May 14, 2024

Using Our Resources for the Kingdom

Luke 16:1-15

“Use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”

—  Luke 16:9

The parable of the shrewd manager is one of Jesus’ most puzzling teachings. It can seem confusing because the dishonest manager is commended for acting shrewdly. But this does not mean Jesus approves of theft and dishonesty. In this parable Jesus is challenging us to be resourceful with an eye to the future.

With a shocking illustration that grabs people’s attention, Jesus teaches a practical way of storing up treasures in heaven. Rather than simply gathering our earthly wealth for ourselves, he is saying, we should use our earthly wealth to make an impact for the kingdom of God.

This parable is sometimes called a crisis parable with an end-time meaning. In that way it is similar to Jesus’ parables in Matthew 25 about being watchful and ready at all times to use our resources for God’s kingdom and to show his love to our neighbors.

There are hints in this parable about building relationships too. Could it be that the friendships we make on earth will stretch on into eternity? Could it be that making friends with homeless and hungry people will lead to fruitful fellowship with them in the new heaven and earth? We may need to grow in our understanding of what eternal life will bring.

The way we live today will follow us into eternity.

Lord, we have many questions about eternal life. Help us to see that it will be better than anything we can imagine! Amen.

About the author — George Koopmans

George Koopmans has served as an ecumenical chaplain at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, since November 2021. Prior to entering into chaplaincy, George served as a pastor to two congregations—one in Minnesota (Luverne), and the other in Medicine Hat. George and his wife, Emily, have four adult daughters and three grandchildren. Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are his favorite hobbies.

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