Then he also said to his disciples, "A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, 'What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.'…
No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Lk 16:1-13)
The parable of the dishonest steward has to be understood in the light of the Palestinian custom. The master who lends things like oil or grain of wheat was obliged to receive the real amount together with interest which would also be in kind. So the debtors were obliged to return the real amount which was borrowed together with the amount which was agreed upon as interest for the borrowing.
At times the stewards who were acting as agents on behalf of their masters were obliged to receive this amount of interest as commission. The master would receive only the real amount that was given to the one who borrowed. The dishonesty of the steward consisted in the squandering of his master's property (Lk 16:1).
The master commends the dishonest steward who has forgone his own commission on the business transaction by having the debtors write new notes that reflected only the real amount owed the master (i.e., minus the steward's profit). The dishonest steward acts in this way in order he may be welcomed by the people when he left the job as the steward. The steward was interested in the relationship and friendship with the people than the material gain (the commission).