Dear Reader:Today is the eve of Good Friday for the Greek Orthodox world.It is also the last day of the Jewish Passover.What a perfect time to to celebrate the “gift” of the Lord Jesus Christ! Since you have read this far, it is time we have some fun by looking at the true meaning of this Parable; Luke 16.
Jesus said; “It is impossible to be a slave to two masters”; therefore if I am His slave it is then impossible to be a slave to Mammon! Good News! You must choose between God or Money (mammon), but when you do choose, you exclude the other! Jesus said this, not me.
Back to the story; The Steward is working for a “Master” who makes his living by selling “unjust things” to buyers on credit at a big profit. You might call him a “Loan Shark” who preys on the material needs of his neighbors.He sends out his steward under threat of removal from his job to collect his back accounts.The steward does collect something from the debtors, that is obvious or the story makes no sense, but he reduces the debt to something they can pay in order to win favor with them.The “Master” is also pleased because he got something back on what he was owed.This seems like a win-win situation except for one thing, there is cheating going on all around. This does not sound like God’s way, He does not lie or cheat! You know that the people are still not free because the Steward was not “legally” authorized to forgive the “Debt” owed to the master, and the people were still in bondage to him! The respite was only temporary!
Allow me to depart from the “orthodox” religious interpretation and look at this story from a little different position.Now Jesus was a cleaver teacher, and often He used money as an analogy for spiritual things.I believe it is the same here. The “true” meaning of this parable is to reveal the hypocrisy of the “Babylonian-type” religious system that had taken a strangle hold over the Jewish temple-based worship of the day.Let us say that we switch roles and that the Steward represent the Pharisees, and the “Master” is not the true “Living God” but instead, the god of this world; The “devil”.Let us then presume the “adikia” or “unrighteous goods” are the “sins” of the people. Now lets see what our Lord is saying about the corrupt religious system of his day; the people are held in bondage to a cruel Master because of debts that are so large they can never hope to pay them off. The priests are sent to negotiate a “debt reduction” to something they can afford to pay, thereby winning favor with the people and pretending they are “Friends” of the people. The reality is that the people are being cheated and held in bondage to an unjust ‘Master” who will never give them their deserved freedom. They are perpetually held hostage to their debts of guilt and shame, in fact it is a “Shame-Based Religious system”.The people constantly have to negotiate with the “priests” to keep the “Master” off of their backs.In fact, they have traded on cruel master in Egypt for na even more cruel “master” in “Babylon” (Israel).
Jesus knew this was not His Father’s intent, and that the system the Father had initiated was based on Faith, Love and Mercy; not the shame-based works-based system of the “Pharisees” and the Babylonian World System. Jesus came to set us free from the false “Master of this world-devil” by giving himself up as the sacrifice to be the ‘Passover Lamb”, on Calvary’s Cross! Jesus paid it all; Permanently! Once and forever. Therefore we are to live by faith in God’s son, Jesus!
Sadly, most of today’s so called Christian Churches have returned to the devil’s own “shame-based” religious system that Jesus died to set us free from.Works and guilt are the driving force behind most of the “Christian” religions of today as they seek to emulate the Babylonian World system surrounding us in the government, banks, businesses,and politics. As one candidate for President said lately;”It’s a rigged system”, and he is right! Rigged by the “Prince” of this world.
My brothers and sisters; “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace”, trusting in our Lord Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the Cross.Let us not get sucked back in to the word’s system, a system that is rigged so we can never win. Unfortunately , most Pastors, priests, Rabbis of today are still operating on the Guilt-shame-based religious system Jesus despised. Today and every day, please remember; “He whom the Son Sets Free is Free Indeed!”
Amen; Maranatha!

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