Luke 16:1-9 – This parable has always confused me. Jesus seems to praise this manager who unethically reduces the debt of several to gain favor for himself upon learning he’s about to loose his job. Jesus (and his boss) call him shrewd, which he certainly is, but I’d also call him dishonest, selfish and unethical. Hardly a good example.
So why does Jesus praise him, or at least use him as an example? he doesn’t actually come out and say we should live and work like this, but he concludes in verse 9 with this:

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.

I’ve heard people use this passage to justify their using their money to get an audience with prominent people and wealthy people in order to share their faith with them or, more often, to try to get their financial support for some church or charity project. But Jesus says we should make friends for ourselves with our ‘unrighteous’ wealth, not use it to further the kingdom. I’m having a hard time figuring out what he means.
In verse 8 he does say that “the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.” which is so true. I’ve seem many Christians (myself included) get burned because we treat those outside the church as we do disciples. They take them at face value, assuming them to have the same standards of respect and consideration that we do. There was a woman, who was an outspoken Christina, on survivor who trusted too easily and too completely. It seemed that she didn’t even think through, in a game where deceit is the norm, whether what they were saying made sense or if they were acting in line with what they were telling her. The said it and she believed them and out she went fairly early in the game.
We need to be more wise when dealing with the world, but is Jesus intending to council us to act as they do or merely making the point that we ought not to be naive?
Luke 16:25 – Is our destiny truly tied to the physical blessings we received while here on Earth? you get your good things now or you put them off until later? I don’t think it’s quite that simple, but it meshes with Jesus’ ongoing theme of downplaying the importance of our worldly possessions and using them for more than just ourselves.

One thought on “Luke 16

  1. Personal guess? The boss we are leaving is Satan, and we should disperse some of Satan’s goods to his own customers. In so doing we’ll rob Satan and maybe bring some people to God’s kingdom. That’s in keeping with verse 9. And all we have to do to succeed in this is give up some of our wealth.

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