptures.
Part 2: Observation
What does the passage say?
1. If it is a story, identify the characters, plot, setting, and so on. What happens in this scene?
2. If it is a letter or poetry, what are some of the key images, metaphors, or ideas?
3. What are the main concepts and themes in the passage?
4. What is the tone of the speaker or narrator?
5. Do you see any repetitions, contrasts, or causes-and-effects?
6. Are there any promises, commands, exhortations, or questions?
Part 3: Interpretation
What does the passage mean?
1. Imagine the perspective of the characters in the scene and/or the first recipients of this passage. How would they have responded to these words?
2. Develop some questions based on the text. You can ask ‘What is significant?’ about your main observations of the passage.
3. Answer your questions from the text and the context.
4. Try to summarize the passage in one sentence. What is the main point the author is communicating to the audience?
Part 4: Application
How does my life fit into God’s story?
1. What do you see in the passage that leads you to give thanks to God?
2. What in the passage leads you to confess a particular sin or sins?
3. What in the passage leads you to ask God for a need?
4. What are the implications for your community (e.g., family, work, church)?
Part 5: Pray
Ask that God will help you believe, confess, give thanks, and obey in response to your understanding of the passage.