The unrighteous mammon

“If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches.” (Luke 16:11)

Unrighteous mammon here refers to earthly riches or material treasures. No illusion is more prevalent than that the man who has a lot of material possessions is rich. We speak of houses and land as real estate because we think they are real wealth. We speak of stocks and bonds as securities because we think they provide security.

But in Luke 16:11 the Lord distinguishes between the unrighteous mammon and true riches. The things men think are wealth aren’t wealth at all.

John was a godly Christian who served as caretaker for a wealthy aristocrat’s estate. One night John had a vivid dream in which he was told that the richest man in the valley would die before midnight the following evening. When John met his employer the next morning, he shared the dream with him. At first the millionaire pretended to be completely unconcerned. He never felt better. And he didn’t believe in dreams anyway.

But as soon as John left, he called his chauffeur to drive him to the doctor’s office. He told the doctor he wanted a complete physical checkup. As expected, the tests revealed that he was in splendid condition. And yet he was still worried about John’s dream, so as he was leaving the doctor’s office, he said, “By the way, Doctor, could you come to my house for supper tonight and for a visit afterwards.” The doctor agreed to come.

The supper went on routinely and they talked over a wide range of subjects. Several times the doctor made a start to leave, but each time the host prevailed upon him to stay a little longer.

Finally when the clock struck midnight, the godless rich man, greatly relieved, said goodnight to the doctor.

A few minutes later, the doorbell rang. When the gentleman opened the door, the adult daughter of old John stood there and said, “Please, Sir, my mother wanted to let you know that my father had a heart attack and died a little while ago.”

The richest man in the valley had died that night.


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