Luke 16:10-12 (ESV)
One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?
And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?
So now this passage has gotten stuck in my head.
If you’re interested in my thoughts, it would be good to begin by reading the preceding 9 verses of Luke 16.
~ Jesus was talking to people (natural-born Israelites) who were preoccupied with receiving the promised perfect Kingdom of God (Luke 17:20-21; Acts 1:6-8)
~The problem is that they had mismanaged the information God had entrusted to them regarding that Kingdom, and were about to lose their former privileged position as Kingdom stewards (Matthew 21:33-43)
~According to Matthew 21:45-46, the religious leaders understood the reprimand contained in Jesus’ message to be about them…and they did not respond well.
~ Romans 10:2-4 specifically details their error to be misapplication of the Law as a means of personally attaining necessary righteousness that is accessible through faith in Christ alone. By adopting this alternative view, the leaders of Israel subsequently rejected the Christ who came to establish the Kingdom.
~Because of their negligence and hostility toward Jesus, He predicted:
Matthew 21:43 (ESV) Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.
~Not too long after Jesus’ crucifixion and ascension, Jerusalem was destroyed (70ad) and the Kingdom message of the Gospel was entrusted to the Gentile-dominated Christian Church.
~Personally, I have not yet found any biblical evidence to support the idea that the Kingdom was permanently taken from all who originally were given the trust.
Actually, much of the OT prophetic writings indicate that there would be a time that God allows the contrary people to be punished for their disrespect and that they would be dominated by their enemies, yet at least some would eventually accept their Messiah and be purified by Him.
Paul also discussed this hope in his letter to the Roman Christians.
~Anyway, there are probably many personal applications regarding responsibility and integrity that we could derive from the Luke 16 passage.
•for instance, if I cannot manage to properly care for a rental car or house, when I’ve signed a well-defined agreement…why should anyone believe that I would do better as an owner, making up my own rules?
• James (3:1-12) wrote that those who do not “bridle their tongues”, ought not be trusted to accurately teach the Word of God to others.
•If a business employee will steal from, or lie to, either their employer or clients, why would anyone think the individual should be trusted as a business owner?
•If a man does not visibly demonstrate respect for the wife, daughter, or even girlfriend, of another man…even when that man isn’t in the room…how could he be trusted to care for a family of his own?