In Jesus’ Parable of The Shrewd Manager, he presents a dishonest manager who through deft and cunning sought to secure a financial future for himself beyond his pending dismissal (Luke 16).
Not being the kind of man who ‘lets life happen to him,’ he quickly assesses his options: “What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg” (Luke 16:3).
It is, of course, doubtful that a man like this would ever have picked up a shovel in his life. And as for beggars, they were of a class so far below him he would have shuddered to imagine himself amongst them.
However, though he may have been too weak to work, and too timid to beg, he proved himself Strong and Courageous in the areas that mattered to him. By providing massive discounts to his boss’ customers, he made sure that he would be welcome into their presence.
This is how the Strong and Courageous of the world operate; self-preservation is paramount.
In this story Jesus is telling Christians to sharpen up! The Shrewd Manager used the resources available to him for selfish purposes, but the intelligent Christian uses the resources available to him for Kingdom purposes. So, it is by prayer, practice, and persistence that believers use time, talents, and opportunities to get people into the church.
This is indeed the Meek Inheriting the Earth. Jesus created the world for believers to glory in its beauty and blessings. But because we live amongst “Fallen Man,” we rely on God’s power to strengthen us to resist selfishness and to persevere in seeking souls.
Jesus summed up his parable by saying:
“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9).