Posted on 14-Nov-2014
When Jesus was on Earth, he often told parables, which are to teach us more about the kingdom of God through stories. When you hear a parable, we can usually relate it to our life and use it to bring ourselves closer to God.One of such parables is the parable of the shrewd manager (Luke 16), which was told to his disciples and also one of the few parables where an unholy man is used to illustrate unholiness, mainly told against the Pharisees. The parable begins with a rich man calling his steward before him to inform him that he will be relieving him of his duties for mismanaging his master’s resources. A steward is a person who manages the resources of another. The steward had authority over all of the master’s resources and could transact business in his name. This requires the utmost level of trust in the steward. Now, it may not be apparent at this point in the parable (but is made more evident later on), but the master is probably not aware of steward’s dishonesty. The steward is being released for apparent mismanagement, not fraud. This explains why he is able to conduct a few more transactions before he is released and why he is not immediately tossed out on the street or executed.
The steward, realising that he will soon be without a job, makes some shrewd deals behind his master’s back by reducing the debt owed by several of the master’s debtors in exchange for shelter when he is eventually put out. When the master becomes aware of what the wicked servant had done, he commends him for his “shrewdness.”