Jesus’ Temptation - Alone in the Desert?
Games and Bible Skills Workshop
Summary of Lesson Activities:
The purpose of the Games workshop is two-fold: to develop Bible skills and to reinforce that knowledge by having fun with games. The games are not frills and fluff! Playing games helps to cement the knowledge and reinforce the skills you introduce during the Bible lesson. Please do not skimp on the games portion of the lesson! Use the time guidelines above to keep your lesson on track. Remember -- children are spending 4 weeks on this story, so if you can’t cover every single aspect of the story, it’s ok!
Preparation and Room Set Up:
- Review the background information sheets and lesson materials.
- Gather necessary materials for games- listed below
Start on time!
Introductions/Opening Prayer: 10 minutes
Bible Passage/Discussion Focus: 15 minutes
Game: Tempted! 25 minutes
Reflection/Closing Prayer: 10 minutes
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Welcome and Introductions: Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Remember that all of the children may not know who you are! Make sure you are wearing your name tag and that the children have picked up their nametags. Always begin each class with introductions. Tell the children that today you will be learning about what happened to Jesus, right after he was baptized. Jesus spent a long time in the desert, where he was tempted by the devil.
Opening Prayer: Pray something like this: “Dear God, Thank you for this day and for all the people who are here today. Thank you for sending Jesus and the Holy Spirit to show us the best way to deal with temptation. Help us to grow more like Jesus every day. ” AMEN
Bible Passage: Gather the children at the TEMPLE AREA with their Bibles. If children did not bring a personal Bible, use the classroom Bibles. Encourage children to bring their Bibles to Sunday School each week.
Each workshop begins with the Bible passage. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! Always tell the children where in the Bible the story is found. This rotation’s story is found in three gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) Be sure to walk the children through the process of locating the scriptures. The handout “Helping Children Use Bibles in the Classroom” will help you guide the children.
For Younger children: Read the story “Jesus is Tempted in the Desert,” on pages 295-296 of The Little Kids’ Adventure Bible. Be sure to read the Did You Know and Let’s Live It notes on those pages and discuss with the children. Use the classroom maps to point out some of the important locations for this rotation. (Jordan River, Jerusalem, picture of Temple) Make sure children understand the meaning of the words: fast and temptation.
For Older children: Tell the children that this Bible story is found in three places (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Choose either the Matthew or Luke version to read, but older children can practice locating both stories. Have the children locate the scripture and follow along as you read, or let the children take turns reading aloud. After reading the text, find the Let’s Live It note in Matthew 4:1-11 and the Did You Know note in Luke 4:4. Read these together and discuss briefly.
Use the classroom maps to point out some of the important locations for this rotation. (Jordan River, Jerusalem, picture of Temple) Make sure children understand the meaning of the words: fast and temptation.
NOTE: as the rotation progresses, the children will become more familiar with the story. Use your discretion, but encourage the children to tell YOU what they know of the story. You can then fill in the gaps and take the discussion to a deeper level using the discussion questions below.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
After reading the Bible lesson together do the following activity to facilitate discussion:
A Magnetic Message from Jesus!
(adapted from Ready-to-do Children’s Messages, Group Publishing, 1997)
This introductory activity is designed to help children understand what it means to be tempted and how the Bible can help them resist temptation.
Memory Verse: Review the verse with the children and encourage them to memorize it over the next several weeks:
“It is written: Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve.”
Luke 4:8 (p. 296 Little Kids’ Adventure Bible)
Tempted! Life-sized Board Game
- Life-sized board game (see attachment for instructions on creating a life-sized board game)
- Large die
- White board and dry erase markers
- Bucket with several cups of sand in it and three small stones for each group playing
- Basket of large cardboard building blocks
- Typing paper or construction paper
- Bible for each team
- Unfold the game tarp in the large open playing area of the room.
- Place the game cards face down in the appropriately marked spaces on the game board.
- Be sure to put out the appropriate age level cards for the class (game cards are made for grades 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6)
- Gather the children around the game board.
- Tell them that we will play the game “Tempted!” to review the story we’ve been learning and to think about ways we can resist temptation in our own lives. (This is similar to many board games that children play, but this one is life-sized! Instead of having playing pieces, the children will BE the playing pieces!)
- Divide the children into teams of 3-4 children.
- Each team will play together and answer questions as a team. Children should work together to come up with answers. If they’re unsure, have them use their Bibles to look up an answer.
- Team with the youngest child goes first.
- First team rolls the die and moves ahead the specified number of spaces.
- Specially marked spaces (Questions, Crosses, Dynamite) have accompanying cards. If a player lands on one of these spaces, the team must draw the top card from the stack, read it out loud (teacher or shepherd can help the younger group by reading the question to them) and follow the instructions on the card. (either answering the question, performing the challenge, or going back the designated number of spaces) All questions answered and challenges performed must be done as a team!
- There are two shortcuts on the board. If a team lands on a shortcut space, they must first correctly answer the question or perform the challenge within the allotted time, and then they may proceed through the shortcut.
- To finish, a team must land exactly on the “Finish” space and correctly answer the question or perform the challenge.
- First team through the Finish space wins!
Tempted! Game Cards
(Listed below are the situations, questions and challenges that are found on the game cards. NOTE: some of them are designed specifically for certain grades, so, be sure to sort accordingly when setting up the game before class)
These cards show positive response to temptation and allow teams to advance more quickly through the game.
- You broke your neighbor’s window by accident. No one was home so you are tempted to just pretend that you don’t know what happened. Instead you tell your neighbor about it and pay to have it fixed. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- All your friends went to see a PG-13 movie that your parents didn’t allow you to see. You were tempted to go with them, but you didn’t. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- A new kid moved into your class and he wears really thick glasses and different looking clothes. All your friends made fun of him. You were tempted to do the same thing, but you resisted. You stood up for the new kid to your friends. Move ahead 3 spaces!
- You didn’t study for your spelling test. You could easily see the paper of the person next to you -- you were tempted to cheat. You resisted the temptation and didn’t look. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- It’s the last game of the soccer season and you are undefeated. The game is tied. The other team is about to score. The referee is looking the other way. You are tempted to trip the player so he can’t score. You resist the temptation. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- Your mom made homemade cookies and they smell delicious! She said you couldn’t have any until after supper. You are tempted to have just one itty, bitty cookie . . . but you resist the temptation and obey your mom. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- Your teacher sent a note to your parents about your grades at school. You were tempted to throw the note away, but you resisted! Move ahead 2 spaces!
- Your best friend had a party and didn’t invite you. You were tempted to say bad things about her, but you didn’t. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- You and your friends wrote on the bathroom walls at school and you got caught. You were tempted to say you didn’t do it, but you told the truth. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- You don’t agree with one of your parents rules, so you are tempted to just disobey it. You don’t. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- You found some money lying on the floor. You were tempted to keep it, but instead you take it to the office and turn it in. Move ahead 2 spaces.
- The cashier doesn’t charge you for all the stuff you bought. You are tempted to just be quiet. Instead you tell her she made a mistake and pay what you owe. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- Your little brother is so annoying! He is always bugging you. You are tempted to punch him, but you don’t. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- You are supposed to do your chores before you go out to play. You are tempted to tell your mom that you forgot and go play first, but you decide to do your chores. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- You are supposed to clean your room before watching TV. You are tempted to just close the door and hope your parents forget about it, but instead you clean your room. Move ahead 2 spaces.
- You are at a sleepover and everyone wants to watch an R-rated movie. Your parents do not allow you to see R-rated movies without their permission. You are tempted to just watch it -- after all, your parents will never find out. Instead you suggest a different movie. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- You didn’t study for your history test. You could easily see the paper of the person next to you -- you were tempted to cheat. You resisted the temptation and didn’t look. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- 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, but you resist the temptation to gossip. You change the subject. Move ahead 2 spaces!
- You don’t agree with one of your parents’ rules, and you are tempted to disobey. Instead you talk with them about it. Move ahead 2 spaces!
These cards have a question taken from the lesson that must be answered or an actual challenge that must be accomplished by the team in order to advance on the game board.
- Look up page 63 in your Bible. Read #5. Who should children obey? (parents) Move ahead 2 spaces.
- Find our Bible memory verse in your Bible. Read it out loud! (page 295) Move ahead 1 space.
- How many temptations did Jesus face in the desert? (three) Move ahead one space for every temptation you can name. (turn stones to bread, worship Satan, putting God to the test)
- One of Jesus’ temptations was to jump from the top of the Temple. Build a temple in one minute using the blocks in the corner of the room. Move ahead one space.
- What did Jesus do to resist temptation? (quoted scripture, prayed, fasted) Move ahead one space.
- Recite this rotation’s Bible verse together as a team. When did Jesus say this? (in response to Satan’s asking him to worship him) Move ahead two spaces. Jesus spent how many days in the desert being tempted? (40) Move ahead one space.
- Where was Jesus when he was tempted by Satan? (desert) Move ahead one space.
- Satan knows the Bible very well. He even quoted the Bible when he told Jesus to jump from the top of the Temple. Who did Satan say would save Jesus? (angels) Team must stand together and flap their arms (like wings) and say, “Angels will save you.” Move ahead two spaces.
- What did Satan tell Jesus to turn into bread because he was hungry? (stones) Go to the white board and each team member draw a picture of one of these items. Move ahead one space.
- Jesus was tempted in the desert. Go to the bucket in the center of the game board and sift through the sand until you find 3 examples of things Jesus saw in the desert. (stones) Move ahead one space.
- What will help you resist temptation? (prayer, memorizing Bible verses, learning what God wants me to do, obeying my parents) Move ahead 1 space.
- What happened to Jesus right before he went to the desert? (he was baptized) Move ahead 1 space.
- Who helped Jesus in the desert to resist the devil’s temptations? (Holy Spirit - remember, Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit after his baptism!) Move ahead 1 space.
- What does it mean to fast? (go without food) Move ahead 1 space.
- How can knowing the Bible help us resist temptation? (knowing what God wants, learning right from wrong, letting the Holy Spirit guide us and help us) Move ahead 2 spaces.
- Who came to take care of Jesus after Satan was done tempting him? (angels) Move ahead 1 space.
- Why didn’t Jesus do the things Satan asked him to do? (he wanted to obey God even though it might be harder than doing things another way) Move ahead 2 spaces.
- Who should we obey? (parents, God, teachers, law) Move ahead 2 spaces.
- It was hot in the desert. Go to the tables and each team member take a piece of paper and fold it into a fan to cool you off! Move ahead 1 space!
- Who does Jesus say we should worship? (God) Move ahead 1 space.
- If you could not eat for 40 days, what food would each team member miss the most? Move ahead 1 space.
- Write this rotation’s Bible verse on the white board. When did Jesus say this? (in response to Satan’s asking him to worship him) Move ahead two spaces.
- Look up Ephesians 6:1 in your Bible. Who should children obey and why? (parents, because it is the right thing to do) Move ahead 2 spaces.
- Jesus answered the devil with these three words which showed he knew the scriptures. (“It is written) Move ahead one space.
- Which Old Testament book did Jesus quote? (Deuteronomy) Move ahead one space.
- Jesus was tempted in the desert very soon after he was baptized. Find where Jesus was baptized on the wall map. (Jordan River) Move ahead 1 space.
- Jesus was tempted here. Find this place on the wall map (desert area east of Jerusalem) Move ahead 1 space.
- Why did Satan want Jesus to worship him? (to wreck God’s plan) Move ahead 2 spaces.
These cards indicate a negative response to temptation and require teams to move backward on the game board. When these cards are drawn, players must read the card, answer the question and move BACK the specified number of spaces.
- Your friend said something mean about you, so you said something mean about him. What could you have done? Go back 2 spaces.
- You are supposed to stay together as a group when you go to Children’s church. You ran off ahead of everyone. What would help you resist this temptation? Move back 1 space.
- You are supposed to put the puppets away after you play with them in the drama room. You left them on the floor. What will help you resist this temptation? Move back 2 spaces.
- You aren’t supposed to have drinks in CyberSpace and you spilled a coke on the keyboard. You said you don’t know how it happened. What should you do? Move back 1 space.
- You are supposed to clean your room. Instead you shove everything under the bed and tell your mom you’re done. What should you have done? Move back 1 space.
- You told your mom that you fed the dog, but you didn’t. What should you do? Move back 2 spaces.
- You ate the dessert your mom was saving for company without permission. What should you do? Move back 1 space.
- You and your friends talked all during church, disturbing the people around you. What should you do to resist this temptation? Move back 1 space.
- Your friends want to go play at a construction site. Your parents have told you to stay away because it’s dangerous. You go with your friends. What could you do to resist this temptation? Move back 1 space.
- You told your parents you didn’t have homework and you did. What would help you resist this temptation? Go back 2 spaces.
- You pretended to be sick so you wouldn’t have to go to school. What would help you resist this temptation? Go back 1 space.
- You took your sister’s game boy when she had already told you not to. How could you resist this temptation? Go back 1 space.
- You told your parents you brushed your teeth and washed your hands and you hadn’t. How could you resist this temptation? Go back 1 space.
- Your sister told you not to borrow her things without asking and you took one of her favorite CDs. How could you resist this temptation? Go back 1 space.
- You made a bad grade on a paper, so you hid it from your parents. What would help you resist this temptation? Go back 2 spaces.
- Your friend said something mean about you, so you said something mean about him. What could you have done? Go back 2 spaces.
- You copied your book report off the back flap of the book and turned it in as your own work. The teacher hung it up on the wall and gave you an A+ because she thought it was so good. What should you do? Move back 2 spaces.
- You are supposed to stay together as a group on a school field trip. You and your best friend went off by yourselves. What should you do? What would help you resist this temptation? Move back 1 space.
- You went to a party with no chaperones, even though your parents don’t allow that. What could you do to resist this temptation? Go back 2 spaces.
- Your best friend stole a cigarette and wants you to try smoking with him. You take just a few puffs. What would help you resist this temptation? Go back 2 spaces.
The last 10 minutes of class are reserved for Faith Journals. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens from the class box. Reflection questions for each workshop are printed on stickers. Pass out the stickers and have children stick them to the top of a sheet of paper in their journals. Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. This time is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children can copy the memory verse and illustrate it as an alternative to journal questions.
Grades 1-2: Jesus learned about the Bible when he was a little boy. Memorizing Bible verses helped him when he was tempted. Draw a picture of Jesus learning.
Grades 3-6: Jesus learned scripture verses that helped him when he faced temptation. What Bible verse do you know that can help you resist temptation?
Gather the children together at the end of class. Share reminders about upcoming events. Remind them to bring their Bibles to class and encourage them to bring their friends to the G.R.E.A.T. Adventure. Ask for prayer requests and pray together.
Clean-up: Gather all supplies and put away in storage cabinet. Place journals, stickers, and pens/pencils in class box. Encourage the children to take responsibility for putting away all materials and supplies and to help keep our rooms neat and orderly.
Release children only to parents after they have signed their child out on the classroom clipboard, unless they have made prior arrangements with you.
A lesson posted by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC
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