A church for all nations

The Gospel of Luke: Jesus is for everyone – God is a God of judgment and mercy

The Gospel of Luke: Jesus is for everyone – God is a God of judgment and mercy

Luke 16:1-8

What does this parable mean? Jesus appears to commend dishonesty and fraud. How do we explain Jesus’ teaching? We have to remember that all Scripture is from God (2 Timothy 3:16). We cannot skip past difficult passages. We need to read this parable through the eyes of those listening and not through today’s understanding.

The parable of the prodigal son immediately precedes this parable. God is a forgiving father. The powerful master is God and a God of judgment and mercy. The manager represents us. God has entrusted everything to us and we have wasted everything God has given us. A judgment day is coming. We are facing losing everything under the judgment of God. Our only hope is to put our trust in God’s mercy. The manager puts His trust in the mercy of God.

From this parable we learn that:

  1. God is a God of judgement – God calls His manager to give an account. God does not turn a blind eye to our sin. Our only hope is in what Jesus did on the cross. God has invested so much in us and He will call us to account for everything we have done with it. How are you using what God has given you? None of us will escape the judgement of God.
  2. God is a God who is rich in mercy – God has given us time to repent, time to trust Him, time to serve Him. The manager in this parable was a very important man. He was the rich mans personal representative. Many people depended on him. The crowd would have been angry that the manager had wasted the rich man’s possessions. They would have expected the manager to be executed or at least put in prison. The rich man gives the manager a warning and time to sort things out. God is incredibly rich in mercy to each one of us. God doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve (Psalm 103:10). God does warn us that judgement is coming, but He allows us time to tell others of His mercy.
  3. How should we respond to God? – We are like the manager. God has given us everything. Sin has spoiled everything. God will call us to give an account for what He has given us. If we put our trust in what Jesus has done, we will be forgiven and be saved. We have a responsibility to tell others of God’s grace and mercy. We should be introducing people to our master, Jesus, who has paid for our sins on the cross.