Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It isn't how much you know that matters. It's how much you love.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Shrewd Manager

To carry this one step further, after telling that story, he tells another story. This one was about a rich man, who hires a manager to take care of his investments.

One day . the rich man orders the manager to update the books, because he has ordered an audit. Evidently, the manager hed made some bad decisions, so the books weren’t going to look to good. He figured he was going to get fired. So, he needed to quick prepare for the future.

He wasn’t in shape for physical labor. But he wasn’t too pleased about becoming homeless either.

He came up with a plan to create goodwill with the people he did business, so he cold get a job with one of them. He called them up, and reduced their bills. Whatever money he would receive from these outstanding bills was not going to take him too far. But a large amount of goodwill might. His boss actually complimented him on the idea. It showed he knew what was important and he was wisely able to weigh to the positives and negatives in a method to achieve it.

Jesus told the story of the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son, and then the shrewd manager. Does anyone serious think this story is about managing money?

So, Jesus asks, “Why is it that those who are supposed to be spiritually in sync with God can’t recognize what’s important, and wisely assess the positives and negatives of achieving it.”

God is not glorified by condemning bad people; God is glorified by transforming bad people into good people.

We need to make sure we use our resources to achieve that which is ultimately important. And we are not considering money necessarily. The Pharisees were supposed to have a superior knowledge of God, and a superior relationship with God. Assets that should promote transformation.

In the Lost parables, Jesus demonstrates that people do not have God’s perspective on the lost. And in the manager parable, Jesus demonstrates that people, who are in the best position to search for the lost, are not interested in searching for the lost.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Lost Parables

Jesus told stories to teach about spiritual truth. And it seems to me that a lot of times his stories were like jokes. That is, he would set you up, and then deliver a punchline. Except the punchline, instead of making you laugh, exposed wrong thinking or attitudes. For instance, I have been thinking about a case in point.

Jesus is talking to some people who are considered bad. Today, they would be drug addicts, or people with AIDS.

He tells a story about someone who has 100 sheep and loses one. He goes, finds it and has a party to celebrate.

Then, he tells the story of a woman who has 10 coins, and loses one. She cleans the house, finds it and has a party to celebrate.

Anybody besides me feel the set up? How do people respond when they lose something valuable? They go crazy until they find it. They look in places they haven't been in month. They look in pockets of clothes they haven't been in years. And they celebrate when they find it.

Then, he tells the story of a father and two sons. The younger son insults the father, the family, their values and way of life. He demands his inheritance, and wastes it all in one big party.

Then, he gets into trouble. And he realizes that the lowest person working for his father is better off than he is. So, he goes home, apologizes to his father, and asks for a job. His father, instead of a two-hour I-told-you-so speech, throws a party to celebrate. (Anybody see a pattern here?)

Now the older son -- who did not trash the family and worked hard -- comes home, sees what's going on, and gets angry. What's the difference? Evidently, it's OK to celebrate finding a lost thing. And it's not OK to celebrate finding a lost person.

Somebody doesn't understand how a Father views His lost children. And how we should view them.