Parable of the Faithful Servant Lesson 3 February 14 & 15

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1 Parable of the Faithful Servant Lesson 3 February 14 & 15 Session Title: Parable of the Faithful Servant Bible Passage: Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-48 Big Picture Question: What should we always be ready for? We should be ready for Jesus to come back. Key Passage: Matthew 13:11 Unit Christ Connection: Jesus taught in parables so His followers would understand how to live in anticipation of His second coming. LEADER BIBLE STUDY Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives when His disciples came to Him with a question. The disciples had been puzzled when Jesus told them that the temple would be destroyed. (Matt. 24:2) They asked, What is the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age? (Matt. 24:3). Matthew 24 records Jesus response. He told of persecution and tribulation. The chapter ends with a parable about faithful service to Jesus. The parable of the faithful servant serves as a warning to believers, urging them to be prepared for Jesus return. Jesus described what the day will be like when He returns. He begins with a question: Who then is a faithful and sensible slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give them food at the proper time? (Matt. 24:45). Jesus told about a faithful servant whose master finds him working hard when he returns. The faithful servant will be put in charge of the master s possessions. But if the servant is wicked assuming he can do as he wants while his master is away he will be punished when the master returns. In the parable, the master is Jesus. He gave His disciples the specific task of teaching and preaching, of feeding His sheep. (See Matt. 28:18-20; John 21:17.) Jesus parable implores the faithfulness of everyone so that when the chief Shepherd appears, they will receive the unfading crown of glory (1 Pet. 5:4). The parable also serves as a warning to those like the scribes and Pharisees who take advantage of their position for their own gain. Jesus gives believers the responsibility of caring for His world and sharing the gospel. No one knows the exact time Jesus will return to earth. We must always be ready so that when Christ returns or we come into His presence after we die, we do so without fear or shame. When Jesus returns, those who faithfully work for Him willingly and eagerly will be rewarded, but those who do not will be punished. Welcome Activity (15 minutes) Playground (15 minutes) Large Group Chapel (20 minutes) Small Group Activities (15 minutes) Snack and Transition (10 minutes)

2 WELCOME ACTIVITY Make creations to care for Supplies: play dough and play dough tools Invite the children to use play dough or modeling clay to sculpt someone or something that needs to be taken care of at their house. This could be a houseplant, a pet, or even a person, like an infant or an elderly grandparent. Say God wants His people to take care of His world while we wait for Jesus to come back. How can you help take care of things in your house? Can you water plants? Can you help make dinner? Can you feed your pets? This is God s world, and everything in it belongs to Him. It is good for people who love God to take care of the world God has given us. PLAYGROUND LARGE GROUP CHAPEL Music Mighty, Mighty God Our God is mighty! What are some examples of how we know this to be true? What are some ways that God serves us? Marvelous! Matchless! Magnificent! What are some other ways we can describe God? I Will Love and Serve You What are some things God has given us that show us His love? What are some ways we can show Jesus we love him? How can we serve others to show we love Jesus? Introduce the Bible story Review the key passage together. Remind the kids that Matthew and the other disciples wondered why Jesus taught in parables. Say Do you remember what a parable is? [Invite a preschooler to explain it to you.] Parables are stories that teach about God s kingdom. [Point to the timeline map as you review previous parables.] When Jesus was on earth, most people did not understand what God and His kingdom are really like. They did not understand that God is generous and gives good gifts we don t deserve. [Point to Parable of the Vineyard Workers. ] They did not understand that all kinds of people good and bad, rich and poor, boys and girls, old and young are invited into the kingdom of heaven. [Point to Parable of the Wedding Feast. ] In today s parable, Jesus taught about how to live as servants in God s kingdom. Watch or tell the Bible story

3 The Bible Story: Parable of the Faithful Servant Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-48 Jesus was going to leave earth very soon to go back to His Father in heaven, but He knew He would be back one day. Jesus taught His friends about that day the last day. Jesus said no one knows exactly what day He will come back, so everyone should be ready. Jesus told His friends a parable, or a story. This story helped Jesus friends learn about God s kingdom, and it told them how they should live. This parable was about a servant who was faithful. Faithful means that the servant did the right thing; his master could trust him and he was honest. When Jesus told the story, He asked a question first. Jesus asked, Who is a wise and faithful servant? Who will the master put in charge of his household and all the other servants? Who will he trust to feed them at the right time? Then Jesus answered the question. The master will choose the servant whom he finds working hard. The master will reward that servant and put him in charge of everything he has. The good servant worked hard, even when the master wasn t home and watching him. But then Jesus told about a bad servant. The bad servant did not work hard when the master wasn t around. He thought he could do whatever he wanted. Jesus said, If a servant is bad and thinks to himself, My master is gone and will not come back for a while, so he is mean to the other servants and hurts them, then that servant will not be ready when the master comes back. The master will come home and find the bad servant not working hard. What will the master do? The master will punish the bad servant. The bad servant knew what his master wanted him to do, but he did not do it. He was not ready for the master to return, so the master was right to punish the bad servant. Then Jesus said, If someone has an important job to do, then he must do that job well. And the bigger job someone has, the harder he will have to work. Christ Connection: Jesus wants people who believe in Him to take care of His world and to tell others about Him. No one knows when Jesus will come back to earth. We must always be ready. When Jesus comes back, He will reward those who worked hard for Him.

4 Talk about the Bible story Ask the following review questions: Who did the master put in charge of his household? (the servant who worked hard) Did the faithful servant work hard, even when the master wasn t watching? (yes) What did the bad servant do? (He was mean to the others servants. He didn t work hard.) What happened to the bad servant when his master came back? (The master punished him.) What should we always be ready for? We (index finger moves from one shoulder to the next) should be ready (extending index and middle fingers, move both hands from one side to the other) for Jesus (point to one palm and then the other) to come back (index fingers held in front of the chest, palms facing the body, and then make twisting motion in). Say Jesus wants people who believe in Him to take care of His world and to tell others about Him. No one knows when Jesus will come back to earth. We must always be ready. When Jesus comes back, He will reward those who worked hard for Him. SMALL GROUP ACTIVITIES Serve God anytime Supplies: Anytime pictures; tape Tape the four pictures in four corners or four distinct areas of the room. After you read each statement, kids decide if that action is something that happens in the morning, daytime, evening, or nighttime. Tell them some examples can have more than one right answer. Suggested actions: This is when you brush your teeth. This is when you eat lunch. This is when you play with toys. This is when you are asleep. This is when you wake up. This is when you sing songs. This is when you eat dinner. This is when you play outside. This is when you put on pajamas. This is when you read a book. This is when you eat breakfast. Say Nobody except God the Father knows when Jesus is coming back. He could return in the morning, afternoon, evening, or nighttime! He could return tomorrow, or He could return a thousand years from now. Even though we don t know when Jesus will come back, we should be ready. We (index finger moves from one shoulder to the next) should be ready (extending index and middle fingers, move both hands from one side to the other) for Jesus (point to one palm and then the other) to come back (index fingers held in front of the chest, palms facing the body, and then make twisting motion in). SNACK AND TRANSITION Enjoy your snacks and practice the Big Picture Question together while you eat. Be sure to place a Big Picture Question Sticker on each child while you practice. This would also be a good time to pray over the children. Pray that God would show them that we need God s help to be faithful servants, and God is happy to help us obey Him when we ask for His help. Say Dear God, thank You for giving us a beautiful world to take care of. Thank You for the people who live in our city and in our neighborhoods. Help us to serve our neighbors as faithful workers for You. Help us to be ready for You to send Jesus back to earth! We love You! Amen!

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