January 25, 2022 – Tuesday
Luke 16:8 NIV
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.
This is a story or a parable Jesus told His disciples in the hearing of the Pharisees about a clever or shrewd manager of his masters assets. It went like this through our verse of the day: 1 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 “‘Nine hundred gallons[a] 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. Then Jesus added, 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.
So, we have a contrast provided for us between the people of this world and the people of the light. But before we go there where you as surprised as I was when the master commended the dishonest manager for acting shrewdly? Looking up some synonyms for shrewdly, you will find cannily, wisely, intelligently, and astutely among others. Most of those sound pretty good, so why was the dishonest manager being commended? His master did not approve of his managers dishonest conduct, but as another man of the world, he could and did appreciate the manager’s shrewdness. Jesus clearly thought the people of the world were likely to be more forward-thinking in the management of what they had in earthly terms. Especially more so than the people of light, people of God, who were managing what they had in terms of their eternal future.
Consider what Guzik had to say about the contrast, [T]he dishonest steward was a good example on several points. First, he knew he would be called to account for his life and he took that seriously. Christians should take seriously the idea that they will be called to account, and that idea can be a joy if we are properly about our Master’s business. Second, he took advantage of his present position to arrange a comfortable future. I would add, when Christians do take seriously the fact that they will be called to account, they too act shrewdly in taking actions to ensure their heavenly reward.
This is where verse nine comes in, I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The worldly wealth mentioned in this verse is unrighteous mammon in the KJV where mammon is the Aramaic term for wealth and/or possessions. The point is not that money is evil, but that it is often misused so that it becomes a means of evil or as 1 Timothy 6:10 says, For the love of money is the root of all evils. Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains. And just a few verses later (17-19), Timothy writes, Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment.Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others. In this way they will save up a treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the future and so lay hold of what is truly life.
Thus, the call is clearly to be generous and kind in the use of one’s wealth. An example of this is the tax collector Zacchaeus who was known to cheat those paying taxes. But when he came to know Jesus as his Lord, he said to Jesus in Luke 19:8, Look, Lord, half of my possessions I now give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone of anything, I am paying back four times as much! Then Jesus replied to Zacchaeus and all the people who were gathered there, Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Zacchaeus had become a child of the light.
Prayer: Father God, Thank You for the warnings on how we, the people of the light, are to use our wealth and possessions in Your service and to ensure our home in heaven. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton