Discipleship Lessons from Luke: Shrewdness

Sermon & Small Group Resources

This is the final sermon in our series on ‘Discipleship Lessons from Luke’. This sermon is on ‘Shrewdness’. Preacher: Archbishop Phillip Aspinall. Bible Reading: Luke 16:1-13

Download the Small Group Questions, Going Deeper, and Sermon Transcript (PDF).

Next Steps this Week

BIBLE READING: Luke 16:1-13

He 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. 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.’ 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. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 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.’ 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. 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.

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS

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CONNECT: How can you put Jesus ahead of your relationships and in everything you do?

WARM-UP Question

  1. What do you think of when you hear someone described as ‘shrewd’?

  2. Is there any time in your life, or in a particular context of your life, that required you to be particularly shrewd? Was that a good or bad thing?

READ Luke 16:1-7

  1. Can you remember anything about the manager’s social situation? Why was the manager’s livelihood potentially under threat?

  2. What was so shrewd about the way in which the manager acted in response to his situation? How is ‘shrewdness’ here different to how we might use the word today?

  3. How is Jesus’ use of this parable not an outright endorsement of the manager’s moral behaviour?
    What aspect of the manager’s actions is Jesus highlighting as a good example for the disciples?

  4. What are common ways in which people (including yourself) are astute with worldly resources for - what is ultimately - temporary outcomes? How much more should we be astute with our resources in order to help achieve eternal outcomes?

  5. Can you think of any examples of being astute with our lives with a Kingdom perspective in mind? What do you think it would look like to live more shrewdly as disciples? What negative traps might you need to avoid in doing this?

READ Luke 16:8-15

  1. What is meant by verse 10? What riches do you think God has trusted you with?

  2. Can you think of an example of someone you have known who demonstrates being incredibly trustworthy with all that God has given them? What fruit is evident in their lives?

  3. Do you think it is possible to serve both God and money? Why or why not? Do you think that this is a particular challenge for us today?

  4. Why do you think the pharisees were sneering at Jesus? Do you think we’re ever capable of this? How is the knowledge that God knows our heart a great antidote for cynicism?

  5. How does being generous with our resources help prevent us from treating wealth as a master?

APPLY: What is one way that you could be shrewd for the Gospel this week?

PRAYER

Gracious Father, we thank you for your extraordinary generosity shown to us in Jesus. Please help us to be wise with all that you have entrusted to us, that our eyes might be fixed on Jesus and the things that will last. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

GOING DEEPER

WITH CHILDREN

Try playing a game of 2 truths and a lie and discuss how God desires us to be truthful.