Religious People's Problem with Jesus

Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’
                                                                                               -Luke 16:1-2
One of the problems the religious people had with Jesus was he seemed to always be celebrating the wrong people.
This is our third week looking at the parables of Jesus.  In the parables, Jesus is most often answering the question “How do we live in line with who God is and the world God designed?”
As our planning team talked about which parables to look at in this series, we decided we wanted to take on parables that were a bit more obscure, less well-known, maybe even a bit disturbing. 
This week’s parable is one of the hardest to understand of all of Jesus’s parables: this manager is going to scheme his way out of his trouble and he’s going to be commended for his shrewd dealings.  More on that in the days to come.
For today, we want to note that part of Jesus’s brilliance in his parables is how he employs a vast array of characters.  The religious and non-religious, the faithful and crafty, the humble and proud, the rich and poor, the powerful and in the people in the margins, a wide range of ethnicities and cultures, everyone finds a place in Jesus’s parables. 
And the characters who get celebrated aren’t always the ones that the first century audience would have expected.
Part of what this tells us is that the Kingdom that Jesus came to inaugurate is a wild, untamable, unpredictable, and wonderfully messy affair—which means that there is room for each one of us. 
And what that also tells us is that we shouldn’t be too quick to be too sure about who will respond to Jesus’s call to repent and believe. 
Take a moment on a Monday to celebrate the unpredictable nature and eclectic diversity of who will respond to Jesus’s call.  Say thank you to God for how that includes you! Ask God for forgiveness for the ways that you might have been too quick to assume that a certain person or group of people might not ever respond.  Take a moment to pray for the person or group of people that you’ve assumed would never respond to the call of Jesus.

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