VERSES: Matthew 25:14-30
MEMORY VERSE: Matthew 25:21 "...Well done, thou good and faithful servant..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Isaiah. Write "Isaiah" on small slips of paper and hand out to students at the end of class, so they may take them home to memorize.
PRAYER: Thank God for the blessings He gives us. Everything good comes from God.
SPECIAL SONG: This Little Light Of Mine (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click on the orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Large Activity (see below)
- During the last few days of His life, Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives when His disciples came to Him privately and asked Him to explain a few things that Jesus had said before. Jesus began to talk about things that were going to happen in Jerusalem, about how heaven and earth would pass away, but His words would not pass away, about the fact that Jesus did not know when He was coming back again, but only His Father in heaven knew when that would happen, and how important it was to be watchful and working (Matthew 24). Jesus then taught in parables.
- Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven was like a man who was getting ready to make a long journey. The man called in three of his servants and gave them a portion of what he owned. He gave the first servant five talents, the second servant received two talents, and the third servant received one talent. In Bible times, a "talent" was a weight of something valuable like gold or silver. In this parable, it does not say if the man gave gold or silver, but whatever it was, it was very valuable. The man put thought in to what he was giving each servant because he gave them according to what they were able to handle responsibly.
- To the first servant, he gave ten talents. To the second servant, he gave five talents. To the last servant, he gave one talent. Then the man immediately left on his trip. The first servant who was given five talents, traded until he had made five more talents. The second servant did the same and gained two more talents. But, the third servant who had received one talent went and dug a hole in the dirt and hid his master's money.
- After a long time has passed, the man who had gone on a journey finally came back home. He called his servants to him to see what they had done with his talents. He found out that the servant who was given five talents had earned five more talents, so he had a total of ten talents! The master said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things; I will make you a ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord."
- The servant who had received two talents showed his master that he had gained two more talents for a total of four talents! His master said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things; I will make you a ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord."
- Then the servant who had been given one talent said to his master, "Lord, I knew you were a hard or strict man, reaping what you have not sowed and gathering where you have not strawed. I was afraid and went and hid my talent into the earth. Here is the one talent you gave me." The master answered him and said, "You wicked and lazy servant! You knew that I reap where I do not sow and gather where I do not straw. You should have put my money into the bank and it would have at least gathered interest!" He told his other servants to take away his one talent and give it to the servant who had ten talents. "Cast this unprofitable servant into outer darkness where there will be crying and terrible things!"
- In this parable, the talents were something measured, something valuable, and something to be responsible for. Two men used their talents responsibly by doubling what they had been given; one did not. Two men were busy, working responsibly for their master; one was not. Two men were not afraid; one was afraid. Jesus was telling His disciples to be busy, to be working, not to be lazy, not to be afraid. He is telling that to us today.
- Today, we also have talents; some have the ability to speak, some to sing, some who know how to handle money, and some who know how to care for people. There are many talents that people have. In order for our talents or abilities to grow, we need to nurture them and care for them. If we know how to speak well, we need to be preaching and teaching the Gospel. If we know how to sing well, we need to be teaching or leading in the singing. There are many things to do in the Lord's vineyard! We need to be busy and never lazy.
- Notice that there was a promise made to the ones who did their master's work and that promise was joy (Matthew 25:21, 23). Yet, the one who was lazy and only buried his talent was given harsh words, stripped of his talent, and cast outside the loving and warm care of his master. The same will be true for us whether we are working or whether we are lazy. The choice is ours because we know that God always keeps His promises. Always. Read 1 Kings 8:56. God's Word never fails.
- Should we ever be afraid? Read Matthew 14:27 and Revelation 21:8. There are grave consequences for being afraid. We need to trust in the Lord and He will keep us safe. He always watches over His own.
- Just as these servants were judged by their master, we, too, will be judged by the things that we do and the things that we do not do. Read James 4:17. We need to be prepared!
Materials needed: 9" x 12" light blue construction paper, 3" x 12" green, orange, and turquoise construction papers, crayons, glue, scissors.
- Hand out light blue paper.
- Fold top edge down two inches.
- Trace folded line with crayon. This is the background.
- Write "Parable of the TALENTS" and "Matthew 25:14" in this top area.
- Hand out green, orange, and turquoise papers. These are the bags.
- Fold green, orange, and turquoise papers in half.
- With folded side up, draw one 'bag' on each color.
- Cut out three bags; one of each color.
- Place bags evenly spaced on light blue paper under line.
- Draw two lines between bags.
- Glue one bag in each area, so the top folds up.
- Draw string on each bag. It looks cute with a little tie on the side of each bag. (Just make a little sideways '8' with two lines pointing down.)
- Write "5 talents" on the first bag.
- Write "2 talents" on the second bag.
- Write 1 talent" on the third bag.
- Fold tops of bags up, making a crease in the 'string' area.
- Inside each bag, glue ONLY from folded edge to string area. (Don't glue the bag completely shut!)
- Inside the first bag, write "Well Done!" on the top of the bag and "10 talents!" on the bottom of the bag.
- Inside the second bag, write "Well Done!" on the top of the bag and "5 talents!" on the bottom of the bag.
- Inside the third bag, write "Wicked and Lazy!" on the top of the bag and "1 talent" on the bottom of the bag.
- Close bags.
- Under the first bag AND the second bags, write "Enter into the JOY of your lord."
- Under the third bag, write "Cast him into outer darkness."