Wisely Managing Mercy/Power Rick Wright Church of the Nations 18th Sunday of Pentecost (C) September 22, 2013
Luke 16 • There is a rich man. His manager is accused of scattering his possessions.The rich man calls his manager in and asks, What am I hearing about you? I want reports and spreadsheets that show me what you have been doing. Because you cannot be my manager any more. • Greek hyparxoo = exist -> possessions • What do we know about the rich man? Manager? What is the problem?
Luke 16 • The manger says to himself, What will I do now? I am going to lose my job. I do not want to work in a restaurant or go back and live with my parents – I know what I will do! so that when I lose my job people will take care of me. He calls in people who owe money to his employer. How much do you owe my boss? One hundred bathsof olive oil.Um… let us make your bill… fifty.How much do you owe? One hundred korsof grain. Okay – make it… eighty.
Difficult and confusing story • Does Jesus approve of the unjust manager?!? • His boss comes in and praises the unjust manager because he was smart (wise). • Greek adikos = unjust • Greek phroonomos = wise (or clever) • What is up with that???
Figuring out this strange story • Look for the imperative verb = do this! • I tell youtherefore use unjust(?) wealth to make friends so that when it fails(?) you will be welcomed into eternal homes. • The unjust manager uses what belongs to his master • Everything belongs to God who created everything and everyone • We manage things for and with God
How do we manage? • Manage what you have to make friends • For whom? Friends of God? • Unjust manager wants people who owe him • Relationship of power • Make friends = people who are our equals • Who do not owe us anything! • Be careful how we give/help/do
What do we manage? • Money and possessions • Anything God has given us • Anything over which we have power • Manage wisely everything God gives you in order to make friends • Whoever is faithful in what is smallest is faithful in much. If you have not been faithful with unjust wealth who will entrust you with what is true? • Be faithful to God with the smallest things
Power and mercy • Language of debt • Greek xreopheilos = debtor • Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors • Greek opheiloo • Story is about power and also mercy • Manager shows mercyto people who owe a debt