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Luke 16


 1 And he said also unto his disciples, (1) (*) There was a certain rich man, which had a steward, and he was accused unto him, that he wasted his goods.


(1) Seeing that men oftentimes purchase friendship to themselves, by other menís costs, it is a shame for us, if with a free and liberal bestowing of the goods which the Lord hath given us to that purpose, we do not please him, nor procure the good will of our neighbors, seeing that by this only means, riches, which are oftentimes occasions of sin, are turned to another end and purpose.

(*) Christ teacheth hereby, that likewise as he which is in authority and hath riches, if he get friends in his prosperity, may be relieved in his adversity; so our liberality towards your neighbor shall stand us in such stead at the day of judgment that God will accept it as done unto him.


 2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship, for thou mayest be no longer steward.


 3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? For my master taketh away from me the stewardship. I cannot dig, and to beg I am ashamed.


 4 I know what I will do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.


 5 Then called he unto him every one of his masterís debtors, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my master?


 6 And he said, A hundred measures of oil. And he said to him, Take thy writing, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.


 7 Then said he to another, How much owest thou? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. Then he said to him, Take thy writing and write fourscore.


 8 And the Lord commended (*) the (a) unjust steward, because he had done wisely. Wherefore the (b) children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.


(*) God, who doeth here represent the master of the house, doeth rather commend the prodigal waste of his goods, and the liberal giving of the same to the poor, than the strait keeping and hording of them.

(a) This parable doth not approve the steward's naughty dealing, for it was very theft; but parables are set forth, to shew a thing in a covertly, and as it were, under a figure to represent the truth, though it agree not thoroughly with the matter itself; so that Christ meaneth by this parable to teach us, that worldly men are more heady in the affairs of this world, than the children of God are careful for everlasting life.
(b) Men that are given to this present life, contrary to whom the children of light are set; Paul calleth those spiritual, and the other carnal.


 9 And I say unto you, Make you friends (*) with the riches (c) of iniquity, that when ye shall want, they may receive you into everlasting (d) habitations.


(*) That is, either wickedly gotten or wickedly kept, or wickedly spent; and hereby we be warned to suspect riches which for the most part are an occasion to their possessors of great wickedness.

(c) This is not spoken of goods that are evil gotten, for God will have our bountifulness to the poor, proceed and come from a good fountain, but he calleth those riches of iniquity, which men use naughtily.
(d) To wit, the poor Christians; for they are the inheritors of these Tabernacles, Theophylact.


 10  (2) He that is faithful in the least, he is also faithful in much; and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much.


(2) We ought to take heed that for abusing our earthly function and duty, we be not deprived of heavenly gifts; for how can they use spiritual gifts aright, who abuse worldly things?


 11 If then ye have not been faithful in (*) the wicked riches, who will trust you in the (e) true treasure?


(*) They which can not well bestow or worldly goods, will bestow evil spiritual treasures and therefore they ought not to be committed unto them.

(e) That is, heavenly and true riches; which are contrary to worldly and flitting substance.


 12 And if ye have not been faithful in (f) (*) another manís goods, who shall give you that which is (♣) yours?


(f) In worldly goods, which are called other men's, because they are committed to our credit.

(*) As are riches and such like things, which God hath given not for yourselves only, but to bestow upon others.

(♣) Christ calleth the gifts which he giveth unto us, ours.


 13  (*) (3) No servant can serve two masters; for either he shall hate the one, and love the other, or else he shall lean to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and riches.


(*) Matthew 6:24 .

(3) No man can love God and riches together.


 14 All these things heard the Pharisees also which were covetous, and they (*) scoffed at him.


(*) Because they judged no man happy, but those that were rich.


 15  (4) Then he said unto them, Ye are they, which (*) justify yourselves before men, but God knoweth your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men, is abomination in the sight of God.


(4) Our sins are not hidden to God, although they be hidden to men, yea although they be hidden to them whose sins they are.

(*) Which love outward appearance, and vain glory.


 16  (*) (5) The Law and the Prophets endured until John; and since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man (♣) presseth into it.


(*) Matthew 11:12 .

(5) The Pharisees despised the excellency of the new Covenant, in respect of the old, being ignorant of the perfect righteousness of the Law, and how false expounders they were of the Law, Christ declareth by the seventh Commandment.

(♣) Their zeal is so inflamed, that they follow the Gospel without respect of worldly things.


 17  (*) Now it is more easy that heaven and earth should pass away, than that one tittle of the Law should fall.


(*) Matthew 5:18 .


 18  ∂ (*) Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery, and whosoever marrieth her (g) that (♣) is put away from her husband, committeth adultery.


(*) Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9; 1 Corinthians 7:11 .

(g) They that gather by this place, that a man cannot be married again after he hath put away his wife for adultery, while she liveth, reason fondly; for Christ speaketh of those divorces which the Jews used, of which sort we cannot take the divorcement for adultery, for adulterers were put to death by the Law.

(♣) That is, which is not lawfully divorced.


 19  ∂ (6) There was a (*) certain rich man, which was clothed in (h) purple and fine linen, and fared well and delicately every day.


(6) The end of the poverty and misery of the godly, shall be everlasting joy; as the end of riotousness and cruel pride of the rich shall be everlasting misery, without all hope of mercy.

(*) By this story is declared what punishment they shall have, which live deliciously and neglect the poor.
(h) Very gorgeously and sumptuously for purple garments were costly, and this fine linen which was a kind of linen that came out of Achaia, was as dear as gold.


 20 Also there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate full of sores.


 21 And desired to be refreshed with the crumbs that fell from the rich manís table; yea, and the dogs came and licked his sores.


 22 And it was so that the beggar died, and was carried by the Angels into (*) Abrahamís (♣) bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried.


(*) As the fathers in the old Law were said to be gathered into the bosom of Abraham, because they received the fruit of the same faith with him; so in the New Testament we say that the members of Christ are joined to their head, or gathered unto him.

(♣) Whereby is signified that most blessed life, which they that die in the faith that Abraham did, shall enjoy after this world.


 23 And being in hell in torments, (i) he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.


(i) Heavenly and spiritual things are expressed, and set forth under colors and resemblances fit for our senses.


 24 Then he cried, and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his (*) finger in water, and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.


(*) Christ describeth spiritual things by such manner of speech, as is most proper to our understanding for our souls have neither fingers nor eyes, neither are they thirsty or speak; but the Lord as it were in a table, painteth forth the state of the light to come, as our capacity is able to comprehend it.


 25 But Abraham said, (*) Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy (♣) pleasures, and likewise Lazarus (♠) pains; now therefore is he comforted, and thou art tormented.


(*) In calling him son, he taunteth his vain boasting, who in his life vaunted himself to be the son of Abraham; warning us also hereby how little glorious titles avail.

(♣) Or, good things.

(♠) Or, evil things.


 26 Besides all this, between you and us there is a great (*) gulf set, so that they which would go from hence to you, cannot, neither can they come from thence to us.


(*) Or, swallowing pit.


 27  (7) Then he said, I pray thee therefore father, that thou wouldest send him to my fatherís house,


(7) Seeing that we have a most sure rule to live by, laid forth unto us in the word of God, rashly and vainly do men seek for other revelation.


 28 (For I have five brethren) that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.


 29 Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the (*) Prophets; let them (♣) hear them.


(*) Which declareth that it is to late to be instructed by the dead, if in their lifetime they cannot profit by the lively word of God.

(♣) As faith cometh by Godís word, so is it maintained by the same. So that neither we ought to look for Angels from heaven, or the dead to confirm us therein, but only the word of God is sufficient to life everlasting.


 30 And he said, Nay father Abraham, but if one come unto them from the dead, they will amend their lives.


 31 Then he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rise from the dead again.




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