Now keep in mind that although Jesus is addressing "the disciples," this group is not necessarily all saved individuals. It could have been incompetence or dishonesty or both.
As explained below, disciples were followers and probably most of those who were following Jesus at this time were interested in His teaching and His miracles but had not yet placed their faith in Him as their Messiah and Redeemer. The verb gives us the picture of the manager throwing away money with no sense of responsibility or accountability.
Since we’re all prone to the world’s ways, we need to think carefully about what Jesus is saying so that we follow God’s way to true riches rather than the world’s way to deceptive wealth and ultimate, eternal poverty. All will have to give account in some way, and we will give account to God.
Bock warns us that "The parable of the “unjust steward” is one of the most difficult of Jesus’ parables to understand.... That's the surprise ending, ah but that's the whole point of the story. Spurgeon once noted that each of us will have to give account of our stewards whip regarding our time, our talents, our substance, and our influence..
Jesus taught, as I said, from the expected and the unexpected experiences of life and life offers us both and both can be good places to learn from. And some people have worked really hard to try to protect Jesus from using a bad man to make a good point, and so they have tried to read into this story some kind of stuff in the cracks and between the words and somehow cast this man in a different light and make him good. It's from the lesser to the greater and the rabbis love to teach that way and so did Jesus. " (Luke 16:1-13 Investing Earthly Finances with an Eternal Focus) Steven Cole explains that Jesus "is saying that we can learn a valuable lesson from this pagan scoundrel, who is wiser than many “sons of light,” in that he saw what was coming and he used what had been entrusted to him while he could to prepare for the future. Warren Wiersbe - In His portrait of the prodigal and the elder brother, Jesus described two opposite philosophies of life.NOTE: This Verse by Verse Commentary page is part of an ongoing project to add notes to each verse of the Bible.Therefore many verses do not yet have notes, but if the Lord tarries and gives me breath, additions will follow in the future. 21:1 Keener - Many well-to-do landowners had managers to oversee their estates; these managers, or stewards, could be slaves or, as here (16:3–4), free persons. He is the full administrator of the estate with all the right and power to act in behalf of the rich owner. (steward)(Lk 16:3, 8, cf Lk -note)(3623) (oikonomos from oíkos = house némo = manage, distribute, dispense; see related oikonomia) is literally the manager or superintendent of a household or estate. He does not own that wealth himself, but he has the privilege of enjoying it and using it for the profit of his master.The goal is to edify and equip you for the work of service (Eph -13-note) that the Lord God might be glorified in your life and in His Church. Squandering another’s possessions was considered a particularly despicable crime (cf. (IVP Bible Background Commentary: NT) Mac Arthur on had a manager - A steward like this, an oikonomon, would be a free man and not a slave. Vincent notes that in the Greek culture the steward was the one who "assigns to the members of the household their several duties, and pays to each his wages. He kept the household stores under lock and seal, giving out what was required; and for this purpose received a signet-ring from his master." Although stewards usually were slaves or freedmen (former slaves), many had considerable responsibility and authority.Amen (Isa 61:3b-note, Mt -note) KJV Luke 16:1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. He would be of high social status and high responsibility. Wiersbe notes that "The most important thing about a steward is that he serve his master faithfully (1 Cor. When he looks at the riches around him, the steward must remember that they belong to his master, not to him personally, and that they must be used in a way that will please and profit the master." (Ibid) NET Note on reported to - These are not formal legal charges, but reports from friends, acquaintances, etc.; (The marginal note in the NAS translates it "accused.") Reported to (1225)(diaballo from dia = through ballo = throw, cf devil = diabolos) means to bring charges, bring complaint against, accuse, inform.