The Problem

A reading for Monday, March 27, 2017: Luke 16:1-13.

The problem in the parable is not wealth.

The problem is the dishonest manager, who cares only for himself and his own welfare. He doesn't seem to care about the job he was hired to do. He doesn't seem to care about the master's interests. He doesn't seem to care about the accounts of the debtors, and what could happen to them. The dishonest manager only cares about what will happen to him... he is only self-interested. The problem in the parable, illustrated in this case by money, is really self-interest.

As we think about sharing the gospel with others, our problem is not a church problem. The problem is our own self-interest and apathy towards others who don't share our experience as church. That is not to say the church is not important. It's only to say that if we approach sharing the gospel only as a means of fixing our church, then we have acted as the dishonest manager... we are only acting in our own self-interest towards our own comfort and security.

Truth is most people don't care about our interest. Most people have their own cares and concerns and yet long to know how the gospel might save them and transform their lives. Sharing the gospel means putting our own cares and concerns to the side long enough to act in the master's interest towards others. It means not squandering the blessings and the responsibility we share to share good news and transformation with others. It means acting with faithfulness in little things, toward a larger faithfulness. The world around us needs us to act in the interests of the master for the benefit of the master's people. The gospel is the hope of the world.

Jesus said, "If you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?" For those that lose their lives will gain them, and those that put the interests of others ahead of their own will inherit the Kingdom.

The problem is not wealth. The problem is we cannot serve our own self-interest only and serve God at the same time. The gospel is still our hope and the hope of the world.


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