The Parables of Jesus: The Parable of the Ten Talents | Sunday School Solutions
by Emily Hechler
You probably have children in your Sunday school class who have amazing gifts and abilities. Josh loves to play the piano, Sarah sings very well for her age, and Lucas is a born actor. But what about the children who don’t think they are gifted? How do you encourage them to be responsible with what they have? Jesus explained this to His disciples in the parable of the talents.
To start your lesson, read the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) to the children. This might seem really hard for the children to understand. You’ll need to explain the story using words that are easier to understand.
How do you encourage them to be responsible with what they have?
One day, a rich man was going on a long trip. He gave each of his three servants different amounts of money, called talents. He gave one servant five bags of money, the next servant two bags of money and the last servant one bag of money. When the master was away, the first two servants used the money to buy and sell and got even more money. The last servant was scared. He didn’t want to lose the money, so he buried it in the ground. When the master came back, he was so happy that the first two servants used the money and now had more. He even celebrated with them. However, he became angry when the last servant didn’t use the money.
We don’t use talents as currency today but the principles that Jesus taught while using this parable are still applicable to us. Here are a few different principles you can teach to the children in your Sunday school class:
1. God wants us to be good stewards. He wants us to make wise use of the abilities, time, and money He has given to us. We shouldn’t take advantage of these things or use them to try to make ourselves seem more important than other people. We should be thankful for what we’ve been given, and we should use it to serve others. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
2. God gives saved children a lot to be responsible for, including their gifts and abilities. God has given everyone different gifts and abilities. Verse 15 says that the master gave his servants the money “according to his ability.” Ask the children in your class to each name one talent that God has given them. (Be careful that this doesn’t lead to the children being prideful.)
God gives children a lot to be responsible for, including their gifts and abilities. God has given everyone different gifts and abilities.
How are the children in your class using their gifts? They might be tempted to use their gifts to show off, or they might not think much of what God has given them, like the wicked servant in the parable. Encourage your class to use their abilities to help other people, in the same way Jesus helps other people. Maybe they can let a friend borrow a new video game. They can use new art supplies to make get well cards for the sick or elderly people in their church as a way of showing kindness like Jesus.
The message of the Gospel is the best thing we can give and the best thing we can receive. But what about the children who have not received the message of the Gospel? They are like the last servant, who hid his money in the ground. Sadly, he went to a terrible place of punishment. You can use the example of this servant to share the Gospel. Explain to the children how important it is for them to accept Christ as Savior. When they do, God forgives their sin and gives them life that lasts forever. He saves them from the punishment they deserve! He gives them this Good News to share with others.
3. The best gift that God has given us can be the hardest gift to share. As believers, we are challenged several times in the Bible to share the Good News of Jesus with other people. This can be intimidating for kids, even though they know it is the best gift they can receive. Watch Go and Tell on U-Nite TV® to see how kids can share the Gospel by using a Gospel bracelet.
Here’s a simple idea to help illustrate this lesson about sharing our gifts. Take a piece of paper and ask one of the children in your Sunday school class to count the corners. There’s four. Now, ask them to carefully cut off one corner and give the corner to another child. Now how many corners do they have? Five. Even though the child gave something away, they are still gaining more.
Encourage the kids in your Sunday school to keep sharing their gifts!