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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 your Drama, "Newsroom", Storytelling, and Other Miscellaneous Workshop lessons and ideas for teaching the story of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness.

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Jesus’ Temptation: Alone in the Desert!

Drama Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Teaches the lesson using skits.


Scripture References:

Luke 4:1-13, Mark 1:12-13, (Jesus is tempted in the desert, p 295 Little Kids Adventure Bible.)

Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Be sure that costumes and jewelry are available for dress up.
  • Have a container ready from which the children can choose their skit topic.
  • Paper and pencils should also be available for groups to write their scripts.
  • You will need the digital camera during this workshop.
  • Make sure batteries are fresh, and that you are comfortable with its operation. (see Jaymie if you have questions!)




Opening-Welcome Lesson Introduction:

Welcome the children and introduce yourself. (Remember all the children may not know who you are.) Make sure you are wearing your nametag and that the children are wearing theirs. Begin each class with introductions. Tell the children you will be creating short skits that will help us to think about temptation.

Opening Prayer
Always open with prayer. Dear Lord, every day we are tempted in different ways. Help us to listen to your word and the Holy Spirit so that we can do what you tell us is right. Amen.


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Bible Passage:
Each workshop begins with the Bible story. One of our goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! For older children: Have them locate and read the selected verses. For younger children: Have them locate (with help) the selected verses. Refer to the teacher handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” for suggestions. Shepherds can assist 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. 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.

Teacher Note: As the rotation progresses, the children will become more familiar with the Bible story. Make sure the children locate the Bible story in their Bibles, but then be flexible as you lead this part of the lesson. Allow them to tell you what they remember, or pause as you read and let them fill in the details.

Discussion Focus:
Say: Let’s look at some KEY VERSES:
Luke 4:9-12 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

  • What is the devil trying to make Jesus do?

jump off a high place

  • For what reason?

to prove that he is the Son of God

  • What does the devil quote to try and convince Jesus to act?

The Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament - The reference for this quote is Psalm 91:11-12)

  • For what reasons might this be a temptation for Jesus?

who wouldn’t want to have and to be able to use magic powers! but Jesus’ mission is to be our Savior not a magician

  • Review Jesus’ reply. What do you think he is quoting?

The Hebrew Scriptures just like the devil did. These are the scriptures he would have grown up learning.
Look up Deuteronomy 6:16
Do not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.

  • What do you think Jesus is trying to say when he refuses to jump?

This is an opinion question… that he does not need to prove who he is or that God would save him or that he has magical powers
We can be tempted to test God, too, by trying to make God do what we want. Saying please God, save my dog or please God, don’t let me get in trouble for this. Sometimes we even add promises to make our request more enticing. If you’ll do this one thing for me God, I promise I will never ask for anything again. Or, I promise that I will say my prayers every day. Or I promise that I will be nice to my sister…
This does not mean that we cannot or should not ask God for things in our prayers. There is nothing wrong with being honest with God about what you want. But we must also be open to God showing us that our answer or desire might not be what God intends. Remember, we pray to change ourselves, not to change God.
Memory Verse: “It is written: Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve.” Luke 4:8 (Little Kids’ Adventure Bible pg. 296) Children are asked to memorize one memory verse each rotation. Review the verse with them and if you have extra time, use the attached activity sheet to reinforce the memory verse.
Photo Skits – 5-6 Grade

*IMPORTANT NOTE: The skits that the 3-4th and 5-6th graders create will need to be photographed using the digital camera. Please also jot down a few key points that each group makes in their skit and follow-up discussion. These pictures and comments will be used in the CyberSpace workshop.

The older children will be asked to choose one of the temptations and make up a skit to perform to class.
Remind the students of the three temptations that Jesus faced; to use his powers to satisfy his own physical needs, to gain worldly power by worshiping the devil, and to do flashy miracles that would have impressed people by testing God.
Divide the class into small groups. Ask each group to choose one of the temptations Jesus faced. Then let each group develop a short skit that shows how the devil might tempt Jesus similarly in today’s world. Let the students perform their skits for the rest of the class.
If the students are having a morning of brain-freeze, they may participate in the activity as described below for the younger children.
(Adapted from New Invitation Bible Studies, :Grades 5-6)

Temptation Skits – Grades 1-4
The younger children will be given short ideas for skits and will make up their own skits.
Have the students pair up or form small groups. 1st and 2nd graders will need an adult as part of their group for guidance – the teacher and/or shepherd will work well.
Each group picks one example of a test out of the box (or you assign one to each group.)
Prepares a skit that leads up to the quote.
When each group is ready, perform for the other kids.
For each skit discuss what the “test” was, why it is tempting to test God in this way, what is wrong about testing God in this way. Discuss what a different prayer for that situation might be.

Example: If the situation is praying for God to help you pass a test you didn’t study for, it is tempting because you want a good grade, but it would be wrong because you would be lying to the teacher making him/her think you had mastered the material. Instead you might pray, Please God, I know I didn’t study for this test, but help me to think clearly about the questions and not get nervous so that I can remember what was said in class.

Please God, I know I didn’t study for this test, but I won’t get to watch TV all next week if I don’t make at least a B on it. Help me pass!
Please God, let me get a color game boy for my birthday. If you do, I promise I will read my Bible just as much as I play with it!
Please God, my cat got hit by a car. The vet is trying to help him, but things don’t look so good. If you make him well, I promise I’ll never tease my little brother again!
Please God, don’t let my mom find out that I broke her Chinese vase. I promise I’ll never play football in the house again or run or slam a door or anything just as long as I don’t get in trouble for this.
Please God, help my team win this game so that we can play in the championships.
Please God, make Sally/Bill trip in the lunchroom and fall with his/her tray and make a fool of him/herself. She/he has been spreading rumors about me and I want to get revenge!
(Source: Kingswood UMC, Atlanta Georgia, posted at

Reflection Time: Faith journals and memory verse stickers are used during the last 10 minutes of each class session. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens. 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. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson.

Journal Questions:
Grades 1-2: Jesus obeyed God in the desert. Draw a picture of someone you should obey.
Grades 3-4: Even in the wilderness Jesus obeyed God. Who are others we should obey? Why is it important to obey them?
Grades 5-6: Sometimes we don’t want to obey parents, teachers, etc. because we want to do things our own way. Why do you think Jesus had to obey God? Who should you obey?

Gather the children together at the end of the 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: Encourage the children to take responsibility for putting away costumes, props, and other supplies to help keep our rooms neat and orderly.

Release children only to parents or by prior arrangement with them. Make sure parents sign their children out on classroom clipboards.


A lesson written by Jaymie Derden from State Street UMC 


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness

Dramatic Reading

Based on Matthew 4:1-11

NARRATOR: Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting 40 days and 40 nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test:

DEVIL: Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.
Devil whispers (or have a small group continue the whispering until Jesus finishes his speaking) :Stones into loaves stones into loaves (continue)

NARRATOR: Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy:

JESUS: "It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”

NARRATOR: For the second test the Devil took him to the Holy City. He set him on top of the Temple and said,

DEVIL : “Since you are God’s Son, jump.”

Whispers (like above): Jump, jump, jump, jump, jump, jump (Continue until Jesus speaks)

NARRATOR: The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91:

DEVIL: He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone.

NARRATOR: Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy:

JESUS: "Don’t you dare test the Lord your God."
NARRATOR: For the third test, the Devil took him on the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said,

DEVIL: They’re yours—lock stock and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours.
Whispers: worship me, worship me, worship me.

NARRATOR: Jesus’ refusal was curt:

JESUS: Beat it Satan!

NARRATOR: He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy:

JESUS: Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.

NARRATOR: The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus’ needs.


Since this is a dramatic reading more than one person can speak together one part.

The whispering parts that echo the words of temptation are intended to imply that the struggle of temptation was not just a quick ‘do this’ ‘no I won’t’ kind of encounter. Here implicitly, later you may state explicitly, that this was more like a prolonged struggle with Satan pulling, pulling, pulling, and Jesus continuing to resist. I think this image is much closer to the reality of what Jesus must have experienced and what we experience with temptation. Of course the big difference is we stop resisting and give in but for Jesus the temptation was more prolonged because he did not give in.


Lynn C Wood
Bream Memorial Presbyterian Church
Charleston, WV


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Beginning Activity

Say: Today, we are going to be talking about a time that Jesus was tempted.  To start our lesson, you are going to get 5 M&M’s on a napkin in front of you.

Pass out napkins and put 5 M&M’s on a napkin in front of each child.

Say:  Who thinks it would be good to eat your M&M’s right now?  They sure are tempting sitting there in front of you.  Well, this is the deal.  Listen to the whole thing first.  You may eat the M&M’s at any time during our lesson BUT if you have M&M’s left on your napkin at the end of the lesson, you will get MORE M&M’s.  If you have 5 left, you will get 5 more.  If you have 2 left, you will get 2 more.  If you don’t have any left, you won’t get any more.  The choice is yours.  You get to decide how many of the M&M’s you will eat and your neighbor gets to decide how many he or she will eat.

(This is the “real-life” application for the kids of what it means to be tempted.  Let the kids do what they choose but do not bring up the M&M’s again until the end of the lesson.) Continue on with lesson about Jesus in the Wilderness.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

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