Day 4

The Dishonest Manager

from the The Parables of Jesus reading plan


Luke 16:1-17


In this study of the Parables of Jesus, we are reading many of the stories Jesus used to teach hearers about how to live as His followers. Each day we’ll read parables in their immediate context, focusing on a different category of parables each week. Then we will work through a series of questions to understand the meaning of the text and take to heart the “secrets of the kingdom.”

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Week 1: Parables about God’s Kingdom

Parables are stories with a point. They are designed to make us think about what is being said, why, where, to whom, and in what context. To get to the heart of Jesus’ parables, we need to pull them apart and take a careful look at the details He gives us. One detail that runs through this week’s selection of parables is that Jesus says they all describe the kingdom of God in some way. As you read through these passages, use the following questions to unpack the stories Jesus tells.

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Questions:

1. Jesus tells many parables that involve the relationship between wealth and justice. How do they relate in the parable about the dishonest manager, and what parallels do you see in this parable that relate to your own life?

2. What is the problem in the particular parable, and what is the outcome of the story?

3. What is the central point of this parable?

4. What was the audience’s response to hearing this parable? What is yours?

Post Comments (4)

4 thoughts on "The Dishonest Manager"

  1. Trey says:

    The central theme of this parable is the importance of using your earthly possessions to benefit others, which will in turn assure you rewards in heaven. The rich man (God) commends the manager for his ingenuity for using his worldly wealth to gain things that will last eternally.
    This one is a bit harder to figure out because I initially assumed what the manager was doing was wrong; I didn’t except him to be commended for it.
    Jesus goes on to talk about how things of earthly (money and possessions) value are of little value to God, but He does trust us to use what we have here in earth responsibly and for His Glory.
    My response is similar to most of the other parables I’ve read this week: God has blessed me with certain material things and talents that I need to be properly managing for His purposes, not mine.

  2. Ryan Schulze says:

    1. Jesus tells many parables that involve the relationship between wealth and justice. How do they relate in the parable about the dishonest manager, and what parallels do you see in this parable that relate to your own life?
    Both having wealth and seeking wealth make it harder to be just. Having wealth and the security that it provides makes our grip tighter in fear of losing it. Seeking wealth and the false promises it gives causes our gaze to be moved from the things in life that are important. Either way, Jesus confirms what we know in our hearts to be true: you can’t serve God and money. If you try to hard to keep it, you’ll end up losing what’s important. If you try to hard to gain it, you’ll end up gaining nothing important.
    In my own life, I see the tendency of equating money with security and prosperity. If I have the former, the latter will be there. I think that’s something that my parents instilled in me to a degree.

    2. What is the problem in the particular parable, and what is the outcome of the story?
    The manager was going to get fired but didn’t have any contingency plan. He swindled so he had options of where to go once he got fired.

    3. What is the central point of this parable?
    “Unbelievers are wiser in the things of this world than believers are about the things of the world to come… Jesus is encouraging His followers to be generous with their [unrighteous] wealth in this life so that in the life to come their new friends will receive them “into eternal dwellings.”
    Unrighteous wealth in this instance is not wealth that was earned unrighteously but wealth that could lead to unrighteousness. If the wealth you are holding onto could lead to feeling wrongly secure or becoming unjust, then we should get rid of it.

    4. What was the audience’s response to hearing this parable? What is yours?
    It says that the Pharisees ridicule Jesus. Ridicule =
    “subject (someone or something) to contemptuous and dismissive language or behavior”. They dismiss Jesus with contempt. They reject him. They don’t think this parable applies to them. Their blindness eclipses their ability to see what blinds them.
    My reaction at first was a bit confused, but after digging in a little further, the parable leaves me with a good reminder. Be generous with the things you have. Don’t hold tightly to them, asking them to provide more for you than they are supposed to.

  3. Kevin says:

    Day 4: 1. Having riches in character and other things besides money is way important. When the money is stripped away, who are you? Are you faithful with what the lord has given you? I love this because if you’re faithful with little, God blesses. If you’re unfaithful, well, pretty easy decision for God.

    2. Something with the manager screwing over the master in not collecting all the money? Really not sure.

    3. The importance of wealth outside of money, being faithful with what God has given.

    4. They ridiculed Jesus. I think it’s tough for sure. Sometimes I’m a snob about saving money. But God will bless us who are faithful and I need to be more consistent in my faithfulness with my gifts.

  4. Tim Bowditch says:

    Worldly people are often more consistent with themselves and more enthusiastically pursue their individual aim than Christians. Though they aim low they aim better, improving their opportunities and are shrewd toward that end. In the same way, we need to be wise in spiritual affairs. Money is neither to be idolized nor despised: we must hold it loosely and use it for God’s glory.

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