Monday, April 8, 2013

Luke 16:1-18

v. 1-15 Jesus tells of a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions.  So the manager went to the master's debtors and asked how much they owned his master.  For each debtor he reduced the debt.  The master had commended the dishonest manager because he 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.  Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.  So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?  And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?  No servant can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and Money.  The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.  He said to them 'You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts.  What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.'"

The manager was said to be shrewd, the definition is: keen, artful, bad, and malicious.  "Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior."  The Message

Our money is a good test of whether or not we put God first in our lives.  God gave us what we have and we are supposed to make wise choices with it.  We are to use our money to gain friends instead of greed.  Which I believe means to be kind and help people not to show off how much money we make.  When we gain friends we are truly rich and will be welcomed into the Kingdom.  Those who are dishonest with little will be dishonest with a great amount.  How are you with your money?  Are you generous or selfish?  Would you help out someone in need or go buy yourself something you have been wanting lately?  Some look to money as if it were a god, they crave power and control.  You have to choose which one you will allow to lead you in life, God or money.  It is interesting that in the NIV version Money is capitalized.  It is not equal to God, but I think it shows the great influence that it has over people.  The Pharisees were sneering (which means: scorn, contempt, derision, ridicule) at Jesus for how he was talking about money, yet God found their love of money detestable since their heart's were hard to the needy.  Wealth is not a sign of God's approval.  Do not let your worth be determined by your bank account.

v. 17 "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law."  Jesus came to fulfill the law not cancel out the Old Testament.  I believe every part of the bible.  You can not pick and choose what you will believe or follow because it is all true.  It is our guide and warning for our lives so that we can prosper and learn. 

v. 18 "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."  The Pharisees permitted a man to leave his wife for almost any reason and since the women were not able to go out and support themselves they would have to move back in with their families.  I'm not going into detail about this subject now, I will wait for another day since this is such a short subject here.  I believe Jesus was challenging the Pharisees to what was behind their thinking of the Law.

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