Setting Up Life for Eternity

Luke 16.1

Sermon by Dr Peter Masters

Christ’s parable of a crooked manager pictures our misappropriation of our God-given lives, except that the manager made provision for his future survival. How should we relate to the God of eternity? A message to show how Christ may be found and known.

‘And he [Christ] said also unto his disciples, there was a certain rich man which had a steward, and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.’

And our subject is setting up life for eternity, preparing life for eternity. And we should be looking at a parable of Christ, and a very surprising parable of Christ, one in which there are observations which almost catch us out when we first see them as he searches our hearts and examines us. This parable spoke to the Jewish church, and it speaks to all people down the centuries of time. It speaks to us today about a steward, that is to say, a manager. It would appear an estate manager in this case, the manager probably of a vast estate. And the owner of the estate who is described as his lord is obviously a wealthy man, who though the parable doesn’t say so, one would think would be living at some distance from the particular estate administered and run by this manager. Somebody who is not right there, and yet who is very well informed.

And this manager is a cheat, and he’s been cheating his lord, the owner of the estate. And that’s the purpose, that’s the meaning of the parable. ‘He said unto his disciples, there was a certain rich man which had a steward, and the same was accused unto him.’ Somebody informed the owner – do you know what your manager is doing, your estate manager, property manager, farm manager? Do you know what he’s doing? He’s cheating you, and he’s swindling you out of large sums of money.

I don’t know what he was doing with it. Many people suggest that he was a gambling man, and he was gambling away money, spending it on himself or something of that kind. But anyway, he was defrauding his employer, the owner of the estate. And so he’s called for, and there seems to be in the parable a double meaning. The manager is called to give an explanation, but the explanation perhaps is not immediately required. He’s given a kind of notice that he’s going to have to give an account.