November 7 - Luke 16:1-18

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Luke 16:1-18 – The Shrewd (Dishonest?) Manager

What are we to do with our earthly goods? How are we to manage them? Jesus has something to say.

Two of the Pharisee’s biggest sins were pride and love of money … from pride came hypocrisy.

Jesus compared the pride of the elder son in the story of the Prodigal Son to that of the Pharisees. They were so caught up in worrying about their own inheritance they had no humility when it came to forgiveness for those who were most in need. Now, he looks at their love of money.

The manager of this rich man’s estates is not a slave … he has a lot of power. He buys and sells, living on the revenue that he earns. He sends the surplus to the rich man … his master.

We are to see ourselves in the role of the manager … God is the master. We have the right to live our lives and deliver to God whatever we see fit, but when he accuses us of being wasteful, we should pay attention.

After we use what it is we need to live, we hoard or squander it rather than offering it back to the Lord.  This may seem unnatural to us, but we often forget that we are simply stewards ... we act as if we are the owners of all that we have.

Now, the master says to the manager … you can no longer act in this role. This is a point of deprivation. We are to be separated from the Lord … our sin is that of avarice.

When the manager attempts to make friends with his debtors by acting shrewdly, the reason that the master affirms this behavior is because there was wisdom in acting to protect the man’s future. Prudence became part of the man’s behavior.  Create relationships that will benefit you in the end, even if it means disposing of earthly goods.

These relationships … friendships … are much more important than wasting the goods we have been given as stewards. This is valued in God’s sight.