The story about the manager that cheated
Then Jesus told his followers another picture story. He said, “There was a rich man that had a big business, and he had another man working in his office. That other man was his manager. He looked after the rich mans money.
Somebody told the rich man, ‘Look, your manager is wasting your money.’ So that boss said to his manager, ‘They tell me you are not doing your job properly. So I’m going to sack you, and you will not have a job any more. Now write down everything you have done with my money, and after that, you have to go.’
The manager thought to himself, ‘Soon I will not have a job. What will I do to get money for my food? I’m not strong enough to do hard work, like digging the ground. And if I ask people for money all the time, I will feel shame. What can I do? I know what to do. I will do something to get people to like me, so that after I lose my job, they will look after me, and they will let me live in their homes.’
There were some people that borrowed things from that rich man, and they didn’t give anything back to him yet. So the manager called those people into the office. He asked one man, ‘What did you borrow from my boss?’
That man said, ‘I borrowed 100 drums of oil.’
The manager said, ‘We can change that. Here is the paper that has the numbers on it. I’ll let you change it right now. Make it 50 drums of oil.’
Then the manager asked the next man, ‘What did you borrow from my boss?’
That man said, ‘I borrowed 100 bags of flour.’
The manager said, ‘We can change that. Here is the paper that has the numbers on it. I’ll let you change it right now. Make it 80 bags of flour.’
That manager was cheating his boss, but his boss thought, ‘This man is a liar and a cheat, but he is smart too. He has done something that will help him get his food later.’ ”
Then Jesus said, “You know, the people that don’t care about God, but only care about the things in this world, they are smart with the things of this world. Gods people are not so smart with the things of this world.
This is what you can learn from that story. Use your money now to help people that need money, and then later, after you die, and you haven’t got any money, God will say, ‘Good on you. Come and live with me for ever.’ ”
Jesus talked about money
10 Then Jesus said, “If people can trust you with little things, they can trust you with big things too. If you cheat with little things, you will cheat with big things too. 11 So if you cheat when you handle money and other things of this world, God will not trust you to look after his very special things. 12 And if you don’t look after other people’s things properly, God will not give you things for yourself.
13 You see, you cant work for 2 bosses at the same time. If you try to do that, you will like one boss and work properly for him, and you will not like the other boss, and you will not work properly for him. You see, you cant have God as your boss, and money as your boss, both at the same time.”*
God knows more than people know, and his word is strong
14 Some of the Pharisee mob were there. They were strong for the Jewish law. And they loved money a lot too, so when they heard Jesus teach those things, they laughed at him. 15 Then Jesus told them, “You mob want everyone to think you are good, but God knows what you are really like, and he knows what you think inside your heads. You see, there are things that people reckon are important, but God thinks those things are rubbish.
16 You know, God gave Moses the law for people to follow, and he sent his other men to tell people God’s messages. And God’s people had to follow those words, from the time of Moses until the time that John the Baptiser came. Then John told people about the new way. And I’m telling people about that new way too. I’m telling them how to join God’s family too, and now lots of people are trying hard to get into God’s family. 17 But the laws from Moses will not go away. You know, the sky and the earth will stay here for a long time, and while they stay here, God’s words will stay here too. God will not change any little bit of them.”*
Don’t split up your marriage
18 Then Jesus said, “Some of those words from God are about people that want to break up their marriage. It is wrong. If a man divorces his wife and marries another woman, he is sleeping with the wrong woman. She is not his proper wife. And if another man marries the divorced woman, that man is sleeping with the wrong woman too.”*
The story about a rich man and a poor man
19 Jesus told them another picture story. He said, “There was a rich man that always wore really good clothes, and he always had plenty of good food to eat. 20 And there was a very poor man. His name was Lazarus. He had a lot of sores on his body, and he was hungry, but he had nothing to eat. So he used to lie down at the gate of the rich man’s house. 21 He wanted to get some of the rubbish food that the rich man chucked away. But that rich man didn’t give him anything. And that poor man couldn’t stop the dogs there from licking his sores.
22 Then one day, the poor man died, and God sent his angel messengers to get him and take him to be with Abraham, our grand-father that died a long time ago.
Then later the rich man died, and his family buried his body. 23 He went to a place where dead people go. A big fire there was hurting him a lot. Then he looked up, and he saw Abraham, a long way off, and he saw Lazarus there with Abraham. 24 So he yelled out loud. He said, ‘Grand-father Abraham, this fire is hurting me a lot. Feel sorry for me, and send Lazarus to bring some water to me, and put his finger in it and then put it on my tongue, to cool it a little bit.’
25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that when you were alive on the earth, you had everything that you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here, and we are making him feel good, but you are there in that fire. 26 And anyway, he cant go to you. There is a really big gully in between this place and that place where you are. Nobody can cross over from here to that place, and nobody can come from that place to here.’
27 Then the rich man said, ‘Then how about this, Grand-father Abraham. Send Lazarus back to the earth, to my family. 28 I’ve got 5 brothers there. Get Lazarus to tell them about this bad place, so they will stop doing bad things. If they turn around and live Gods way, they will not end up in this bad place.’
29 But Abraham said, ‘God told his message to Moses, and to his other men too. They wrote Gods word in his book. Your brothers can read that book at any time, and if they do what God says, they will not end up in that bad place.’
30 The rich man said, ‘But Grand-father Abraham, my brothers don’t take any notice of God’s book. But if a dead man will come alive again and talk to them, they will take notice of him. Then they will stop doing bad things, and turn around, and do good things.’
31 But Abraham said, ‘Look, if they take no notice of Moses, and if they take no notice of the things that God’s men wrote in his book, they will not take any notice of anyone, not even a dead person that comes alive again.’ ”
* 16:13 Matthew 6:24 * 16:17 Matthew 5:18 * 16:18 1 Corinthians 7:10-11