16 Then Jesus[a] 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. 2 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.’ 3 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. 4 I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’
5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ 7 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.’ 8 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. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth[b] so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.[c]
10 “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. 11 If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth,[d] who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? 13 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.”[e]
Some Thoughts on Today’s Reading—Pastor Pam
The Gospel of Luke 16:10 pinches us, gets under our skin, reminds us that how we conduct ourselves matters no matter what the situation. “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.” The text can make us uncomfortable in those moments when we want to play a little fast and loose with things. I am reminded of my Mother teaching me that my conscience is something God gave me to let me know when I am not acting like a faithful child of God.
Truth is, if we really think about things, we know when we are acting more like the dishonest manager of the parable.
This fellow is the not-so-shining example of how not the follow Christ. He squandered what was entrusted to him and he shrewdly keeps on doing so.
Followers of Christ are cautioned to take care and not blur the lines. Fidelity to God in all things—big and little—matters.
Pastor Helen Montgomery Debevoise, writing for “Feasting on the Word,” sees this parable as a crisis of lost vision for the children of light. She writes, “It is easy to grow complacent about responsibilities God gives us. The parable is a call to reclaim who we are and to renew our vision today for the kingdom of God beyond us and among us.
Peace and Grace,