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True Wealth

16 1Jesus said to his followers, "Once there was a rich man. This rich man hired a manager to take care of his business. Later, the rich man learned that his manager was cheating him. 2So he called the manager in and said to him, 'I have heard bad things about you. Give me a report of what you have done with my money. You can't be my manager now!' 3Later, the manager thought to himself, 'What will I do? My master is taking my job away from me! I am not strong enough to dig ditches. I am too proud to beg. 4I know what I will do! I will do something so that when I lose my job, other people will welcome me into their homes.' 5So the manager called in each person that owed the master some money. He said to the first man, 'How much do you owe my master?' 6The man answered, 'I owe him 8,000 pounds of olive oil.' The manager said to him, 'Here is your bill; sit down quickly and make the bill less. Write 4,000 pounds.' 7Then the manager said to another man, 'How much do you owe my master?' The man answered, 'I owe him 60,000 pounds of wheat.' Then the manager said to him, 'Here is your bill; you can make it less. Write 50,000 pounds.' 8Later, the master told the dishonest manager that he had done a smart thing. Yes, worldly people are smarter [in their business] with the people of their time than spiritual people are. 9"I tell you, use the things you have here in this world to make friends [with God]. Then, when those things are gone, you will be welcomed in that home that continues forever. 10If a person can be trusted with small things, then he can also be trusted with big things. If a person is dishonest in little things, then he will be dishonest in big things too. 11If you cannot be trusted with worldly riches, then you will not be trusted with the true (heavenly) riches. 12And if you cannot be trusted with the things that belong to someone else, then you will not be given things of your own. 13"No servant can serve two masters at the same time. The servant will hate one master and love the other. Or he will be loyal to one and not care about the other. You cannot serve God and Money* at the same time."

God's Law Cannot Be Changed

14The Pharisees* were listening to all these things. The Pharisees criticized Jesus because they all loved money. 15Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You make yourselves look good in front of people. But God knows what is really in your hearts. The things that people think are important are worth nothing to God. 16"God wanted the people to live by the law [of Moses] and the writings of the prophets.* But since the time John [the Baptizer] came, the Good News about the kingdom of God is being told. Many people are trying hard to get into the kingdom of God. 17Even the smallest part of a letter in the law cannot be changed. It would be easier for heaven and earth to pass away.

Divorce and Remarriage

18"If a man divorces his wife and marries another woman, he is guilty of the sin of adultery.* And the man that marries a divorced woman is also guilty of adultery."

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19Jesus said, "There was a rich man that always dressed in the finest clothes. He was so rich that he was able to feast and have a party every day. 20There was also a very poor man named Lazarus. Lazarus' body was covered with sores. Lazarus was often put at the rich man's gate. 21Lazarus wanted only to eat the small pieces of food left from the rich man's table. And the dogs came and licked his sores! 22Later, Lazarus died. The angels took Lazarus and placed him in the arms of Abraham.* The rich man also died and was buried. 23He was sent to the place of death* and had much pain. The rich man saw Abraham far away with Lazarus in his arms. 24He called, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me! Send Lazarus to me so that he can dip his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am suffering in this fire!' 25But Abraham said, 'My child, remember when you lived? You had all the good things in life. But all the bad things happened to Lazarus. Now he is comforted here, and you are suffering. 26Also, there is a big pit (hole) between you and us. No person can cross over to help you. And no person can leave there and come here.' 27The rich man said, 'Then please, father [Abraham], send Lazarus to my father's house on earth! 28I have five brothers. Lazarus could warn my brothers so that they will not come to this place of pain.' 29But Abraham said, 'They have the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets* to read; let them learn from that!' 30But the rich man said, 'No, father Abraham! If someone came to them from the dead, they would believe and change their hearts and lives.' 31But Abraham said to him, 'No! If your brothers won't listen to Moses and the prophets, then they won't listen to someone that comes back from death.'"

Money Or, {mamona}, an Aramaic word meaning "wealth." Pharisees The Pharisees were a Jewish religious group that claimed to follow carefully all Jewish laws and customs. prophets People that spoke for God. Some of them wrote books that are part of the Old Testament. adultery Breaking a marriage promise by sexual sin. Abraham The most respected ancestor of the Jews. place of death Literally, "Hades." 

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