While sharing the parable of the shrewd manager, Jesus makes an interesting observation. Even in the first century, followers of Jesus did not treat one another as well as non-believers. Perhaps, competition, immaturity and judgmental spirits began to cause infighting within the body of Christ. Instead of demonstrating the love of God as salt and light, Matthew 5:13-15, religious leaders afraid to let go of Judaism stunted the spiritual growth of many new converts.
And his master commended the unjust manager [not for his misdeeds, but] because he had acted shrewdly [by preparing for his future unemployment]; for the sons of this age [the non-believers] are shrewder in relation to their own kind [that is, to the ways of the secular world] than are the sons of light [the believers], Luke 16:8.
In the passage above, Jesus refers to non-believers as the sons of this age. To certain extent, many of these individuals would be categorized as amoral, not knowing right from wrong. Yet, the parable of the shrewd manager illustrates that it’s never too late to change. Despite whatever misdeeds you have committed in the past, God uses conviction to elicit repentance. When the man in this story was fearful his position would be lost, a sense of desperation produced a series of business transactions to save his job.
And I tell you [learn from this], make friends for yourselves [for eternity] by means of the wealth of unrighteousness [that is, use material resources as a way to further the work of God], so that when it runs out, they will welcome you into the eternal dwellings, Luke 16:9.
The passage above urges readers to avoid legalism which stifles faith. Instead of analyzing this or that, don’t be afraid to use earthly income to make friends for eternity. While this context contradicts other passages above money, Jesus wants people to realize that material resources purchased by wealth furthers the work of God. Essentially, what Jesus is saying is the sons of this age are like a harvest waiting to be picked. However, the workers with the right mentality are few. Thus, if you want to become fishers of men, set your heart and mind on things above.
by Jay Mankus