After Jesus was baptised, he had to decide the direction He would take in his ministry. Satan tried to get Him to be the wrong kind of Saviour. He tempted Him with pride, power, and popularity. Jesus stood strong in the Word of God and did not give in to temptation.
Scripture References: Matthew 4:1-11
Suggested Emphasis: Temptation comes from Satan as he tries to get us to do wrong. Stand strong in the Word of God.
Group Share Time
Divide the group into two teams and play a game of “tug of war.” After the game, talk about how it feels to be pulled in two directions. “That is how temptation is. God is trying to pull you in the direction of right. Satan is trying to pull you into a direction where you are doing wrong. No matter how good you are being, Satan still tries to get you to do bad things. Today we are going to learn about how Satan even tried to get JESUS to do wrong. That’s right, the Devil even tempted Jesus!”
Story from the Bible
An adult or young reader can read the words below as the slides are shown.
1. Cover: Jesus is Tempted in the Wilderness; Matthew 4:1-11
2. We cannot see God but we know he is always near us. He helps us and takes care of us. He always wants us to do the right things so we will be happy. He wants us to come live with him in heaven when we die.
3. We cannot see Satan but he is alive too. He is very bad. He tries to get us to do bad things. He does not want us to go to heaven when we die. Heaven is a happy place where God lives. Satan wants us to go to a bad place called hell. No one is ever happy in hell because God is never there.
Sometimes we want to do the wrong thing. Wanting to do the wrong thing is called “temptation”.
Sometimes we know to do something good but we want to just forget about it and not do it. When we feel like not doing something that we know is good that is also temptation.
Temptation is when bad and wrong things look really good to us. Satan tempts us. He hates it when we are good so he tries to make bad things seem good to us. Sometimes he makes them look so good that we forget what God says and just do the bad thing.
4. After Jesus was baptised he went away to the desert to be alone. He decided that he wanted to pray and think about God for 40 days. Jesus did not want to be distracted by anything so he fasted. To fast means to not eat so that even our bodies make us think about God every time we feel hungry. Jesus fasted and did not eat for 40 days when he was in the desert.
5. Satan did not like it because Jesus only thought about God. Satan hated it that Jesus was so good all the time. He decided to tempt Jesus and try to make him do bad things. Satan came to Jesus and tempted him in three ways.
6. Temptation 1: Satan knew Jesus was really hungry so he tempted Jesus to use his powers in a selfish way all for himself. Satan said, “If you are really the Son of God then use your special powers to turn these stones into bread.”
Jesus was hungry but he knew that God wanted him to only use his special powers to help people. His power was not just for feeding himself! Jesus wanted to do the right thing. He knew the best way to answer Satan was to use God’s words. Jesus had memorised a lot of scriptures so he knew exactly which scripture to say to Satan. He said this verse from the Bible, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
7. Temptation 2: Next, Satan took Jesus to Jerusalem to the temple. Both Jesus and Satan knew that the temple was a special place to God.
8. They stood at the highest point of the temple. Satan wanted to get Jesus to doubt God’s power. He told Jesus that he should give God a test to see if his power worked. Satan told Jesus to jump off the temple and see if God’s angels would catch him.
But Jesus did not need to give God a test. Jesus already knew that God’s power was stronger than anything in the world. Jesus told Satan another Scripture from God’s word. “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
9. Temptation 3: You would think that Satan would have learned his lesson but he REALLY wanted Jesus to mess up. Maybe Satan thought, “If only I can get Jesus to do things MY way then I will be more important to him than God is.”
So Satan had one more thing he could do to tempt Jesus. Maybe this time he could get Jesus to sin. Satan took Jesus to the top of a very high mountain. They could see the whole world from the top of the mountain.
10. So Satan said, “You say you love all the people of the world. You say you want them to go to heaven. How about a deal? I will help all the people of the world go to heaven if you will just do one simple thing. All you have to do is to bow down and worship me instead of God.”
Do you think Jesus gave in to this temptation? No! Jesus had had enough. He told Satan to go away. Of course he would never worship Satan! Jesus loved God. He would only worship God. Jesus quoted from the Old Testament one more time, “Worship the Lord you God, and serve him only.”
11. Then Satan left Jesus. Angels came and helped take care of Jesus after that.
Do you think Satan gave up trying to tempt Jesus? No, he did not give up. Over the next 3 years Satan tried again and again to tempt Jesus but Jesus never did wrong.
God understands that temptation is very difficult. It was even hard for Jesus.
Sometimes we are tempted to do the wrong thing too. God understands Satan’s sneaky tricks and he can help us say “no” to temptation. We need to remember God’s true words just like Jesus did.
Verse(s) to Think About
“The only temptations that you have are the temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can stand. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to stand it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
“So give yourselves to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run away from you.” James 4:7
“For this reason Jesus had to be made like his brothers in every way. He became like men so that he could be their merciful and faithful high priest in service to God. Then Jesus could bring forgiveness for their sins. And now he can help those who are tempted. He is able to help because he himself suffered and was tempted.” Hebrews 2:17-18
Choose Activities and Learn Together
Select activities that suit your family or group. Consider ages and abilities and how to involve everyone present in at least one of the activities.
- AT HOME Make a list of various chores or jobs in your home. Include what both adults and children do to help the family. Talk about how we often have a choice to do right or do wrong. What are some of the consequences of our choices? If someone chooses not to take out the rubbish it could begin to stink or attract bugs. What happens if dishes are never washed?
- EXPLORE: Use Google or any search engine to find “Judean desert images”. Describe what it would be like to live in this desert for 40 days.
- IN THE WORD: Read Ephesians 6:13-17 together and talk about how each part of the Christian armour is used in fighting temptation. Consider various temptations group members find themselves in and discuss specifically how some or all parts of the armour could be used.
- IN THE WORD: Recite the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) together and talk about why Jesus included “lead us not into temptation” in this model of prayer.
- GAME/ACTIVITY: Play the Pick a Card Memory Verse Game to memorise James 4:7 together.
- CREATIVE: Using the idea of movement and dance ask volunteers to create a dramatic performance or dance to show how God draws us to himself and Satan tries to draw us away. Encourage the participants to incorporate thoughts from the Bible verses we have read in this session.
- LIFE APPLICATION: List temptations that are common at various stages of life (the stages might include infant, young child, primary school, middle school, teens, young adults, young families, middle age, empty nesters, retired, elderly). Talk about how the Bible, prayer life, spiritual disciplines, church, family, friends, choices, etc. help fight temptation at these ages. If the group is larger you might want to divide into age groups to do this. As the group is discussing these concepts younger children can contribute by drawing pictures of people at these various ages. Alternatively, they could make Lego or Play-doh figures.
- LIFE APPLICATION: Using the Acrostic Applications activity write the word T-E-M-T-A-T-A-T-I-O-N vertically down the left side of a paper. Talk about how Satan tries to use lies tricks to get us to go against God. Using words that begin with each of those letters list tricks that Satan tries to use in our lives.
- LITTLE ONES: Write “Choose God” on the middle of a large piece of paper and have younger children decorate it as a poster.
- FOOD FOR THOUGHT:Before Family Bible Time begins place some very tempting foods in view of everyone but say that only one person is allowed to eat them. Make sure everyone is in agreement that they will not eat it. Then, from time to time, throughout your time together the assigned person (a kind adult or child who has a good sense of humour) should eat the snack in front of everyone making sure to talk about how good it is. At the conclusion of your time together talk about how it felt to see and smell this food but not be allowed to eat it. Compare that to how temptation works in our lives. If you choose you could bring out another serving of the food so everyone can enjoy.
Singing does not have to be a performance. Don’t take yourself too seriously. In the privacy of your own home or within a small group allow yourself to just be genuine and enjoy the experience together.
Singing songs yourself is more reliable than viewing them online. If you are viewing published videos online on forums such as YouTube be sure and preview them first to make sure there are not unhelpful advertisements. To avoid long pauses due to internet speed issues play the song through once before you begin and then hold it paused and ready to go at the beginning of the song.
- If You Love Jesus Song
- 1-2-3 The Devil’s After Me Song
- Shake the Devil Off Song
- Farther Along (A Capella Hymn and sing-along-slides on YouTube)
- The Battle Belongs to the Lord (congregational singing including slides with words and music. By Bible Tube)
- More songs to choose from
Additional Mission Bible Class Resources
- Instructions for Family Bible Time and Intergenerational Groups here.
- More teacher information and additional ideas for today’s lesson here.
- How to Plan a Bible Class for Children
- How to Teach Children at Various Ages
- Ideas for Teachers
- Songs for Bible Class
- Praying With Children
- Movement and Dance
Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.