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Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Matthew 13:44-46

Story Summary

What are Parables?

Take this opportunity to teach your children what parables are. They are little stories Jesus told that teach us about the Kingdom of God. They are similar to fables in that they are stories with a deeper meaning. But fables give moral or ethical lessons. For example, the Tortoise and the Hare teaches us not to give up (if you are the tortoise) and not to be too full of yourself (if you are the hare). The Boy Who Cried Wolf teaches us that if we lie repeatedly, people won't believe us even when we are telling the truth. Parables teach us about life in the Kingdom of God, or life as a Christian.

Parable Summaries

These 2 parables are contained in only 3 verses in Matthew 13:44-46. While there are only 3 verses, they are chock-full of meaning.

  • They are both about the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of God. Like the other parables, they are teaching us about what life is like where Christ is King.
    • The first parable teaches us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure - specifically a hidden treasure.
    • The second parable teaches us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant, searching for fine pearls. In actuality, this parable should really be named, "The Parable of the Merchant."
  • They both teach that we should treasure the things of God more than anything else in the world.
    • In the first parable, the treasure was not valued correctly by anyone until the man found it. How many people walked past that field and never knew the treasure was there? Surely the owner of the land didn't know it was there either, or he wouldn't have sold it!
    • In the second parable, the pearl was valued correctly, but the merchant thought it was worth selling everything anyway.

The Kingdom lesson in this parable: God is worth more than anything else in the world. He should be more important to us than anything!

What You Will Need

Supplies
Pearls and coins (fake will work fine)

Resource Sheet

Parable of the Hidden Treasure Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts the Parable of the treasure hidden in a field

Lesson

1. Warm Up

get your kids talking and engaged

Have you ever found money somewhere (not in your house)? How much did you find?

Today, we're going to learn about a parable about a man who finds a hidden treasure and about a merchant who is searching for fine pearls.

2. Teach the Story

teach a holistic story

Teach the children what a parable is (see the Story Summary above)

Read the story directly from an age-appropriate Bible translation. Use the parable summaries above to help the kids think through the setting of the parables and really understand them.

Just imagine the scene at the end of the first parable: a man has nothing - no house, no car, no clothes, no food - but he's sitting in the middle of his new field, on top of buried treasure.

Imagine the scene at the end of the second parable: a merchant has nothing to sell, but he has one of the finest pearls in the world.

3. Bible Mastery

give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud: Matthew 13:44-46

4. Comprehension Questions

make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • What is a parable? (a little story Jesus told that teaches us what life is like as a Christian, in the Kingdom of God)
  • In the first parable, what was hidden in a field? (a treasure)
  • Did anyone know it was there? (no)
  • What did the man do when he found it? (he covered it back up, went and sold everything he had and bought the field that contained the treasure)
  • In the second parable, what was the merchant looking for? (the finest pearl)
  • What did he do when he found it? (he sold everything he had and bought that pearl)
  • What was the kingdom lesson in this parable? (God should be the most important thing to us in our lives)

5. Faith Questions

help them apply the story to their lives and open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer
  • In these two parables, we learned that God should be more important to us than anything else in the world.
  • What do you value more than God? Ask God today to change your heart so you value you Him more than anything else.

6. Memory Verse

hide God's Word in their heart
Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive each other, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done. Ephesians 4:32

Reinforcement Activities

Hidden Treasure Craft

Scripture The kingdom of heaven is like treasure that was hidden in a field. When a man found it...he went and sold everything he had. And he bought that field. Matthew 13:44

Supplies rock cut out, construction paper, treasure cut out, glue, scissors, Bible verse cut out

  • Cut out rocks and treasure.
  • Glue rocks to paper (using the flap at the top of the rock).
  • Glue treasure (the coin) under one of the rocks.
  • Glue paper strip with the Bible verse to top of page.

Pearl Necklaces

Scripture Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a trader who was looking for fine pearls. He found one that was very valuable. So he went away and sold everything he had. And he bought that pearl. Matthew 13:45

Supplies pearl beads, necklace string, or oven baked clay, toothpick, white paint

  • String pearl beads onto necklace.
  • or
  • Roll clay into small balls.
  • Poke a toothpick through center to make a hole.
  • Bake clay according to directions,
  • Paint beads with white paint.
  • String together to make necklace.

Treasure Hunt

Scripture Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a trader who was looking for fine pearls. He found one that was very valuable. So he went away and sold everything he had. And he bought that pearl. Matthew 13:45-46

Supplies Treasure hunt clues, pearls

  • Create a treasure hunt.
  • Provide clues that will take students around to various parts of the building. Make clues more challenging for older students.
  • Final clue will lead students to the pearl.
  • Making two treasure hunts that lead to the same destination can turn the activity into a game with separate teams competing to find the pearl first.

Cup and Coin Trick

Scripture The kingdom of heaven is like treasure that was hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again. He was very happy. So he went and sold everything he had. And he bought that field. Matthew 13:44

Supplies three matching cups, plastic coin

  • Place three cups in a row on the table.
  • Place the coin under one cup.
  • Move cups around, to mix up the cup with the coin.
  • Have students guess which cup has the coin underneath.

Digging for Treasure

Scripture The kingdom of heaven is like treasure that was hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again. He was very happy. So he went and sold everything he had. And he bought that field. Matthew 13: 44

Supplies tub of dirt or sandbox, pennies and other small treasures

  • Hide treasures in dirt.
  • Allow children to dig in dirt to find treasures.

Man, Man, Where is Your Treasure?

Scripture The kingdom of heaven is like treasure that was hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again. He was very happy. So he went and sold everything he had. And he bought that field. Matthew 13:44

Supplies coin

  • Play like Doggie, Doggie, where is your bone.
  • "Man, Man, Where's your Treasure?
  • Somebody hid it in a field.
  • Guess who? It might be you."
  • Ask one child to step outside of the room or turn around.
  • Have students sit in a group.
  • Give coin to one child to hide.
  • Other child gets to guess who is hiding the coin.
  • Child gets three guesses or less, depending on size of the group.

Guess the Price Game

Scripture Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a trader who was looking for fine pearls. He found one that was very valuable. So he went away and sold everything he had. And he bought that pearl. Matthew 13:45

Supplies Paper, Pens, Various items for players to guess the price of

  • Similar to the popular TV game show “The Price is Right”, players try to guess the price of various items. A great game to teach about what’s really valuable in this world.
  • (From biblegamescentral.com)