Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Something I Would Never Have Thought Jesus Would Say

I'll sometimes be reading the Bible and get really surprised as I come across something I've never read or noticed before. This morning I read these words of Jesus--

I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. (Luke 16:9)

The part in bold is what surprised me. I have not pondered it properly yet, so I won't give an interpretation, but does anyone have any ideas about what He's saying here? On a surface level it seems out of step with other things He says.

Here's the context of the verse.


Stuart Heath said...

It's an exciting chapter, Luke 16. Get Tim Adeney going on it :) I think we might put something together on it.

Short story: money is for relationships. If you think about it, every relationship you have costs you money (in, say, coffees and meals and phone calls and clothing to wear when you go to see someone).

So we should be investing our money in relationships.

It's actually really helpful for working out what I should do with my money! "Should I spend $20,000 on my wedding? Let's see — what's the relational return on my investment?"

Ben McLaughlin said...

Thanks Stuart.

Those are really interesting thoughts, and stuff that I have really thought very little about.

I will give it some more thought. But how does this relate to the shrewd manager? I don't really get why the manager is approved of in the story, when he is being self-seeking, and is not repentant of having done a bad job.

Stuart Heath said...

Well, he's commended for being *shrewd*, not dishonest (and he, too, invests in relationships).

We need to learn to be shrewd — not to rip off our bosses, but to invest wisely.

Notice how this is different from the Pharisees who 'love money'.

Ben McLaughlin said...

so should I have gone in the lotto to invest in my relo's with work mates who were all going in it together, or should I have not gone in, to stand out as being different and opposed to gambling?

Stuart Heath said...

This is the second time someone's asked me this (though 10 days ago it was 'the dogs' rather than 'Lotto').

Lotto's not the only way you can invest in relationships. (And gambling is motivated by greed, a tax on the poor, and, like drug smuggling or many forms of advertising, tries to generate money without actual work being done.) So don't go in it. Don't make a big deal about it, but don't go in it. While you're at it, don't go to the strip club to 'invest in relationships', either :)

Ben McLaughlin said...

well, there go my plans for friday night.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ben

You may not care but yellow font is impossible to read in google reader.

Love your work.

Ben McLaughlin said...

sorry geoff.

maybe it was a subconsciously underhanded way of getting you to come straight to the source and skipping the middle man..

i'll stay black.