Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Parable of the Dishonest (Shrewd) Manager

The parable of the shrewd, or dishonest, manager is definitely worth a closer look. I listened to a good sermon on it recently. Here are some thoughts:


LUKE 16:1-3

We must have and use wisdom for success (both worldly and for eternity)

Always keep the end in view (as in the bigger picture, the future, the purpose for which all things are happening)

The manager was accused of wasting possessions (the prodigal son did the same); this may be why he was called "dishonest," not necessarily because of his later actions in reducing the debt owed to his master (in other words, he may have had approval to do that)

The rich man demands an account from him and effectively fires the manager

The manager contemplates his future and, thinking ahead and about the resources at his disposal, plans for what’s coming, and is commended for his shrewd behavior.

For what exactly is he commended?

The dishonesty? No!

His decisiveness? Not exactly...

Quick action w/ future in mind? Yes… His present action with long term purpose in mind (SHREWDNESS)

Jewish leadership (Pharisees) valued tradition over people, and Jesus challenges them on that point here

When Jesus says, "Use worldly wealth to gain friends so that when wealth is gone, you’ll be welcomed into eternal dwellings," He means that we ought to care for people (gain friends) with wealth, knowing that we benefit from that too (it is more blessed to give than to receive), instead of amassing wealth for selfish spending (and squandering)

Money ought to be used but not trusted
God ought to be trusted but not used

We ought to order our whole lives around larger purpose (small things lead to large things) Whoever can be trusted with little can be trusted with much...


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