NBC Sunday School Manual For July 30, 2023 :Topic – SEARCHING FOR BURIED TREASURE.
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme for the Month: JESUS ENVISIONS THE KINGDOM.
DATE: SUNDAY, 30TH JULY, 2023.
TOPIC: SEARCHING FOR BURIED TREASURE.
Job 28:1-2, 12-19.
Lesson Scripture: Matthew 13:44-52.
“He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” Matthew 13:52.
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Identify at least three features of the kingdom of God.
● Explain the ultimate fate of those who reject the offer of God’s kingdom at the end of age.
● Pledge their loyalty to Christ Jesus as they wait in hope for the kingdom of God.
Things are changing, life is becoming more unbearable and people are already having different perception about life. People say that “We are in computer age.” According to them, it is an era when things move faster than they used to be. Many people are becoming desperate about making it in life, within a short time, with little or no labour. This ideology has changed the mindset and lifestyle of some young people to the point that many of them are already involved in ungodly activities in the course of searching for wealth such as yahoo-yahoo, ritual killing, armed robbery, kidnapping and other vices. Unfortunately, they do not mind the risk and shame that accompany such acts when caught, as long as they get what they want. Sometime ago, a story of two thieves who were caught ransacking a grave was published in one of the national dailies. Upon interrogation, they confessed that they were in search of articles of gold and other valuables rumoured to have been buried with a rich man. Their conduct showed that people can do anything (whether good or bad) to get what they want in our contemporary time. Human beings naturally aspire to acquire treasures, particularly when it has prospects for economic power. Little wonder nations have fought wars over who owns and controls natural resources. However, the desire to possess treasures is not bad in itself but the procedures to acquire them.
While Jesus was on earth, He told many parables that explain the nature of the kingdom of God. Although He did not define concisely the meaning of the kingdom but He gave many clues about it. Some of the parables teach how the kingdom of heaven functions; and each one highlights a specific characteristic of God’s rule over humanity. The parables of the Hidden Treasure, the Pearl and the Net in Matthew chapter 13 teach the importance of abandoning everything in order to enter the kingdom of God. In other words, no price is too much to pay for the purpose of making heaven. This buttresses why Jesus had earlier said that where the treasure of a person is, that is where his heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). So, today’s lesson focuses on three different parables that teach the truth that possessing the kingdom of God is a treasure to be sought for with vigour and enthusiasm because of its worth.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. THE WORTH OF THE KINGDOM:
From the beginning of the chapter, Jesus told the parable of the Sower, the Weeds, the Mustard Seed, and the Yeast and gave their explanations. He told two more parables the Hidden treasure and Pearl. He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (v. 44) He said in verses 45 and 46, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” Precisely, the two parables highlight the following about the kingdom of God: –
● Its precious and priceless nature.
● It can only be found by those who diligently search for it.
● Those who find the kingdom of heaven have great joy.
● There is a price to pay to possess the kingdom.
● Those who desire the kingdom of heaven should not give up.
● The kingdom is of greater value than anything else.
The first parable describes the action of a man who found a hidden treasure and then sold all he owned and acquired the entire field, the second parable illustrates a merchant who sold all he had and bought a pearl of great value. The two parables are similar in description and meaning and they begin with “the kingdom of heaven is like ….” The kingdom of heaven has so much value that one should be willing to strive to enter into it. Therefore, just as the man in the parable bought the entire field to possess the hidden treasure, Christians are admonished to persevere in whatever challenges they are passing through. As regards God’s kingdom, no price is too much to pay in order to possess it.
1. Discuss the importance of buying an entire field so as to possess the treasure in the first parable and its implications for Christians.
2. What are some prices Christians should pay in order to inherit the kingdom of heaven?
B. THE FINAL SEPARATION:
The last of the parables in the series is that of the net. Jesus again likened the kingdom of heaven to the activities of fishermen who threw their net into the lake. They caught different kinds of fish. When the net was full, the men pulled it to the shore and began to separate the good from the bad. While the good ones were thrown into their baskets, the bad ones were thrown away because they were worthless. Then Jesus said to the multitude in verse 49, “This is how it will be at the end of age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” It seems Jesus’ audience did not understand the spiritual truths thus He asked, “Have you understood these things?” Then He added saying, “… every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” (v. 52) Jesus’ statement underscores the fact that His followers should be true learners before they can understand and communicate spiritual knowledge as teachers. Therefore, anyone who aspires to be a teacher of God’s Word should first become a disciple of Jesus because in Him are “hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).
This is an important reminder to believers in Christ that at the end of age, there shall be separation of the wicked from the righteous. While the wicked would be thrown into the blazing furnace, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, the righteous would be rewarded with eternal rest (v. 50). The kingdom of God is not about head knowledge, titles and positions but having a relationship with God. The reason is that no one can teach about the kingdom of God without first becoming a part of the kingdom, through faith in Christ. Therefore, Christians are urged to develop personal relationship with Jesus and remain devoted to Him. Churches should endeavour to pursue the ministry of discipleship more passionately in order to help members know what it means to follow Jesus and become like Him. Only such persons who are ready to follow Jesus devotedly can properly understand and communicate the dynamics of God’s kingdom.
1. What does the parable of the Net teach us, as believers?
2. Discuss the steps Christians can take in order to avoid going to hell.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Let class members identify two spiritually mature members in their church and analyse the qualities that distinguished them from others.
Take Home: State at least three main lessons you are taking home, based on today’s lesson:
● Make a personal pledge to remain loyal to Christ Jesus, as you wait in hope for the kingdom of God.
REVIEW FOR THE MONTH OF JULY
Thank God for taking us through these lessons. The lessons are eye-openers about the truth of God’s kingdom. Answer the following questions:
● Can you describe some lessons you learned from the parable of the weeds among the wheat?
● How do you intend to live to advance the cause of God’s kingdom?
● How do you plan to grow more in your intimacy with Jesus, as His disciple?
● Do you have struggles adjusting your values to meet up with God’s standard in order to make heaven?
Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!