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The Temptation of Jesus

Jesus faces temptations

Application:

We can overcome temptation by using God's Word.

Text:

Matthew 4:1-11.
Luke 4:1-21.

 

Tempted in the Desert:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from being baptised by John the Baptist in the River Jordan and was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  Jesus fasted and prayed, and ate no food for forty days and afterwards He was hungry and weak.   And then the devil came and tempted Him.

Do you know what it means to be tempted?  (Let the children respond).  It means wanting to do things that are wrong, or being asked to do or say things which you know are wrong.

Change Stones into Bread!

The devil came to Jesus and said, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."  Was this a bad thing?  After all Jesus was very hungry from going without food for forty days and very badly needed food. (Let the children respond).

No!  The devil had tried to tempt Jesus to take matters into His own hands, rather than trust His Father, God.  The devil suggested that Jesus should use His power to turn stones into bread.  If the Jesus had done so, He would have been using His powers for His own good.

But, Jesus was set on doing His Father's will, and so He refused.  Jesus answered, "It is written, 'Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

Jump off the Temple!

Then the devil took Him to Jerusalem to stand on the highest point of the temple.  "If you are the Son of God," he said, "Throw yourself down.  For it is written, 'He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You up so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.'"

What if Jesus decided that He needed to check whether God would really protect Him?  Would it have been wrong for Jesus to jump off the temple and call out, "Hey God!  Catch me!" (Let the children respond).

No!  Jesus trusted God with all of His heart and knew it would be wrong to test God and so Jesus answered the devil, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

All could be Yours!

Lastly, the devil took Him up into a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour.  "All this I will give you," he said, "If you will bow down and worship me."

Could the devil have given all this to Jesus? (Let the children respond).  Why didn't Jesus accept all the nations and kingdoms, and gold and jewels, and precious things?  After all, Jesus was born to be King! (Let the children respond).

But, Jesus answered the devil, "Get away from Me!  For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'"  Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended to Him.

Obeying God:

Jesus knew it was wrong for Him to use God's power to make bread out of stones to satisfy His hunger.  Why did Jesus know that this was wrong? (Let the children respond).  Well, God's power was on Jesus to enable Him to do wonderful things for other people.  But it would have been wrong for Him to use that power for Himself.  This is a lesson which all boys and girls need to learn, that we must obey God's Word always!

Jesus never sinned or did anything wrong, not even when the devil tempted Him.  He could have avoided dying on the cross, but that would have gone against God's plan for Him to die for our sins and make a way for us to go to Heaven.  But, thank God, that Jesus always obeyed and pleased God in all He did and said!

Wonderful Promises!

Just think of all the wonderful things God has promised to do for us!  We want to be like Jesus, don't we?  And to do that, we have to say, "No!" to temptations to do wrong and disobey God.  That's why we need to learn and memorise Bible verses so that we can know how to answer when the devil tempts us to do wrong.

God bless!

 

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