Rude, Crude, Shrewd and Blessed?Posted: September 23, 2013
…Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’
“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’
“So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
“‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.
“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’
“Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’
“‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied.
“He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’
“The Master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
–Luke 16:1-8 (NIV)–
I must admit, I have struggled with this parable through most of my Christian Life. .. Why? …It just seems contradictory to what we have been taught about the way Christians should behave, and do business and yet in the end it appears this rude, crud and shrewd manager is commended or congratulated for his actions… Does the confuse you too?
I am going to leave the dilemma of the parable for you to solve with your own imaginations.. however I would like to suggest a few things that may help add meaning to this mystery of “money management” as it is commonly taught today in modern preaching…
My first suggestion is that you attempt to clear your mind of everything you have ever heard about this teaching of Jesus that has to do with money, stewardship, finances or fund-raising! ..I understand this will be difficult because it takes much more effort for us to forget than it does to remember… “think about that a minute if you will?”
My second suggestion is that you attempt to fill your mind with Love, Mercy, Forgiveness and debt reduction… for us all.. including unjust managers, those who cook the books, embezzlers, swindlers and the like… just sinners like the rest of us would be a good description I think.. how about you?
Now lastly, I would suggest that you See the Master in this Parable as Jesus Himself and not some earthly CEO or CFO of the banking industry eagerly looking for flaws within their cooperation’s accounts or accountants … but as a Loving and Forgiving Monarch intently looking for qualities to include INTO His Heavenly Kingdom on earth..??
Can you see it yet?? …Take some time. I know it is difficult, but when it becomes clear to you… I think you may have a different perspective of this unjust manager and of his Just and Righteous Master who searches for Good reasons to include and never bad reasons to exclude…
As I have said many times.. I cannot change how you think or what you believe.. and that is not my intentions at all. My reasons for blogging is simply to address doctrines, dogma, rituals, traditions, misinterpretations, mistranslations and such.. We must remember when we read the scriptures that there is an eternal truth behind ever parable and teaching in the Bible and the Truth is never quite so apparent as the principles and or instructions we use in this world and it’s ways of doing business. …Anytime we try to apply Kingdom Truth to Earthly systems of business and finance we will get the wrong message.. entirely!
We must learn to read, study and understand God’s Word through the Eyes of The Word of God in the Flesh… Jesus Christ!! …It should always be with the lens of love, forgiveness, mercy, grace and all the characteristics that describe Jesus, The Just Master .. He is the Word of God.. and His answer to the kitty’s question and to yours and mine is always the same to every scoundrel and sinner ..unjust as we are. His answer is “Yes I can..”
….You may protest by saying the Unjust Steward did not ask to be forgiven and this is quite true.. He did not?
As this parable shows us .. Jesus is not looking for reasons to condemn but is looking for ways to commend, congratulate and say “Welcome, come in, My good and faithful
I have gone on much further than I intended to go.. I hope I have not taken away your chance to draw your own conclusions… It does not have to be the same as mine.. You may see it differently than I do… and that’s OK too!!
Love In Him!
9 Learn some lessons from this crooked but clever asset manager. Realize that the purpose of money is to strengthen friendships, to provide opportunities for being generous and kind. Eventually money will be useless to you—but if you use it generously to serve others, you will be welcomed joyfully into your eternal destination.
10 If you’re faithful in small-scale matters, you’ll be faithful with far bigger responsibilities. If you’re crooked in small responsibilities, you’ll be no different in bigger things. 11 If you can’t even handle a small thing like money, who’s going to entrust you with spiritual riches that really matter? 12 If you don’t manage well someone else’s assets that are entrusted to you, who’s going to give over to you important spiritual and personal relationships to manage?
13 Imagine you’re a servant and you have two masters giving you orders. What are you going to do when they have conflicting demands? You can’t serve both, so you’ll either hate the first and love the second, or you’ll faithfully serve the first and despise the second. One master is God and the other is money. You can’t serve them both.
14 The Pharisees overheard all this, and they started mocking Jesus because they really loved money.
__ Luke 16: 9-14 (VOICE)__