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