Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dr. Spurlin Answers

Dr. Spurlin, In Luke 16:1-13 Jesus tells of a business manager who had squandered his master's possessions. Can you explain why it seems that Jesus praises his dishonesty?

ANSWER: This is actually an issue of Jesus using a bad example to teach a good lesson. The Lord was not lauding the manager's dishonesty, but the fact that "he had acted shrewdly" in preparing for his future financial well-being. Jesus distinguishes between the "sons of this age" and "the sons of light." The "sons of this age" are concerned only with the wealth that they can gather to themselves in this world. The "sons of light" are urged to prepare in such a way as to receive "true riches" (v. 11) at a later time, specifically in the future kingdom economy.

This is possibly the main point that Jesus is teaching His disciples, to utilize earthly "wealth of unrighteousness" in such a way that it would ensure "true riches" that we are to be storing up in heaven. According to Ryrie, verse 9 teaches that "we should use money (wisely, never dishonestly) to help win people so that they will welcome us in heaven" (Ryrie Study Bible, note on Luke 16:9). The wise use of wealth in this life is to receive its ultimate repayment because it has been used to lead others to believe the truth of the gospel message.

Thanks for asking!
- Dr. Steve Spurlin