Luke 16:1-13

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Jesus did a lot of teaching by using parables, a form of storytelling somewhat similar to Aesop’s Fables. The parables teach about God, heaven, and humanity. When telling a parable, Jesus used objects that the listeners would have understood, like money, sheep, and seeds. This parable, told to the disciples, is about being a good steward of God’s gifts. This story begins a section in Luke on the dangers of wealth. Jesus doesn’t teach that money is bad, but he warns people to not think of money as more important than God.

This may be a difficult parable for kids to understand. Let them know that it’s okay to admit when we do not understand everything in the Bible. There is a mystery to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. We can love our neighbor by helping them maintain their possessions while we also tend faithfully to what God gives us. Money and wealth on their own are not bad things, but they should never replace God. Kids may wish they had better clothes or different toys, but the love of God will never disappoint them in the way the love of stuff might.

Luke 16:1-13

-Have you ever had a difficult time sharing or valuing your stuff?
-What do you think dishonest wealth is?
-This story values “shrewdness.” How can this characteristic help people live as God wishes?
-Take turns making up parables in which cleverness is an important trait of the hero.

-Watch for story characters that are clever. Draw pictures of them being clever.
-Listen for jokes and riddles that are clever. Remember at least one to tell to someone who hasn’t heard it before.
-Play a favorite game that requires cleverness and planning—it could be tic-tac-toe or boxes or a board game. Who is the clever one this round?
-Take good care of your things—perhaps do an extra good job putting your toys away—so that you can share them with others.
-Make a list of jobs in which people are responsible for others’ property. How could they do those jobs in a manner that honors God?

Lord God, help us to be innovative and wise stewards of your gifts to us on earth. Amen.