The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
Our parable begins with a “certain rich man” who has a “manager” or “steward” (Greek oikonomos; Luke 16:1). An oikonomos in the ancient world was a trusted servant who doled out the goods of his master to his clients and kept an honest record of those who owed his master. However, this steward is dishonest. His master receives an accusation that the steward is “wasting his possessions” (v. 1). Without hesitation, the master calls on him to submit his accounts. He’s fired. The steward immediately wonders what he will do. He’s too weak to dig and too proud to beg (v. 3). But then, initial panic gives way to wisdom. He approaches all his master’s debtors, asks them what they owe, and then tells them to rewrite their contracts.