(Palm Sunday) The Parable of the Talents

 Children’s Story


  • Pennies wrapped in tissue paper
  • Pictures to show during story.

Time:  Approximately 10 minutes depending on storyteller’s delivery and children’s responses.

Click here for a printable version of the story.

Imagine what it must have been like for the people waiting for Jesus to enter Jerusalem.  Jerusalem was considered the holy City of God by most Jews. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, He fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy (Zechariah 9:9-10) that he was the Messiah.   Do you think they were excited?  Yes, they were.  They even put their cloaks and palm branches on the road to welcome him.  In ancient times, palm branches symbolized goodness and victory.

The following is a fictional story based on true teachings in Jesus life.  Imagine yourself being there with your family as you listen to the story.

The Parable of the Ten Talents

“Mother, when is Jesus coming?  Myriam asked for the seventh time.

Her younger brother, Amos, said, “We’ve been waiting a long, long time.  And I can’t see anything anyway.”  He stood on his tippy toes and stretched his neck as far as he could.  The palm branch he held in his hand drooped touching the dusty road.  Amos and his family had joined many others in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.

His mother looked at him and smiled.  Picking him up she replied, “It should be any time now.  I can feel the crowd getting restless.”

Sure enough, in a few moments Jesus appeared riding on a donkey.  Little Amos could tell the crowd was excited about seeing the Messiah returning home again.  Waving their palm branches they shouted, “Hosanna to the son of David!  Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!”   Amos, his mother, sister, Myriam and older brother, Josiah, shouted too, and waved their palm branches.  (YOU AND CHILDREN WAVE PALMS HERE.)  Father shouldered his way through the crowd and laid his coat on the road.

Soon Jesus was out of sight and the children sighed in disappointment.  “That was so fast,” said Mryriam.

“And now he’s gone,” continued Josiah.  “We might not ever see him again.”

Father rejoined his family and announced, “The men up front told me that Jesus will be teaching nearby for a while.  Would you like to stay and hear his teachings and stories?”

“Oh, yes!” shouted Amos.

“I like his stories,” said Mryiam.

“Can we camp?”  Josiah looked at his parents.

Mother smiled happily.  “I’m glad Myriam and I packed extra food and blankets.”

Time passed.  After some searching, the family found Jesus and his disciples.  A crowd had gathered and Jesus was telling stories and teaching.

Would you like to hear one of his stories?  ALLOW CHILDREN TO RESPOND.

Jesus teaching

This is the parable of the five talents.  A parable is a short story that explains a religious principle.  Do you know what a talent is?  ALLOW CHILDREN TO ANSWER AND THEN SAY:  A talent is a piece of money.  It can also be a special gift or ability you might have like a good singing voice, sports ability or skill in math.  Now I’m going to give you something wrapped in a napkin.  Don’t open it or peek until I tell you.  (HAND OUT COINS WRAPPED IN NAPKINS.)

Matthew 25: 14 – 29. Read the parable:

14.  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

15.  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.  OPEN YOUR NAPKIN.  What do you see?  Five coins.  They represent the five talents.

16.  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

17.  And likewise he that had received two, he also had gained other two.

18.  But he that had received one went and dug in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

19.  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

20.  And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

21.  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of the lord.

22.  He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

23.  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

24.  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not scattered:

25.  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth; lo, there thou hast that is thine.

26.  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not scattered:

27.   Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers (bank), and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury (interest).

28.  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29.  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.

The children liked being near Jesus and hearing him speak even though they didn’t understand everything.  And they were hungry.  Father and Josiah spread out a blanket and Mother and Myriam unpacked bread, goat cheese and figs.  As they ate the children were full of questions about Jesus’ story.

“Father, I don’t understand,” said Josiah.  Why did the man give one servant five talents, another two and the last man only one talent?  That doesn’t sound fair to me.”

Father answered, “Each man in this story received the number of talents according to his karma and according to the gifts he had already developed and according to his special abilities.  This was different for each servant.  Every gift we receive from God is His.  Our reason for being in life is to multiply and magnify these gifts to give them back to God, in gratitude for his Love.  We can do this with our talents—our money and our special abilities.

“How do I give my gift back to God? little Amos asked.  “I can’t see him.”  Josiah and Myriam giggled.

“That’s a good question, Amos,” Mother replied.  “There are many ways.  Father and I put money in the treasury box at the temple.  Sometimes we give vegetables from our garden to people who don’t have enough food or help neighbors when they are sick.  You children help Father and me at home.  Myriam and Josiah tend the goats.”

“Oh, now I see,” said Amos.

Myriam looked puzzled.  “I don’t understand about the master rewarding his servants.  I see how he would give back what the first two servants were given and what they earned, but he said the same thing to both of them.  ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things…’  He seemed as happy with the one who earned two talents as he was with the one who earned five.”

Father replied, “Each of those servants did his very best with what he had.  They all had the same opportunity. The first two multiplied the coins, their skills and inner gifts.  They willingly gave them back to their master.”

“What about the last servant?” asked Josiah.  The lord was very disappointed with his actions and spoke to him strongly.  Why was that?”

Mother answered.  “The third servant didn’t do anything to multiply what his master had given him and he didn’t do anything to improve his abilities or talents.  When we work to improve our special qualities like kindness or helpfulness we are multiplying our talents and becoming more like Jesus, just like the first two servants.  When we share them with others we are giving them back to God—even though we can’t see him.”  She winked at Amos.

“Thank you for explaining Jesus’ story,” Myriam said.  Look!  The people are gathering around Jesus again.  Maybe he’s going to tell more parables.  Let’s get closer so we can hear.”

Myriam was right.  Jesus told many parables during his ministry.  Two of them are listed in the bulletin and you can read them with your families at home.  And you can take your napkin with your five talents home so you can multiply them.  Thank you for coming and have a wonderful week!


At Home Holy Week Activities

Prior to Palm Sunday:

Visit the website, “Pathway for Families,” and read the Palm Sunday story, “Palm Sunday:  Jesus’ Triumphant Return to Jerusalem.”

Go to:  http://tsl.org/family/2015/03/palm-sunday-jesus-triumphant-return-to-jerusalem/

During Holy Week:  Read two of Jesus’ parables

1)   The Parable of the Ten Virgins


a.    Matthew 25:1-13

b.    Beloved Saint Germain

Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 39, no. 24

June 16, 1996

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”  And if you, like the wise virgins, have kept the lamps of your chakras filled with oil, that is, with light, you will be ready to receive the Bridegroom.”

c.    Book:  Fire from Heaven, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Ch. 3, “Waiting for the Holy Spirit,” pp. 66-68.

2)   Parable of the Two Sons, Matthew 21:28 – 31






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