Luke 16

This devotional is written by Trissie Coleshaw.

Luke 16

The parable of the shrewd manager
Jesus told his disciples: 'There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2 So he called him in and asked him, "What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer."

3 'The manager said to himself, "What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg - 4 I know what I'll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses."

5 'So he called in each one of his master's debtors. He asked the first, "How much do you owe my master?"

6 '"Three thousand litres of olive oil," he replied.

'The manager told him, "Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifteen hundred."

7 'Then he asked the second, "And how much do you owe?"

'"Thirty tons of wheat," he replied.

'He told him, "Take your bill and make it twenty-four."

8 '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. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

10 'Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?

13 'No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.'

14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, 'You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God's sight.

Additional teachings
16 'The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it. 17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.

18 'Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

The rich man and Lazarus
19 'There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 'The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, "Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire."

25 'But Abraham replied, "Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us."

27 'He answered, "Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment."

29 'Abraham replied, "They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them."

30 '"No, father Abraham," he said, "but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent."

31 'He said to him, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead."'

Reflection

The Parable of the Shrewd Manager defies our conventional logic around wealth and fortune. We assume that the wastage Jesus is talking about is reckless spending on the part of the manager, and a failure to collect debts owed to his master. But when he employs a strategy of forgiving debts in order to make friends of his debtors--the lord praises him, pleased with how his fortune is being managed. Here, it isn't the spreading of goodwill that is wasteful, but the withholding of it. We are reminded, therefore, of God's desire that we show generosity towards one another, but also of His delighted generosity towards us.

Most of us have great intentions of doing good in the world, but we convince ourselves that we just don't have quite enough to spare--enough money, enough time, enough energy--and so we end up doing very little, or nothing. But Jesus shows us that even when we make a small contribution, we align ourselves with the abundant spirit of God. We might practice this through the act of financial giving or volunteering, but it might also be through a change in our attitudes and behaviours. We might choose to be more generous with our love, with forgiveness, or more generous with our gratitude. For example, while I might thank God for the blessings in my life, I could be much better at expressing thanks to the people He works through in order to bless me.

Take some time today to think of the blessings at work in your life, both seen and unseen. Make a list, and where you are able to thank another person for something on it, thank them. If you can't do it face-to-face then call them, text them, or send them a voice note. See how this simple act of generosity creates new levels of trust and intimacy in your relationships. Then take a moment to thank God for all that He is doing in your life, and everything He still has in store for you. Pray for the knowledge of how He wants you to bless others today using the unique gifts He has given you, and see how this simple act creates new levels of trust and intimacy in your relationship with God.

No Comments


Recent

Archive

Categories