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Parable Of The Dishonest Manager


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From time to time I like to discuss Jesus' Parables. One of the things I love about Jesus is how he'll ,sometimes , use "shady" charectors as spiritual examples. In the Gospel of Luke we find "The Prodigal Son " and "The Unjust Judge". In the Gospel of Thomas we find "The Assassin" and so forth. But one parable I don't get is "The Dishonest Manager" in the Gospel of Luke.


Jesus said:


"There was a rich man who had a manager,and charges were brought to him ,that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him" What is this I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management because you can no longer be my manager any longer. Then the manger said to himself 'What will I do , now that my master is taking the position 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 dismissed as manager ,people may welcome me into their homes. "


"So summoning his master's debtors one by one he asked the first ' How much do you owe my master' he answered ' a hundred jugs of olive oil' He said to him 'Take your bill, sit down quickly and make it fifty.' Then he asked another 'And how much do you owe ? He replied ' A hundred containers of wheat'. He said take your bill and make it eighty'.


"And the master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly: for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.

And I tell you, make friends for yourself by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone they may welcome you into the eternal homes. Who ever if faithful in a very little is faithful also in much: and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.If then you have not not been faithful with the dishonest wealth ,who will entrust to you the true riches . And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another who will give you what is your own" (NRSV).


It concludes with the well known statement about a slave cannot serve two masters.


Any thoughts on this parable?



Edited by MOW
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Jesus here. Would it help you understand this parable if I told you that this parable is about me and my fractious relationship with Jewish religious authorities? I am the manager. The rich man is an allegorical figure meant to represent those who claimed to represent God's word, but in who in fact represented only their own class interests.


I had to be careful. One had to speak in parables, because to speak bluntly about political and religious realities was to quickly find oneself wearing the ancient equivalent of concrete shoes. Very big, very heavy concrete shoes strapped on with chains and locks -- and no key.


God's angels, you must remember, have no qualms whatsoever about "lifting" a few dollars from the pockets of those who acquire their weath through bullying, manipulation, sexual misconduct, and religious misconduct.


God the Mother, God the Father, and God's team of angels view money as a temporary form of energy that can be used on Planet Earth for either good or not-so-good. Money is a great thing when it buys food and medicine for the less fortunate. Money is a crappy thing when it's used to build state-of-the-art weapons. Money isn't spiritually bad. It's the choices people make around money that cause so much suffering. So, to help alleviate suffering, angels sometimes make sure that ill-gotten gains are "liberated" from the bank accounts of those who aren't trying to be the best people they're capable of being.


Some people think of this as karma. I, and the other angels, think of this as Tough Love.


Love Jesus

December 7, 2006

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This can be read as financial wisdom to accomplish spiritual goals, but I would like to put a new spin on it. My Lord and master has given me everything even my thoughts which I have squandered on Trivial matters. Yes, I should think of Him 100% of the time and He will take care of me, but I have squandered the energy he has so kindly trusted me with. He hasn't fired me yet but asked to look at my final report, accounts, to see where I have not been so trustful. I quickly make amends to straigthen out my affairs so a thought has started to get my affairs in order and my Lord and master acknowledges my realization and tells me. If I can trust you with a little thought, I can trust you with big thoughts and ideas. If you use a little mental power for materiality you will use a lot of mental energy for material things and not spiritual accounts. So the spiritual journey starts from the love, forgiveness and compassion of a spiritual master to be free from money, material thoughts and any other controls. Can't serve two masters, choose one and work with your capacity to increase your capacity to love, be spiritual and follow the wishes of our Lord. Today 80% tomorrow 100%. peace

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This parable always inspires a variety of interpretations.


The way I like to see it is, that it was in the steward's own best interest to be generous to others--to lighten their burden.


And if it works that way when our material lives are at risk, then equally or more so when our spiritual lives are at stake.


The "children of light" are exhorted to be just as wise and resourceful as the "children of the age."

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  • 4 weeks later...
Thank you Jen, Soma and Rivanna. December is a busy time ,so I've been away.

I like all your interpretations. I'm not sure if there is a "right "one and I need to think about this parable some more.





I think all the interpretations are right. Jesus was teaching at different mental and spiritual levels all at the same time. The funny thing is all the teachings lead to the same place. Have a good year.

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