Jesus Taught with Stories

Anchor command. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another.” Colossians 3:16

Anchor story. An unforgiving servant. Matthew 18:

Anchor verse. “All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable.” Matthew 13:34

Learning goal. Find how stories convey God’s truth in Scripture.

Growth goal. Learn to tell by memory many edifying stories from Scripture.

Skill goal. Believers tell key stories in the way that hearers can easily pass them on to others.

Outcome goal. Children and adults learn God’s truth by hearing and telling Bible stories.

Lord help us all to learn to forgive others, from Jesus’ story about the unforgiving servant.

Basic Study

Learn from this story of an unforgiving servant. Matthew 18:21-34.

·         What command of God did Jesus use this story to illustrate? Verse 21. (Answer: to forgive.)

·         Should we ever stop forgiving people? 21-22. (Answer: We must always forgive.)

·         What did the master do for the servant who could not pay his debt? 23-27

·         What did that same servant do to another servant who owed him money? 28-30

·         How did the master respond to this? 31-34

·         How does our Lord in heaven want us to treat those who do us wrong? 35.


Image result for unforgiving servant
Forgiven of a big debt, an ungrateful man would not
forgive someone else of a little debt.

During the week.

·         Let older children and willing adults write poems, songs or dramas about Jesus’ story of the faithful servants.

·         Visit people who do not attend worship, and tell them a Bible story about Jesus, or something that you have prepared.

During worship.

·         Let an older child read or tell by memory the story of the Unforgiving Servant, Matthew 18:21-34, and ask the same questions as above. Let believers discuss the answers.

·         Ask the children to present what they have prepared.

·         Memorize Matthew 13:34, “All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable.”

·         Let the children copy this picture illustrating the story of an unforgiving servant.

Copyright © Gospel Light. Used by permission.

Advanced Study

1.       Additional, optional activities to do during the upcoming worship.

·         Dramatize the story of the unforgiving servant.

Arrange for the children present this drama. Use your time with the children to prepare the drama. Let older children help younger ones to prepare.

Let older children or adults play the parts:
Master (with paper],
Selfish Servant.
Good Servant

Narrator:                   Tell the first part of the story, verses 21-27.
Explain that Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive someone.

Narrator:                   “Jesus answered with a story about a Master and his servant. The servant owed him a lot of money. Listen to the Master.”

Master:                      “This paper is your loan agreement. It shows that you owe me a very large debt. Pay me what you owe me or I sell you and your family as slaves.”

Selfish Servant:       Kneel and beg, “Have mercy! I will pay. Please have mercy!”

Master:                      Tear up the paper and say,
“I will have mercy on you. I forgive all your debt.”

Narrator:                   Tell the next part of the story, verses 28-35.  Then say,
“See what the Selfish Servant does.”

Selfish Servant:       Leave the king; go and shake the Good Servant and say,
“Pay what you owe me! Now!”

Good servant:         Kneel and beg, “Please have mercy. I will pay you soon.”

Selfish Servant:       “No. Jailers, come take him away!”

Jailer:                          Drag the Good Servant away, saying,
“You will stay in jail until you pay your debt.”

Friends:                      Go to king and say,
“Master, that servant that you forgive won’t forgive others!
He had a man jailed who owed him a small amount of money.”

King:                            Call to the Selfish Servant. “Come here, you!

Selfish servant:       Run to the Master, bow and say,
“I am at your service, great and generous Master!”

Master                        (Angrily), “Why did you not forgive like I forgave you?
Jailers, take him away!”

Jailer:                          Drag away the Selfish Servant saying,
“You will stay in jail until you pay.”

Narrator:                   Thank those who helped him and him.

·         Ask the children, “What other stories did Jesus tell to teach people about the kingdom of God?” (Let the children give examples.)

·         Draw a king’s royal crown. Let the children copy it and show their pictures to the adults, or to their parents at home.

A King’s Crown

ü  Let the children explain that the king’s royal crown illustrates Jesus’ story.

ü  God is our spiritual King. We owe him everything.

ü  Sometimes we do not serve Him as we should, but he forgives us.

ü  We should forgive others just as Jesus our Master has forgiven us.

·         Poem. Let three children each recite one of the verses from Psalm 45, verses1, 2 and 4.