This is an interesting passage, a little confusing, a little hard to grasp the meaning. What is Jesus saying? He is absolutely not commending dishonesty. So what can we learn?
“Jesus told his disciples: ‘There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, “What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.” The manager said to himself, “What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg—I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.” So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, “How much do you owe my master?” “Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,” he replied. The manager told him, “Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.” Then he asked the second, “And how much do you owe?” “A thousand bushels of wheat,” he replied. He told him, “Take your bill and make it eight hundred.” 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 16:1-9
When it comes right down to it, none of us owns anything. Everything we have, every breath we take, every beat of our hearts belongs to God. So how do we use all of the resources that God has given us?
Could we, like the manager, be accused of squandering them? Do we waste opportunities, talents, treasure, and the gifts God has given?
And the answer would have to be, yes. So, in many ways we are like the manager.
But suddenly this manager realized that his days as manager were numbered. The life he had known was about to end. So, he wised up and used some of the master’s resources to ease the debt of others.
Our days here are numbered. We have to realize that at some point our life will end. But right now, today, we have at our disposal all that God has given. We can use it wisely to help others see that the greatest debt of all, the debt of our sin, has been forgiven. We can take opportunities to share with others that their slate has not just been reduced, but wiped clean.