I just got back from leading a group of my friends on a trip to Israel. Being in Israel I became steeped in Jewish rituals. These markers that remind Jews of their identity—eating kosher, daily prayers, clothing, Sabbath– were very prevalent.
What stuck me so profoundly was the sense that being Jewish extends to every aspect of one’s life. Reading the book of Leviticus can seem like slow going, but this book reinforces the notion that every part of anyone’s life is touched by God, and is of concern and interest to God.
In a world when we too often separate the spiritual from the material, the mundane from the extraordinary, it is important to reflect on this thought: being a follower of the Lord impacts every part of life.
So we come to this rather confusing parable in Luke 16. Commentators have a field day with this passage attempting to make sense out of it. In my best understanding, here is the bottom-line with this parable and the subsequent sayings:
Jesus is saying, no matter what you do, or where you go, be my follower. The shrewd manager paid careful attention to the matters he was involved in, suspect as they were. Jesus says, because you are my followers, in even greater ways pay attention to the matters in your life and do this well.
We are to live well and faithfully in all aspects of our lives. Not just the big events and tasks, but also, and even more so, in the mundane, the seemingly insignificant, the ordinary.
The key to this passage is verse 10—“whoever can be trusted with very little, can also be trusted with much.” As followers of Jesus, we are to follow well, no mater what the task or opportunity. Whether the task seems very holy and sacred, or simply very earthy like handling money and possessions, we are to do it in a way that brings honor to the Lord. This ultimately means that there is no separation of holy and earthy. All that we have and all that we are belongs to the Lord. In every aspect of life, we are to follow the Lord.
My Jewish friends have ritualized this understanding. They have embedded this into their lives. There are good lessons to be learned here.