He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Luke 16:1-13
Today’s verses recount one of those stories that if you rush through it you can get the impression that Jesus was condoning what the manager had done regarding his master’s accounts. After all the master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. So, are we to wheel and deal or not? Upon a closer look at what Jesus said we see that no we are not to take short cuts or short change others.
The manager was acting similar to what a financial adviser does today. He was in charge of not only watching over the master’s wealth but growing that wealth. In this instance the manager was not doing a very good job and that is why he was fired. Knowing he would soon be out of a job he used his current job to curry favor with those the master did business. He was looking to get another job. It was this look to the future that the master commended not the deals themselves.
Jesus is addressing His disciples in today’s verses not to tell them to be dishonest but to plan ahead, using material things to insure a secure future so that they could put them to kingdom work. Like the disciples we too need to be careful about the things God has given us so that we can put these earthly things to work bringing more people to Jesus. Always keeping in mind that we are to serve God and not become so enraptures with wealth accumulation that we put that job before our duty to God.
Have a blessed day,