7 “Suppose one of you has a servant who has been plowing the ground or caring for the sheep. When the servant comes in from working in the field, would you say, ‘Come in and sit down to eat’?
8 No, you would say to your servant, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Then get yourself ready and serve me. When I finish eating and drinking, then you can eat and drink.’
9 The servant does not get any special thanks for doing what his master told him to do.
10 It is the same with you. When you do everything you are told to do, you should say, ‘We don’t deserve any special thanks. We have only done the work we should do.’”
Teaching Guide and Explanation
THE MASTER AND SERVANT
TEXT: Matthew 25:14-30
MEMORY VERSE: For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Matthew 25:29
When Jesus arrives
Jesus is in Heaven now, so he’s coming back again to take us to Heaven to be with him. He gave each of us something to do, and we have to keep doing it before he comes to us. Jesus told a story that reflects the ideals of stewardship. This is the parable of talent. If you have any idea what a talent is? Often we claim that someone has the ability to play the piano or to tell stories, or to teach, or to play basketball. These kinds of talents are simply skills, and the word talent is taken from the story that Jesus told us. And the word talent meant a large amount of money in Jesus’ time. It was a salary worth about 15 years.
We find this parable in Matthew 25:14-30. There is a master in this story who was going on a journey; before he left, he took three capable servants and entrusted each of them with a large amount of money, depending on their skill. He entrusted ten talents to one servant, five talents to another, and one talent to another. Then the master walked away. The man who had ten talents spent it while he was away and won 10 more to send the master when he got back. It was also invested by the servant who had five talents and received five more to send to the master when he returns. However, the last servant took his talent and went and buried it in the earth. The servant with ten talents and the man with five talents, who doubled their talents, was celebrated when the master returned. The master said, “Strong and faithful servant, well done. Because you have been loyal to small things, I will place you in charge of many great things.”
The master was not happy when the servant who buried his talent gave it to the master. He said that the servant was evil and lazy because there was nothing he had done about it. The servant said, “I thought you were a tough master, but I was afraid. I buried it so I would not lose your money.” The master called his trick and said If you knew I was a tough master, at least you might have put the money in the bank to get interested.” So the master took the talent away from the wicked servant and gave it to the servant who had ten talents, and the wicked servant was punished.
What servants do you believe were good stewards of what they were entrusted with by the master? The 10-talent servant and the five-talent servant. The original sum they were given was based on their ability, but to satisfy the master, each one of them took what he had and used it.
What servant do you think would have been a poor steward? The one that had it buried! The thing that was bad, you see, was not that he had saved the master’s money, but that he had not tried to please his master.
Today, what does that have to do with us? Let’s take a look: let’s say the gifts and abilities God has given us reflect this cup of water. What happens if I am a bad steward? I do not multiply the blessings if I never use what God has given me. To glorify God, I do not produce anything. Nothing occurs. OK, so that was the bad steward’s example; let’s take a look at what’s going on with good stewardship. When we use the gifts and skills God has given us, what do you think will happen? Overflow of Blessings. For God and His kingdom, we are producing more and more.
To work for Jesus
We find a parable story in this lesson, which teaches us to use what God has given us. Let us imagine three little boys standing before us. One of them sings very well; he also plays a piano instrument, shall we say? He also gives his testimony at meetings whenever he has a chance. Often he selects a bouquet and takes it to a sick little friend. He has a little savings account, which he uses to purchase presents for a very poor boy. Such a child is very fortunate—he has five ways of working for Jesus. He has five gifts and uses them for Jesus’ sake.
The next little boy doesn’t have that many things he can do – he can’t sing, but he’s trying to learn. He needs so much to be able to sing in the chorus of Sunday School! He can play the piano, and often he goes to visit the sick and plays a song for them. Often he’s asking his friends about Jesus and handing out some Gospel journals. He did what he could for Jesus, and he makes many people happy, as well as himself.
But the third boy doesn’t sing or play; he doesn’t even want to learn. He would be able to learn if he only tried. He thinks: I can’t even testify, so what’s the point of trying? He says he’s too busy playing to go and see his sick mates and cheer them up. He’s got some money saved in his little bank, but he doesn’t use it to buy toys or anything else because he prefers to buy things for himself. He’s very greedy. How happy he could have made other people if he’d try! Don’t you think this kid’s hiding his talent? It doesn’t make him happy either.
However, the second and third boys are not as lucky as the first, yet each of them has something they can do for Jesus. We all have a talent or one way we can work for Jesus. It doesn’t matter how small the kindness we offer to others. When it is done from the heart, as it is to Jesus, He will see it and be pleased with it. Jesus said if we give a little one a cup of cold water, we won’t miss a reward, which means He’ll always be kind to us too.
The Blessing of Others
We don’t have to say. Maybe, if I had lived in the days of Abraham, or if Jesus had walked on earth and visited the home of Mary and Martha, I could have done something for Jesus.” We can all work for Jesus today. We can help others and do something for Jesus in this way, for He said, “Since you did it to one of my few brothers, you did it to me.”
A lady who didn’t love Jesus or had time to go to church suddenly got sick. She couldn’t go out and have a nice time. A small group of Sunday School girls learned of her sickness, sometimes going home to sing the songs they’ve learned at Sunday School. The sick woman loved the girls singing, and the songs touched her heart. She turned to the Lord and began to pray that she would have a clean heart and be able to go to Heaven. Jesus rescued her hearts, and she went home to Heaven in a short time. Those girls were working for Jesus.
Idle or Busy
Maybe we might also learn a lesson from the little bees. The worker-bee visits the flowers from morning to night, takes the pollen to the honey hive and feeds the baby bees and the queen, or mother-bee. We also notice buzzing drones around the hive. They just spend a lot of time flying around and eating the honey that the worker-bee has produced. This is why they are known as drones-lazy bees. The drones are killed and thrown out of the hive by the workers when the honey harvest shows signs of being finished. They don’t want bees around them that aren’t prepared to work. In the work of the Lord, there is also no space for idlers or “drones.” We don’t want to be drones anymore.
When Jesus arrives in his majesty, and with him all the holy angels, he shall sit upon the throne. To be judged, all the people shall be assembled before Him. Then Jesus will divide the good people from the poor ones, as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats in the faraway lands. He’s going to put the good people on his right and the poor people on his left.
To those who are saved and ready to go to Heaven, Jesus will say Come, blessed be you of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the earth.” He will make them realize that they fed the hungry, gave the thirsty a drink, took in the stranger who is homeless, clothed those who had no clothes to wear, visited the sick and the prisoners. Then they will go to Heaven, where Jesus and the holy angels will always be with them. These acts of kindness to one of the least of the people of God are done to Jesus.
But Jesus, on the left side, will tell the naughty people to go away and be punished forever. He would remind them that the poor were not fed; the thirsty were not even given a drink; the stranger who had no home was not taken in. The naked were not given clothes; the sick and those in prison were not visited. Some people want to apologize by claiming that they have never seen Jesus hungry or thirsty, a stranger, or nude, ill, or in jail. The Judge would say to them As ye have not done it to one of the few of these, ye have not done it to me.”
Are you going to be there? Am I going to be there? Yes, every one of us will someday stand before Jesus to be judged by Him.
Forever with the Lord Jesus
Some kids might say, “I’d be happy if I had this or that.” Well, let’s use what we’ve got. Jesus has given everyone a job to do, and when He comes, we want to have it done or do our best to get it done. Then he will say to us, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father,’ and he will bring us to Heaven, where we will be with Jesus forever.
Remember, one day Jesus will return to us, and we’ll have to prove what we’ve done while He’s gone. Let’s be good stewards of what he gave us. To glorify God, let’s use our gifts and skills. Let’s take what God has provided us and multiply it.