What’s So Good About the Unrighteous Steward?
by David Cross
I recently mentioned in a Seeds of the Kingdom that I was thankful to William Tyndale (the first person to translate and print the Bible into common English) for giving me an answer as to why Jesus seems to commend the behaviour of the unrighteous steward in this parable from the gospel of Luke.
Maybe you’ve been happy with this story, but I confess that I haven’t!
The steward, or estate manager, working for this particular rich man in the story, on realising that his days are numbered in this employment, cheats his master by allowing certain people, who owe the estate sums of money, to fraudulently change their invoices, and so pay less than the correct amount. I’m sure this would have secured much future favour with each debtor, but it was dishonest! How can this be a model for Kingdom living?
Mr Tyndale offers this explanation from his writings dating back five centuries: ‘The unrighteous steward is an ensample unto us in his wisdom and diligence only, in that he provided so wisely for himself; that we with righteousness should be as diligent to provide for our souls as he, with unrighteousness, provided for his body’.
In other words, Jesus is posing a very serious question: “Are we taking the same care in preparing for our own eternal future, as did this dishonest manager regarding his earthly future?” I find this very challenging.
Prayer: Father God, Your word tells me that Holy Spirit fruitfulness in my life will remain into eternity. Help me, in this coming year, to be wise and diligent in the things that I do and say, so that my life truly bears good fruit that will last. Amen.
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