Jesus told the parable about the nobleman who was to go away, become a king, and return. This was one of Jesus’ last teachings to His disciples, taking place just before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and less than a week before His crucifixion. Christ’s purpose was to educate His disciples regarding His departure to Heaven, their responsibility to carry on His work after He went away, and His eventual return. Our study will concentrate on our responsibility as Christ’s disciples to be faithful in using what He has given us for His service.
Christian maturity comes as a result of taking a realistic, practical, and God-directed approach to both the opportunities and the problems of life. That is why the admonitions found in the Bible are of proven value. They apply to the everyday experiences we face.
How to gain Christian maturity is the thrust of the lessons to be studied during this quarter.
The basic point to remember in considering the precepts of this unit is that submitting to Christ as our Lord and Savior comes first. With this thought in mind, we begin the unit by focusing on the reality of Jesus’ presence with us and in us.
The second lesson deals with the subject of Christian growth, establishing that God’s Word outlines certain ways and means of spiritual development, and that spiritual growth is necessary.
With these two lessons as the foundation for the quarter, we move into a consideration of specific areas such as decision-making, resisting the devil, avoiding physical and spiritual pollution, self-discipline, and how to deal with personal problems.
Our quarter concludes with a lesson on looking at the outcome, in which we will be encouraged to see the importance of measuring our daily actions by whether these actions will draw us closer to God or move us farther away.
Our goal this quarter is to reach the point where we can say with Paul, “. . . in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).
- The word nobleman means “person of noble blood, usually princely.” Give evidence as to whom you think the nobleman represents in this parable. See Hebrews 12:2.
- The word servant is translated from the Greek word doulos which can mean “slave, bondman, or servant of a king.” In the New Testament epistles, doulos often denotes “one who gives himself up wholly to another’s will, or dominion.” With these facts in mind, identify whom the servants in this parable represent.
- The nobleman had ten servants. Each servant was given one pound. List the various gifts or talents which you think the pounds might represent. Refer to 1 Corinthians 12:4-11,28.
- Paraphrase the nobleman’s statement to his ten servants, “Occupy till I come.”
- Who are the citizens referred to in verses 14 and 27 of our lesson? How would you support this conclusion?
- Verse 15 tells us that having received his kingdom and returned, the nobleman called his servants to determine how much each man had gained by trading. Describe some of the “gains” one can experience in working for the Lord.
- Verses 20-26 deal with the other servant and his great error. Identify this error and interpret its meaning.
- The nobleman, in verse 17, pronounced the servant whose pound had gained ten pounds as “faithful.” Consider and note several actions which we could take to ensure a reward in eternity as a faithful steward of Jesus Christ.