Wildly Ingenious!

Every parable that Jesus told stretches the imagination, challenges priorities, and provokes acclimation to His authority.  Some of these stories include a surprise or an unexpected twist.  No other parable catches us so off guard as the description of the machinations of the steward or manager described in Luke 16:1-15.  He had total authority over all of the assets of his master.  He also had little or no accountability, and this eventually led to his demise.  As a result of violated trust he was terminated, but first he had to face a final accounting.  He implemented an audacious scheme concocted to safeguard his future after his termination.  He gathered together all those who were in significant debt to his master and forgave substantial amounts of what they owed.  His future plan was to call in these favors and so secure his own self-preservation.

It is surprising that, when the master hears of this action, he commends the steward for being shrewd.  This scandalizes the listeners of Jesus’ parable.  The manager was not considering how to cover or excuse his past transgressions.  He was planning for life beyond the estate.

Money or possessions is a common theme in the stories of Jesus.  In all of them he is telling us to focus our hope on that which is eternal, not temporal.  In this parable Jesus tells us that those of this world are often more clever and diligent about securing a temporal future than the sons and daughters of light are about investing in their place in the eternal kingdom.

Everything we possess belongs to God.  We must always consider ourselves to be stewards of his gracious gifts.  Our creativity in using the resources, assets, and opportunities that have been given to us should be a constant and consuming focus that energizes us in Christ!