Parables #4 – Study Questions
The Talents and Pounds
INTRODUCTION: I’m not sure about you, but as we have been reading and studying the parables of Jesus this summer, I keep finding myself doing a double-take. Did Jesus really say this? Did he really mean it? Did it sound as intense coming from his mouth as it does when I read it? Jesus doesn’t mince words in the parables, and he offers us some spiritual cough medicine. One of the primary intentions of the parables of Jesus is to correct us. In the parable of the talents and pounds, we see that Jesus takes seriously the way we treat the resources the Father has given to us. We hear a story about three servants, two who were faithful and one who wasn’t. Two knew their master’s business and his expectations for them, and one knew but grew complacent and bitter. The key to understanding this parable is not to get distracted by what a “talent” is or even the return of the faithful servants but to tune into the reality of accountability. Jesus believes that we will be held accountable for the way we live and how we use our time, talents, and treasure. The truth is that we all yearn to live purposeful lives but risk growing complacent and simply giving up, just like the third servant. This parable points us to the truth that complacency is a thief.
GETTING STARTED – As you begin your group time, discuss the risk of complacency. How have you experienced it in your life? How have you resisted it? What was robbed from you in seasons when you grew complacent?
IN THE WORD – Let’s dig back into the passage. It is important to strengthen our muscles in reading God’s Word. On Sunday, we walked through the passage in the sermon. Hopefully, that helped you to see the landmarks of the passage with fresh eyes. Now, with your group, go back through it and see what God is saying to you specifically.
First, before you read the passage, take a moment to ask God’s Spirit to quiet your mind and heart and to illuminate the text to you. Second, read the passage aloud to the group. Then, follow the simple method below. (O.P.A)
Observe: Make 8-10 observations from the passage. Pay close attention to observe and note repeated words and phrases, names, places, and themes.
Principles: From your list of observations, what patterns or big ideas do you see emerging? Can you distill it down into 2-4 big idea truths?
Apply: Moving from your list of principles, it is time to apply God’s Word. Remember, we believe that God’s Word is living and active and that it can change the way we live Monday- Friday. What is one tangible way to apply a truth from your list above?