The reproach of Jesus


  Posted by James H on Friday, March 27 3:46 am

This is one of the hardest parables to understand. Yet I offer my personal opinion as the way I see it. All due respects to the fact I might not have the truest understanding.
Mammon is the power of wealth in the world, and its a fallen world where justice does not prevail.
When the unjust steward was accused of mismanagement he became against his master. Mammon became the thing he hates or the thing he despised. We dont know if he was unfaithful or not, but he was accused. Judgiing by his actions, he loved justice more than mammon.
Therefore he resolved to leave his job and give away some of the debt owing to his master.
Already you can hear the Pharisees who loved money jeering at this behaviour, as Jesus spoke this parable. Thier haughty spirit and proud ways were all about the so called decency of wealth. Perhaps the steward had inside knowledge all along that the debts were too much for people to pay and a burden that God had never ordained. The steward knew the sham of wealth and could make good conversation with the class of people usually oppressed by the people of wealth, no less also than the relgious leaders of the day - and today. He knew he might at least have somewhere to stay if by his generosity he would be remembered when and if he had no place to live and no more job to depend on.
Whether he was commended by the principle of mammon or by the Lord I am not totally sure. I think it is Jesus who commended him for his resolve to uphold true justice knowing that there is no righteousness in mammon. Thus, the idea is to be giving it away, not hording it up. This is consistent with so much the New Testament says about riches. That is, to lay them down and follow Him, not lay them up on earth where moth and rust corrup and thieves break through and steal. Use it to make friends and be giving, and be more concerned about true justice that only God is the author of. For the unjust steward, to remain in his position would therefore be made to remain as the accused and unjust. This would be being faithful to his master, and despising or hating God, truth and justice. In whatever seemingly small way there was faithfulness, there would also be great faithfullness. He that is unjust in the least, is also unjust in much. Therefore, the steward had to make his resolve one way or the other. You cannot serve two masters. I feel that the parable illustrates more about the stewards contempt for mammon than the love of God and so the Pharisees revolted as they heard this because they were steeped in the ways of wealth, believing it to be the ultimate tool for good. Yet God in Jesus announced, 'that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God'. I believe the steward was fed up with the things of the decietfulness of riches and the cares of this world and became resolute enough to reject his place with mammon and stand up for true justice by deploring its principles and forgiving the debts the way he did. Its a bit like Moses who forsook all the pleasures of Egypt and went and lived with the Hebrew outcasts, 'esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the [ heavenly ] reward. Heb 11:26
Thus we can see the Godly things to esteem are heavenly things and the earlthy things are an abomination. Paul counted all his losses as a dunghill. I dont know for sure, but his high rank in the Jewish orders would have had a lot to do with wealth and the principles of mammon. Man sees the good works in it. God sees the heart. What do we have in out heart? Will we be like the unjst steward and take up our cross, or we will side with mammon and not care about truth, about justice, about firstly seeking His kingdom and His righteousness. Will we have faith like Moses, not knowing fully about God, but leaving all, forsaking all and following Him - not as a prosperity doctrine, but in his reproach? Even I am convicted by this. amen

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