God and Money

 

  This passage shows us so much.   I think we mostly miss the point.  We think this is talking about money.  Yes, technically, but that’s not the point here.  “Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 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.’”  We need to realize here that this shrewd manager is us, you and me.  God gave us us this life.  How much of it have we wasted??   I’ve wasted plenty in my life.  But it says here that I’m going to have to give an account of my management, and I’m not going to be a manager here any longer.  In other words, we are all going to pass away from this world, at which point we will have to account for our lives to the rich man (God) who lives far  away from here and entrusted me with all the riches of this life.  “I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’ “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ “ ‘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.’ “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.’ ”   We know what to do, don’t we??   Our road to Heaven involves following Christ.  As followers of Christ, we follow the great commandment  – And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.””‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:37-40‬ ‭ESV‬‬.  That’s right, loving our neighbor as ourself.  Isn’t that what this shrewd manager had done?  He had reached to people less fortunate than himself, and showed them kindness!!  Because it suddenly came to his attention that very shortly he would soon be the one less fortunate, just as it will feel for all of us one day!!  “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.”     This verse is misunderstood too.  The first part here, about acting shrewdly, seems as a kind of sarcastic observation by Jesus.  But as for people of the world being shrewd in dealing with their own kind, we miss it.  It’s not about this world.  Jesus is pointing out, maybe prophetically, that unlike people of “the world”, who can come together and find common ground with each other that works for all…we in the church seem to have such problems with each other that we can’t find common ground for all of our benefit.  We have such deep divisions and disagreements that we in differing denominations or subsets of Christianity often accuse each other more and say worse things about other Christians than non believers do.  So the people of the world are better at dealing with their own kind than Christians are about dealing with other Christians!!  We need to be working together, because our own infightings, according to Jesus, threaten to keep us out of the eternity we hope for!!  “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. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? “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.””  If we do not use what we are given here well, if we don’t use our life to serve God, how will we get into heaven?  How do we serve God here?? By serving others.  By loving our neighbors.  And of course, as Christians we know we must be trustworthy in handling what we have on earth, otherwise how can God trust us with the true riches of heaven.  As it says, we can not serve both God and money!  



Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 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.’ “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— I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’ “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ “ ‘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.’ “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.’ “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. “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. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? “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 ‭16:1-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬
http://bible.com/111/luk.16.1-13.niv

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