Wow this passage man.
For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.
So here the sons of the world refer to those that do not walk with or believe in Jesus Christ, while sons of the light refer to those that do (John 12:35-36). And indeed, Christians are not particularly known for being shrewd/cunning/wise in financial dealings. More often than not, we are viewed as soft/gullible.
And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
Who are these ‘friends’ referring to? I would assume it would simply be persons around us, but how can they receive us into the eternal dwellings? It seems that the verse suggests that these people, blessed by our wealth, will welcome us in heaven.
Aside from that, what does the passage mean by ‘unrighteous wealth’? Is it wealth achieved via unrighteous/immoral/sinful means? This doesn’t seem to flow with God’s character, yet in the story before God commends the manager for being shrewd in such a manner. Are we to do likewise? The commentary said that ‘unrighteous wealth’ simply means earthly wealth ie. money, as opposed to heavenly wealth, which is our reward in heaven.
I think the answer can be found later on in the passage – v11.
If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?
Perhaps then unrighteous wealth does not refer so much to wealth that is obtained in an unrighteous manner, but that compared to the true riches found in Christ, it is viewed as unrighteous. Even the amoral/grey are seen as unrighteous in the presence of Christ.
‘Little’ then, doesn’t refer to less money, but refers to money itself as a lesser wealth in comparison to the ‘more’, that is the riches found in Christ. This doesn’t refer to salvation – it would be completely out of sync to view salvation as something that can be earned by being financially responsible – but that we are to be faithful with even the most ‘ungodly’ or ‘un-Christian’ of resources that our hands find.
I need to keep watch over my money, not that I might gain more of it, but that I may be found faithful and trusted with the more glorious riches found in Christ.