Understanding Eastern manners and customs gives insight into the following verses and shows us another way that we can manifest God’s sufficiency in our lives—by being faithful stewards.
And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
In verse 9, we see the phrase “mammon of unrighteousness.” According to Eastern understanding, this phrase is used to represent worldly goods, material possessions. “Make to yourselves friends” is another Eastern thought. When we make friends with people, we are very nice to them, very kind; we do our best to take care of them, help them, and not mistreat them. This verse is showing us that God wants us to “make friends” of our material possessions—to take care of them and not mistreat them. Everything we have in the material world we have because God entrusted it to us.
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
We are stewards of all that God has made available to us; God expects us to adhere to this spiritual principle. He expects us to take care of everything that He has given us, which would include our physical bodies.
“When ye fail” in Luke 16:9 is another Eastern idiom, referring to the end of a person’s life. “They may receive you into everlasting habitations” is an indication of the rewards which are available to a faithful steward.
When we walk according to God’s Word, He takes care of us, and He wants us to take care of the things He has given us. In so doing, we are building for ourselves rewards. Now let’s look at verse 10 again.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much:
and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
Here the word “least” is referring to the “mammon of unrighteousness” of verse 9—the material things. And “much” here refers to the spiritual things of life. When we discipline ourselves to taking care of the least, that will carry over to everything we do, including our spiritual responsibilities.
I Corinthians 4:1,2:
Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
Another area we can show faithfulness in is the stewarding of our “earthen vessels.”
II Corinthians 4:7:
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
As born-again believers, we have the treasure of the knowledge of God’s Word and His gift of holy spirit within us. We want to steward our bodies so we can have the energy, strength, and endurance to live and share His Word with others and manifest God’s power in the gift of holy spirit.
II Corinthians 5:18,20:
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ….
We steward our physical bodies by taking care of them in physical ways, such as good nutrition, grooming, and exercise. We take care of ourselves mentally by reading God’s Word and realizing the greatness of who we are in Christ Jesus.
For we are his [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
And spiritually, we operate the gift of holy spirit, which quickens or revitalizes our mortal bodies.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
By being faithful stewards of everything that God has given us, including our material possessions, our physical bodies, and the spiritual things of life, we can see God’s sufficiency manifested in our lives.