Temptation of Jesus
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will watch scenes 5-10 of the DVD “Jesus Son of God” from Nest Videos. Afterwards they will use the Additional Features option for an Adventure Quiz that covers the content learned in the movie.
- Children can locate the Temptation Story in Both Matthew and Luke.
- Children can name the three temptations.
- Children understand that different gospels tell the story differently.
- Children are able to answer most of the questions about the story correctly.
Navigating the DVD
You will have to select the English Version to get to the main menu page.
To watch the Video, from the Main Menu select:
5. The Light from Heaven
To get to the interactive quiz, from the main menu select:
Select Quiz Level 1 (first) and 3 later (Quiz 2 deals with scenes 1-4 of the movie)
Select New International Version of the Bible
During the Quiz, a student can ask you to select either Review Scripture or Review Video to give a hint for the answer. Looking things up affects your score, but less than a wrong answer does. The optional final question is self-promotion of other NEST videos – skip it unless you have lots of time.
You are only running about 15 minutes of a 30 minute DVD. However, with discussion before and after each section, the time needed to go through the main lesson is close to 30 minutes.
This video covers the Temptation story from the Gospel of Matthew. We are focusing in the other lessons on the Gospel of Luke version of the story. This is an opportunity to look at some differences between the gospels.
I generally really like this series of videos. They do a good job at researching the historical situation surrounding the story, and educating kids to the background behind the story. I really like the first part (which we’re not watching in this lesson) but am less than thrilled with the temptation narrative. Here’s why:
- I don’t like the 40 days in the wilderness section. It shows Jesus walking all over the place and getting weaker. Very little praying and meditating. From what we know of wilderness communities such as Quumran, people going on a long term fast would find an isolated cave or overhang and stay in that one place for prayer and meditation. Jesus at the end of 40 days also doesn’t look much the worse for wear.
- I don’t like how the devil is portrayed as utterly evil, scary, and unappealing – something between the Emperor in the Star Wars series and the Ghost of Christmas Future. You don’t have to be the Messiah to know you don’t want anything to do with this guy – any normal person wouldn’t trust him at all. The devil disguised as someone you could trust, and whose arguments make logical sense, and who you might go along with, makes a lot bigger impact. Jesus not being fooled; a Jesus who knows what a likeable tempter is up to, would make a much stronger statement about the power of Jesus.
- The temptation of gaining all the kingdoms of the world includes an exchange not in scripture (it is not yours to give) that detracts rather than adds to the significance of the temptation. The devil shows wealth, military power, etc. to try and tempt Jesus. I would not think that any of those things would tempt any honest person. If I were writing the movie script I would say something like “think of how much better things could be run with you in charge.” That would be a temptation that would be hard for Jesus to resist.
On the other hand, the temptation for Jesus to throw himself off the pinnacle of the temple explains things well. (These are the people you are coming to save, but first they must believe… I have a plan) These words are not in scripture, but it explains the significance of this temptation; this would be a bit of showmanship in a very public place. It would get Jesus noticed.
When you preview this video, read the scripture and Bible background first and form an opinion for yourself what this story is about. Then critique the movie for yourself.
- Two colors of paper cut into scripts for bookmarks – I said white and blue for the lesson, but you can substitute any color you want.
- Popcorn supplies
- Ice water and cups
- Read the scripture and Bible Background notes.
- Preview the DVD, noticing where to stop and start.
- Take quizzes 1-3 yourself and make sure you know the answers.
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Play a quick game of “telephone.” Have children line up. If there is a large group, ask about six children to volunteer for this activity. Whisper a silly saying such as “My very elegant mother just sat upon nine porcupines” to the first person. They are to whisper the saying to the next person and so on down the line. One repeat is allowed, but then the story must be passed on. Have the last child repeat what was said. Then tell them the original saying.
Ask: What happened?
Explain that in the days of Jesus things were not often written down. Not many people could read and even fewer could write. Stories were passed by word of mouth.
Ask: If I told you a story, could you tell the story to someone else later? (Probably if it was a good story)
- Do you think you could remember every word exactly as I told it? (Probably not)
- Do you think I would even tell it exactly the same way? (Probably not)
Explain that this is what happened in the gospels.
Have children find Matthew 4 in their Bibles and mark it with the white bookmark
And Luke 4 and mark it with the blue.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Discussion Before Scene 5
[NOTE: If you are concerned about time – i.e. opening time ran long – you can skip Scene 5 completely]
Say: We know Jesus was born in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph. We know about shepherds and the magi and some other things that happened when he was a baby. We have one story about Jesus when he was a boy of 12 and went with his parents to the temple. Other than that, we don’t know anything about what his life was like when he was growing up or what he did before he was 30 years old and baptized by John.
- Ask: I wonder, what do you think Jesus was like as a boy? I wonder what Jesus was like as a young man?
Explain that this first section shows imagined scenes of what Jesus was like.
Play Scene 5 “Light from Heaven”
STOP when dove descends after Jesus’ baptism and the light from heaven reappears
Discussion about what your just viewed in Scene 5
- What was happening in that last scene? (Jesus baptized by John in the Jordan River)
Discussion Before Scene 6
Explain fasting. It consisted of eating no food for the period of the fast. Water is allowed during fasting. Some fasts allow for one simple meal after sundown (it was a very small amount and you would still be hungry, but are less likely to have serious medical problems.) Some are complete fasts with no food.
Compare the scriptures: Have half the children look at the first verse in each color. What does it say about Jesus’ fast? [White (Matthew) Jesus fasted 40 days and nights (that meant no food) Blue (Luke) 40 days. (it could mean no food, or it could mean he ate a small amount at sundown – we don’t know)]
Explain that this time without food was a time to pray and meditate about God, usually asking God for guidance for some decision that needed to be made.
Play Scene 6 “Jesus Fasts for 40 Days”
STOP when Jesus sits down by some rocks (just before devil’s hand appears)
Discussion about what your just viewed in Scene 6
- Ask: How do you think Jesus was feeling after 40 of fasting?
- Ask: After 40 days of praying, do you think he felt closer to God?
- Ask: Do you think you would want to spend 40 days fasting and praying?
Explain that the season of Lent is a time that Christians set aside to fast and pray. We don’t usually stop eating all food, but we might stop eating sweets, or coffee, or fast food. When we feel a craving for those things, we are supposed to use it as a cue to turn toward God and pray. What do you think, would that work?
Discussion Before Scene 7
- Ask: If you hadn’t eaten anything for 40 days, what is the first thing you would want to do when your fast was over?
Play Scene 7 “Man Shall Not Live by Bread Alone”
STOP when Jesus is on the ground beside a tree
Discussion about what your just viewed in Scene 7
- What was the first temptation? (turn stones into bread)
- Why would Jesus want this? (he was hungry)
- What did Jesus say to the tempter? (Man does not live by bread alone)
- What does that mean? (physical things, like food, are not as important as spiritual things)
Discussion Before Scene 8
- Ask: Do you remember any miracles or healing stories that Jesus performed?
- Was Jesus against doing miracles? (No)
Explain that this next temptation is about a miracle. Ask the children to think about how this miracle would be different than the other miracles Jesus performed.
Play Scene 8 “Thou Shalt Not Tempt the Lord Your God”
STOP when Jesus sits on the stone blocks and the blocks begin to fade
Discussion about what your just viewed in Scene 8
- How would this miracle have been different from the other miracles Jesus performed? (One difference is that other miracles were done to help other people – this would have been to “show off” and make himself look good)
Discussion Before Scene 9
Have half the children look up the white (Matthew) bookmark and half look up the blue (Luke) bookmark.
- In Matthew, what is the second temptation? (pinnacle of the temple)
- In Luke, what is the second temptation? (worship Satan, kingdoms of the world)
- In Matthew (white) what is the third temptation? (worship Satan, kingdoms of the world)
- In Luke (blue) what is the third temptation? (pinnacle of the temple)
- Why do you think they got their stories in different orders? (remember telephone game)
Play Scene 9 “Worship Only the Lord”
STOP when the devil departs and Jesus puts his head in his hand
Discussion about what your just viewed in Scene 9
- What did the devil offer Jesus in this temptation?
- What would you do if you were king or queen of all the world?
- What kind of king or queen would you be?
- What kind of king do you think Jesus would have been if he’d said “yes” to this temptation?
- Why did he say “no?” (he is a different kind of king – it’s not about power or riches; he wouldn’t worship Satan to get power – his power comes from God.)
Discussion Before Scene 10
[NOTE: If time is running short, you can skip this section entirely or simply play scene 10 without discussion]
Compare the ending of the temptation story in Matthew and Luke
Matthew has the angels waiting on Jesus. Luke does not.
Play Scene 10
STOP when Closing Credits begin
More detailed instructions are above under the Movie Summary.
From the Main Menu, go to the Quiz on the Features Menu.
Answer questions first from Quiz 1, then Quiz 3 (skip quiz 2 as it is about the first part of the video) Use helps as needed.
To take home/If you have extra time
A companion book came with this DVD and has reproducible games and handouts. Make copies of a couple of these pages to be used after class to reinforce the story. (Most of these are more fun than content based.)
Look up Mark’s version of the temptation (it is only a sentence!) John says nothing about this story.
A lesson originally posted by member Lisa Martin from:Trinity UCC
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.