This Week's Story

Jesus gives a twist to a parable about a rich man and his cheating assistant.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

I’m listening.

When Jesus talks, l listen. Sometimes I don’t understand Him and I ask, “Would you explain what you said?” He often will.

Usually His stories are about everyday people. He gets me thinking. I’m convinced He knows my thoughts and everybody around us. When I stopped fishing so I could follow Him, I knew He was different.

Yesterday Jesus told a story about a rich business man. I’ll call the man Chandler. He heard a rumor that his right-hand assistant is dishonest, a genuine scumbag. So the rich man called his assistant into his office. “James, I hear you are stealing from me. Make a financial report detailing all the projects you have been supervising. Then, your  work here is finished!”

James thought, I’m not leaving this job empty-handed. Nobody’s going to see me begging and I for sure am not going to work outdoors. I’m a white-collar man.

I have a good idea.  It will make friends for me who will be happy to help me. I’ll make deals with the guys who owe money to my boss, before the word gets out that I’ve been fired.

James moved swiftly to speak one by one to his boss’s debtors. He asked the first one, “How much do you owe Chandler?”

“800 gallons of olive oil.”

“You can tear up your bill and I’ll approve a new one. You now owe 400 gallons.”

The man was stunned.

The second debtor was asked by James, “How much do you owe Chandler?”

“One thousand bushels of wheat.”

James announced, “Your bill is now for 800 bushels.”

The man was too startled to speak.

James met with all of the debtors. Their big and little debts were reduced.

Of course, Chandler heard about the new deals. “James, you’re a clever crook. You understand people. My compliments! However, I want your financial report Monday. Tuesday, you could hang out with your new friends. Maybe one of them will provide you with a new job.”

That was all Jesus said about the rich man and his cheating assistant. Then He added one of his twists. “The people in this world who are unconcerned about holy living have more hard-headed wisdom than godly people.”

He added, “Use what you own to help others and make friends.That’s a way of earning rewards in Heaven.”

Now I’m thinking. I’m a down-to-earth fisherman. I know how to work and make a living. I don’t get scammed. My friends might call me a hothead, but never a phony. I ought to get what Jesus is saying, but His wisdom is unusual. He can see strength in the ungodly and weakness in the godly. Imagine Jesus wanting me to consider that the cheating assistant in the story had some wisdom. And what’s the point about rewards? I don’t get it. I know Jesus despises how some of our religious leaders work for rewards and attention rather than for love of God and man.

I better listen. He has more to say.

This is Barbara Steiner watching Peter as he kept watching and listening to Jesus. Please check out thisweeksstory.com.

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