Monday, October 07, 2013

The Unjust Steward

Remember the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16)?  It's one of those confusing stories -- the master commends the guy who did something unfair.  At first blush, it sounds like God is saying, "Good for you, Mr Cheater." 

Jesus did something very unfair: He doesn't require us to pay what we owe.  That is, what is due to God [perfection, and punishment for imperfection] is something we can't pay.  And we don't have to.

But there was one thing that kept leaving me unsettled about the parable.  The dude in the story says that he's going to cook the books so that, when he's fired, the folks he helped will receive him into their homes.  Well, that's self-serving manipulation.  That's not like Jesus!  And I kept getting stuck on that point.  Of course, I realize that parables aren't exact in their correspondence.  But still....

Pastor explained that the motivation of the steward-in-the-story was irrelevant to how much help the people received.  They benefited, regardless of whether the steward was trying to benefit them or trying to benefit himself. 

Okay.  That helped.
Now I can get back to paying attention to the rest of the story.

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