Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Parable of the Shrewd Manager

Luke 16:1-13

1 Jesus told this story to his disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day a report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money. 2 So the employer called him in and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because you are going to be fired.’

3 “The manager thought to himself, ‘Now what? My boss has fired me. I don’t have the strength to dig ditches, and I’m too proud to beg. 4 Ah, I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired.’

5 “So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe him?’ 6 The man replied, ‘I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.’ So the manager told him, ‘Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons.’

7 “‘And how much do you owe my employer?’ he asked the next man. ‘I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,’ was the reply. ‘Here,’ the manager said, ‘take the bill and change it to 800 bushels.’

8 “The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. 9 Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.

10 “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?

13 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

S - Scripture

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.

O - Observation

Jesus is talking about stewardship in chapter 16. Note the words rich man, money, employer, boss, money, etc... Not being able to serve two masters, God and money (verse 13), is one of the most prophetic teachings of Jesus. Jesus stresses being grateful, wise, and faithful with the resources God has given us.

A - Application

One way for me to read this parable is as parent and a pastor. Jesus talks about faithfulness. What that means to me as a parent and pastor is praying, playing, listening, mentoring, challenging, encouraging, serving, forgiving, and loving. Being faithful each day is what God asks of me.

P - Prayer

Lord, thank you for providing resources and blessing me in so many ways. Help me to faithful with what you have given me and help me be faithful as a father and a pastor. Amen.

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