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Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2 So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’
3 “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— 4 I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’
5 “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
6 “‘Nine hundred gallons[a] of olive oil,’ he replied.
“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’
7 “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’
“‘A thousand bushels[b] of wheat,’ he replied.
“He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’
8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Over the years I’ve preached on this passage several times and every time it hits me just how jarring it should be to us.
Jesus sets up this scene, if you really listen, for everyone to be mad at this manager. He’s the guy who should get what’s coming to him.
He’s been wasteful, he’s conniving, he’s all around a creep
At the end of the parable, Jesus flips the script on us and says, “you have something to learn from this guy”
Listen to what He says…
“The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.
When I was in youth ministry, we would do big fun giveaways. One time we put a pool out on our property, had a swimming party and then gave it away. I would take grief all the time from people about this kind of stuff. You’re just buying people off was the sentiment. For me, I was always like, “I want to do whatever it takes to reach a lost person…” and then I read this passage – did you see what Jesus said. I’ve pointed this out before here, but it’s been a while and it’s worth retelling.
This is, word for word, what Jesus says
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Jesus is saying, use your wealth to buy people for the Kingdom of God
Jesus didn’t value earthly wealth at all, but He understood wealth is the value system of the world.
He tells His followers to use the temporary wealth the world values to buy friends – so when you get to heaven, it will be packed full of the people you influenced for the Kingdom
This isn’t about you having more friends
It’s about more friends having what you have
This is why we participated last week in the Chosen event
At Harmony, we call this being shockingly generous
we want people to walk away going asking, “how could they hold what they have so lightly?”
It’s not ours in the first place – the resource I steward is God’s resource. When we are generous, we are reflecting the heart of God
Last week, a whole bunch of you walked out of this room, took pictures and we loaded them up on the back of Robby, our student pastor and he took your generosity, literally to the other side of the world. I wanted to close out today’s message as we consider what it looks like to be shockingly generous by bringing Robby up here and walking through his experience as we get ready to reveal who it was that chose you…
- Robby, you just spent the last week in Kenya taking us with you for kids to get to choose who they wanted to become their partner. What was the trip like overall? (keep it broad – long flights, funny anecdotes, etc.)
- What was it like to be in this place in Kenya and see what World Vision’s impact has been?
- What was it about the kids that really hit you?
- What would be one thing you’d want everyone in here to know who invested in the lives of these people you met in Kenya?