THE PARABLE OF THE SHREWD MANAGER
Luke 16: 1-15
Rev. Ashok Amarasingam

1. Introduction

1.1 Luke’s gospel emphasizes how Jesus gave dignity to the marginalized including the women, “the sinners”, the poor and despised ones.

1.2 The whole framework (Luke 15-16) revolves around the attitudes of the religious “top guns” (Pharisees & teachers of the law)

1.3 Focus for Today:
Your heart must resonate with God’s heart. Use temporal money (God’s money) for God’s eternal purposes and then be welcomed into heaven.

2. Why Did Jesus Seemingly Use The Manager’s Dishonest Behaviour As A Paradigm?

2.1 The first century Palestinian hearers would have easily understood the story.

2.2 The rich man (we call: Master) and the steward/employee (we call: Manager) were future in Jesus’ time (16:1).

2.3 The given in the parable was that the master fired the manager (privately presumably in master’s office). (16:2)

2.4 Now there is a soliloquy about the manager’s future – the manager hatches a plan of action (16:4).

2.5 Why did the master (fictitious character) commend this act (of dishonesty)? 16:8a).

3. Use Earthly Money Wisely Always With God’s Ultimate Goal In Mind: Bringing The Lost To Christ

3.1 All our money (individual and corporate) belongs to God. We are merely stewards.

3.2 Children of light can learn ways of using money – not for selfish personal gains – but with heavenly aims (eg helping others to become friends of God (16:9).

3.3 Money is a great servant but a demonic Master. The Bible says: You cannot serve both God and Money (mammon) (16:13)

3.4 Final application

3.4.1 Like the Pharisees, do we sneer at the hard teachings of Jesus? (16:14)

3.4.2 Are you preoccupied impressing people with your superior “spirituality” and love for money that you fail to utilize your money and talents for things most precious to God’s heart?

3.4.3 Take a leaf from the next story (Luke 16: 19-31) of Lazarus and the Rich man and care for the poor and needy.

Conclusion/Summary

Teach me, God, to be humble like Jesus.

May each act of obedience to You enlarge my faith to invest my money for heavenly gains.  Amen.

Discussion Questions

Share 1-2 items of the parable of the Shrewd Manager that impressed you.

How have Christians in general failed to liberally use individual/corporate wealth to expand God’s Kingdom?

How can you release more of your money for heavenly reward?

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