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Verse 8. The lord commended. Praised, or expressed admiration at his wisdom. These are not the words of Jesus, as commending him, but a part of the narrative or parable. His master commended him—saw that he was wise and considerate, though he was dishonest.

The unjust steward. It is not said that his master commended him because he was unjust, but because he was wise. This is the only thing in his conduct of which there is any approbation expressed, and this approbation was expressed by his master. This passage cannot be brought, therefore, to prove that Jesus meant to commend his dishonesty It was a commendation of his shrewdness or forethought; but the master could no more approve of his conduct as a moral act than he could the first act of cheating him.

The children of this world. Those who are devoted to this world; who live for this world only; who are careful only to obtain property, and to provide for their temporal necessities. It does not mean that they are peculiarly wicked and profligate, but only that they are worldly, and anxious about earthly things. See Mt 13:22; 2 Ti 4:10.

Are wiser. More prudent, cunning, and anxious about their particular business. They show more skill, study more plans, contrive more ways to provide for themselves, than the children of light do to promote the interests of religion.

In their generation. Some have thought that this means in their manner of living, or in managing their affairs. The word generation sometimes denotes the manner of life, Ge 6:9; 37:2. Others suppose that it means toward or among the men of their own age. They are more prudent and wise than Christians in regard to the people of their own time; they turn their connection with them to good account, and make it subserve their worldly interests, while Christians fail much more to use the world in such a manner as to subserve their spiritual interests.

Children of light. Those who have been enlightened from above—who are Christians. This may be considered as the application of the parable. It does not mean that it is more wise to be a worldly man than to be a child of light, but that those who are worldly show much prudence in providing for themselves; seize occasions for making good bargains; are active and industrious; try to turn everything to the best account, and thus exert themselves to the utmost to advance their interests; while Christians often suffer opportunities of doing good to pass unimproved; are less steady, firm, and anxious about eternal things, and thus show less wisdom. Alas! this is too true; and we cannot but reflect here how different the world would be if all Christians were as anxious, and diligent, and prudent in religious matters as others are in worldly things.

{b} "children of light" Joh 12:36; Eph 5:8

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