Reading: Luke 16.1-31
Scripture: The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. Luke 16.8-10
Observations: This is a confusing story. Is Jesus praising dishonesty? Is he saying that the ends justify the means? This sounds like the story of Robin Hood.
It is important to note that Luke 16 is all about money. It begins with this parable about the shrewd manager and it closes with a parable about a rich man and Lazarus with some comments about money grubbing Pharisees and keeping the law in the kingdom of God in the middle. Obviously, if adultery is still adultery in the kingdom (v.18), stealing is still stealing. Jesus was not condoning the shrewd managers thievery, but his shrewdness. Jesus was pointing out that even a crook can figure out that money is better spent making others happy than on squandering it (remember he was fired for wasting the master's money). And if such a lousy person can understand that his life is better when he gives money away, why can't the people of the light manage to get it right?
Apply: Jesus talked about money and caring for the poor more than any other subject. We can't serve both God and Money. Earthly money is a small pittance compared to eternal treasure. Use your money to make eternal investments by helping people see the generosity of Jesus through the generosity of his followers.
Prayer: Lord, help me to spend my money in ways that will bring people closer to Jesus.