Thursday, November 5, 2009

Daily - 11/5/09

Luke 16:1-8

1 Then he also said to his disciples, "A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property.

2 He summoned him and said, 'What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.'

3 The steward said to himself, 'What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.

4 I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.'

5 He called in his master's debtors one by one. To the first he said, 'How much do you owe my master?'

6 He replied, 'One hundred measures of olive oil.' He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.'

7 Then to another he said, 'And you, how much do you owe?' He replied, 'One hundred kors of wheat.' He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.'

8 And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. "For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.


I'm sure I've read this before but I certainly don't remember thinking about it in any kind of detail. On my first couple of reads I ended up scratching my head and wondering what the higher point really is. We've got a steward who has custody of the loans his master has made. He doesn't account for them and manage them. The boss finds out and is going to fire him. That's a done deal.

What does he do? He falsifies records to show that the debtors owe less than they actually do. He helped the debtors so that they'd owe him something down the road, so he doesn't have to labor to make a living.

The moral is ... the master commends the dishonesty? That can't be right. Why is Christ telling us this story? The key is in verse 8: the children of the world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than the children of light. Children of "the world" (IE, those who live in the flesh) will scrape, claw, lie, cheat, and do everything they can to obtain whatever it is they are chasing, which in the end always seems to be some combination, of money, power, fame, or sex. These are all temporal things which have no eternal value.

Christ is making the point that the children of the world put more energy into their goals and dreams than children of the light do. The lesson I take home is ... why don't I pursue Christ like Donald Trump pursues money and fame? If I did, what would I become, both on earth and into eternity?