Scripture: Matthew 3:13 – 4:11 (focus on 4: 1-11)
Memory Verse: “Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin!” Hebrews 4:15 (CEV)
Offering: Hospice of
1. Older children will locate the stories of Jesus’ baptism and temptation in their Bibles. Younger children will learn that the story is in Matthew.
2. The children will read or hear the story.
3. The children will play a game that illustrates looking to Scripture for help in times of temptation.
Welcome and Introductions: (10:00)
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. Make sure the children are wearing name-tags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.
2. Open with a brief prayer (optional, as they have just prayed in Great Hall).
3. Explain the purpose of this workshop. Today we’re going to learn how to resist temptation the way Jesus did.
Scripture/Bible Story: (10:05)
1. Grades 1-2 will not use Bibles, but do open yours to show them where the story is. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible. The shepherds will have extra Bibles. Help the students to find the book of Matthew. (Get the shepherds to go around the room and help with this.)
2. If necessary, review the organization of the Bible: The Bible is divided into two big parts, the Old and New Testaments. Each part is made up of books, which are divided into chapters and verses. Have them figure out whether Matthew is in the Old or New Testament (it’s about Jesus so it’s in NEW Testament). Show them that if they open their Bible in the middle, they’ll usually land in the book of Psalms in the OT. Point out that the book name is at the top of each page. After finding Psalms, if they then take the pages on the right side and divide them in half, they’ll land somewhere near the beginning of the New Testament. Remind them that the first four books of the NT are Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.
After they’ve found Matthew, help them find chapter 3, then verse 13. Some of the children will confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at top of every page.
3. Read the story or review it using the summary below as a guide. Either way, be dramatic! Unless this is the first Sunday of the rotation, let the children help you tell the story. This will give you an idea of how much they already know. Other ideas for reviewing the story in later weeks:
Before Jesus began his ministry, he went to
In the desert, Jesus went without eating for forty days and nights, and he was VERY hungry. Then the devil came to him and said, "If you are God's Son, tell these stones to turn into bread."
Jesus answered, "The Scriptures say: No one can live only on food. People need every word that God has spoken.' "
Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. The devil said, "If you are God's Son, jump off. The Scriptures say: `God will give his angels orders about you. They will catch you in their arms, and you won't hurt your feet on the stones.' "
Jesus answered, "The Scriptures also say, `Don't try to test the Lord your God!' "
Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power. The devil said to him, "I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me."
Jesus answered, "Go away Satan! The Scriptures say: `Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.' "
Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came to help him.
Ask: “What did Jesus do when he was tempted?” He quoted Scripture that contradicted the devil’s suggestions. “We can do the same thing when we’re tempted to do something wrong. We can look to the Bible for guidance. And now we’re going to play a game where we practice doing that.”
See end of lesson plan for three lists of Bible verses and corresponding situations. Each Bible verse should be written on a separate piece of paper large enough for the class to read when it is taped to the wall. Use them in the lists and order given.
Grades 1-2: Have the first group of 9 verses taped to the wall (use painter’s tape to protect the mural), one on top of the other with #9 on the bottom, so that only verse #1 can be seen. When verse #1 is removed, verse #2 will be revealed. On another wall, have the second group taped in the same manner. Don’t use the third group of verses with grades 1-2.
Read the top two verses out loud to the children. Then say: “Now I’m going to tell you a situation where you might be tempted to do something wrong. You are going to vote on which Bible verse can help you in that situation.”
Read the first situation (choose from either list) and say, “Now go and stand beside the Bible verse that you think can help you.” If there’s disagreement or confusion, discuss. Then remove the verse that applied in that situation, so that the next verse in the stack is revealed. Leave the other stack alone.
Continue reading the two verses, then reading a situation, voting, and removing the applicable verse. On any given turn you can read a situation from either list, but read from the list in the order given so that the matching Bible verse will be on display.
It’s conceivable that you might have a situation where both of the displayed verses could apply. If that happens, acknowledge it, but remove the one that’s indicated on your list.
Grades 3-5: Post the verses in the same way, but use all three groups. You can play the voting game (probably the best choice with third-graders) or you can use the buzzers.
Buzzer option: Have the buzzer box on a table. Have the three stacks of Bible verses posted on the wall behind the table so everybody can see them. Divide the kids into four lines (they’re not on teams, just lining up to take their turn. Don’t keep score.) The first player in each line holds a buzzer.
Read the three verses, then explain: “I’m going to read a situation where you might be tempted to do something wrong. One of these Bible verses can help you. If you think you know which verse applies to this situation, press your buzzer.”
After you read the situation, the first to buzz gets to give the answer. Be sure they answer quickly; don’t let them buzz and then figure out the answer. (If you don’t know who buzzed first, look for the color with both lights on. See details of how to work buzzer system at end of lesson plan.)
Discuss the answer if necessary, then have those players go to the end of their line. Repeat with the next four players. As in the voting game, on any given turn you can pick a situation from any of the three lists, but don’t mix up the order within each list. Keep playing until you run out of Bible verses or time. Make sure everybody gets a turn.
Reflection Time: (10:30)
Gather the children back into a circle and discuss:
What do you think the devil is like? Accept all answers, then tell them:
Some people believe that the devil is a specific person or an evil spirit or a bad angel. Other people think the devil is not a real person but is a symbol that represents the evil in the world. When you go home today, ask your parents what they believe.
Now tell me again, when Jesus was tempted, what did he do? He quoted Scripture. So he must have really known the Scripture well, and that shows how important it is for us to study the Bible so we can remember it when we need help.
But here’s something else that’s important: . When the devil tried to get Jesus to jump off the temple, do you remember what he said? The devil quoted Scripture to tell Jesus that angels would catch him! Sometimes people misuse the Bible by looking for passages that support their position. It’s not enough just to read the Bible; we need to study it with an open heart and ask God to help us understand the truth.
It’s not always easy to do the right thing, and sometimes it’s not easy to know what the right thing is. It wasn’t easy for Jesus either, but he set an example for us to follow. Let’s think about that while we recite the Bible memory verse. “Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin!” — Hebrews 4:15 (CEV)
At 10:35 a.m. pass out the journal pages and ask the shepherds to pass out pencils/markers. Read the prompt out loud and offer suggestions if needed. If they don’t know how to spell a word, write it on the white board. Those who finish early can turn the page over and do the activity on the back.
At 10:45 ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly.
Encourage the children to bring an offering next week. Remind them that the offering from this rotation will go to Hospice of Wake County. Hospice is an organization that cares for people who are very sick and helps the patients and their families cope in a sad and difficult time.
Prayer: Close with a brief prayer. Suggestion: Read this prayer from Psalm 139 that asks God to help us resist temptation: Have the children repeat each line after you.
Look deep into my heart, God,
and find out everything I am thinking.
Don't let me follow evil ways,
but lead me in the way that time has proven true.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help pick up pencils, Bibles, game materials, etc. When the room is tidy, dismiss the class.
Grades 3-5: If you have extra time, play "who can find the passage first." Call out verses for the students to search and read when they find them -- do this in pairs if you wish. Suggestions:
Other accounts of Jesus’ baptism:
Other accounts of the temptation:
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare opening and closing prayers.
3. Find the small blue fold-up table, stored behind the puppet stage. It is handy for organizing all your supplies. Optional: Bring a CD or taped music for background music while you are gathering, meditative music for Reflection time. A boom box is located in the Puppet workshop cabinet.
4. Write the memory verse on the white board or display it in the room some other way.
5. Write the Bible verses for the game on large pieces of paper. Tape them to the wall as described in the lesson plan. Use masking tape so you don’t damage the mural.
6. If you are using the buzzer box, you’ll find it in the supply bin along with a bag of wires.
Pencils (in supply bin; the shepherds also have pencils)
Dry-erase marker (in supply bin)
Bible verses written on large sheets of paper
Buzzer box if using
Jesus' Temptation - Alone in the Desert! Lesson set from
Bible verses for game
8. Dishonesty does you no good, and telling lies will get you in trouble. — Proverbs 17:12
Temptation Situations: Group 1
You go with a friend to the store. Your friend puts some candy in her pocket and whispers for you to do the same thing.
Do not steal. — Exodus 20: 15
You’re bouncing a ball in the house and break a mirror. When your parents ask what happened, you consider telling them that your brother did it.
Do not tell lies about others. — Exodus 20: 16
You go for a bike ride and go farther from home than you’re allowed to. When your dad asks where you rode, you think about leaving out some details.
Truth will last forever; lies are soon found out. — Proverbs 12: 19
Your grandmother has arthritis and doesn’t get up and down from her chair very easily. She asks you to bring her a book, then her glasses, then a glass of water. You think about moving to another room.
Don't get tired of helping others. We should help people whenever we can. — Galatians 6: 9-10
Your friend has a party and doesn’t invite you. Your feelings are hurt and you are tempted to say bad things about her.
Do not try to get even with a person who has done something to you. — Matthew 5: 39
You see some trash on the playground so you pick it up and carry it to the trash can. You hope your teacher is watching.
When you do good deeds, don't try to show off. — Matthew 6: 1
You’re playing softball. Someone on your team hits a home run but the other team says it was a foul ball. Everyone starts arguing and getting madder and madder.
Don't be angry or furious. Anger can lead to sin. — Psalm 37: 8
You have some delicious cookies in your lunchbox. You know that the other people at your table would love to have one, but you’d like to eat them all yourself.
Generosity will be rewarded. — Proverbs 11: 25
Temptation Situations: Group 2
Your mother reminds you to clean up your room. You want to say, “Leave me alone!”
Respect your father and your mother. — Exodus 20: 17
Your next-door neighbors get a swimming pool. You wish it was in your yard instead.
Do not want anything that belongs to someone else. — Exodus 20: 17
You are invited to a sleepover with some of your friends. One friend starts talking about someone who isn’t there. You are tempted to say some things too.
Gossip is no good! It causes hard feelings and comes between friends. — Proverbs 16: 28
There are cookies cooling on the kitchen counter. They smell wonderful, but you know they’re for the school bake sale. You think, “Nobody will know if I eat one.”
You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me….You notice everything I do and everywhere I go. — Psalms 139: 1,3
You and a friend have an argument and stop speaking to each other. You miss your friend and think about calling and apologizing, but you think your friend ought to call first.
God blesses those people who make peace. They will be called God’s children! — Matthew 5: 9
You get an invitation to play at a neighbor’s house. You say yes, then another friend asks you to go to the movies at the same time. You really want to see the movie.
Broken promises are worse than rain clouds that don't bring rain. Proverbs 25: 14
You accidentally bump into somebody in the hall. She yells, “Hey, watch where you’re going, you idiot!” This makes you mad and you want to say something mean to her.
A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up. — Proverbs 15: 1
You didn’t study for your spelling test. You can easily see the paper of the person next to you, and you are tempted to cheat.
Dishonesty does you no good, and telling lies will get you in trouble. Proverbs 17:12
Temptation Situations: Group 3
A new kid moved into your class and he wears really thick glasses and different looking clothes. The other kids make fun of him. You are afraid to stand up for him because you know the others will make fun of you, too.
God blesses those people who are treated badly for doing right. — Matthew 5: 10
A girl who acts mean and hateful in school shows up at Faith Quest one Sunday. You wonder what she’s doing here among all these nice people. You don’t want to make her feel welcome.
Jesus said, “I didn't come to invite good people to be my followers. I came to invite sinners." Mark 2: 17
The soccer game is tied. Your teammate is about to score when one of their players trips him. The referee is looking the other way. The other team gets the ball and wins the game. You want to hit somebody.
Be patient and trust the LORD. Don't let it bother you when all goes well for those who do sinful things. — Psalm 37: 7
You work hard on your science project but several other people get better grades on theirs. You don’t like your project anymore.
Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don't compare yourself with others.— Galatians 6: 4
A girl at school disrupts the class a lot. She talks back to the teacher, makes loud comments, ignores instructions, and sharpens her pencil while the teacher’s talking. You decide you don’t like her because of her obnoxious behavior.
Don't judge others, and God won't judge you. Don't be hard on others, and God won't be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you. — Luke 6: 37
Your parents suggest that you give some of your allowance to Pennies for Hunger. You don’t want to.
When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. — Matthew 25: 35
Your brother is playing with your toy and breaks it. He feels bad and apologizes. You say “That’s OK, I know it was an accident.” But then he breaks another toy, and apologizes again. You don’t feel like forgiving him again.
Peter asked, "How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?" Jesus answered: Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times! — Matthew 18: 21-22
Your Scout troop is having a cookout. When everybody is ready to eat, the troop leader asks you to serve the drinks. You want to say, “Why should I have to wait on the others?”
If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others.— Matthew 20: 26-27