Today’s Reading: Luke 16:1-18
Key Verse: “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 16:8
The parable of the shrewd manager speaks about easiness, lack of effort, discipleship, commitment or following through. As we look closely a the parable of the dishonest steward, we can see that Jesus is saying that people who do dishonest deed put a lot of effort into their deeds. A steward was fired for not doing his job well. Then he thought, “What shall I do? I cannot dig ditches and an ashamed to beg.” So he calls on all the people who owe his master money and tells them to change their bill. He figures in this way, those people will be beholding to him and they will take care of him now that he has lost his job. Pretty smart thinking, right?
The master then finds out about his shrewdness as the text says and commends the steward for his fast thinking. Even today a lot of people put a lot of effort into doing wrong thing for their selfish ends.
Now the point Jesus is making with this parable is — if the wicked people of this world go to so much trouble and effort to be wicked, to be dishonest, to cheat, and to be so selfish — why can’t his followers put as much or even more effort into being sons and daughter of the light.
Jesus is letting his disciples know with a great force, and with a dry sense of humour, that the men of the world are outsmarting the men of light. Jesus called his followers to do as much from nobler motives.
Jesus is saying in a humorous way, if only the Christian was as eager and ingenious in his attempt to attain goodness as the men of the world are in their attempts to attain money and comfort. Jesus wants us to act with the same intensity in our discipleship toward him as the rascals, cheats, and crooks act in their attempt to gain comfort and wealth.
This parable is not about money, it is not about dishonest stewardship, but this parable is about commitment, discipleship, of following Jesus with one’s whole life. Jesus wants our lifestyle committed to Him. He desires the way we act, the way we think, the way we make decisions, the way we work, the way we interact with others all to be influenced by our commitment to Him as Lord and master of our lives.