Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes. “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Luke 16:1-13, NRSV)
My first thought as I read this passage is, “Really, Jesus?!”
If you are not faithful with dishonest wealth then you can not be trusted with true riches.
Make friends for yourself however possible.
Ok but here are the real issues here. In and Honor and shame society, the people the dishonest manager was “helping” would have seen that he can not be trusted and therefore would not be wanting him as a friend. Even if they did “owe” him something because of the cutting of their debt, they would not want to pay him back.
And the manager is commended by the owner because of his shrewdness, but if you are unfaithful, well then yo can’t be trusted.
Be shrewd but faithful…
So again I say, “Really, Jesus?!?!?”
But then I thought of Robin Hood. Right the hero of the poor, but also a thief. He took from the rich and gave to the poor. Well he reappropriated what was the poor’s in the first place and gave it back. But does that make it right?
So what I get from this parable which I do not understand is, we need to live in the world and serve God in everything we do. If we are looking out for ourselves, then we will not be serving God but our own interests, and that will not get us anywhere. But if we can be in the world and use everything at our disposal to serve God, that will take us everywhere!