Sermons

Summary: Jesus is saying to His disciples that they can learn from non-Christian dedication, even the dedication of crooks. Look at the world and learn something from their commitment to their evil goals.

Have you ever heard or read of such a unique and perfectly planned crime that you said to

yourself, "That was really clever"? For example, was it not amazing that that group of men in

England could steal millions of dollars without firing a shot? We have to admit it was a bad thing

well done. They knew what they were doing, and were dedicated to their plan. We do not

approve of their crime, but we admire their commitment. They were willing to sacrifice their life

for the goal they have chosen. Does this sound like blasphemy to be admiring the dedication of

clever crooks and their evil schemes? If it does, it may be because we have forgotten how seldom

Jesus used people with halos to illustrate His teachings.

Do you remember the story of the mean old judge who would not help a poor old widow? But

she kept bothering him till he finally gave in, and what Christ was teaching was this: If a stubborn

unjust judge will help a widow just to get rid of her, how much more will God help those who call

upon Him because He loves them? Or what of the story of the man wanting bread who goes to his

neighbor who is in bed? He tries to get him to go away, but finally just to get rid of him he gets up

and gives him bread. The point is, if a man will be kind in order to get rid of a nuisance, how

much more will God be kind to those who come to Him in need?

We are now considering a parable that has perplexed many people, and has caused some critics

to say that Jesus taught it was wise to cheat if you are smart enough to get by with it. The hero of

the story is an outright crook, and Jesus uses him as an example for His disciples. Jesus was not

limited to saints for His illustrations. Jews could not loan money for interest, so they hired Gentile

stewards to do it for them. The steward was completely in charge, and he kept all the books. He

would loan to farmers to get them going, and they would pay back so much of a percent of their

crops. He was one who made sure they paid back the right percentage.

This particular steward was wasting his master's profits (no doubt in wickedness, for the word

is the same as that used of the Prodigal who wasted his substance in riotous living). When his

master heard of it, he called him and told him to give an account. When he saw that the books

were false he fired him. The steward faced the consequences and pictured the future. He was not

able to dig or beg, so he came up with a clever plan. He called his lord's debtors and gave them all

a big discount so they would be his friends when he lost his job, and in gratitude would take him

in. It was so clever that even his lord, when he heard of it, said that the man was really sharp. It is

a shame to lose a man with such a good head on his shoulders. Jesus then comments on this story

and teaches us some lessons from this unjust steward. First we see

I. A LESSON ON THE WISDOM OF THE WORLD. v.8

In World War II, Leslie Weatherhead was in a battalion located in a bend of the Tigris River.

They were constantly annoyed by the cleverest thieves in the world-the Arabs. The men would

sleep with revolvers under their pillows and have them stolen in the night. They even tried to bury

their rifles under the surface of the ground and fasten straps to their wrists. After a night of

unbroken slumber they would wake to find them stolen. Two of his fellow officers were so angry

they were determined to shoot any Arab on sight, and so with rifles loaded they laid out in the

desert all night to keep watch. They did not hear or see anything, but when they came back to

their tent in the morning, the entire contents had been looted. They were absolute experts in the

field of crime.

'Twas the night before Thanksgiving,

And all through the plane

Not a stewardess was smiling,

Or serving champagne.

The reason was because a skyjacker by the name of Don Copper had flashed a bomb and

demanded 200,000 and four parachutes. In Seattle the demand was me, and the passengers were

allowed to leave the plane. He then ordered the pilot to fly to Mexico. Somewhere between

Seattle and Reno he opened the rear door and bailed out with the money. Law enforcement

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