Luke Chapter 16 – I read from the message version again today. I always love the imagery that is painted. The chapter opens up with the story of the crooked manager (1-9). Other versions call this story the parable of the shrewed or dishonest manager. I like the amplified’s description: the unjust steward. Don’t be that guy.
The following verses need no explanation: “Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way – but for what is right – using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.” 8-9
I love the next section how God sees through appearances: “Jesus went on to make these comments: If you’re honest in small things, you’ll be honest in big things; If you’re a crook in small things, you’ll be a crook in big things. If you’re not honest in small jobs, who will put you in charge of the store? No worker can serve two bosses: He’ll either hate the first and love the second or adore the first and despise the second. You can’t serve both God and the bank.” 10-13
Yikes! Don’t want these next words ever said about me:
“When the Pharisees, a money-obsessed bunch, heard him say these things, they rolled their eyes, dismissing Him as hopelessly out of touch. So Jesus spoke to them: “You are masters at making yourselves look good in front of others, but God knows what’s behind the appearance. What society sees and calls monumental, God sees through and calls monstrous. God’s Law and the Prophets climaxed in John; Now it’s all kingdom of God – the glad news and compelling invitation to every man and woman. The sky will disintegrate and the earth dissolve before a single letter of God’s Law wears out. Using the legalities of divorce as a cover for lust is adultery; using the legalities of marriage as a cover for lust is adultery.” 14-18
The chapter ends with a rich man in hell wanting the beggar Lazarus to go warn his 5 brothers. The response is they have Moses and the prophets. The man says but they are not listening but surely would listen to someone coming back from the dead.
“We have access to The Word. It takes faith to believe. Would those brothers have faith to hear and receive what Lazarus had to say or would they think they had just been dreaming or it was the late night pizza talking?” RG
Share your faith so others in your life receive God’s gift of salvation before heading to eternity and are given the opportunity to really live.