70 Prepare to meet your God!

Luke 16:1-13
Amos   4:12
T The sons of this age

While He goes north to the Perea district, probably, this is a different town from the last time, but many people surround around Jesus. Surely, a part of Pharisees reproved by Jesus in Chapter 15 last time will be there together. There is it, "He was also saying to the disciples" (1); and it seems that He has taught, related to the parable of Prodigal Son which was spoken in Chapter 15, how to face Mammon of this world (wealth). And it was also the story which was put Pharisees in a view who had heard it near.

"There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and this steward was reported to him as squandering his possessions." (1)  A manager, it is the duties entrusted with overall responsibility of business; he oversees the servant in the house, and he manages its operation and management of the property of his master. In a sense, he takes the responsibility heavier than the master. There is it, "reported"; but rather it should be said as "a tattle" (口語訳、新共同訳). It is thought it was the whistle-blowing by the co-worker, if say it in modern. He who was demanded the presentation of the documents such as accountings from from the master said, "What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg.". And he thought of a good method after he thought in various ways. While he is still a job as a janitor, he uses its authority to the maximum and plans future stability. He called debtors and said. "Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty." (5-6) "Take your bill, and write eighty." (7) Because 1 Barbate is about 37 liters and 1 Col is about 370 liters, 100 Barbate and 100 Col are tremendous amount. This janitor moved such a many thing by his own discretion. Because the master left all of the business to him and did not participate in a acknowledgment of a debt before rewriting, even if it was rewritten, probably he would not be able to see through its injustice. Why? Because the accusation of the detailed person (probably a co-worker) about it was there. Then, the motive of whistle-blower itself must be asked. The ambitious person who aims to avoid him and want to become a manager; a image of such a person will come to float. If we imagine so, "And this master praised the unrighteous steward because he had acted shrewdly;" (8), it seems to be the reasonable saying; and the master has let him continue the job, because originally he bought the ability of this competent steward. It is not just a lip service. When this happens, it is also admirable cunning.


U As sons of light

Jesus who told this parable would have wanted that the disciples learn the sageness (never be injustice!), as a manager of the kingdom of God. That intelligence was basic posture to have to stand as a Christian, and it was completely opposite to the manner that this manager took. Please listen to the words of the conclusion of Jesus. "And his master praised the unrighteous steward because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light." (8) Both this master and a manager are people belonging to "the world". Probably, "the sons of light" points to the disciples hearing this story. From its symmetrical phraseology, it seems to be conscious that the "world" is darkness. For Jesus, both this master and the manager are the same kind. Surely of course, he must repay the money that he embezzled; after that the master attached a check function and would return him to the job; of course it will not be same until now. And because the disciples who heard this story were sons of the world a while ago, it is thought that they were able to understand this story of Jesus enough. However, it was the stance as the children of the light, and it was not wisdom of the world, that they must really understand. Besides, it was the stance as the son of light involved in this world.

Teaching of Jesus begins. "And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings. He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous mammon, who will entrust the true riches to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (9-13)


V Prepare to meet your God

This has been stranded in a very difficult place, but I must ascertain it somehow or other. It is "make friends for yourselves by means of the mammon of unrighteousness" at Verse 9. What will it mean? "Unrighteous", it succeeds a title prefixed to "the unrighteous manager" coming out following from the parable at 16:1, and it will be a keyword of whole of this point. "The unrighteous" of "this unrighteous manager", it is "the world". This points at overall extremely normal working of the human being society, and it does not particularly emphasize a concept of "bad". There is it in Enoch Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, "And we pass away from before His face on account of our works. And all our sins reckoned up in righteousness. Now they shall say themselves: Our souls are full of prevent us from descending from the midst thereof into burden of Soul." (63:9-10); when we hear fairness points God and injustice points at a human being, the way of speaking "Mammon of the injustice" can nod that it is extremely normal expression. Because a human being has no choice but to stand as a sinner before God. So, if I omit boldly the word "bad", I seem to be able to see this part a little.

"The mammon" was a thing of the world, but disciples were called into the world. It will be asked how you use mammon of the world. "Make friends", it points to the work of a preacher finding people believing Jesus. It reminds the instruction of Jesus that "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;" (Matthew 28:19 -20). It which takes people back into the light is appropriate work for "the sons of the light". "When it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings." (9); we hear this is a promise of Jesus, and an ending of the work is completed by the best blessing of God. "When it fails", will it be the time when we parted from the world? It may suggest martyrdom. Paul said in his last letter; "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge," (2 Timothy 4:7-8). We want to be such a way of life, too?

The following from Verse 11, this seems a message of Luke quoted Sermon on the Mount of Matthew (6:24); but, for the people who was called as a son of light, the only necessary thing is "faithfulness"; and when it asks to me, it lacks to me. It does not need the brilliant grandstand play. But, we hear words of God, and only to pass it on. "Faithfulness", it will be meaning faithful to the words of God. There is it in Amos, "Prepare to meet your God, O Israel." (Amos 4:12). Will this be what is needed in this era of us now?


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