(Luke 16:11-15)

by Kevin Rutherford


Jesus told His disciples “You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13).  The word “mammon” refers to that in which one trusts.  The context is speaking of wealth.  You cannot serve God and trust in wealth.  Some of the Pharisees heard what Jesus said and disagreed with Him.  Their problem was that they did trust in riches.  The Bible says they “were lovers of money (Luke 16:14).”

Perhaps it was their love of money which led them to become involved in all manner of religious corruption.  These Pharisees would take advantage of widows and defraud their own parents in order to have more money (Matthew 15:3-9; 23:14).

The love of money among religious leaders today has led many of them into spiritual corruption.  Doctrines are changed and compromised for the sake of a larger following.  The more followers one has, the more money he will rake in. Prosperity preachers are popular on TV and radio.  They will promise a blessing from God for those who contribute to them.  Meanwhile they are getting wealthy.

While it is no sin to be rich, it is a sin to corrupt the truth for the sake of wealth.  Perhaps this is the reason why God told us that elders are not to be “greedy for money.” (1 Timothy 3:3)  It is good for elders to desire to see more money given to the church, but it is not good for elders to compromise the truth for the sake of that money.  Religious leaders who are lovers of money today can be just as corrupt and wicked as the Pharisees who were lovers of money in the first century.