"The master commended the unjust manager because he had dealt shrewdly"
(Luke 16:1-9). The manager's shrewdness is praiseworthy for two reasons. First, he knew the master would be merciful. He trusted that the master would honor the debts he forgave in the master's name. In the same way, though we have squandered our heavenly Father's possessions in selfishness and sin, Jesus is the Manager who has canceled our debt, knowing that His forgiveness will be honored by the Father because of the holy cross. Secondly, the manager was shrewd in using oil and wheat to provide for his earthly welfare. So also do these earthly elements aid us when pressed into heavenly use in the anointing of baptism and the wheat of the Lord's Supper. Those who have the Sacraments will have an eternal home when the earthly fails. These are our escape in temptation (1 Corinthians 10:6-13). For the Lord is our strength and a shield to all who trust in Him (2 Samuel 22:26-34).