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How can we be good managers of what God has entrusted to us? Jesus pointed to a dishonest manager and said his followers could learn a lot from people like him. Wait, what? Pastor Luke preaches from Luke 16:1–9 in “House Money,” the first message in a new series on stewardship.
Questions to Consider
OPEN: 1. When have you heard about someone who left their job in spectacular way? Who told you about it? What made it memorable?
UNPACK: Read Luke 16: 1–12.
2. The writer of this gospel account put it together by consulting many witnesses (Luke 1: 1–4). How do you think Luke reacted when he was first told this parable? What made him decide to include it in his gospel?
3. What does it mean for a manager to “squander” his master’s property? To be unwise? To be lazy? To be dishonest? How would you define it? (Consider the final parable in the previous chapter.)
4. Should the owner have announced his intention to fire the manager, or taken his badge and had Security escort him out the front door? Why?
5. Jesus is careful to introduce the explanation for his parable with the solemn expression “I tell you” (verse 9). What is it? If Jesus hadn’t made the interpretation so clear, what are some wrong interpretations that people might make?
6. Are grain and olive oil (vv. 6–7) “dishonest” or “unrighteous”? What does Jesus mean by “dishonest wealth” (v. 9)? Does he mean the same thing about the “dishonest manager” (v. 8)? Why or why not?
Note: adikos, the word translated as unrighteous, may also be translated as unjust, vicious, deceitful, and fallacious. It appears 12X in the New Testament including Matthew 5:45; Hebrews 6:10; and 1 Peter 3:18.
APPLY. 7. Who are the “children of this age” and the “children of light?” (See John 12: 27–36.)
8. Is anyone in this parable a “child of the light?” For example, some interpreters say the rich man represents God. Do you agree? Does God hear about mismanagement? Will there be an accounting? Would God give people an opportunity to get away with mismanagement?
9. What are some ways you can leverage the things that you manage to make “friends who will welcome you” into eternal homes?