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The day of reckoning will come

Luke 16:1-13

Pastor David Ernst

Ninth Sunday after Trinity
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

Sun, Aug 9, 2020 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The parables of Jesus Christ were stories to teach the people, accounts of comparison between this earthly life and the kingdom of heaven. Many times the parables reflected the daily life of the common people of the land of Palestine at that time. And the economy of Palestine was an agricultural economy. Most of the people worked in the fields. The businesses were based on the crops of the field. Examples of the crops were wheat and barley. Not corn. Why not corn? Corn, like cocoa, tobacco, and potatoes, is a native crop of the Americas. Before the voyages of Christopher Columbus, people in Europe and the Middle East were unaware of these crops. But wheat and barley, yes. Also, oil from olive trees, fig trees, grapes, sheep, cows, oxen, goats and horses. Why in the hymn, do we sing of Jesus Christ as the “pure white rose of Sharon”? Because Sharon was a region known for its roses and other flowers.

In today's parable, a rich man owned a lot of land. Many peasants rented his land and paid their rent from the crops. And the steward in this parable was charged with managing the rents for his lord.

"There was a rich man, who had a steward, and he was accused before him that he had dissipated his goods. And he called him, and said: What is this that I hear from you? Give an account of your stewardship, because already you cannot be a steward. "

We must understand that the behavior of the steward in this parable is not a model for managing our business. We must be honest and fair in our work. However, the point of this and other parables is how the people of this world often do good for their own interests, how much more the children of God should do good for the love of God and our neighbor. The theme of this parable is God's mercy reflected in our lives.

"Then the steward said within himself: What shall I do? Because my lord takes away the stewardship. Digging, I cannot; begging, I am ashamed. I know what I will do so that when I am removed from the stewardship, so they will welcome me into their homes. And calling to each one of his lord's debtors, he said to the first: How much do you owe my lord? And he said: One hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take your bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then he said to another: And you, how much do you owe? And he said: A hundred measures of wheat. And he said to him: Take your account, and write eighty. And the lord praised the unjust steward for having done cunningly; for the sons of this age are in their generation more cunning than the children of light. "

The master showed mercy to the steward first, because at that time, he had every right to fire his servant immediately. But, he gave him the opportunity to review the accounts and correct them before his dismissal. And the steward recognized this opportunity and took steps to secure his future. The steward relieved the debts of the debtors for a selfish motive. Much more, then, we to whom God has shown mercy in Jesus Christ, should show mercy to others. Like the steward, we have a short time before we leave this world. And after physical death, we will have to give an account of our lives.

On our own merits, we deserve eternal death. But our future is secure if we trust in the promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus' death on the cross, God has shown us mercy, God has forgiven our sins, and we are free from condemnation.

We now have a short time before leaving this world and we have a better reason to be merciful to others: To share the same promise of eternal life. When we tell others that we forgive their sins in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, this is a sure word. We can forgive others their sins against us, we can also announce that there is forgiveness of all their sins in Jesus Christ.

Since the steward had confidence in his future because of his mercy, we have confidence in the future because of the merciful Word of the Lord. In this Word we have the peace that passes all understanding. Amen.

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