Jesus’ audience now expected to hear in the story that the manager was arrested and thrown into prison. They expected to hear words of condemnation from their storyteller. But Jesus slipped in a plot twist. The boss had to laugh ruefully at his own error and admire the resourcefulness of his former manager.
“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:8,9).
The manager was commended not for his embezzlement (a crime back then as it is now) but for his foresight, speed, and willingness to invest resources in people, not himself. Note that the manager didn’t just try to loot the business and run off with cash. He invested in people.
Jesus observed (sadly) that believers (“people of the light”) are much more naïve about money matters than unbelievers. He who never owned much of anything during his 33 years now urges you to believe his powerful principle: you lose what you spend on yourself. When you invest in human need or in the mission of communicating the gospel, you will have everlasting satisfaction in heaven. Plus—the people you helped on earth will be organizing your welcome party there!
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
You can sign up to receive Pastor Jeske's free daily Grace Moment devotions via e-mail by clicking here.