Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Parable of the Shrewd Manager

Or - the Unjust Steward)
Luke 16:1-9 - (manager = steward)

This is 3rd. parable in series - ALL dealing with money, possessions, wealth
(Rich Fool, Talents, Unjust (shrewd) steward)

Note:  how often scripture addresses money, possessions, wealth
(more than 2,000 verses dealing with these three - 2nd. only to number of verses dealing with the "Kingdom")

Why??  Is money that important to God????      NO!!
Answer:  It's that important to us!!!!

Point of the Parable = Luke 16:9
          Short version = Use Worldly Wealth Wisely
          Longer version =     "           "          ". so you'll be welcomed into Heaven.

Question:  Why is this man praised for being dishonest?
Answer:  he's praised for being shrewd (astute, clever) - Luke 16:8 - not for being dishonest
(one reason may be the 'reduction=commission' theory)   Been said that back in Jewish times, they couldn't charge fellow Israelites interest, so, instead they overcharged, and the overage was the manager's "commission".   Not sure if this is the way it was or not, but possibly.
Either way, Praise = "Using Resources Wisely!!"

Question:  Who are the "friends" of vs. 9?
1)  The Father?  - "well done good and faithful servant"
2) the Angels?  - applauding good works
3)  the poor, needy, whoever was "helped" by your $$$.

On one hand, Parable is not intended to give all details, answer all questions.
However, gives all information we need to GET THE POINT!!  --> Use Worldly Wealth Wisely


1)  You have wealth (we here in the US are in the top 10% of the wealthiest people in the world)

2)  There's nothing wrong with that - example Job - Job 1:1, 8

3)  Good stewardship includes earning, saving, planning, investing, and leaving inheritance.

4)  Wealth can be legitimately used for enjoyment, comfort, security, and even for status!!  Example:  Solomon

BUT, wealth is to be used WISELY and that includes Kingdom work, Eternal purposes..  not just temporal here.

How are we doing?  Look at one area - TITHING.= definition - Tithing = 10th part - 1/10th - given back to God to honor Him, to support His work.

Tithing in the USA
5% of U.S. families tithe
However, 80% of Americans give less than 2% of their net income to God's work.
The average Christian gives 2/5% of net income to the church  (during the Great Depression it was 3.3%.  We're in a 40-year decline now)  because the more we get, the more we keep!!!

The 10 million Christians who do tithe, give more than $40 billion a year.

If all Americans did tithe, the increase in giving would be $165 billion a year.

Tithing (you, personally) - "Objection!!!  I'm under grace not law therefore not obligated to tithe!"
Which means, "I'm Saved by grace, kept by grace, graciously loved and graciously blessed....  Therefore, I can keep it all for myself!!"  What's wrong with this picture?   Tithe = Pharisee's minimum!!  Matt. 23:23-24

Objection:  That's just one small area (of Christian life).  Granted, but = very telling area!!!  Luke 16:10-15

Compare: Words of Jesus - Luke 16:10-12 - If don't manage temporal things, why should He entrust you with eternal things?  Luke 16:13 - Money is a Great servant, but a wicked master!!!

Vs.  reaction of Pharisees - Luke 16:14 - ....."sneer, scoff, ridicule..."
(a penniless, homeless Galilean lecturing us on wealth??) - Luke 16:15

Again:  Parables can be harsh, judgmental, condemning, BUT their purpose = instructive, corrective, redeeming

Closing:  Another story, not a parable, a real story..    Mark 10:13-15, 17-31
The way we deal with worldly wealth is a heart issue.  If we would judge ourselves, we would not need to be judged by Him. 

We will answer for how we used what we have been given. 

Who's your Lord?  Who's the Master/ Boss?  over your finances?  Material possessions?  Etc.

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