We’re continuing through Luke’s Gospel. Jesus has been talking to the crowds about entering and remaining in the kingdom of God. We’re now starting chapter 16, where the Lord begins teaching His disciples.
The first principle He illustrates is found in the Parable of the Shrewd Manager. This is Luke 16:1-12. You may want to read that passage before continuing with this post.
The parable is about a manager – more like an accountant – who was accused of wasting his rich employer’s goods. This manager obviously had power of attorney over his master’s property.
This manager knew that he was about to be fired, and all of his privileges revoked.
“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg – I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’”
Luke 16:3-4 NIV
This manager saw trouble coming and wanted to plan accordingly. He started calling in all of his masters clients. Each of them had a sizable debt.
As this manager met with each one, he lowered what they owed by 20 to 50%. That was a huge financial boon to these people. They owed the manager, and he was going to use this influence when he was fired.
The master, of course, found out what was happening. In the end, the employer was impressed with how this manager thought ahead.
“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly.”
Luke 16:8a NIV
Jesus used this story to illustrate a spiritual truth. Some people erroneously think that Jesus is commending the bad way these accounts were handled. That’s not the case. Jesus clearly labels this manager as dishonest.
The Lord wants us to see that even though this man was evil and dishonest, he knew that he had to think ahead. Jesus then contrasts this with the foolishness that He sees in the religious people around Him.
“For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”
Luke 16:8b-9 NIV
Jesus explains exactly what He’s talking about. It’s a very sad commentary on the state of the Jewish nation of His day. Worse than that, it’s a serious rebuke to us in the modern church.
The Lord is explaining that, in the natural, when it comes to their comfort, the world takes thought of their future. They plan and work things out so that they will have what they desire.
Then, there’s God’s people. We’re the children of the light. We have the light of Christ and the Scriptures. We know what’s ahead. We know that we’re eternal beings with a future that goes on with no end.
The problem is, we live like the only importance is the here and now. We go after the temporary with the same fervency as the world.
We should be living now, with eternity in view. We should be asking; what rewards am I laying up for myself in the future kingdom?
I’ve said it many times and my hope is that believers will take it to heart. There’s coming a day when the things we thought were of highest importance, will suddenly become worthless. Then, the things we put on the shelf to do later, will suddenly become vitally important. But it will be too late.
We need to live with an eternal perspective. We’re going to live forever somewhere. What’s going to be important to you one million years from today? Focus on that.
Live for today, with eternity in mind.
Question: How do you live with an eternal perspective?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi