Saturday, 21 September 2013

The parable of the dishonest manager

This morning's Gospel reading contains a fiendishly difficult parable - probably the strangest one that Jesus told!  Seriously, have a look at it in Luke 16.  What on earth was Jesus going on about?!

Here's my paraphrase to read to the Sunday Club children. I hope I've managed to explain it without changing it.

Jesus told this story:

Once there was an accountant who worked for a very rich man, managing all his money.  Over time he started to be dishonest, stealing some of the money and hiding it away for himself.

In the end his master found out, of course, and straight away he gave the accountant his notice.  The accountant knew that he was going to get the sack, and he was terrified.  He thought, “What will I do when I lose my job?  My master will take back all this money I’ve saved, and I will have nothing.”  

After a night of worrying, the accountant had an idea.  The next day he went in for his last day of work to tidy up the accounts, and he called up all the people who were in debt to his master.  While he still had control of the money, he generously halved their debts and sent them away happy, knowing that when he lost his job, he would find a friend among the people he had helped.

The rich man still sacked his accountant, of course, but he had to laugh and admit that the man had been very cunning with his money!

The disciples listened to the story, and I expect they were wondering, “Is Jesus telling us that it’s OK to be dishonest?  Or what?”  But Jesus looked at them with a twinkle in his eye and said, “Isn’t it funny that even a corrupt accountant knew that the best way to make money work for him in the end was to give it away!  You need to be cunning with your money, too.  If you can’t be careful with earthly money, how will you gain heavenly riches?  Money works best when you use it generously.  You can’t hang on to your money and still love God."


  1. I like this a lot - would be good for our adults with learning difficulties too! Lynn

  2. This is excellent. I think many adults would like a translation like this!