1 [Jesus] also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3 And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.”
Old Testament Reading: 2 Samuel 22:26–34
26 “With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; 27 with the purified you deal purely, and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous. 28 You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down. 29 For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness. 30 For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. 31 This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. 32 “For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God? 33 This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless. 34 He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.”
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 10:6–13
6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.
9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.
12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
"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).