Why did Jesus use negative people as an example here?
Luke 16:1 - 13
ESV - 1 He also said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.
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Jesus sets this steward forward to illustrate the strait forward way the children of this world use every resource at their disposal to secure the most favorable situation. He made an honest assessment of his current and future prospects wisely assessed the influences and leverage he had at his disposal, - to avoid the "evil" Luke 16:3“ Then the steward said within himself, ‘ What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. - secure the good. Luke 16:4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, Luke 16:4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. ’they may receive me into their houses. ’ He has a purpose and a plan that he is resolved to carry out because he is convinced he has has no other option. The application: First a contrast Luke 16:8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. The facts show that the children of this world believe more strongly that this world is ultimate than the children of light believe that the kingdom of God as ultimate. The constant battle for the sons of light is being in this world and not of this world. Jesus doesn't falsely represent the facts. The sons of light are in one sense at a disadvantage and handicapped because they have the flesh to contend with and therefore this present world still often feel like home and yet at the same time they have the Holy Spirit to help. One day we will be put out of this present stewardship and enter into our eternal home. For a limited time we have opportunity to use "unrighteous mammon" the currency of this present world to secure friends that will meet us in our everlasting home. Even though we have this present handy cap we are given means to compete and even surpass the sons of this generation. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJVS) Chapter 12 The Race of Faith 1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. The fact that we believe that this is not our home, that we are in fact sons of light is demonstrated by the use we make of what we are entrusted with. The fact that the unjust steward knew he was going to be put out was demonstrated by his diligent, resourceful activity. Proverbs 22:3 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished. Jesus is not encouraging unethical activity, that would reflect the ways of "this generation" but He is showing that there is a direct correlation between what is believe and what is practiced. You cannot serve God and mammon. Which kingdom do you believe is ultimate? What is the proof of it? Luke 16:11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
The heart of the struggle for clarity with this parable begins when Jesus says 'the master PRAISES the Stewart for his shrewdness' (dishonesty). Therein lies the rub. But, the comparison of the "sons of the world" with the "sons of light", sheds light on His teaching. We the sons of light wastes the master's "goods" the same as that unjust "son of this world" described in this parable. Our master's goods are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Faith, Prayer, etc. And, like the Stewart mentioned in the story, we must have a plan in place to relocate to a new home and a new vocation when the time comes to give an account for our work here in a hostile environment. According to Jesus, the sons of light have a worse record than the sons of this world for figuring their way out of a tough spot. The moral, I believe, is that we should use the resources entrusted to us, the ones I named above, for that future move we MUST make someday.
"Why?" questions often lead to guesswork. God did it, that settles it. However, in this instance, Jesus is presenting to His followers an outstanding example of what NOT to do. Don't join others in cheating, don't deceive those in authority over you, don't compromise in order to get your way with the least amount of "damage" to yourself. Don't create a backup plan which embraces deviance; rather, stay honest 24/7. Trust in the Lord your God, not your old sinful nature.
My opinion is that Jesus demonstrates admiration for the negative way in which the servant acted building a place in the homes and lives that he befriended via the act of compromising their indebtedness to the master. Then it is as if Jesus talks about our negative side and says that using our negative skills will actually help us convert people to follow the love of God.
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