By Dell Smith Klein
What’s your favorite food? (Give children time to respond.) Maybe you like pizza, or hamburgers, or ice cream. Just talking about food makes you hungry, doesn’t it? Ummm, I’d like to have a pizza right now.
One time Jesus was taken into the wilderness. Jesus was there and he didn’t have any food with him. That’s when the devil began to temp Jesus. Do you know what the word “tempt” means? (Allow the children to respond.) To be tempted is when we think we might want to do something that we know we should not do, like telling a lie, or taking something that belongs to someone else.
Jesus didn’t have food with him, and he was hungry. The devil tempted Jesus turn the stones into bread. Jesus was hungry, but he refused to turn stones into bread.
From the very top of the temple, the devil told Jesus to jump off. The devil said the angels would keep Jesus from being hurt. What could have happened if Jesus had jumped off the roof? (Allow the children to respond – they might say “break his leg,” or “get hurt”.) Yes, Jesus might have been hurt, or even killed. Jesus didn’t jump.
The next time the devil tempted Jesus, they were on a high mountain, and the devil said that everything that Jesus could see would be his if he would worship the devil. Jesus didn’t listen to the devil.
When he was tempted to turn the stones into bread, Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4 WEB)
And, when he was tempted to jump off the roof of the temple, Jesus said, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not test the Lord, your God.’” (Matthew 4:7 WEB) Did you hear that? Again, Jesus used the words, “it is written.” Those must be important words.
When Jesus was tempted to worship the devil, Jesus spoke very. He said, “Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only.’” (Matthew 4:10 WEB)
Aren’t you glad that Jesus reminded the devil that God had already made sure that those temptations were taken care of in the Holy Bible? What were the important words that Jesus said? (Pause to listen for their responses.) Yes, “It is written….”
When Jesus was tempted, he found help in a book? That book was the Bible. When he said, “It is written,” he meant, “It is written in the Bible.” Because Jesus knew the Bible so well, he was able to use it to help him stand when the Devil was trying to get him to fall.
If the Bible could help Jesus like that, it can help us too. That’s one reason we study the Bible–because it can help us when we need help.
When we are tempted to do things we know we should not do, we can say, “It is written, I’m not supposed to do that.”
Dear God, thank you for the Holy Bible. Thank you for giving us words to say when we are tempted. We are glad that we can defeat temptation with Jesus’ words. Amen.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2012, Richard Niell Donovan