Key Passage: Matthew 13:11 (K-2nd grade) or Matthew 13:10-11 (3rd-5th grade)
Big Picture Question: Why does God give us abilities and gifts? God gives us abilities and gifts to use for Him.
Christ Connection: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Every believer, as a servant of Christ, has the task of serving God with his or her life. We eagerly wait for the day we can share in the joy of our Master. Heaven is the joy of knowing, worshiping, and enjoying Jesus forever.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Matthew and Luke both record parables from Jesus. In Matthew 25, Matthew writes about the parable of the talents. Luke 19 accounts for the parable of the minas. Though these parables are similar, they are not identical. Both parables are about a master who gives money to his servants and then goes on a trip. When the master returns, he judges the servants for their faithfulness—in their stewardship over what they possessed.
This week, we will focus on the parable of the talents. Jesus was teaching His disciples at the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. The disciples asked Jesus to tell them about the end of time. (See Matt. 24:3.) He told them parables to help them understand what it will be like when the kingdom of heaven comes.
Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven will be like a man going on a journey. In this parable, the man is Jesus. Jesus was going to leave earth and return to His Father in heaven. Before the man left, he entrusted certain amounts of money to his servants. The relationship between a master and his servants would have meant that the master still owned the money they were given, and the master would own any interest they made on the money. The first two servants were faithful with the gifts, investing the talents and gaining more—not for their own profit, but for the profit of their master.
The third servant, however, knew that if he lost any of the money, the master would punish him. And if he gained any money, he wouldn’t get to keep it anyway. So he took no risk and buried the money in the ground. When the master returned, he was pleased with the actions of the first two servants, but he punished the servant who did nothing.
“Well done, good and faithful servant!” Every believer, as a servant of Christ, has the task of serving God with his or her life. We do not sit idly by, afraid of failure, but we serve joyfully for Jesus’ sake. We eagerly wait for the day we can share in the joy of our Master. Heaven is the joy of knowing, worshiping, and enjoying Jesus forever.
Activity: Ask kids the big picture question and lead them to respond with the answer. Provide crayons or markers for kids to draw below specific ways they can serve God with their talents or abilities. As kids draw, read Matthew 25:40 aloud. Explain that we can serve God by serving others. Encourage each family member to serve God this week by serving someone in need.