10 "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own? 13 "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." 14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God's sight.
Thoughts: Maybe you haven't thought of money as training you for handling more important valuables. For many of us, money is THE most important thing that can purchase most other time and space things. Even religious people like the Pharisees can be caught up in loving money- which is the root of all evil. Having money is a test for us. So the real question found in verse 12- is how can I be trustworthy? How can I be trustworthy in the way I handle money so that when real riches come, I will be found to be a good steward of the gospel? Integrity, honesty, faithfulness prove themselves in little things (like money) as well as big things (like love, hope, faith, neighbor and God). Greed for this world is imcompatible with love for God. In a recession, it is important to not lust the money and worldly things we cannot do anymore. In fact, a recession is an opportunity to get our hearts right about what is important. A recession is like a house fire where lives are saved but the house is burned up. There is sadness, but hopefully we recognize that houses can be rebuilt, but people and life is more valuable. Spiritually, it does not matter how much money you have, as much as that you are not greedy after it and handle money with integrity, honesty, faithfulness and generosity. Yes, generosity- even in a recession. For generosity is a great check on the love of money.
Prayer: God grant me grace to love this world less and love you more. Help me to be a faithful, generous steward of what you have given me.
John Calvin Commentary Abridged: Christ exhorts his disciples to act faithfully insmall matters that they may prepare themselves to act with fidelity in matters of highest importance. Those who act unfaithfully with the transitory riches of this world should not be entrusted with the immeasurable treasure of the Gospel. He describes the covetousness of the Pharisees which keeps them not only from being able to hear Christ, but enables them to treat him with contempt. Anyone who speaks of despising riches or giving to the poor are regarded by the covetous as mad.