Part 11, The Parable of the Shrewd Steward
Luke 16, 1-13, Luis Cruz, GCF Durham
As we have learned in the past, Jesus has been using the ordinary things in life to teach kingdom lessons. The parable of the shrewd manager was so ordinary in Israel that people knew what he was aiming at – the Pharisees who love money (v.14.) It was so common in that day, that religious people would use their influence shrewdly to enrich themselves. Sounds familiar?
But just the same, many Christians have brought their former life into their new life in Christ. We are enriching ourselves with wealth we cannot carry to eternal life. To be honest, we are not using our money wisely. For every dollar we earn, we owe $1.78. And many of these debts, we don’t even really need in the first place, if we will just be honest to ourselves. Just look at your garage or your closet, it will tell you, you bought many things that you don’t really need. If you haven’t use them for 3 years, you don’t need them. If you only used it once, you don’t need them. Except for a modest home, many things we bought using our credit cards, we don’t really need them. We have invested in things that are temporal. Jesus taught His disciples to use their resources for building His kingdom. How?
1.Contemplate on your past actions.
“1“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.” Luke 16:1-3
Where do I spend my money on? Was it really a necessity? Do I really need them? Was it a wise investment? Will other people benefit from my resources? Will it serve the purpose of my master?
•The shrewd manager was in-charge of his master’s business, assets/possessions. Lived in his master’s home.
•He had great privileges and authority to negotiate with clients.
•He was fired because he wasn’t committed enough to his master’s purpose of making profit.
•He was given enough time to contemplate his actions before moving out.
•He was very concerned about his own future.
2.Consider all your available opportunities.
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. ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 “‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied. “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’ 7 “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’ “‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’ “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.” Luke 16:3-8
•The shrewd manager gave 50% and 20% discount.
•He secured commitment from the clients.
•He secured his future job and home.
•Though shrewdly, he planned well.
•Shrewdly is Phronimōs in Greek. It means providently or taking advantage of opportunities for future needs.
3.Commit your resources and opportunities for the kingdom of God.
“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.” Luke 16:9-13
•Contemplate: Which master are we serving?
•Consider your resources to spread the Gospel.
•Commit to invite people.
•Do your best to honor God with little resources you have.
•Be dependable in the kingdom work.