Friday, March 30, 2012

Luke 16

The Parable of the Dishonest Manager

Jesus tells the story of a guy who has a manager of his possessions who is doing a terrible job. He tells the guy he will be fired soon, so the manager stole from him on his last day of work by getting in good with his boss' debtors in exchange for favors later. Then Jesus says you can't worship money and God so you should worship God.

I would think the message here is not to give your accountant access to your books after he has been fired. I know I've taken a few liberties with the details of the story, but if I understood it correctly it is a fair summary of the content. Also, I'm not exactly sure what "worshiping money" means, but it is a bit of a leap to go from finding money important to stealing.

The Law and the Kingdom of God

The Pharisees love money so they ridiculed Jesus for saying these things. Also Jesus says 'it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.'

I assume this is the law of God, so this seems to say everything in the old testament is still valid. Anyone who tries to blow off some insane old testament law is going against this verse.

Divorce and Remarriage

If you get divorced and then remarry you are committing adultery.

I'm not a big fan of divorce, but sometimes it is the best for the situation. 

The Rich Man and Lazarus

Lazarus was a poor man covered with sores who tried to beg for scraps of food from a very rich man. The rich man apparently refused to help and Lazarus died. He was taken by an angel up to Abraham in heaven. the rich man also died and went to hell, he asked if Lazarus could come help him as he was in agony. Abraham refuses so he begs that he at least go back to tell his family so they won't share this hell with him. Abraham says they have Moses and the prophets, if they don't listen to them they won't listen to someone risen from the dead.

This story is all kinds of wrong. So there is a rich guy who doesn't help a poor guy when he has the means. Not the best guy in the world but he deserves eternal torture? Ok fine, let's move past it, he winds up in hell and asks for help, when help is refused he accepts his fate but asks for his family to be helped so they don't wind up in his same position. (doesn't this show he is a decent guy?) This is refused for an insanely stupid reason. Ancient stories of prophets are NOT the same as the dead coming back to life to warn you.

I'd also like to point out verse 25 "But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish." It sounds like he was just lucky in life and now the tables are turned. It never says he is in hell for not sharing his wealth (is sort of implies it but never drives the point home). He doesn't seem like that bad of a guy but he was lucky in life so he is being punished in death.


  1. Worshiping money. I think here what he means by “worshiping” money is just another way of saying that you focus your life around it.

    Verse 15. “That which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” I wish this was elaborated a little more. Men (and women) value things like wisdom, love, honesty, courage, truth, beauty etc. Surely, he does not mean that God detests these things.

    Divorce. Women and remarrying.;deuteronomy+24:1-3 It sounds like Deut says its okay to remarry. Here it sounds like “a divorced woman is damaged goods.” I also want to point out that we just talked about how Jesus came to fulfill the law. If getting divorced is adultery and adultery is punishable by death, shouldn't divorce be punishable by death?

    Rich man. I really don't even know where to start here with what's wrong with this story either. You do make a great point about how it didn't say anything about his reason for going to hell being anything other than his being rich.

  2. "Worshiping money. I think here what he means by “worshiping” money is just another way of saying that you focus your life around it. "

    that makes sense, especially since he lived a life where he didn't seem to really need money. Although it is interesting that it seems to involve going to towns and joining people at their tables eating with them. Even though Jesus didn't use money he sure did seem to rely on people who do. (I guess the counter to my point is if he can feed 5000 with a few fish and loaves I'm sure he could feed himself without much problem)

    That is a good point about v. 15, if he had said something like "Men esteem things that are detestable to God..." then we could just say that it is some things. But the way it is written it seems to lend itself to your point.

    for the divorce thing, I went ahead and added verse 4 to the Deuteronomy passage, it makes more sense to me. But your point still stands, in Deuteronomy it seems to be saying divorce is ok and here it says divorce is tantamount to adultery.

    As for adultery being punishable by death, I guess this is a good verse saying that. At first I thought that it should only apply to the wife of a neighbor, but I guess that what she is if Jesus is basically saying the divorce didn't count.


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