Reading the Word
Luke 16:1–9 (ESV)
1 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. 2 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.’ 3 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. 4 I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 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.’ 8 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. 9 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.
Understanding and Applying the Word
This parable is notorious for its difficulty. Just read through a few commentaries or listen to a few sermons on this passage and you will quickly learn that there are a few different interpretations. The difficulty is in deciding if what the manager did by cutting the bills of each debtor was for the master’s benefit or not. I will let you research this and decide on your own. The important thing to see here is that the master commended the manager for his “shrewdness”. The manager did everything to prepare for his own future.
The lesson Jesus is teaching with this parable is that we, like the manager, must always have our futures in mind. The things we do now must be done in preparation for the day when we stand before the holy God and give an account of our lives. Are we using all that we have to prepare for that day or are we going through life without thought of what is coming tomorrow. We must be shrewd in preparing because the day will be here before we know it.
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