Lessons in Cleverness

Lessons in Cleverness”

Luke 16:1-14


1. His crisis. Verse 1

There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions”

A. The manger wasted possessions. We are not told if it was careless, incompetence or if it was intentional theft.

2. The complaint. Verse 2

So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.”

A. The rich man heard some bad reports and now seeking answers.

B. What do you have to say for yourself? I want details of what you have done.

3. His considerations. Verse 3
"The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg...”

A. He is about to lose his home, income, reputation. What would you do?

B. He considered all his options. Manual labor? NO. Beg? No to proud.

4. His clevernessVerse 4

...I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.”

A. How can I secure a good future? What can I do?

5. His connections. Verse 5

So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

A. He uses his contacts of those who were in debt to his former employer.

6. His calculations. Verses 6-7

Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied. “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’ "Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’“ ‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’

A. By reducing their debt he appeals to their greed. He moves quickly so they have not time to think. His cunning actions benefits all parties. Now there is no options for the debtors they are at the mercy of the shrewd manager.

7. His commendation. Verses 8

The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”

A. Why does Jesus commend this dishonest man?

B. Jesus is not commending dishonestyHe commends the manager’s initiative and foresight in planning for his future. The worlds primary focus and energy is what will benefit me.

8Our choice.

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

A. Aa Christian, you only have room for one master. You have to choose. Each person must make a choice between commitment to materialistic pursuits or our commitment to God.