“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.
(a) Make friends. Use worldly wealth to make eternal friends.
This parable is not about earning salvation or buying tickets to heaven. Salvation and all the other blessings of God come by grace alone (Eph. 1:3, 2:8–9). It’s about using worldly wealth to make friendships that last into eternity. We make eternal friends by telling people that God loves them and he holds nothing against them. Any debts they may think they have, have been written off and paid down by the blood of Jesus.
(b) The wealth of unrighteousness. Worldly wealth is a means to an end. Although it doesn’t last (Matt. 6:19), it can be used to secure lasting treasure (1 Tim. 6:18–19). When we do the good works of ministry or fund the gospel, we are sowing seeds that will bear lasting fruit.
We have many choices when it comes to spending money; we can accumulate toys and gratify the flesh, or we can invest for the future. Material possessions won’t last; friendships will. So invest in people. Give to the poor (and we are all spiritually poor in God’s eyes; we all need the riches of his grace) and you will have treasure (spiritual offspring, eternal friends) in heaven (Matt. 19:21).
(c) When it fails. This world will fail, your wealth will fail, and your body will fail. You brought nothing into this world, and you can take nothing out of it (1 Tim. 6:7). But in this lifetime you have an opportunity to invest in something that will never fail.
(d) Receive you. Welcome you.
(e) Eternal dwellings. God’s everlasting home, the tabernacle of eternity and the eternal home of the righteous (Ps. 61:4, Is. 33:20, John 14:2).
And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.
You are those who justify yourselves. The Pharisees, although good and God-fearing, were also self-righteous hypocrites.
It would have been understandable for any Pharisee to have a high opinion of themselves because they were more devout and law-abiding than others. If our righteousness was based on the comparative performance of others, the Pharisees would have been the most righteous people around. But Jesus was not impressed (Matt. 5:20). Because he loved the Pharisees and didn’t want to see them lost, he spoke harshly to them about their self-righteousness (see entry for Luke 18:9).
“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
(a) The Law refers to the Law of Moses, the commandments, ordinances, punishments, and ceremonial observances given to the nation of Israel through Moses (Jos. 8:31). This law is sometimes referred to as the law of commandments (Eph. 2:15) or the law of the Jews (Acts 25:8). See entry for The Law.
(b) The gospel revealed in the Bible goes by several names. There is the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:1) or the gospel of Christ (Rom. 15:19, 1 Cor. 9:12, 2 Cor. 2:12, 9:13, 10:14, Gal. 1:7, Php. 1:27, 1 Th. 3:2). There is the gospel of God (Mark 1:14, Rom 1:1, 15:16, 2 Cor. 11:7, 1 Th. 2:2, 8, 9, 1 Pet. 4:17), gospel of the blessed God (1 Tim. 1:11), and the gospel of his Son (Rom 1:9). There is the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 4:23, 9:35, 24:14, Luke 16:16), and the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4). These are different labels for the one and only gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24). See entry for The Gospel.
(c) The kingdom of God is synonymous with the kingdom of heaven; see entry for Matt. 3:2.
“But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.
(a) Heaven and earth. Some believe the “heaven and earth” phrase refers to the temple, the earthly habitat of the heavenly God. If so, Jesus is prophesying its destruction, an event which came to pass in AD70 long after he had fulfilled the law. Alternatively, Jesus is employing a figure of speech as in, “heaven and earth are more likely to pass away than my words fail to come true.” See entry for Matt. 5:18.
(b) The Law; see previous verse.
“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.
See entry for Mark 10:11.
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