Future favour

Parable of the Manager…

I have always heard the interpretation of this story as one where the manager does act dishonestly, but is commended for quick thinking and action in the face of a crisis.  There seems to be a call for the commended act – to be imitated.

Problem with that is if this manager does act dishonestly, it actually doesn’t make sense that he would have hope for future employment from those who benefitted from his dishonesty since they would have all the reason to suppose that he would cheat them as well.  It would seem unlikely that this story would be told as an example of those who act dishonestly to have anything to do with the Kingdom of God. In fact, the manager does everything contrary to Jesus’ teachings as the manager clearly is thinking only of himself when he should have been setting aside his own self-interest, which is this case was set up as self-preservation (with no repentance).

It is safe to say that there was a relationship problem between the manager and his employer.  There might even be a note of laziness as we see the manager resolving his crisis – possible that the manager has not obtained sufficient return and for that has lost his job.  With that attitude moving forward, why not further the losses and then hope to find favour with the customers so as to win favour for employment once his termination is effective – turning his inefficiency into an imagery of being a Robin Hood.

“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. – Luke 16:1-8

Present Privilege and Future Favour

Promises of future favour and prosperity

 

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As followers of Jesus Christ

These are the questions that come to mind –

  • what does it look like to love impartially?
  • what does it look like to help others in need when there is no hope of them ever returning the favour?
  • what does it look like to love in moments when the cost of that love will never be repaid?

It is my hope that as followers of Jesus Christ we live higher – we live on a whole different plane than the rest of the world.  If not, what would set us apart or make us different?  We were called to come out and be separate and how is that possible if we do the same things everyone else is doing?  Therefore the challenge is given – if we love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, pray for those who spitefully use us – well then, we are standing out.  Most might think us mad, but at the end of the day they will recognize something they have always been searching for – love. Let’s not be just another social club – let’s give the love of Christ that we have received to those who have never heard and have yet to receive.

“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.  Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.  Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.  If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.  If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again.  But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven;  give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” – Luke 6:27-38

10 Signs of a Jesus Follower

1 Peter 1:3