The Master had a lesson to teach His disciples on the subject of earthly wealth, and He made use of this unjust steward for purposes of illustration only. The element in the action of the steward which our Lord commended was of foresight and singleness of aim. It was in this connection that He uttered the memorable words, "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." The whole force, of course, is on the word "serve." When God is served, Mammon is used beneficently. When Mammon is served, the claims of God are ignored.
In this same connection our Lord gave the account of the life and death of two men, throwing clear light on the life beyond. That is seen as connected with, and growing out of, the life here. It is of great importance that it follows closely the teaching concerning Mammon. One of the most radiant of its lessons is that if a man have wealth it is a positive sin for him to use it for his own luxury and ease and remain unmindful of the want and needs that lie at his very gate. Money possessing a man is the direst curse, for it hardens his heart and paralyzes his noblest powers. The money of a God-possessed man is a blessing, for it becomes the means of expressing his sympathy with his fellows.
the Second Week after Epiphany