Note: After a series of teachings/parables directed to those opposed to him, Jesus now addresses ‘his disciples’.
Some of us were brought up against the expression, “the lure of possessions”.
That temptation was obviously very active in 30 CE. What drove Rome to invade Palestine, let alone invade Ukraine? Our papers are full of stories of stewards on fabulous money desiring to be paid ten million more or at least substantial bonuses. Regardless of the size of the pay packet, Jesus is reminding his chosen ones that there is always a time of reckoning. The auditor will get you!
The teaching is not so much about possessions, after all, he happily allowed the women of his group to provide for the wandering band out of their own resources (cf. Luke 8:1-3).
Now, just maybe, the steward in this case was not cheating his master but offering a discount from his own cut, and thus being somewhat prudent. Go with less at the moment, to ensure that there will be some in the future. He will, after the auditors visit, lose his present job!
I wonder what the disciples were making of this. A message was clearly being sent to them, the chosen ones.
Jesus amongst us has often been described as “God’s visitation of his people”. If so, the disciples then, and we today, are the stewards entrusted with right dispensing of the goods of the earth, and of our own possessions.
Recall a former message about storing up “treasures in heaven”. There seems to be a message here about almsgiving. Those who worship possessions and cling to them as ultimate, invite the auditor to find them unworthy of a place in the Kingdom of heaven. Our job is to make sure that we use what we have to secure a place with God.
A tough lesson for an emerging Church and its chosen stewards. A lesson still appropriate 2000 years later.