Luke 16:1-13 :
He also said to his disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a manager. An accusation was made to him that this man was wasting his possessions. He called him, and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’
“The manager said within himself, ‘What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don’t have strength to dig. I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses.’ Calling each one of his lord’s debtors to him, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe to my lord?’ He said, ‘A hundred batos of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred cors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
“His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light. I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents. He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? If you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and mammon.”
This is an amazing parable because it shows that Jesus can take just about any subject and find a good lesson to bring out of it. Here we have the story of a corrupt corporation president and the corrupt owner of the corporation. Evidently, of late, the president had been fooling around and not making money and the boss was calling him on it. In a moment of brilliance, he figured out how to rip off his boss in order to make friends with his clients before getting fired. Evidentially, the boss thought it was brilliant!
It’s kind of amazing that Jesus told such a worldly story isn’t it? Jesus goes on to say that the worldly people know how to use their money in ways that maximize their worldly positions of evil but that the “children of light” are sometimes pretty foolish about their worldly money (my very loose translation).
Now, someday we will “fail” because we are going to get old and die or be taken up to be with the Lord. The worldly money we get is simply not going with us. Not only that, as Jesus has been saying in these chapters, there are ways to transfer funds. The problem is that so many Christians give in to sob stories, not knowing what kind of swindlers are on the other side of them. We need to be very smart about where we put our worldly money so that it is sure to be transferred ahead of us to Heaven. Make sure that money you spend for the Lord is going to preaching the word of God and will be bringing men to Heaven on your account. Don’t give money to rich TV preachers who do very little for others and a whole lot for themselves. Your own pastor/minister/elder/bishop at church is probably aware of better places to put your money than those on TV. Let’s get smart with our money and how to distribute it before we lose our strength and our ability to give.
Trying to get rich on earth, like some of these preachers preach, it is simply wrong according to Jesus. You can’t serve God and money. You must only serve God. You can only pass your money along by giving it to those who really are in need. Not that we shouldn’t save money to take care of our families (they are in need too), but saving up riches here is a very foolish thing to do knowing what we know about our own future. Someday our very lives will end and we will find ourselves in God’s presence. What will we do then? We should be considering how to make our good master proud, even prouder than the evil master was of his crafty manager.