The Shrewd Manager?
This summer we've been engaging the parables in our series The Stories Jesus Told. You may recall how, a couple months ago, I invited anyone in our community to “tell us what to preach on.”
Any story Jesus tells, we'll preach on it.
Last Sunday was one of those “tell us what to preach on” sermons. Kay Pitsenberger, who offered an accompanying song in our Summer Solo Series, prompted Pastor Paul to preach on two of Jesus' parables: The Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin. Both the solo and the sermon were masterful.
(Especially when Paul displayed how it looks when all 6 feet 8 inches of him uses an elliptical exercise machine. If you missed the sermon, it's worth watching if for only those few moments of hilarity.)
On Sunday, I'll take up another requested sermon on a parable called The Shrewd Manager. I'd planned on offering it a month ago, until I realized something very interesting. Not necessarily it's content, but it's location in Luke's gospel.
You see, the parable of the Shrewd Manager follows closely behind those stories about the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin. And the story which immediately precedes is called The Lost - or Prodigal - Son. Better yet, sons.
In his book on that famous parable, Timothy Keller concludes,
Jesus is showing us the God of the Great Expenditure, who is nothing if not prodigal toward us, his children. God's reckless grace is our greatest hope, a life-changing experience…
It's not just the son who is prodigal, but also the Father!?
Multiple times over the past month I’ve found myself asking, “What was Jesus up to - telling stories as different as these back to back?”
And, “What was I thinking inviting anyone to tell us what to preach on!?”