Kids can understand the Temptation of Jesus. Use this object lesson to explain Matthew 4:1-11 during the children’s moment in your church on Sunday, March 1, 2020 (the first Sunday of Lent). Watch the example video and print the teaching notes below. Use it in your children’s ministry or Sunday School.
Children’s Message “Not by Bread Alone” The Temptation of Jesus
Main Objective: Young children might not be tempted by some of the same things that adults experience, but they can certainly understand the difficulty in doing what they should. The focus of this message is to briefly describe the concept of temptation, and to offer kids positive things on which to focus.
Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus lived a life free from sin, but He was still tempted by Satan. Wanting to do wrong is not always bad, as long as we don’t fall sway to the temptation. Because Jesus went through temptation and overcame it, He is able to sympathize with our struggles and help in times of trouble.
Object Lesson Props and Optional Materials: Some kind of treat or “tempting” item (edible or otherwise); list of rules (optional).
Bible Passage: Matthew 4:1-11
More Help for Teaching on the Temptation of Christ
- Jesus is Tempted (Matthew 4:1-11) Sunday School Lesson
- Lesson: Jesus Battles The Devil and Temptation (Matthew 4:1-11)
- Jesus is Tempted Preschool Bible Lesson -- Ministry-To-Children
Children’s Message Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs. Your “temptation” could be a treat, or it could be as simple as holding up a shiny object and telling kids NOT to look at it. Use your judgment and ideas to best serve students.
Children’s Sermon “The Temptation of Christ” Object Lesson
Greet the children, holding a bag of something fun and exciting, and likely edible.
Hello, children of God! How are you?
I would like you to help me with something today… I have this bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies (again, this could be another treat, or a toy or other item). Would you like one?
Well, I am going to give each of you a cookie to hold…but DON’T eat it! You can touch it, you can feel it, but don’t eat it. Why don’t you smell it? Does it smell tasty? Do you think you would like to eat it? Don’t eat it, though! Is your mouth watering yet? You might be getting tempted to take a bite…
Have you ever heard of the word “temptation”? Do you know what it means? Being tempted means you want to do something you are not supposed to do. Right now, you might be tempted to take a bite of that cookie. Well, eating cookies is not necessarily wrong, but if I specifically told you not to do it, then you should probably not be doing it, right?
Sometimes it’s tempting to disobey, or to not listen well to our parents. What are some rules you might have at home? (Allow kids to share examples of rules. Optional: hold up list of rules or procedures for something.)
Now, you might be tempted to skip some of those rules, or to do something other than what you should be doing. Maybe one of the rules doesn’t sound fun, and you’d like to do something else. It can be hard to be obedient. In fact, on our own power, it’s downright near impossible! But guess what? We don’t have to obey everything perfectly on our own power. Jesus took care of that, and we can rely on HIS power!
Did you know that Jesus faced temptation? It was in our Gospel lesson today, as a matter of fact! He went out into the desert, and for a long time He didn’t have anything to eat. Well, that made Him pretty hungry, and Satan picked that time to try to make Him do things He knew He was not supposed to do. These were things that might not have been bad if God instructed it, but Jesus knew He couldn’t listen to Satan for directions. Being tempted is not a sin, but giving in to temptation is. Jesus did not give in, though.
Do you know what He used to get rid of the
Devil? He used Bible verses! He told Satan that He was not just going to rely
on His physical body, but on the Word of God. He threw out Scripture like
arrows, and it hit those temptations and eventually made Satan run away!
Now, it can be hard to do the right thing. But we know that Jesus lived a perfect life, and died for us so that we can live. Jesus faced temptation, so He knows what it’s like when we are having a tough time trying to obey. What do you think we can do when we are tempted to do the wrong thing? (Take suggestions.)
Yes! We can pray to God for help, and we can read our Bibles. And we can also focus on positive things in our lives. The best way to fight off a negative temptation is to focus on something wonderful instead. Why don’t we pray for help with that right now? Oh, and afterwards, you may eat your cookies…
(Optional: after prayer, let kids enjoy their treats.)
Children’s Prayer Moment
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for sending Jesus to live a perfect life
Thank you that He can help us when we are tempted
Help us to do the right thing
To love, serve, and obey you
Thank you for the love of Jesus
We love you, God!
In Jesus’s name, Amen!
Matthew 4:1-11 New International Version (NIV) Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “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 in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.