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. 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.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ – Luke 16:1-4 ESV
This is one of the strangest parables in the Bible. There are many different views on what God is teaching. Here is Mathew Henry’s commentary: “We are all liable to the same charge; we have not made do improvement of what God has trusted us with. The steward cannot deny it; he must make up his accounts and be gone. This may teach us that death will come and deprive us of the opportunities we now have. The steward will make friends of his lord’s debtors or tenants, by striking off a considerable part of their debt to his lord. The lord referred to in this parable commended not the fraud, but the policy of the steward. In that respect alone is it so noticed. Worldly men, in the choice of their object, are foolish; but in their activity, and perseverance, they are often wiser than believers. The unjust steward is not set before us as an example in cheating his master, or to justify any dishonesty, but to point out the careful ways of worldly men. It would be well if the children of light would learn wisdom from the men of the world and would as earnestly pursue their better object. The true riches signify spiritual blessings; and if a man spends upon himself, or hoards up what God has trusted to him, as to outward things, what evidence can he have, that he is an heir of God through Christ? The riches of this world are deceitful and uncertain. Let us be convinced that those are truly rich, and very rich, who are rich in faith, and rich toward God, rich in Christ, in the promises; let us then lay up our treasure in heaven and expect our portion from thence.”
Leader, we don’t truly OWN anything, it is all on LOAN from God. We have been blessed with a PORTION and that portion is to be invested! And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more. (Luke 12:48) Some get more than others, but we all are judged on the INCREASE. We will be judged by what we did with the PORTION that GOD let us USE- for it is all GODS! For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. (Col 1:16)
Conduit, whether you are talking about the parable of the Minas in Luke 19 or the Talents in Matthew 25, we are all accountable for what we do with God’s resources; His money, His time, His talents and His sanctifying experiences. No matter the quantity or sum, no matter believer or unbeliever we will be accountable for our Return on HIS Investment, a HOLY ROI. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that it is appointed for man to DIE ONCE and then BE JUDGED. Whether the WHITE THRONE judgment for non-believers or the WORKS\FIRE judgement for Christians and our rewards- our JESUS is a GOD OF RETURN! He WILL RETURN, and He expects an ETERNAL Return On Investment (ROI). Are you investing in the temporal- this earth, or are you investing in the ETERNAL- the Kingdom of God? “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Amen!