John Lennox is one of my favourite authors and speakers…
I have always been a little puzzled as to why Jesus, in the parable of the dishonest manager in Luke 16, seemed to commend this dishonesty, because it contradicts teaching on honesty and integrity…
In the message Lennox covers 3 parables and brings them all together…
The prodigal son
The dishonest manager
The rich man and Lazarus
Specifically in the dishonest manager parable the verse says:
(ESV) The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
Interesting how in the ESV and the NIV it is translated when ‘it’ fails (it being money), but in the KJV/NKJV it’s translated when ‘you’ fail. Either way, both we will eventually get old and fail, or money will run out.
I did like the NIV translation of verse 14 “The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.”
I really liked how Lennox tied all three together in an encouraging message;
The prodigal son and the Father who welcomes him back, but the second parable, lest we as Christians presume upon God and think we can do whatever we like; about the dishonest manager is a warning to not waste resources that are not our own otherwise we’ll get fired like the dishonest manager (note; a loss of possible rewards in heaven, a loss of opportunities here on earth, not a loss of salvation of course), and then the story of Lazarus who had no possessions at all…
A few quotes I enjoyed:
“The bank of heaven gives 10,000% interest, which is a bit better than the local bank”.
“The unjust steward suddenly realised that he had a very short window of time, do you realise you’ve only got a short window of time, do I?.. life has gone like a flash for me at 75… life has gone very fast… will I have any friends or will I end up lonely in heaven…?”
“If Theophilus had spent it all on ice-cream [instead of sponsoring Luke’s writing of the Gospel of Luke and Acts] well ok, but he wouldn’t have made any friends…”
I really enjoyed the message and was challenged by it, so I wanted to share it here…