What Jesus Did! 'Accountable' — Luke 16:1-2

Friday, September 18, 2015

Jesus said to his followers, "Once there was a rich man. This rich man hired a manager to take care of his business. Later, the rich man learned that his manager was cheating him. So he called the manager in and said to him, 'I have heard bad things about you. Give me a report of what you have done with my money. You can't be my manager now!'"
— Luke 16:1-2
Illustration of Luke 16:1-2 — "Once there was a rich man."

Key Thought

In an age where feelings and intentions are given greater value than behavior, Jesus' teaching on being held accountable for our actions seems harsh to many. However, Jesus wants his disciples to know that his work in the lives of men and women involves the transformation of character. Character involves not only doing the right things, but also doing them for the right reasons and with the right intentions.

Today's Prayer

Father, keep my heart pure and my hands busy with your work. May my observable character and my internal desires reflect your character, grace, faithfulness, and loving kindness. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus said to his followers, "Once there was a rich man. This rich man hired a manager to take care of his business. Later, the rich man learned that his manager was cheating him. So he called the manager in and said to him, 'I have heard bad things about you. Give me a report of what you have done with my money. You can't be my manager now!' Later, the manager thought to himself, 'What will I do? My master is taking my job away from me! I am not strong enough to dig ditches. I am too proud to beg. I know what I will do! I will do something so that when I lose my job, other people will welcome me into their homes.' So the manager called in each person that owed the master some money. He said to the first man, 'How much do you owe my master?' The man answered, 'I owe him 8,000 pounds of olive oil.' The manager said to him, 'Here is your bill. Hurry! Sit down and make the bill less. Write 4,000 pounds.' Then the manager said to another man, 'How much do you owe my master?' The man answered, 'I owe him 60,000 pounds of wheat.' Then the manager said to him, 'Here is your bill; you can make it less. Write 50,000 pounds.' Later, the master told the dishonest manager that he had done a smart thing. Yes, worldly people are smarter {in their business} with the people of their time than spiritual people are. "I tell you, use the things you have here in this world to make friends {with God}. Then, when those things are gone, you will be welcomed in that home that continues forever. If a person can be trusted with small things, then he can also be trusted with big things. If a person is dishonest in little things, then he will be dishonest in big things too. If you cannot be trusted with worldly riches, then you will not be trusted with the true (heavenly) riches. And if you cannot be trusted with the things that belong to someone else, then you will not be given things of your own. "No servant can serve two masters at the same time. The servant will hate one master and love theother. Or he will be loyal to one and not care about the other. You cannot serve God and Money at the same time." The Pharisees were listening to all these things. The Pharisees criticized Jesus because they all loved money. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "You make yourselves look good in front of people. But God knows what is really in your hearts. The things that people think are important are worth nothing to God.

Luke 16:1-15

Related Scripture Readings

In the past we were foolish people too. We did not obey, we were wrong, and we were slaves to the many things our bodies wanted and enjoyed. We lived doing evil and being jealous. People hated us and we hated each other. But then the kindness and love of God our Savior was made known. He saved us because of his mercy (love), not because of any good things we did. He saved us through the washing that made us new people. He saved us by making us new through the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:3-5

And our faces are not covered. We all show the Lord's glory. We are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory. This glory comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18

So prepare your minds for service, and have self-control. All your hope should be for the gift of grace (kindness) that will be yours when Jesus Christ appears (comes). In the past you did not understand about these things, so you did the evil things you wanted. But now you are children {of God} who obey. So don't live like you lived in the past. But be holy in all the things you do, the same as God is holy. God is the One who called you. The Scriptures say, "Be holy, because I (God) am holy."

1 Peter 1:13-16

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.