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Receiving The Riches Of God (3 of 3)
Series: Taking God At His Word
A man took his seat in the theater, but he was too far from the stage. He whispered to the usher, ''This play is a mystery, and I like this type of play so much I really watching them close up so I can catch all of the dialogue. If you'll get me a better seat I'll give you a handsome tip.''
So, the usher moved him into the second row, and the man quietly handed him with a quarter.
The usher looks at his tip for a second… and then leaned over and whispered in the man's ear: ''The wife did it.''
APPLY: There's something about that joke that makes us say: ''alright.'' The usher may have been ripped off but he got his revenge in a cunning, clever… one might even say shrewd way.
I. We live in a world that often understands and appreciates shrewdness and cunning in others. In fact, many movies and plays have clever plot twists where their heroes or heroines do some shrewd thing to thwart evil - and the audience applauds. Shrewdness is considered a valuable skill.
But here in Luke 16 we have a parable where Jesus tells us about a shrewd manager… and something inside of us seems to rebel. How can we be enthralled by a cunning, dishonest manager who basically rips off his employer AND THEN (as Jesus tells us) ends up being commended for his actions?
The story starts out with a steward mismanaging his master's money. AND when it becomes obvious he's going to lose his job, he cheats his employer even further by collecting outstanding debts of others… BUT only partially.
One man owes 800 gallons of olive oil. The dishonest manager tells the debtor to reduce his bill to 400 gallons. And then I suspect he quietly told the man ''Make sure you remember who did this for you.''
Another man owes 1000 bushels of wheat and the steward has him reduce the bill to 800. Once again you can sense the reminder ''Make sure you remember who did this for you.''
He does all t ...
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