Key Passage: Matthew 13:11 “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you.”
Big Picture Question: What should we always be ready for? We should be ready for Jesus to come back.
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.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. In today’s Bible story, 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. When Jesus returns, those who faithfully work for Him will be rewarded, but those who do not will be punished.
Family Activity: Invite kids to write or draw a picture of what they do to get ready to go somewhere. Talk about what happens if it’s time to go and someone isn’t ready. Prompt kids to explain the difference between a faithful servant and a lazy servant. Read the Christ connection and talk about ways your family can live that would make Jesus happy if He were to come back right at any moment.