Todays readings.. Numbers 5, Proverbs 2, Luke 16
“ONE WHO IS DISHONEST IN VERY LITTLE”
Honesty seems to be an increasingly rare commodity in the 21st Century. Cheating the Govt at least a little is a common practice. There is surprise when one hands back money when you have been given too much change when making a purchase!
We read today a parable Jesus told about a manager who worked for a rich man, this manager was doing his job poorly and “wasting his possessions” [Luke 16 v.1].
This man had his mind fully set on this life and learning he was going to lose his job he “summoned his master’s debtors one by one” [v.5]. He comes to an arrangement with them to reduce the records about how much they owe his Master: this will obligate them to give him some support when he loses his job.
The rich man commends “the dishonest manager for his shrewdness” saying, “for the sons of this world are more shrewd in their dealing with their own generation than the sons of light” [v.8]. This appears to be a cynical statement and is followed by a strange statement, “And I tell you make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into eternal dwellings.” [v.8,9]
The point Jesus is making is that the “eternal dwellings” of the unrighteous are tombs – and some elaborate tombs have been found by archaeologists, including tombs of the High Priests family which are miniature replicas of the Temple. This is the only future they can expect because they have made money (and the things it can buy) their objective in life.
We specially note Jesus’ words, “One who is dishonest in very little is also dishonest in much. If you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?” [v.11]
His final point is “You cannot serve God and money.” [v.13]. “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money heard all these things and they ridiculed him. And he said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.” [v.14,15] They were blind to the all-seeing eyes of God. We must not be blind and we must also be honest and true in our thinking – in much more than money, absorbing the true impact of Jesus words about the “one who is dishonest in very little”