Parable of the Talents
April 18 –
Scripture: Matthew 25:14-30 NSRV
Key Scripture Verse: Matthew 25:14-15a – The kingdom is also like what happened when a man went away and put his three servants in charge of all that he owned. The man knew what each servant could do. (Contemporary English Version)
“Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gifts well.” 1 Peter CEV
· Jesus taught us about God’s kingdom using parables.
· God has given each of us special gifts and talents to use, not hoard.
· God’s faithful followers use their gifts to serve God and others.
· Everything in life is a gift from God so we must use our gifts responsibly (spiritual abilities, time, skills, possessions).
1. Understand how and why Jesus spoke in parables.
2. Learn that God has given us differing gifts and talents that we must discover and share to help make a better world.
3. Know that be using our talents, we can glorify God.
4. Children will draw their own God-given hand showing their talents.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag. Make sure that everyone is in the right classroom! Children will either already have name tags on, or will get a nametag from their shepherd. Make sure that you know everyone’s name and greet the students individually. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.
2. Start the “lesson time” with prayer. Ask for volunteers, but plan on praying yourself. A short prayer thanking God for sending Jesus to teach us would be appropriate.
1. This Bible lesson is a parable that Jesus told. A parable is a short story that uses examples that everyone is familiar with to teach a spiritual lesson. The message of this parable is that even though Jesus may be away, we have a responsibility to use our God given gifts and abilities creatively. God expects us to use the gifts he has given us to help others and to share the lessons that Jesus taught. Taking responsibility means being a steward.
2. Jesus told of an important man who was getting ready for a long trip. Before he left he called his three workers. He gave them different amounts of money – each according to their ability to manage it. One worker received five sums called talents. A second worker received two talents. And the third worker received one talent. Then the man left on a long journey.
3. Now the first servant may have used the five talents to buy sheep. If he did that he would be able to sell their lambs, wool and cheese. Whatever he did, when the man returned, this worker now had earned five talents with the original five talents, so he had ten. The second worker may have spent his two talents to buy seed. When he sold the grain that grew, he earned two more talents, so he had four. The third worker was afraid to try to earn money so he buried his talent and it did no good.
4. When the man returned from his journey, he was so pleased with the first two workers for doubling their talents that he rewarded them. When he listened to the third worker he was very disappointed to get back the one talent and no more. He called the worker lazy and wasteful. He said “why didn’t you at least give it to a banker so that he could return it with interest?” The man knew that this third worker could have earned something with his talent. So he took the talent away and gave it to the first worker.
5. Let’s think about this lesson for a few minutes. Why do you think Jesus told it? What gifts can you think of that God has given you? Are you strong, talented in art, music, writing, arithmetic, running fast, dancing, speaking or some other talent? Whatever gifts we have, they came from God and God expects us to use them for good purposes and not hide them. It doesn’t matter how much we have but that we use what we do have for good purposes. When we use them, we are really serving God. Once we start to use them, we will never run out because God will see that we have a continuing supply. Now let’s show our hands and our talents to represent what gifts we have to share.
1. Create! READ the Bible story (1-5 above) with expression. Encourage discussion of story.
2. Show the sample of what they will be creating. Demonstrate the technique and tell them that they should think carefully about their differing gifts.
3. Steps: Pass out paper with pre-printed message “I have gifts to use as God’s steward”. Tell them to lay the hand that they do not write with, palm up, on the paper. Have them trace their hand lightly with pencil. Removing their hands, tell them to look closely and then make the picture look like their hand – not what they think all hands look like. Explain that drawing nail tips and shading shadows will make their hands look more real. Their hands were given to them by God to use wisely for good things. Each of us also has different things to offer. Let’s draw some coins overlapping or spilling down. Each one should be labeled with a gift that we have to share. Print one talent on each coin.
4. Clean up! Involve everyone in cleaning up so that you will have time to share together in the closing. You may want to have a prearranged signal for clean up and tell them at beginning of art project what that will be - perhaps giving them a 5 minute warning and then the final clean up notice to allow those who need a bit more warning that they need to complete whatever they are working on.
5. Turn out lights and lock the classroom door when leaving.
1. Ask the shepherds to pass out Journals and pencils/markers. The children should spend a few minutes reflecting upon the morning's lesson –What is a parable? Who do you think the master represents in this story? Who do the servants represent? What are talents? When God trusts us by giving us special gifts, what should we do with them?
2. At ask the kids to close their journals and prepare for the closing prayer.
1. Encourage them to think about what we learn from Jesus and how that can guide our lives.
2. Tell them that their Pennies will be
given to the New Vision Home to help children in an orphanage in
3. Say the Memory Verse together. You may want to have this verse printed on a banner and hung in the room, write it on the white board in the room, or have it on slips of paper that each child can take home.
4. Pray! Ask the children if they have any prayer requests. Pray: Thank God for the different gifts that each of us has received. Help us not to waste them but to learn the ways that we can use them to serve others. Amen.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passage and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Workshop.
2. Practice reading the Bible story (above) with expression.
3. Prepare an opening prayer in case nobody volunteers to pray.
4. Check the art room and the supply closet to see what supplies exist. Experiment with what the children will be doing. Make enough copies of the drawing sheet.
5. Prepare all the materials you will need for the creation process. Have the materials ready to go. There will be limited time for the creation process, so do everything you can to conserve time.
6. Decide how you want to close the lesson. Prepare a prayer or ask for suggestions.
9 X 12 paper with large message printed at top – I have gifts to use as God’s steward
Sample and blanks will be provided.