Summary: A look at examples of stewardship in the Gospel of John.
· So what is the “S” word?
· Hint – it’s a topic that is frequently avoided in polite Christian circles. One that we don’t like to discuss. One that we should talk about more that we do.
· Sin? Good guess. It comes close, but not quite.
· Sex? We could hear more good teaching on this subject, but I’m not going to try that today.
· Service? Sacrifice? No, its Stewardship. Almost guaranteed to strike fear in the heart of both the speaker and the listener.
· Christina Onassis: Happiness is not based on money. And the best proof of that is our family.
· Senator Everett Dirkson: You spend a billion here and a billion there. Sooner or later it adds up to real money.
· John Wesley: When the possessor of heaven and earth brought you into being and placed you in this world, He placed you here not as owner but as a steward.
· Ron Blue, author of Master Your Money: Stewardship is the use of God-given resources for the accomplishment of God-given goals.
A Yuppie Prayer
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray my Cuisinart to keep.
I pray my stocks are on the rise,
And that my analyst is wise,
That all the wine I sip is white
And that my hot tub’s watertight,
That racquetball won’t get too tough,
That all my sushi’s fresh enough.
I pray my cordless phone still works,
That my career won’t lose its perks,
My microwave won’t radiate,
My condo won’t depreciate.
I pray my health club doesn’t close
And that my money market grows.
If I go broke before I wake,
I pray my Volvo they won’t take.
· 1/6 of gospels and 1/3 of parables deal with stewardship
· words that do NOT appear in John: tithe, treasure, wealth, gold, silver, sacrifice
· Offering – once (8:20), but referring to the “place where offerings were put”
· Coin – once (2:15), in story of cleansing of the temple
· Money – two places: cleansing and in Mary anointing Jesus
· Focus on verses 8, 9
· Humanize the story – we all know how little children are. See the boy listening to the conversation. He starts tugging at Andrew’s sleeve – “I’ve got my lunch here. You can give it to someone who is really hungry.” Andrew finally relents and takes the boy to Jesus.
· A little boy willing to share his lunch. It’s a small amount against an insurmountable need. Because he was willing to give, Jesus was able to work the miracle. The boy’s faith made the miracle possible. Philip and Andrew didn’t believe there was a solution.
· The boy was a steward – he probably didn’t make the bread, his mother gave it to him. He didn’t catch the fish or clean it, his father gave it to him. He had the tools for a great ministry and was willing to put them to put them to use when the time was right.
· Lesson: small gifts and faith are the ingredients of a miracle.
· Relate to our regular and faithful giving – our weekly offerings.
· Long-term saving used in an extravagant act of worship.
· About a year’s wages poured out on Jesus feet
· Once poured out the oil could not be recovered, nor could it be used again. It was given completely and irrevocably.