For years and years I was befuddled by the Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16). It is too long to quote here. The essence is that the master fires his manager who then reasons to himself, “What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg- I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.”
The manager then goes to his master’s debtors while still in his master’s service, sits down with them, and cuts their debt in half. In short, the manager is stealing from the master in order to win favor with his master’s debtors.
This is all well and good until the real shock comes in verse 8: “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly.”
I wasn’t expecting that.
I have heard various interpretations of this passage attempting to show that in fact Jesus was not speaking favorably about the dishonest manager but this seems to fly in the face of the text.