2021_09_08 Insight Post- Rusty Coram
This week's reading- Luke 15-16
Recently Becky and I re-watched Ocean’s Eleven. It’s a movie about a group of people who rob a corrupt Las Vegas casino owner of 160 million dollars. Of course robbery isn’t an acceptable way to make a living (even if the thief is charming and stealing from a “bad guy”) but you can still admire the clever and audacious way the crime is committed. The parable Jesus tells in Luke 16 (vs 1-9) has a similar feel to it. In the story, a wealthy property owner discovers that his finance manager has been doing a lousy job and he announces that the manager is being fired. Desperate to save himself from the nightmare of being without work , the manager renegotiates the debts that several people owe the owner, with the hope that they will be grateful, and help the manager land on his feet. Jesus closes the story after the owner discovered what his finance manager had done: “The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are shrewder in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. 9 Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.” Luke 16:8–9 (NLT)
The owner (and Jesus) don’t endorse the unethical money handling, but he does recognize the sharp-witted maneuvers the manager made. By reducing the debts, the owner had a reputation for generosity, while the manager made some relationships that could be advantageous while he was unemployed. If the owner was to dispute the changes, it would have been a PR nightmare, so he didn’t.
Jesus’ point in the story is that His followers should make the very most of every (legitimate and ethical) opportunity we have, to influence others toward understanding and following God. This side of heaven we should see ourselves as managers of resources – time, treasure, talent and influence – that are ultimately God’s. Wisely using and investing all we have for the sake of helping others discover a relationship with God, will be greatly rewarded in this life and the next!