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.”
Comment: To be honest I find it difficult to see the meaning of this passage on initially reading it. Maybe you would like to reply with your insights.
- It is spoken to Jesus followers and not to everyone.
- The manager is accused of wasting his master’s goods, and is told to present the record of his dealings.
- Before the books are handed over, he is sacked.
- Looking to his future the manager cannot see what he can become. So he decided to try and get as good a reference as possible.
- He rapidly, by reducing the size of the owed debts, made the books look not so bad.
- He was praised by the master, who had just sacked him, for his shrewd actions but it doesn’t say that he was re-employed.
- The Master’s comment is that God’s people are less savey than worldly business people.
- Then it sounds as if they are told to act wisely so that in the judgement of heaven people will be prepared to stand as witnesses on their own behalf.
At the end there is a passage which strongly indicates that the talk isn’t about money. As His followers we cannot serve money and Him (not that money isn’t a part of life). So the emphasis is on service to Him. Not that good works save anyone but they should be a natural outflowing of obedient response to the One who saves! And your life-style will be heard on judgement day. Even the saved will be called to judgement.
Prayer: I know that You are good and want me to be good. Help me by your Spirit, please.