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Luke 16 – Stewardship and Shrewdness

by Jill

The parable of the dishonest manager, found in Luke 16, is one of the most perplexing teachings of Jesus. Despite its complexity, this parable holds profound lessons about stewardship, shrewdness, and the use of earthly resources.

In the parable, Jesus describes a rich man who had a manager accused of wasting his possessions. When the manager realized he was about to be fired, he devised a plan to secure his future. He approached his master’s debtors and reduced their debts, hoping to gain favor with them. Surprisingly, the master praised the dishonest manager for his shrewdness.

At first glance, this parable seems baffling. However, Jesus uses this story to highlight a critical point: the shrewdness of the “sons of this world” compared to the “sons of light.” Those who are deeply invested in worldly affairs often display remarkable ingenuity and resourcefulness, while those focused on spiritual matters can sometimes lack such pragmatic foresight.

Jesus is not advocating dishonesty. Instead, he emphasizes the importance of being astute and proactive in our spiritual lives. The parable urges believers to use their resources wisely to further God’s kingdom. “Make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings,” Jesus advises. This suggests using worldly wealth to build relationships and advance eternal purposes.

The parable concludes with a reminder about faithfulness. “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much,” Jesus says. If we cannot be trusted with earthly wealth, how can we be trusted with true riches? This principle applies to all areas of life, urging us to be diligent and responsible stewards of the resources God has given us.

In essence, the parable challenges us to evaluate how we use our resources. Are we as committed and clever in our spiritual pursuits as we are in our worldly endeavors? Do we use our wealth to serve God and others, or do we let it serve us?

Ultimately, the parable of the dishonest manager calls for a re-examination of our priorities. It reminds us that while wealth is temporary, our actions and the relationships we build through it can have eternal significance. By being shrewd and faithful stewards, we align ourselves with God’s purposes and prepare for a future that transcends this world.

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