Rev. Brian Johnson
Scripture: Luke 16:1-13
This passage is a weird one – we’re not sure what to do with it. Is this guy cheating his boss – and is Jesus commending him for it? It’s worth noting that this is a parable (meaning it’s a story told to make a point, not to be taken literally), and that there was a system of debt exploitation in ancient Palestine, where wealthy landowners held much of the population in what was essentially debt slavery – with debts that could never be paid – so, Jesus’ impoverished hearers would have seen what this “wise steward” was doing as an act of resistance to an unjust oppressor who was ruining all their lives. But, even more than that, the key here is the point that Jesus makes – that God’s people are called to use our resources just as wisely as any business person. Money is an issue of faith, and it’s also something we are called to use with care. So, we are called to invest in what God is doing, and trust that God will use our acts of faithfulness to transform the world – and to transform us.