Jesus was both fully a man and fully God. When Satan tempted Him the desire to give into temptation was there but He withstood the temptation because of His divine nature. Jesus, our God, knows how it feels to be tempted and we can find comfort in knowing that He can relate to our struggles. Preschoolers need to know that Jesus was fully man and fully God and so He did not sin. They will find comfort in knowing that He can help them when they are tempted.
Lesson Title: Satan Tempts Jesus
Bible Reference: Luke 4:1-13
Learning Context: Children’s Church or Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 1 ½ hour
Learning Aim: Jesus felt tempted but did not sin. He will help you avoid sin as well.
- A sturdy bowl
- Slotted Spoons
- Small Rocks
- Bread Loaf Pan
- Painters or Masking Tape
- Red Construction Paper
- A Hole Puncher
You say the Italicized words. Non-italicized words are directions.
Opening Activity: Feeling Tempted
Before Class: Lay a few pieces of candy on the table.
Say, I am going to eat this candy after church. It’s really good candy so don’t touch it ok? Keep talking about the candy and how yummy it is.
Say, Today we are going to talk about when Satan tempted Jesus. Do you know what being tempted means? Allow for responses. Being tempted is when you want to do something even though you know it’s wrong. Right now you are probably tempted to eat this candy on the table, aren’t you? How does it make you feel knowing that you aren’t allowed to have the candy? I bet that right now all you can think about right. I put the candy in front of you but I won’t let you have it. So right now I am tempting because I won’t let you have it. Even though you really want the candy it would be wrong for you to take it.
At this point you can go ahead and share you candy with the class.
Say, I am not going to tempt you anymore. Everyone can have some candy. Today we are going to learn about a time when Jesus was tempted. Jesus is God’s son and He cannot sin, but He still feels temptation. Let’s find out how Jesus handles being tempted.
Bible Story: Satan Tempts Jesus (Luke 4:1-13)
Say, Once Jesus began His ministry, He was led into the wilderness. He stayed there for 40 days and 40 nights and He did not have anything to eat or drink. What does it feel like to be hungry? I know that I get hungry after a few hours of not eating and Jesus went 40 days so He was very, very hungry. Then Satan, the devil, came to see Jesus. He tempted Jesus by telling Him to turn a stone into bread. But Jesus said, “you can’t live on bread alone.” And He did not turn the stone into bread.
Next, that Satan took Jesus up to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms and riches and gold in the world. Satan told Jesus that if He would worship him that he would give him all the kingdoms and glory in the world. That means that Jesus could be rich and have all the food He wanted on Earth. But Jesus said, “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” It would be wrong to worship anyone but God. So Jesus did not worship Satan, even though He was very hungry.
Finally, Satan took Jesus to Jerusalem and made Him stand in the highest point in the temple. He teased Jesus and told Him to prove that He really was God’s son. He told Jesus to jump off the top of temple and let the angels catch Him. The angels would certainly take care of Jesus if they needed to, but Jesus did not jump off the top of the temple. Instead He said, “it is written: do not test God.” Jesus did not give into Satan’s temptation.
Three times Satan tempted Jesus. Jesus felt tempted because He was human. But He did not sin because He was God. Jesus knows how it feels to be tempted, just like you were tempted with candy this morning. Whenever you are tempted to sin He can help you.
Turning Stones into Bread Game
You will need a sturdy bowl. Fill it half way with water and put small stones in the bottom. You will need a few large slotted spoons and a bread loaf pan. Cover the table with a towel in case of spills. This game can be played as a relay race or just as an activity to do together. Let the kids take turns scooping the stones out the water and into the bread pan. Time them to see how quickly they can pick up all the stones or make it a relay if desired. Omit the water if it is too messy for your class.
Say: When Jesus was in the desert He was tempted to turn stones into bread because He had not eaten in 40 days. Even though He was hungry He told Satan no! and followed God. It was better for Jesus to be hungry than for Him to sin. If you are ever tempted to sin Jesus can help you say no!
Saying No to the Riches of the World
Use blocks to build a city. Tell them that no matter how much they are tempted they cannot knock down the city until everyone is ready. Talk about how temptation is when they want to knock down the city even though they should not. Once you are done let the kids knock it down.
Say: Satan offered to give Jesus all the riches in the world. He could have ruled every city and had all the money in the world but He said no. Jesus knew that the only God deserves to be worshiped. Not cities, or famous people or money. You all built a very good city but let’s knock it down because we know that serving God is better than having cities and riches.
Play a Jumping game
Use tape to draw 5 lines on the floor, each about 1 foot apart. Play a few jumping games.
- Game 1: While keeping their feet together have each child try to jump over the lines without touching them.
- Game 2: See how far each child can jump.
- Game 3: Try to hop over the lines on one foot.
Say: The last way that Satan tempted Jesus was by telling Him to jump off of a building and let the angels catch Him to prove that He is God’s son. Jesus could have done, but He didn’t because he knew that it is wrong to tempt God. We jumped for fun, but Jesus had to make a big decision and He chose not to sin.
Jesus Helps Us Craft
You will need red construction paper, ribbon, a hole puncher, scissors, and marker. Cut a heart out of the construction paper. Punch holes around the edges. Write “Jesus Helps Us” on the heart. Let the kids weave the ribbon through holes on the edges of the heart.
Say, Jesus felt temptation because He was human, but He never sinned because He was God’s son. If you ever feel tempted to sin then you can ask Jesus to help you. Jesus knows how hard it is to resist temptation and He wants to help you!
Review the Lesson
Talk to the kids about what they have learned today.
- Ask: How did it feel to be tempted at the beginning of the lesson?
- Why was it hard for you to resist grabbing and eating the candy?
- Sometimes what we want to do isn’t the right thing to do, when you are tempted who can help you?
Close in prayer, asking God to watch over the class and help them understand that Jesus is God and was also human. Ask God to help the kids when they feel tempted.