I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
I've always viewed this passage as prophecy there would be a world-wide financial collapse, due to greed alluded to in the parable which this saying comes from, due to the "cooking the books" the fraudsters do and how hard it will be to untangle their scams, due to the over-inflated prices people (both rich and poor) have paid in whatever the current tulip mania trend is, and due to demand created by exploding populations around the globe. And especially due to Revelation 13, in the closing paragraphs, which seems to foretell of massive financial collapse.
I realize some will disagree with me and say the parable is really about individuals who go bankrupt, not entire countries or societies. I won't argue. But the message is the same, "use worldly wealth to gain friends." Of course this is quite difficult for people who have little-to-no worldly wealth, and it's also difficult if you are trying to gain the friendship of someone who disdains worldly wealth. I guess one has to be a real friend instead of trying to buy friendship.
I would also add there is a sad irony here. Many people spread the wealth by hiring others to fight in the Drug War. People are paid tons of overtime to spy on others, kick down doors, terrorize others, destroy people's lives, etc… Some cops even forgo serious crimes in order to do some gardening, all for huge handouts from our broken government.
Since I'm on this topic let's see if we can put some more fear of God in the hearts of people in power who claim they love God and believe in the Bible. Here is more of the surrounding quote from above:
"I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?
No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight." — Jesus, Luke 16:9-15 (NIV)
They've been entrusted with people lives (think military), but they SO EASILY send them off to die. They've been entrusted with awarding, overseeing, and carrying out contracts that are worth millions and billions of dollars, but every year there are reports of how billions go unaccounted for or is just plain wasted.
Here a few links which are just the tip of the iceberg:
Audit: US cannot account for $8.7B in Iraqi funds
Iraq reconstruction history details waste, failures
Now I know some people will shout "it's Obama's fault," and others will rage in both of my ears, "damn liberals," "damn conservatives." I would say the REAL problem is greed. The Men (and Women) of Lawlessness have pushed for the removal of regulation and smashed checks and balances.
To those who enjoy ripping others' off, you may think you've gotten away with it. But God knows where every penny is. You can confuse, fool, and elude humans, even via suicide. But you CAN NOT trick or hide from God! If humans don't catch you God does!
And all you so-called believers, stop cowering in fear of retribution from the bullies. Whatever shame the blackmailing thugs are holding against you WILL COME TO LIGHT sooner or later. If there was such thing as "killing for the greater good," or "just war" then JESUS WOULD HAVE DONE IT 2000 YEARS AGO!
Instead you have to — like Jesus is quoted above — be trustworthy with the country's wealth. No matter what size the government is, this is unacceptable! And I don't believe for one minute that because the government is "big" this is bound to happen; people embezzle from small companies and organizations too!