MEMORY VERSE: Matthew 20:6 "...Why stand ye here all the day idle?"
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Nehemiah. Write "Nehemiah" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of class, so the papers may be taken home to memorize.
PRAYER: Thank God for the jobs that our parents have. May we always be hard workers and never, ever lazy.
SPECIAL SONG: The Wise Man Built His House On The Rock (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog)
VISUAL AID: Large Activity (see below)
- God has always wanted His people to be a hard-working people, one who was never lazy, and always busy looking for something to do. We find an example in the Old Testament in Proverbs 6:6-8 that tells us to think about the tiny ants and how they are always busy, always working. God's people should be like those hard-working ants!
- Jesus told another parable to His disciples. He said that the kingdom of heaven is like a man who owned a vineyard and needed laborers or workers to work in his vineyard. The man went out early in the morning and hired some workers to work for a penny a day. The laborers agreed to be paid that amount, a penny a day, so the workers went out into the vineyard to work.
- About 9:00 in the morning, the man went to the marketplace and saw other men standing around with nothing to do. He told them to go to his vineyard, and he would pay them what was fair, so the men went to the vineyard to work.
- About noon, the man went out again and found more men with nothing to do. He did not like to see men standing around, so he hired them as well. About 3:00 in the afternoon, he found more men and told them the same thing. Then about 5:00 in the evening, he went out and still found men standing, doing nothing. He asked them, "Why are you standing here all day long, not doing anything?" They said that no one would hire them. He told them to go into his vineyard and whatever was fair, he would pay them for their work.
- When the sun was setting, the owner of the vineyard said to his servant, "Call all the laborers together and give them their pay, beginning from the last hired to the first hired." When all the laborers were gathered together, the men who were hired last received a penny. When the first men who were hired finally moved up in the line to receive their pay, they found that they also received a penny. The ones who were first hired thought that they would receive more money because they had worked longer. They began to murmur or complain against the good owner of the vineyard. They said, "The last ones hired have only worked one hour and they have received the same wages as we received, even though we have worked through the heat of the day!" But the owner of the vineyard replied, "Friends, I did you no wrong. Did you not agree to work for me for a penny? Take what is yours and go on your way. I will give the last ones hired the same as you received. It is not against the law to do what I want with my own money. Are you complaining because I am good?"
- Jesus then said that the first will be last and the last will be first; for many are called, but few are chosen.
- We should never complain if we have agreed to something. The men first hired early in the morning thought a penny was a good price at that time, but because they saw others working only a short amount of time, they changed their minds and wanted more than what they had agreed. Always keep your word and no complaining!
- What does this parable mean? What is the reward for those who have just become Christians? A home in heaven! What is the reward for those Christians who have been in the church for sixty or seventy years, working hard all of those years? A home in heaven! Different amounts of working time, but the same reward just like this parable of the laborers.
- Talk about being industrious and not lazy. Read Ecclesiastes 9:10. Read Romans 12:11. Why do we need to work? Read 1 Timothy 5:8 and Ephesians 4:28. We need to take care of our own families and the needy. Let us always be busy about our Father's business as Jesus was (Luke 2:49).
Materials needed: 6" x 18" lime green construction paper, four 2.5" x 4" black rectangles, two 1" x 1" shiny gold paper, crayons, glue, tape, scissors.
- Hand out lime green paper.
- Fold paper in half.
- With fold on top, fold bottom edges up 3".
- Unfold bottom edges.
- Fold lime preen paper in half, lengthwise.
- Unfold paper the paper.
- Trace lines, except on the bottom 3" vertical line. See picture.
- Choose one box. Write "The reward for those hired early in the morning:" at the top.
- Across from that box, write "The reward for those who only worked one hour:" at the top.
- Turn paper upside down, but not over.
- Choose one box. Write "The reward for a new Christian:" at the top.
- Across from the that box, write "The reward for a Christian who has worked 60 or 70 years:" at the top.
- PLEASE NOTE: When the paper is completely unfolded, you should not be able to read all four boxes. Two boxes should be written upside down. By doing it this way, when the paper is folded in half, you are able to read two sides at a time. (That is really hard to explain--see picture!)
- Hand out four black rectangles. These are the cards.
- Fold rectangles in half.
- When folded, write a question mark ? on all outside covers of the cards. White crayon works best.
- Inside two of the cards, write "A home in heaven" in the top area and draw a picture of a house in a cloud on the bottom.
- Inside the remaining cards, write "A penny" on the top area.
- Hand out two shiny gold squares. These are the pennies.
- Cut two circles out of the shiny paper.
- Glue each penny to the bottom of the cards.
- Refold paper in half.
- In one of the bottom 3" areas, write "Parable of the Laborers" and "Matthew 20:1-16."
- Fold the bottom two 3" areas, so that the entire lime green paper forms a triangle.
- With the "Parable of the Laborers" showing, tuck the blank 3" area behind the words.
- Secure with tape on both sides of these areas.
- The project should stand up on a table and be able to be turned around to tell the story. (The pennies are on the other side of the triangle.)