Parables 2-1

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Parables 2-1Topic 5ParablesTeaching Time: 4 Periods (1 hour per period)Main Points:1. Parables about the End of Days2. Parables about moral conduct3. Other parablesText Interpretation:In the Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids, Jesus taught about the properattitude towards preparing for the coming of the Kingdom of God. Jesus made use of aJewish wedding custom in Palestine to explain that the preparation for the coming ofGod would be similar to that for the arrival of the bridegroom. It would be a joyous andunexpected event. Therefore, the believers have to prepare themselves and be ready atany moment to welcome the Second Coming of God. By telling the Parable of the TenVirgins/Bridesmaids, Jesus warned that certain important things have to be done byourselves but not by any other people, such as maintaining a close relationship with Godand cultivating the good characters God likes, e.g. love, patience, alertness andgenerosity. Only when a person does the above mentioned wholeheartedly can theperson enter the Kingdom of God.In the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Jesus taught that God is the great Fatherand the way to delight God is to help His children, i.e. our neighbours. Therefore, on theLast Day, God will judge us according to our reaction to people who need help. Godwants us to learn: (1) to offer help even if it is a small kind of help; (2) to offerunconditional help to those who are in need, even if they are the least of all. Those whooffer help to people unconditionally will attain the joy of helping Jesus Christ. Thosewho refuse to help people in need are no difference from refusing to help Jesus Christ.They will be judged by God on the Last Day.5-1

Parables 2-2In the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, the king in the parable represented God,who is merciful and willing to forgive people unconditionally. If we behave like theunmerciful servant in the parable and refuse to forgive others for their wrongdoings, wehave not appreciated God’s forgiveness. In return, God will not forgive us at the end,like what the king did at the end of the parable. By telling the Parable of the UnmercifulServant, Jesus taught that forgiveness is not a matter of calculation. One should not setlimits, but to forgive others for their wrongdoings.In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught that one should not ask who“my” neighbour is. The teaching of the parable is that one should not always actaccording to self-interest and ignore those who are really in need. In addition, only byputting words into actions can one show true compassion, so that a person can be theneighbour of the others and an interactive and living relationship can be established.In the parable of Talents, Jesus taught that God gives His people different giftsaccording to their abilities. One should not bother too much about the amount of talents onehas. Instead, one should be concerned about how to utilise the talents. God never demands usto work on tasks we cannot handle, but God does demand us to work according to ourabilities. Talents are not given to us for free. God would like each one of us to activelyparticipate in building God’s Kingdom according to one’s abilities.5-2

Parables about the End of Days Teacher’s Guide 2-11.Biblical reference: Mt 25: 1-13, 31-462.Objectives:y To learn that the Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids, and the Parable of theSheep and the Goats are both parables about the End of Days.y To understand the teachings of the parables:(1) The Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids: no one knows when Jesus willcome back. People should prepare well and be ready at any time so as to welcomeJesus for his return.(2) The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: on the Judgment Day, God will judgeus according to how we treat the others.y To understand that we should maintain a good personality and get well-prepared atany time.y To understand that we should not care only about self-interest when helping others.It should be driven by unconditional love.3.Teaching strategiesBackgroundInformationyyyIssues forExplorationsyyThe Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids: no one knows whenJesus will come back. People should prepare well and cultivategood personalities so as to welcome Jesus. The good qualitiescultivated belong to no one but to oneself only. It can only beobtained with our own hands.The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: God will judge peopleaccording to how they respond to others’ needs.Only those who are willing to offer help unconditionally can enjoyeternal life. Otherwise, God will punish them.The Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids: what do people needto prepare in advance to get themselves ready for opportunitiescoming at any time?The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: what attitudes should wehave when we help the others?5-3

Parables about the End of Days Teacher’s Guide 2-2EnquiryQuestionsyyyyLearningActivitiesyyyyKey ConceptsyyyyWhat were the differences between the wise and the foolishvirgins?What people should get prepared in advance before the secondcoming of Jesus?What were the differences between the actions of the goats andthe sheep?How to offer unconditional help to people in our daily life?By using the example of Wong Kam-bo, help students understandJesus’ teaching in the Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids,that people should have early preparations for important matters.Through the teaching of the Parable of “the TenVirgins/Bridesmaids, understand that people should maintaingood personalities, so that they will be ready for challenges atany time.Through comparing the actions of goats and sheep, help studentslearn that the rule of God’s judgment is parallel to how peoplereact to others’ needs. We should follow the sheep’s (righteouspeople) actions, helping the least of all unconditionally.Through analysing the video clip “The Beginning & the End, Seeking you II , Volume 4: Angel of the road” to examine whatis meant by offering unconditional help.OilAlertnessParables about the End of DaysThe least of allGeneric skills,yvalues andattitudes involvedRefer to the ‘Generic Skills, Values and Attitudes’ tables includedin the corresponding lesson plans.High-orderQuestionsyyWhat early preparations should we have in our daily life?Examine the possibility of helping the least of all in our daily life.ExtendedActivitiesyExamine how a non-governmental organisation in Hong Konghelps the “least of all” in the society.5-4

Parables about the End of Days Activity One 3-1Activity OneEnquiry QuestionGeneric SkillsWhat were the differences between Communication skills,the wise and the foolishcritical thinking skills,Virgins/Bridesmaids?problem solving skillsValues and AttitudesPerseverance, beingresponsibleTeaching steps:Step 1: Teacher does warm-up exercise with students by asking them to thinkabout the importance of having early preparations.Teacher asks:i.Do you agree that opportunities only go to those who are prepared?y Teacher asks:i.Do you think an athletic has to get well-prepared in order to win an Olympicgold medal?y Teacher uses the information below to let students know how Wong Kam-boprepared for the Olympic Game:i.“The silent cyclist in Hong Kong, China: Wong 6454958.htmy Teacher and students discuss:i.Wong Kam-bo was aiming for the gold medal in the Olympic Games. In whichareas did he need to have early preparations?ii.Did it make a difference for Wong Kam-bo to have early preparations?iii.What have you learnt from Wong Kam-bo’s experience? Are early preparationsimportant?yStep 2: Teacher points out:yyMost people must have known the importance of early preparations. For instance,we do revision long before the exams approach so that we can do well in the exams,and we pack our schoolbags before we go to bed so that we do not need to rushwhen we leave home the next day.Jesus told a parable in Mt 25: 1-13, teaching people to have early preparations. Letus look at what matters and things Jesus asked people to prepare early?5-5

Parables about the End of Days Activity One 3-2Step 3: Teacher carries out “Comparison of the wise and the foolishVirgins/Bridesmaids” activity and guides students to analyse the wise and thefoolish Virgins/Bridesmaids according to their behaviour, attitudes and their fate.Teacher asks students to form groups of four and read Mt 25: 1-13. Guide studentsto discuss:i.This is a parable about the End of Days. What was so important concerning theEnd of Days according to Jesus?ii.Why did Jesus make use of a parable to teach about the End of Days after hefinished explaining the signs of the End of Days to his disciples?y Teacher asks students to form groups of four and distributes “Worksheet 1”(Comparison of the wise and the foolish virgins). Guide students to discuss:i.According to Mt 25: 1-13, when did the bridegroom arrive?ii.What were the differences of the wise and the foolish virgins in theirpreparation to receive the bridegroom regarding the following three areas: thebehaviour, the attitudes and their fate?iii.What do (a) the bridegroom, (b) the arrival of the bridegroom and (c) receivingthe bridegroom represent?iv.What did Jesus want to teach us in the “Parable of the TenVirgins/Bridesmaids”?y After discussion, teacher invites students to present their ideas.yStep 4: Teacher goes further to discuss with students:yWhy did Jesus use a story of celebrating marriage and receiving the bridegroom toexplain his second coming and remind people to get well-prepared to welcome hisreturn?i.Teacher shows “PowerPoint 1” (Marriages in Palestine) to let studentsunderstand about (1) the customs of weddings and marriages in Palestine and(2) the meaning of the “Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids”.Step 5: Teacher summarises:yyyyThe Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids is a parable about the End of Days.Jesus taught his disciples to have early preparations for the coming of the Son ofGod.Those who prepare early for the coming of the Son of God will share the joy withthe Son of God.Those who have not prepared early for the coming of the Son of God will be leftoutside the door. They are not psychologically prepared and thus, they cannot sharethe joy with the Son of God.5-6

Parables about the End of Days Activity One 3-3Step 6: Teacher distributes “Students’ Reference: Material 1” (The teaching of theParable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids) and briefly explains to sum upthe above activity.5-7

Parables about the End of Days Activity Two 3-1Activity TwoEnquiry QuestionGeneric SkillsWhat were the things peopleCommunication skills,should prepare early according to critical thinking skills,Jesus?problem solving skillsValues and AttitudesLove, endurance, beingalert, generosityTeaching steps:Step 1: Teacher asks:yyAccording to Jesus, “oil” represents something that cannot be borrowed and bought,but can help people prepare for the Lord’s coming. What is it?In our daily life, what are the important things that we need to prepare early andcannot be borrowed?Step 2: Teacher carries out the “Things that cannot be borrowed” activity. Letstudents understand that there are things we need to prepare early by ourselvesand cannot be borrowed.Teacher asks students to form groups of four, distributes the “job market” section ofthe daily newspaper and asks them to look for their ideal job.y Teacher asks students to list the basic requirements of their ideal job, including:i.Academic requirements;ii.Personality requirements;iii.Experience or networking requirements.y Teacher can ask some students to report their analysis.y Teacher asks:i.Is early preparation important for one to meet the requirements of his/her idealjob? Can the good qualities be borrowed from others?yStep 3: Teacher carries out the “Meaning of the oil” activity, and guides studentsto understand what things should be prepared in advance to receive the Son ofGod as taught by Jesus.yTeacher asks students to form groups of four and distributes “Worksheet 2”(Meaning of the oil). Guide students to think (1) the qualities of “oil” described inMt 25: 1-13, and (2) what oil actually refers to, that can help people prepare toreceive the Lord.5-8

Parables about the End of Days Activity Two 3-2yyTeacher invites students to present after discussion.Teacher points out:i.In the Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids, Jesus uses “oil” to describe therelationship between God and people, and the personalities that God likes,including love, perseverance, alertness and generosity, etc. These are theimportant things people have to prepare early.ii.At the same time, Jesus used this parable to tell people that a good relationshipwith God cannot be borrowed. All of us have to maintain the relationshipourselves. Good personalities cannot be borrowed either. People have to ownthe good personalities themselves.iii.Many people think that the End of Days has not yet come. They think death isfar away and it is pessimistic to talk about it. As we reflect upon ourselves, weare clearer about the importance of “getting prepared at all times” asmentioned in the parable. This parable focuses on the coming of God’sKingdom during the End of Days. We should get prepared like the wiseVirgins/Bridesmaid before we can understand its meaning.iv.Prepare for answers regarding the meaning of life and life after death bring ushopes in life. The parable here emphasises that the lamp keeps burning with oilas fuel. Life should be a continual offering to welcome every moment.Step 4: Teacher and students further discuss:yyyWhat characteristics of the coming of the Son of God were stated in the Parable ofthe Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids?In the Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids, Jesus explained that only those whoestablish relationship with God and have the personalities that God like can receivethe coming of the Son of God and share joy with him. What is the impact of thismessage on the daily life of the believers?The two core messages of the Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids are: (1) itwarns us that there are things we have to prepare in advance, and (2) it warns us thatthere are things we cannot borrow. Does it remind us anything about our attitudetowards our life?5-9

Parables about the End of Days Activity Two 3-3Step 5: Teacher and students carry out “Getting prepared for the future” activity.Guide students to think about the inspirations brought by Jesus’ teaching.Teacher and students discuss:i.Do you think people who get prepared early can get hold of opportunities atany moment more easily?ii.Which areas do you think you can get prepared early for opportunities comingat any time?y Teacher asks students to form groups of four and distributes “Worksheet 3”(Opportunities and preparation). Guide students to think about (1) whatopportunities they expect to come across in two years; (2) in which areas they needto get prepared early in order to grab these opportunities, and (3) in what ways theycan get prepared for these opportunities.yStep 6: Teacher summarises:yyThere are things one cannot leave aside until the last minute. For instance, it wouldbe too late for a person to acquire the proper skills and personality just before thejob opportunities arrives.The teaching of Jesus helps us understand that we should get ourselves prepared forour relationship with God.Step 7: Teacher distributes “Students’ Reference: Material 2” (The meaning ofthe symbols in the Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids) and briefly explains tosum up the above activity.5 - 10

Parables about the End of Days Activity Three 3-1Activity ThreeEnquiry QuestionGeneric SkillsWhat were the differences between Communication skills,the actions of the goats and thecritical thinking skills,sheep?problem solving skillsValues and AttitudeLove, kindness, concernTeaching steps:Step 1: Teacher points out:yJesus told another parable about the End of Days, the Parable of the Sheep and theGoats. In the parable, Jesus explained the rules of God’s judgment during the End ofDays. Let us find out the rules.Step 2: Teacher carries out “Differentiating sheep and goats” activity. Letstudents learn about God’s judgment during the End of Days.Teacher asks:i.According to your understanding of God in the Old Testament, list the ruleswith which God judges His people. Who can enter the Kingdom of God?y Teacher writes down the rules suggested by the students on the blackboard. Theclass then identifies the three most reasonable rules.y Teacher asks students to read Mt 25: 31-46 and form groups of four. Teacherdistributes “Worksheet 4” (Comparison of the sheep and the goats) and guidesstudents to discuss:i.What will be the scenes when the Son of Man (Son of God) comes again?What actions will he take?ii.How did the Son of Man differentiate between the sheep and the goats? Listthe differences between the sheep and the goats regarding their behaviour,attitudes and their fate.iii.List what kind of people the sheep and the goats referred to respectively.y After discussion, teacher invites students to present their ideas.yStep 3: Teacher carries out “A cup of cold water, the least of all” activity andguides students to learn more about what Jesus requires of us when we helpothers. The requirements are to offer help (1) in small tasks, and (2) to the least ofall.5 - 11

Parables about the End of Days Activity Three 3-2Teacher asks:i.From the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, what did Jesus want us to dowhen we help others?y Teacher asks students to form groups of four, distributes “Appendix 1” (Little help,big help) and asks students to read the two news articles. Teacher then guidesstudents to discuss the questions on “Worksheet 5” (Little help, ordinary man).i.Compare the cases in News 1 and News 2, which case does not involvemoney?ii.Compare the cases in News 1 and News 2, which one is a small task thateveryone can do?iii.Let us then look at what assistance Jesus asked people to offer to the others, e.g.a meal, a glass of water, receiving guests, taking care of the sick and visitingprisoners. Do these acts require us to pay? Can every one of us do these tasks?iv.Why did Jesus say helping ordinary people would let us feel the joy of helpingChrist?v.Jesus stated that people only need to offer little help to people they meeteveryday, then they can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Would you consider therules of God’s judgment difficult to follow?vi.What do you think will be the impact of the rules on the life of Christians?yStep 4: Teacher and students further discuss:yJesus explained in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats that God judges peopleaccording to how people react to others’ needs. What are the values emphasised andadvocated by Christianity? (Teacher can guide students to understand thatChristianity advocates that people should treat the others with heartfelt, instinctiveand unconditional love, rather than to secure one’s self-interests and dignity.)Step 5: Teacher summarises:yyJesus explained through the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats that God will judgeus according to how we react to others’ needs.Jesus taught us when we help the people in need, we have to: (1) help them in smalltasks, and (2) help them unconditionally:5 - 12

Parables about the End of Days Activity Three 3-3i.ii.iii.iv.Be someone like the sheep (righteous people): they are those who care aboutthe others regardless of the identity and the status of the people in need. Theytry their best to help even the least of all.Those who help others in the simplest things unconditionally will have the joyof helping Christ.Don’t be someone like the goats: they offer help just because of the deprivedstatus of the people in need. They help others, wanting to attain goodr

Jun 22, 2007 · i. Teacher shows “PowerPoint 1” (Marriages in Palestine) to let students understand about (1) the customs of weddings and marriages in Palestine and (2) the meaning of the “Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids”. Step 5: Teacher summarises: y The Parable of the Ten Virgins/Bridesmaids is a parable about the End of Days.

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