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The story of Jesus' Temptation in the Wilderness is found in Matthew 4:1–11, Mark 1:12–13,  and Luke 4:1–13. In addition to this public forum of lessons and ideas, supporting members can view the Writing Team's creative set of lessons on The Temptation of Jesus. Its lesson summaries and Bible background are open to all.

This thread is for posting Computer and/or Cooking workshop lessons and ideas for teaching the story of Jesus' Temptation in the Wilderness.

Please format your post so that it is easy to read and double check your recipes (cooking) for accuracy.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
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The Temptation of Jesus

Computer Workshop Lesson

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Uses the software programs- Life of Christ Software and Let's Talk (Sunday Software)

It's common to find both in a Rotation Model computer lab because they both cover a lot of stories and lesson ideas. In fact, I thought up the idea for Let's Talk on a drive home from church one Sunday having JUST USED Life of Christ CD, and wishing I had another program I could have used to FOLLOW UP and reflect on what we had learned. Let's Talk is that program

Let's Talk is now FREE to supporting members at Learn more.

You could substitute the Life of Christ software portion of the lesson with another type of presentation about Jesus' temptation, such as the scene for the movie SON OF GOD (2016).

Scripture Reference:

Matthew 4: 1-11
"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] 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.”

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Explore the software.

Supplies List:

  • Life of Christ CD
  • Let's Talk  (Sunday Software) Now free to supporting members. Learn more.



Welcome your students and explain to them what you hope they will learn today and how they will be learning it.

Software Time:

STEP 1. Use Life of Christ Lesson #12, "Three Temptations" (Matthew 4:1-11)
Summary: "Jesus is tempted by Satan in the wilderness and what those temptations meant. How do you prepare yourself to fight off temptation?"

View the presentation together and take the six question quiz at the end of the presentation. Have them do the quiz again if they don't get them all right.

[At the end of this lesson you'll have the option to view Lesson 13 "New Wine out of Water" (John 2:1-11), the Wedding at Cana. WHY? I think it's a VERY INTERESTING counterpoint to the Temptation story. When being tempted to help himself, and change who he was obedient to, Jesus resisted. But when asked to turn water into wine by a concerned member/friend of the family FOR THE GUEST and FAMILY, Jesus performs the miracle!]

STEP 2: Play the "Temptation Excuses Game" using Let's Talk's "TALK NOW" module

After a brief discussion (below), the kids and you will be playing a game using Let's Talk software to give voice to the excuses people use to give in to temptation. Whatever the kids type, their animated character that they created will speak OUT LOUD from the computer. (It's like a fun way to get your kids to answer your questions!

Teach the kids the following concept:

Share: There are the simple temptations, such as taking something that doesn't belong to you. But then there are the Temptations to do things which ON THE SURFACE don't really look that bad because you come up with a GREAT EXCUSE TO DO THEM (or avoid doing them). These kinds of tempations usually come with an EXCUSE:

"I can take $10 from my mom's purse because I am a good kid and she won't miss it. Plus I've been helping her a lot lately."

"I can lie to my friend about not inviting them to my party because I don't want to have to tell them my other friends don't like them."

"I will pretend to be too tired to go to church because I had a big game Saturday."

Jesus could have said, "I should make myself Bread because, afterall, I am the Messiah and it's such a small thing."

Many temptation are rarely about doing something really BAD, but rather, making something BAD seem like it is the RIGHT THING TO DO! The problem is that the excuse usually takes away something from you, like your integrity, your honesty. And it "diminishes" the other person from whom you're taking away. It can undermine your relationship with them and lead to bigger LIES. It also affects what you think of God. Since God can see what you do, all disobedience is OPEN disobedience to him! Nobody else may find out, but YOU and JESUS know it. Jesus knew that by giving into the "devil", he would be taking away from his loyalty to God. He would be using his powers to satisfy himself, and that would be a betrayal of all he stood for. He knew he was out there to prepare himself, not to look for the EASY WAY OUT.

"Bread" = because he's hungry and we all need to eat. So maybe I should stop thinking about God out here and take care of my belly.

"Kingdoms of the World" =because then Jesus would be in charge and tell people what to do.

And that's what Excuses often are all about: finding an easy way out of doing the right thing.

The Excuses Temptation Game:

The teacher will reveal the following temptation scenarios one at a time. The students will type into their Let's Talk "TALK NOW" screen their answer. They are to come up with a REASONABLE EXCUSE for giving into the temptation. (Notice how I have mixed the tempations we face, with those Jesus faced.)

1. Situation:
You are Jesus, you've been in the wilderness for days with little food, it would be okay to use your powers for yourself and turn a rock into some bread because...


2. Situation:
It's okay to hate a bad person because...

Reasonable Excuse:

3. Situation:
I need $10 to go to the movies but don't have the money, and I found $10 laying near a wallet, so I take it because....

Reasonable Excuse:

4. Situation:
Mom wants me to go with her to church this Sunday, but between school, sports and friends I'm pretty busy, so I resist going because....

Reasonable Excuse:

5. Situation:
It's okay to call somebody a jerk to their face and talk bad about them if...

Reasonable Excuse:

6. Situation:
It's okay for Jesus to use his powers to force everyone to believe in him because...


7. Situation:
If I were the Messiah, I would go to Washington DC and jump off the Capitol Building while being broadcast on CNN in order to win everyone over with this giant miracle, and that would be okay because...



Have the students type into the TALK NOW module of Let's Talk a plea-prayer to God to help them resist temptation, and be aware of when they are making EXCUSES. Play them back. -and Amen!

Alternate Ending Activity...if you have time...

At the end of this lesson view Lesson 13 in Life of Christ CD: "New Wine out of Water" (John 2:1-11), the Wedding at Cana. WHY? It's a VERY INTERESTING counterpoint to the Temptation story. When being tempted to help himself, and change who he was obedient to, Jesus resisted. But when asked to turn water into wine by a concerned member/friend of the family FOR THE GUEST and FAMILY, Jesus performs the miracle!

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Temptation of Jesus

Cooking Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will play three games with Oreo cookies to remind them of the three temptations.

Outcome Objectives

  1. Children can name each of the three temptations offered to Jesus by Satan.
  2. Children can describe the meaning of each temptation


Supplies Needed:

  • Multiple bags of Oreo cookies
  • Milk
  • Paper plate or napkin, cups
  • Baggies for taking the cookies home
  • Permanent marker (for labeling bag)
  • Paper Easel and markers (for leader)
  • Paper and markers (for childrein)
  • Bibles

Leader Preparation:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.

NOTE: The second activity will be really messy. Leave ample time for everyone to pitch in and clean up. Since there is no actual cooking going on, you may find it easier to hold this in a location where there are no stoves and refrigerators for cookies to roll under.



Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.


Open with a prayer.

Read the Bible Story
List the three temptations in black

Fill out the three temptations paper
Column 1 – Lists the Bible verse where it occurs and the title
“Bread from Stone” (Luke 4:1-4)
“All this will be yours.” (Luke 4:5-8)
“The angels will catch you.” (Luke 4:9-12)

Read each section together from the Bible and have children write a few words or draw a picture that explains that part of the story. As you are reading together, remind them that there will be a quiz at the end, so listen carefully. You may want to have the quiz near you to make sure you are covering the questions that will be asked.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Activity #1 – Tempt them with cookies
First temptation – loaves from rocks

Ask the children if they like Oreo cookies. Pass out napkins and tell them you are going to give them each a cookie, but they must do exactly as you say. Go through a guided imagery such as this:

First look at the dark cookie against the white plate. How does it make you feel to see a cookie there? Pick the cookie up and hold it in your hand. Do you feel like eating it? Turn the cookie over and look at the decorations on each side. Imagine how that dark chocolate cookie tastes. Now look at the creamy middle. Do you like to eat the middle first by twisting off the top? Imagine twisting apart those two sides and licking the middle. Or do you like to eat it all together? Maybe you like your cookies dipped in milk. Close your eyes and smell the cookie. Imagine how it will crunch in your mouth. Imagine how the how good it will taste. Will you eat it fast, or enjoy it nice and slow.

Now open your eyes. Put your cookie next to you on the plate.

Here are the rules. You cannot eat that cookie. You cannot eat that cookie or any other cookie during the whole class time unless I give you permission. I want you to keep your minds off of cookies and focus on the things we are teaching. Do you think you can do that?

Why am I doing this to you? Review Jesus’ first temptation. Do you think after 40 days of not eating anything Jesus was hungry? Do you think he wanted some bread? But he wouldn’t turn those stones to bread. What did he say to Satan? (We cannot live by bread alone) Do you remember what that means?

We should focus on Godly things, not earthly things. We have to think about what is good for our souls, not just what is good for our bodies. To remind us of this temptation to think of our bodies more than our souls, I am tempting you to eat an Oreo cookie instead of focusing on our Faith Odyssey lesson this morning. That means, you may be tempted, but you are not to eat any Oreo cookies during this lesson. No cookies, broken cookies, crumbs, nothing.

Fill in Column 2, row 1 the Oreo Cookie Experiement page – “Don’t eat the cookie” or draw a cookie and put a circle around and a slash across it

Activity #2 – A Greedy Cookie Grab
Second temptation: All the kingdoms of the world

Count out a pile of cookies in the middle of each group. Explain the rules:
1) You have one minute to grab all the cookies you can.
2) You can only use one hand, the other hand must stay behind your back.
3) You MAY take cookies from another player – in fact that’s what’s fun about this game. Messy is allowed.
4) You MAY NOT trap cookies with your arm or against your body – hands only.

At the end of one minute, count how many whole, unbroken cookies each child has. Throw out any that are broken or dropped on the floor.

Who got the most cookies? The least?
I gave you ___ cookies. How many would each of you have gotten if you had divided them up and shared, rather than playing the grabbing game?
If I had given ___ all the cookies and nothing to anyone else, how would all of you have felt? Ask ___: Would you have felt good if you got everything and saw that everyone else had nothing?

Fill in Column 2, row 2 of the Oreo Cookie Experiment page – “Grab all you can” or draw a gazillion cookies and you trying to grab them.

Activity #3 – A contest to build the tallest cookie tower
Third Temptation: The angels will catch you.

Divide the children into teams of about three, and give them each a bag of cookies. Explain that the team that builds the highest tower will get to divide up the cookies in their bag and take them home. Have them turn over their papers and flip over the paper easel so they can’t see it.

I will ask each team a question about the story. If you get it right, you can add 1, 3, or 5 cookies to your tower, or you can tell another team to add 1, 3 or 5 cookies to their tower.
1) You must take turns adding cookies – no fair having one “master builder” with a steady hand doing all the building.
2) You cannot touch the stack that is already built; only the new cookies you are adding.
3) As towers fall, children restart the building process on the ORIGINAL FOUNDATION – whatever is left after the fall.
4) If you are supposed to add 3 cookies, and the tower falls after the first cookie, your turn ends. You start rebuilding on your next turn.

Game Questions:

  1. What word means “something you want, but know you shouldn’t have.” (temptation)
  2. What chapter of Luke tells the story of Jesus’ temptation? (Chapter 4)
  3. Name another book of the Bible, besides Luke, that also mentions Jesus’ temptation. (Matthew, Mark).
  4. Where does this story take place? (wilderness, desert)
  5. How long was Jesus in the wilderness? (40 days)
  6. What everyday activity did Jesus NOT do during that 40 days? (eat)
  7. Who tempted Jesus? (the devil)
  8. What was the first temptation of the devil? (turn stones to bread)
  9. Why did Jesus say he would not turn stones to bread? (You cannot live by bread alone/ OR/ He wanted to trust God /OR/ This was not the way God wanted him to use his power)
  10. What was the second temptation of the devil? (all the kingdoms of the world)
  11. What would Jesus need to do to get all the kingdoms of the world? (worship the devil)
  12. What does Jesus say to the devil about the second temptation? (“Worship the Lord your God and serve only him)
  13. Where did the devil take Jesus for the third temptation? (the pinnacle of the temple)
  14. What does the devil tell Jesus to do in the third temptation? (throw himself off the top)
  15. Why does the devil say Jesus can throw himself off the pinnacle? (scripture says, the angels will catch him.)
  16. What does Jesus say about the third temptation? (“Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
  17. What happened to the devil after the last temptation? (He left).
  18. What story comes in the Bible directly before the story of the temptation? (Jesus baptism)
  19. What story comes in the Bible directly after the temptation? (Beginning of Jesus’ ministry)
  20. What was Jesus “full of” while he was in the wilderness? (he was full of the Holy Spirit) 

[NOTE: The questions should be read approximately in order, but you can read only the EVENS, and then go back and read only the ODDS or BOTH ODDS AND EVENS, depending upon how well the game is going. You can also periodically backtrack and ask a question again, particularly if it was missed the first time through. Repetition builds understanding.]

Check to see whose tower is tallest and divide the cookies between the children on that team.

What strategy worked best – to build slow and steady or to add as many cookies as you could?

What strategy worked best – to build your own tower, or try and get the other team to overbuild their tower?

It was kind of funny when the cookies fell down, wasn’t it? But did it help you win the game?

Do you think it would have been fun for Jesus to fling himself off the pinnacle of the temple and have an angel catch him while he was falling? Would doing that have helped the people of the world know about God’s love?

Fill in column 2, row 3 of the Oreo Cookie Experiment page – “Cookie Tower” or draw a tower of cookies.

Life Application:
Review each of the three Cookie Experiments with the children. Ask the children if they can remember which temptation goes with each experiment.

Say: Jesus was good at resisting temptations, wasn’t he? You know, that’s an important thing to remember, because when we are tempted to do something we aren’t supposed to do, we can call on Jesus to help us stay away from temptation.

For a final object lesson, ask the children to help you pick up cookies and sweep up crumbs. Explain that we could just leave them and expect to clean up the kitchen as part of his job. But that’s not right, is it? Or you could just leave it for me and let me clean it up. What do you think God would want you to do? Clean up together.

Thank the children for their help. All can share a couple of cookies and milk. Decide on a fair way to divide up any remaining cookies.



Allow 5 minutes of time at the end of class for sharing and prayer with the kids. If you want, you may end with the Lord’s Prayer. You may ask the children to emphasize “Lead us not into temptation” when it comes to that part of the prayer.

Adjustments for age levels and abilities
In the cookie grab, assign an adult or youth helper to grab for or with any younger child who seems timid. Be sure to explain to little ones that this is a game and other children are going to grab from you and to have fun rather than getting mad.

If you have extra time…
Look up the passage in Matthew or Mark and note the differences in the passage.

If time runs short…
Ask only even numbered questions in the tower game and change the rules to adding 3 or 6 cookies.

Be creative
Can you think of another way that you can use Oreo cookies to make the points of the lesson?

A lesson posted by Lisa Martin from: Trinity UCC

Pottstown, PA


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.



Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Jesus’ Temptation – Alone in the Desert?

Cooking Workshop ~ Baking Tempting Treats


Students will view the story and then bake "tempting treats" as part of their exploration of Luke 4:1-11, its vocabulary, setting, and meaning for us today.


Luke 4:1-11 The story of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness. Both video clips follow this scripture closely.


This lesson uses a popular recipe featuring everybody's favorite peanut butter and chocolate candy pressed into cookie dough after it has baked. There are many versions of it online and in cookbooks. This one's ingredients come from All Recipes. We've chosen this  not only for its popularity and short baking time, but for the visual metaphor it will provide in the lesson.   

In addition to the following treat and baking supplies, you will need a TV or computer connected to the internet to show one of the free videos. If you own a video that shows the "temptation" story, use that.

Temptation Treats Ingredients and Supply List:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 36 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, to be unwrapped after the cookies are baked.
  • Non-stick metal or silicone mini muffin pan that can hold 18 or more treats.
  • Mixing bowl(s), spoons
  • Napkins
  • Water and cups (to rinse after tasting the "look good taste bad" cookies.


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the brown sugar, white sugar and butter. Stir in the peanut butter, then the egg and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the peanut butter mixture until the dough comes together.

  3. Shape into 1 inch balls and press them into the cups of an unprepared mini muffin pan.

  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven.

  5. When done baking, take them out and immediately press the peanut butter cups into the center of almost every cookie. See the lesson plan notes below about putting baking soda under SOME of the cups!

    Yields approximately 36 treats.
    For a shorter class-time with less mixing, use premade peanut butter cookie dough.

Lesson Plan


  1. Opening
  2. Questions and Video
  3. Baking
  4. Pressing the cookies, adding baking soda to some!
  5. Talking and testing your temptation cookie
  6. Closing


Welcome the children and share what they'll be doing and learning today.

Ask these two questions and then introduce this video clip of the Jesus in the Wilderness story. After the video, you'll jump into the mixing and baking and pick up the discussion during baking time.

  1. What does it mean to be "tempted"?  It is the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise. This desire can come from within, or come from another person.
  2. What's a "wilderness"? - a place where there are no people around. Could be a desert or forest or hills. (Show a picture of the wilderness area Jesus likely retreated to.)
  3. Why do many people like to go to wilderness areas?
  4. Why do you think Jesus went into the wilderness just before he started gathering disciples and beginning his teaching ministry? HOLD ONTO YOUR ANSWERS!!  It was like a test -- to see whether he was ready to become the Messiah and resist the temptations to power and fame that he couldn't have given into.)

Let's see the story...

Use this one for younger children:

Use this more realistic and dramatic one from 2014's "The Bible"

So returning to our question:

Why do you think Jesus went into the wilderness just before he started gathering disciples and beginning his teaching ministry?

One possible answer: It was like a test -- a test Jesus himself started to see whether he was ready to become the Messiah God wanted him to be and resist the temptations to power and fame that he would soon be faced with.

Do you think Jesus will face more temptations? Yes, probably! Like make the temptations to make the Pharisees MUTE or stopping his crucifixion. But Jesus always did what God wanted. Jesus chose to follow God's word and ways -- which are to seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly (Micah 6:8)

Being tempted is part of what it means to be a human. Making GOOD choices is part of what it means to follow Jesus. Confessing our sins when we don't is how we follow too!

It's Baking Time!

  1. Wash Hands
  2. Prepare Cookie Dough
  3. Press Dough Into Pans
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes

While Your Temptation Treats are Baking...

Read Luke 4:1-11 together from your classroom Bibles, or use a storybook.


  1. What does it mean to "fast" - to go without food which can produce a clarity of mind and spirit. Fasting often takes place during the daylight hours, with a meal in the evening. When you go to sleep you don't eat, and the morning you "break fast."
  2. What or who is "the Devil"?   Also known in some Bibles as "Satan," the Devil was thought to be an evil spirit that made people do bad things. Many Christians no longer believe that the Devil is a person or individual spirit. Rather, some believe that the Devil is a quick way of talking about the tempting decisions all of us face in our lives -- to do good, or do bad, to be selfish or unselfish, to follow our own desire or do what God wants us to do. The "Devil" is that strong urge we struggle with to hit someone who has hit us, to take an extra cookie, to put ourselves first.
  3. What are kids tempted with?
  4. What are adults tempted with?
  5. How did Jesus RESIST temptation?   Note how JESUS resisted, by knowing God's word and reminding himself of it.

Press the Peanut Butter Cups into the Baked Cookies

Be careful not to touch the pan, it will be hot!

As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press a mini chocolate covered peanut butter cup down into the center of most of the cookies until only the chocolate top is showing.

However, have the teacher carefully put a 1/4 teaspoon of BAKING SODA in the bottom of 6 of the cookie cups before pressing the peanut butter cup in them. Create as many of these "look good, taste bad cookies) as you have students and teachers.  Be sure to note or mark which cookies have the baking soda hanging in them!

Allow the cookies to cool for 5 or more minutes before removing from their pans.

While your Temptation Treats are Cooling...

Say: While our treats are cooling, let's talk a little more about temptation by taking a close look at the cookies we made with the baking soda hidden beneath the candy.

Do you think that baking soda is going to taste good?

Why do you think we hid baking soda in some of our tasty treats?
Can you tell the difference between the "good" cookies" and the ones with baking soda hidden in them?  (You shouldn't be able to tell until you bite into the cookie.)

Part of being tempted or giving into temptation is when we convince ourselves it will "be okay" and there's nothing wrong with certain choices/decision. We say things like, no one will see, or it doesn't really matter.

To illustrate/demonstrate the idea that temptation OFTEN LOOK GOOD on the outside, but "taste" bad when you bite into them, we're going to play a bit of a game with our peanut butter cookie temptations.

I'm going to mix the ones we put baking soda in with some of the "good" ones. Then each of you gets to choose a cookie to take a bite out of. Hopefully you choose CORRECTLY!

Do the taste test. Have water ready. Do it until all the "baking soda" cookies have been found.


Sometimes, the thing we are being tempted with feels or tastes really good, but it's still the wrong thing or a bad thing. For example:

  • Wanting to look cool to your friends so you bully someone they like to bully.
  • Yelling at someone because you're angry at them can momentarily make you feel better, but long-term it hurts both them AND you.
  • Being tempted to take money that is not yours.

Jesus turned to God's word and was himself an example for how to act in all situations, especially when we are tempted to do the wrong thing. And the answer is to simply ask, "What Would Jesus Do?"

Let's close with a prayer asking God to give us the strength and wisdom to make good choices just like Jesus did.


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  • mceclip1
Last edited by Wormy the Helpful Worm

Jesus Temptation

Computer Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Uses the software programs Life of Christ (Sunday Software) and Kid Pix 4 or the newer "3D" version Software.

Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Review the background information sheets and lesson materials.
  • Preview the software.
  • Insert the CDs and have computers on prior to children’s arrival.

Note: Children will use pictures taken during the Drama Workshop as part of this lesson.

Materials List:


Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Start on time! Sunday School begins at 9:30 a.m.

Time Guidelines:
Introductions/Opening Prayer: 10 minutes
Bible Passage/Discussion Focus: 10 minutes
Computer Time 30 minutes
Reflection/Closing Prayer: 10 minutes

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, being 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

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Bible Passage: Gather the children at the center table 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 them through this part of the lesson.

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.

Definitions - Make sure the children know the meaning of the following words:
fast - to go without food in order to devote time to prayer
tempt - to try to get someone to do something wrong, an attraction to do the wrong thing

Choose from some of the following questions for discussion:

Grades 1-6:

  • Place the story in a time context. Jesus went straight from being baptized to the desert to be tempted.
  • Review from previous rotation: What came down to Jesus when he was baptized? (Holy Spirit like a dove)
  • Who is the Holy Spirit? (God’s presence with us)
  • Where did Jesus go after being baptized by John in the River Jordan? (wilderness, desert)
  • How much time did Jesus spend in the desert? (40 days)
  • What happened to Jesus there? (fasted, prayed, tempted by devil)
  • Why did Satan tempt Jesus? (tried to stop God’s plan for Jesus’ ministry)
  • How did Jesus respond to the temptations? (resisted them, quoted scripture, let Holy Spirit strengthen him)
  • Who strengthened Jesus in the desert? (Holy Spirit within Jesus)
  • What else helped Jesus resist temptation? (his knowledge of the scriptures)

Grades 3-6 In addition to the above questions, choose from some of these questions for older children:

  • Does Satan know the Bible? (Yes, he quoted scripture, but twisted its meaning)
  • Which Old Testament book did Jesus quote scripture from when resisting the devil? (Deuteronomy)
  • Which temptation do you think was the most difficult for Jesus to resist? (no right answer, just explore their answers)
  • What were the three temptations told in this story? (food/physical desires, power/bowing down to Satan, miracles/testing God)
  • What did Jesus mean when he said “man does not live by bread alone, but on every world that comes from the mouth of God?” (physical things are not as important as spiritual, we need to depend on God, not try to do everything on our own)
  • What did Satan show Jesus he could be in charge of? (all the kingdoms of the world)
  • What would Jesus have to do to have that power? (worship Satan)
  • Jesus knew that only God should be worshiped and put first in his life. What types of things do we “worship” today by giving them priority in our lives and making them more important than God? (toys, TVs, money, gameboys, video games, computers, etc.)
  • What are you most tempted to worship?
  • What did Satan do to try to get Jesus to jump off the pinnacle of the Temple? (quoted scripture to tell him he wouldn’t be harmed)
  • Why do you think God allowed Satan to tempt Jesus? (to test his human nature, to strengthen him and prepare him for his ministry, to give us an example to follow)
  • How can temptation be a positive or good thing? (strengthens our faith, helps us lean on God, shows us where we need to grow, helps us become better disciples)
  • What kind of temptations do you face?
  • What can you do to resist temptation?
  • Jesus decided to obey God rather than take the easy way out. Why do you think even Jesus had to obey God? (to fulfill his plan, to prepare for his ministry, to live a sinless life)
  • Whom should you obey? (parents, teachers, Bible, God)

Memory Verse: Have the children locate the scripture memory verse. Review it with the children. Our goal is for the children to memorize one memory verse each rotation.

“It is written: Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve.” Luke 4:8

If you have extra time at the end of the workshop, review the memory verse by using Wordy, the computer scripture memory and review game.

Activity: Jesus’ Temptation in the Desert Computer Exploration - All Grades

Divide the children into groups of two to three at computer stations. Each child should have a turn at the mouse -- you may need to divide the time period to facilitate sharing. This is important! One of the biggest complaints the kids have about the computer workshop is that they don’t get equal opportunity at the mouse! Christians share!

Encourage the children to SLOW DOWN when searching through the software. They tend to skim through quickly, without reading and absorbing the information. Encourage them to talk together in their small groups about the questions posed in the various links. Remind them that they will see this information later in the computer game and they will do better on the game if they pay attention now.

Software and Navigation Tips
(Spend about 10 -15 minutes on this part of the activity.)

Life of Christ CD

  • Insert Life of Christ CD and click on the icon on the desktop.
  • Click on New Exploration
  • Type in your name/name of your group
  • Click on file crate (labeled King’s) in the office.
  • In Lesson index, click on Introducing the Son of God
  • Click on Lesson 12 - Three Temptations
  • Listen to the lesson carefully.
  • Answer question asked by narrator in your group. What Bible verses do you know by heart? Do you memorize our Rotation Memory verses? How can you prepare yourself to fight off temptation? Click Yes to take quiz.
  • Answer questions and click on the arrow to advance to the next question.
  • After the quiz, return to office and quit program.

Activity: Personal Temptation Stories - Grades 3-6
(Spend about 15-20 minutes on this part of the activity)

In this activity the children will use the digital photos from their earlier drama workshop. They will describe the temptation story and use the photo to illustrate it. Once completed, the illustrated stories will be hung in the hallway. Print an extra copy for each child to take home.

Preview the CD and make sure you can copy and paste the pictures of the children and the Bible pictures.
Make sure a CD is placed at each computer station.

To Begin:

  • Insert the CD with photos taken from the drama workshop.
  • Open Windows notepad
  • Show children how to locate their picture.
  • Copy and paste the picture into Notepad.
  • (If children were not present during the drama workshop and do not have a picture, they may use another group’s picture, or they may use the Bible pictures also on the CD)
  • Have the children discuss the temptation situation that was being shown in the picture.
  • Have them write a description of the situation. Include:
    • What the temptation was
    • What the person being tempted chose to do
    • Did they do the right thing?
    • What scripture would help the person being tempted to resist temptation in the future (a concordance is available in the room if children need to refer to it -- or encourage them to use the concordances in the back of their Bibles)

Print out the illustrated Temptation Stories
Return to the large group and share.

If you have extra time, children may review the Memory verse and illustrate it (using Kid Pix 4) or return to Life of Christ CD and allow them to pursue some of the clues in the castle.

Activity: Temptation Poster - Grades 1-2
After listening to the lesson on Life of Christ, the children will create Temptation Posters.

KidPix CD
One posterboard
Glue sticks
Younger children will also listen to Life of Christ lesson on the Three Temptations.

Set out the glue, scissors and poster board on the center table.

To Begin:

  • Discuss with children situations or things that tempt them.
  • Insert the KidPix CD and open the program.
  • Make sure children share the mouse time. Everyone should have a chance to use the mouse. (you may have to set time limits and then have children switch places)
  • Have each child at the computer station use the drawing, painting and stamp tools to illustrate a temptation that they face.
  • Have the children enlarge their designs and use a large size font for text.
  • They may also write out a word or two telling what the temptation is (for ex: CANDY)
  • Have them type out a simple heading or title for the story.
  • After they are satisfied with their pictures or text, print out the pages.
  • Children should then cut out their pictures/text. Each group will glue their temptation pictures and text to one large poster board. (one poster board per class)
  • The group that finishes first can write a sentence saying, “The Holy Spirit helps us fight temptation.” (a second grader can do this with help)
  • Cut out the sentence and glue across the poster as a title.

If you have extra time:
Have children use KidPix to type in the Rotation Memory Verse.
They can click audio to have the verse read back to them.

Notes for Teacher:
As much as possible, try to sit with your students as you go through the software together. Remember that the most important part of the lesson is not what’s on the computer. It’s what you and the students do with what’s on the computer. Guide your students through the content, sharing with them and facilitating their sharing with each other. Model your enthusiasm for the Word of God.

Reflection and Journal Time (All Groups):

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal question sticker for the day. Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may copy the memory verse and illustrate it as an alternative to journal questions.

Grades 1-2: Jesus prayed when he was in the desert. Draw a picture of Jesus praying.
Grades 3-4: Jesus fasted and prayed while in the desert. Have you ever gone without eating for a whole day? How did it feel?
Grades 5-6: Jesus showed us that we should put God first in our life. What other things are you tempted to give more priority than God in your life?

Encourage the children to come back next week for another workshop, and to invite their friends. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Ask for prayer requests and pray together.

Clean-up: Help the Shepherd collect Journals and nametags and put away. Clean up computer stations replacing CDs in correct cases. Return glue and scissors to Art Room. Once dry, hang up Temptation Poster outside classroom door.

Release children only to parents, older siblings, or by prior arrangement with parents. Make sure parents sign their children out on class clipboards.

Temptation Story Worksheet (Grades 3-6)

Answer these questions when writing your description of the temptation situation.

In this picture I was tempted to

I chose to

I did the right thing. That makes me feel

I didn’t choose to do the right thing. Next time I should

This scripture helped/would help me resist temptation

A lesson written by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Jesus in the Wilderness

Cooking Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Retelling the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness using three edible symbols.


Scripture References:

Luke 4:1-13 and Matthew 4:1-11


  • 2 batches of pre-made pretzel dough (I used a recipe from The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions by John E. Thomas and Danita Pagel)
  • Beaten egg
  • Extra salt
  • Baker's Joy or PAM cooking spray
  • Cookie sheets
  • Oven
  • The Children’s Illustrated Bible by Selina Hastings
  • Symbols printed out on 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock
  • Whiteboard and dry erase markers

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the story, Jesus Enters the Wilderness, in Luke 4:1-13 and Matthew 4:1-11. Notice that the accounts are similar except for the order that the temptations come in and the fact that Matthew mentions angels ministering to Jesus at the end of the account.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Prepare the dough.



Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction: 

Shepherd Time: Before the class begins, the group will meet for five minutes with their shepherd to do some “get to know you” questions such as “What was your high and your low point this week?” or “What is the hardest thing that you have ever done? This week, we are going to hear a story about one of the hardest things that Jesus had to do.” You may also want to practice the bible verse of the month to the shepherd before class begins.

1. Wear your nametag and introduce yourself. Show the children several symbols, printed out on 8 1/2 x 11 card stock, and ask what the symbols mean. For instance, what does a circle with a line drawn through it mean?(no ….) What does a cross with equal sides stand for? (adding, first aid).

Often times, a symbol is like a simplified picture. It is easy to draw. Explain that we will listen to a story and think of three symbols to stand for three of the events in the story. We will need to think of symbols that will help us to retell the story to someone else.


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

2. Either you, the shepherd, or an older child can read the story of Jesus’ temptation on pp. 204-5 of The Children’s Illustrated Bible by Selina Hastings.

3. Model designing symbols by thinking up one symbol to represent a story event. Draw this symbol on the whiteboard and explain how your symbol represents the event. For example, you could draw a circle on the board and explain that the circle represents a stone or an open mouth. Satan told Jesus to command the bread to become stones so that he could eat.
4. Ask the class to think up symbols for the remaining two temptations in the story. (Satan took Jesus up to a mountain, Satan took Jesus up to the top of the temple) Have volunteers draw the symbols on the white board.

5. Group the class into triads (groups of three). Give each child a lump of pretzel dough and instruct the children to roll their dough into a long rope. Have each child in each group form a different symbol from their rope of pretzel dough so that each group has all three symbols of the story. Help the child to place their creations on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with Oven Joy.

6. Have the shepherd or an adult helper brush the finished “symbol” pretzels lightly with a beaten egg, sprinkle salt on them, and put them in a 425° oven for 12-15 minutes.

7. Journal-time: While the dough cooks, have the children write in their journals. Younger children can draw an element from the story. Older children can think about which temptation was the hardest for Jesus and write one to two sentences about why they think it was the hardest.

8. When journal time is over, let the children color pictures of the story or complete puzzles about the story while the pretzels are in the oven. If more activities are needed, play charades with different words from the story.



9. Wrap-Up: When the pretzels come out of the oven ask one group to retell the story to the class with their pretzels.

10. Enjoy the pretzels!


  • The Children's Illustrated Bible by Selina Hastings
  • The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions by John E. Thomas and Danita Pagel


A lesson written by Dee Cobia, Director of Children's Ministries, BayMarin Community Church,

San Rafael, CA


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

The story of Jesus' temptation in the desert wilderness is one of the terrific presentations found in the SunScool Bible App for Kids.

Look for it in the "Early Life of Christ" section when you select either Level 1 or 2 in the app:

  • B1-4: Tempted in the Desert (Wilderness)
    Luke 4:1-13

The App is free, ecumenical, and can be downloaded for use on tablets, smartphones, Windows, and Mac!    Get the download link and look up the story you need in our Outline of all 170+ stories in SunScool. That page also includes app helps.

SunScool Bible App for Kids

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