Money is a part of life. Nothing shocking about that statement. Money is needed to pay the rent and buy groceries. We donate money to support those organizations that we value for the work they do. Politics seems to be getting more and more dependent upon it and the influence gained is troublesome. Money gives us status. The car and house and boat and jewelry, etc. it buys makes people take notice. Money in many ways is power to be used for good or harm. Jesus is talking about money. He advises us to be wise regarding its use because money will either serve us and God’s kingdom or we will serve it.
Jesus told a parable. A man was placed in a crisis because he was about to lose his job. His status was changing from being a manager to hard physical work or begging and neither was what he wanted for his life. So he summoned his boss’s debtors and changed the financial books. The result was they were now indebted to him. In the end the man was still jobless but the boss praised him for his shrewdness. Jesus also seems to praise the man as well. So what gives?
Again, money is needed to purchase necessities and housing. Money also gives influence and power. Money is status. There are some people who understand this very well. Jesus commends the children of this age for knowing this better than the children of light. This is all about faithfulness with the wealth that we are given in life and knowing how to use it to further the kingdom of God.
Money can be used to keep people in slavery and indebtedness. Do we know how it can be used to set people free? Money can be used to the advantage of the powerful. Do we know how it can be used so the weak can find justice? Money can be used to exacerbate our desire for more. Do we know how it can be used to help those who don’t have enough? Money can be used to establish our importance. Do we know how it can be used to elevate the value of others?
Jesus wants us to know the real value of money. What is important falls under the category of faithfulness. What is important is to know who in the end we are going to serve.