“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” - Luke 16:10-12
If we do not make good use of God’s temporal gifts of providence, we need not expect him to bestow upon us the true riches of spiritual things in everlasting grace and glory. The riches of this world are called “that which is least.” Men think riches are great, significant, all important. Man’s philosophy is, “Money answereth all things.” We measure society in terms of wealth. But our Lord calls riches “that which is least,” the very least, the most insignificant of God’s gifts to men.
Spiritual riches, the riches of grace and glory, he calls that which is “much”, infinitely, immeasurably much. These are “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). They are God’s “riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Matthew Henry said, “God withholds his grace from covetous, worldly people more than we are aware of.” And our Lord said virtually the same thing. “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:25). The riches you think are a blessing may be a curse. The poverty you think is a curse may be a blessing.
The riches of this world are deceitful and uncertain, “unrighteous mammon.” Spiritual riches are true riches. I wonder if we really believe that. Those who are rich in faith are truly rich. Those who are rich in grace are infinitely, permanently, perfectly rich, rich in all things. “For all things are yours” (1 Corinthians 3:21). In Christ all things are ours, all providential things, all temporal things, all gracious things, all spiritual things, all eternal things. The riches of this world are “another man’s”. They all belong to God. We are only stewards of them, who use them by God’s permission for a very little while. Then we must leave them to another steward.
Spiritual, eternal riches are “your own”. They are that good part which shall not be taken from us, neither in this world nor in the world to come. That which God imparts to the soul can never be separated from it. It is our very own forever. Christ’s righteousness, reward, inheritance, and glory are all ours! It is our Lord’s purpose in these verses to show us the importance of faithfulness in little things. He is telling us that little things test and prove a person’s character. He who is not faithful in little things is probably unfaithful in all things. And he who is not faithful in the little things of earth shall not inherit the great things of heaven.