And I say to you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations (Luke 16:9).
This seems a strange exhortation from the Lord Jesus Christ. Mammon is the name of the god of money, so why would Christ want us to make friends of mammon? Ye cannot serve God and mammon, He said (Luke 16:13).
This conclusion follows the equally surprising parable of the unjust steward, who received a grudging commendation from the master he had cheated, because of his shrewd manipulations to provide for his own future (Luke 16:18). The point is that if worldly men can improve their worldly future by wise use of such money as they control, should not Christiansin honorable ways, of courseinvest their money in such ways as to improve their own eternal future?
This is a natural extension of Christs earlier instruction concerning our money: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, . . . For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:1921).
To make eternal friends (by means) of mammon is thus the best way to lay up treasure in heaven. That is, if we use our money in such a way that it will result in people being won to Christ, then they will be our treasure in heaven! It will be they who will await our coming to join them in heaven, and when we do, it is these friends who will gladly receive (us) into everlasting habitations! Finally, by way of warning, Jesus said: If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? (Luke 16:11). What better resolution for the New Year could we make than to use our money in ways that may lead to friends in heaven? HMM