Sunday, March 05, 2006

Having seen that it is possible to apply the theory of agency and usury to the parable, one still have to ask if it is so important to establish the manager's innocence in his subsequent act. This is because the master can very well commend him for his craftiness though not his dishonesty; like a villain admiring another villain.

What follows from the Luke 16:1-8a parable are the Luke 16:8b-13 lessons. Verse 8b-9 is where the dishonest manager's prudence is taken as a model for Christians. This is not easy to apply because of the act of dishonesty attached to it.

Verse 8b is pretty much a general statement which points out that the children of this world are wiser than the children of light as they are more adept and prudent in taking care of their business compared to the Christians. They use more skills, make more plans and contrive more ways to provide for themselves compared to the Christians who often do not do enough in their business of promoting the gospel.

Verse 9 however is a challenge. Jesus starts with a kago humin lego, "and I say to you": a direct and emphatic commentary of Jesus on the parable. And he calls one to "make friends with wealth of unrighteousness"! Could mamona tes adikias, "mammons of unrighteousness", mean the wealth of worldliness as opposed to the wealth of righteousness, the goodness that comes from God? And could it mean that Jesus is calling Christians to make good use of the wealth we have obtained in this unrighteous world prudently to take care of God business, i.e. to bring friends or people into his kingdom? And so that when we die, they will be part of the kingdom of God to receive us into the heavenlies?


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