He said also to His disciples: 'There was a rich man who had a steward, about whom a report was brought to him, that he was wasting his property.
He called him and said, ''What is this I hear about you? Render an account of your stewardship, for I cannot let you hold it any longer.'
'Then the steward said within himself, ''What am I to do? For my master is taking away the stewardship from me. I am not strong enough for field labour: to beg, I should be ashamed.
I see what to do, in order that when I am discharged from the stewardship they may give me a home in their own houses.'
'So he called all his master's debtors, one by one, and asked the first, 'How much are you in debt to my master?'
''A hundred firkins of oil,' he replied. ''Here is your account,' said the steward: 'sit down quickly and change it into fifty firkins.'
'To a second he said, ''And how much do you owe?' ''A hundred quarters of wheat,' was the answer. ''Here is your account,' said he: 'change it into eighty quarters.'
'And the master praised the dishonest steward for his shrewdness; for, in relation to their own contemporaries, the men of this age are shrewder than the sons of Light.
'But I charge you, so to use the wealth which is ever tempting to dishonesty as to win friends who, when it fails, shall welcome you to the tents that never perish.
The man who is honest in a very small matter is honest in a great one also; and he who is dishonest in a very small matter is dishonest in a great one also.
If therefore you have not proved yourselves faithful in dealing with the wealth that is tainted with fraud, who will entrust to you the true good?
And if you have not been faithful in dealing with that which is not your own, who will give you that which is your own?
'No servant can be in bondage to two masters. For either he will hate one and love the other, or else he will cling fast to one and scorn the other. You cannot be bondservants both of God and of gold.'
To all this the Pharisees listened, bitterly jeering at Him; for they were lovers of money.
'You are they,' He said to them, 'who boast of their own goodness before men, but God sees your hearts; for that which holds a proud position among men is detestable in God's sight.
The Law and the Prophets continued until John came: from that time the Good News of the Kingdom of God has been spreading, and all classes have been forcing their way into it.
But it is easier for earth and sky to pass away than for one smallest detail of the Law to fall to the ground.
Every man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and he who marries her when so divorced from her husband commits adultery.
'There was once a rich man who habitually arrayed himself in purple and fine linen, and enjoyed a splendid banquet every day,
while at his outer door there lay a beggar, Lazarus by name,
covered with sores and longing to make a full meal off the scraps flung on the floor from the rich man's table. Nay, the dogs, too, used to come and lick his sores.
'But in course of time the beggar died; and he was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and had a funeral.
And in Hades, being in torment, he looked and saw Abraham in the far distance, and Lazarus resting in his arms.
So he cried aloud, and said, ''Father Abraham, take pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.'
''Remember, my child,' said Abraham, 'that you had all your good things during your lifetime, and that Lazarus in like manner had his bad things. But, now and here, he is receiving consolation and you are in agony.
And, besides all this, a vast chasm is immovably fixed between us and you, put there in order that those who desire to cross from this side to you may not be able, nor any be able to cross over from your side to us.'
''I entreat you then, father,' said he, 'to send him to my father's house.
For I have five brothers. Let him earnestly warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.'
''They have Moses and the Prophets,' replied Abraham; 'let them hear them.'
''No, father Abraham,' he pleaded; 'but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.'
''If they are deaf to Moses and the Prophets,' replied Abraham, 'they would not be led to believe even if some one should rise from the dead.''