Season of the Church Year: Lent (purple)
Story in Scripture: Mark 1: 12-13 and Matthew 4: 1-11
The topic of temptation is a challenging one for children. Deveopmentally, they are still quite impulsive and often make decisions based on spur of the moment desires and observations. Even the younger children do understand, however, that there are “good” choices and “bad” choices to be made. In this story, Jesus is brought out into a wilderness experience immediately after his baptism. He is tempted in many different ways, having each time to make the choice that, though difficult, is the “good” choice. First, he is tempted to turn stones into bread to satisfy his hunger. He responds that we need more than bread to live. Next, Satan tempts Jesus by using scripture to lure him into falling from the Temple’s apex, expecting that angels will catch him. Jesus wisely replies “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Finally, he is tempted to submit to Satan in order to become ruler of all that he sees- all the nations of the world. Jesus explains that God is the true ruler of all. One of the most significant things about this story is that it illustrates for us that Jesus had to endure and experience human feelings, emotions, pain, and of course hunger and thirst. We know that he had to endure even more. With the children, we will be discussing how we can learn from Jesus’ example in the face of temptation. I encourage you to talk with your child about the tempatations that they face. Perhaps they struggle with the temptation to cheat, make fun of others, steal, or treat others rudely. Jesus’ example can help is all to make choices that glorify God and help our neighbors.
Guiding Questions for Discussion:
Now I wonder what it was like to be alone in the desert for such a long time?
I wonder what Jesus and God talked about in the desert?
I wonder how Jesus felt when the evil one was near him?
I wonder if it was hard to say, “NO!” ?
I wonder if you’ve ever had to say, “NO!”? Was it difficult?
“Father, we pray that you will help us to know what to do when we think about making bad choices. Always be with us and help us to be strong and smart and make good choices. We know that Jesus is our example and we want to show trust in your way too. Amen.”