Things I Heard In Church: Where The Dishonest Manager Placed His Bet
Jesus tells the story of this manger who was about to be judged by his master, his boss, because he was wasting his master’s possessions.
The master calls him in and says, “What’s this I hear about you? Turn in your stuff. You can no longer be my manager.”
And the manager says to himself, “What am I going to do? I’m not strong enough to dig. I’m too embarrassed to beg. Wait, I know what I can do so when I’m terminated, people will receive me into their houses.”
So he calls in all his master’s debtors one by one. And he says to the first, “How much do you owe my master?”
The guy says, “A hundred measures of oil.”
And the dishonest manager says, “Let’s call it fifty. Sit down right now and change your bill from one hundred to fifty.”
Then he says to another, “And what do you owe?”
And this guy says, “A hundred measures of wheat.”
The dishonest manager says, “Eighty measures is good. Go ahead and change your bill to eighty.”
And the master, when he hears of this, doesn’t become angry, instead he commends the manager for his shrewdness. (Luke 16:1-13)
The one thing that stuck with me after this sermon was when Matt pointed out that the dishonest manager was betting on the merciful and gracious character of his master. And he bets wisely. Because the master takes the reductions in stride. And he doesn’t prosecute the manager for further mismanagement, something we might expect him to do. Instead he approves of the mercy the manager showed on the master’s behalf.
The manager knew he couldn’t earn his way with work. But he also knew his master’s nature. He knew his master wouldn’t become angry. He knew.
He bet on the merciful and gracious character of the master.
We’re in the same situation because neither do we have the strength to earn our way–to heaven.
So should we bet on the grace of our Master.
From my notes on Matt Bowen’s teaching from 06/12/2016, Bet on His Mercy, Luke 16:1-13
Image via Robbie Wagner – Creative Commons