November 29, 2018
Last night at youth group, we continued to study through the parables together, this time landing on Luke 16 in which Jesus tells His Parable of the Dishonest Manager to his disciples. This parable in particular is perplexing, because it seems that Jesus is commending the dishonesty of a money manger who embezzles money, and then uses his position to gain power and favors from debtors. It was interesting to watch, and the hear the students discuss what they thought the parable meant, as it seemingly went against so much of what Jesus teaches in the scriptures.
We noted off the bat that Jesus directed the parable to the disciples, and that he was using this parable not as a example for how the disciples should live, but as an example of how the “sons of this world” live. In fact, Jesus tells his disciples that they should be shrewd like the dishonest manger, but instead of being shrewd in a selfish way, he exhorts them in Luke 16:9 to be wise and insightful about using money for the benefit of the kingdom. Jesus says “make friends for yourself by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into eternal dwellings.” I don’t believe Jesus is saying that we are to “buy our way into heaven” with his last statement, but rather, we are to spend our money in such a way that others would hear the gospel, and believe in Jesus so that they would welcome us into eternal dwellings!
Our main point for the night was that: We are stewards of God’s stuff, and we will give an account of what we do with that stuff. We talked in application, and in small groups about wha this looks like in our lives. Specifically, we discussed what tithing looks like, what it’s for, and why it matters. We talked about saving money for missions (specifically for the Peru Missions Trip this Summer), and giving towards missions. Lastly, we talked about what it looks like to be good stewards of our time, and our talents as well.
I’d encourage you to follow up this discussion with your students. We had some really good conversations about money, and tithing, and I think many of the students were really grappling with the concept of “where I spend my money, shows where my heart really is.”
Next week we’ll take a break from our study, and have a review and game night together.