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The Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness

Summary of the Lesson Set

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Matthew 4:1-11

There is a similar version of Matthew's story in Luke 4:1-13.

Key Verse: Jesus rejects temptation, saying, "Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” (Matthew 4:10, NRSV)


Lesson Summaries

Lesson Objectives and Bible Background

The background helps us understand how we should teach this story to children, what it's key ideas are about, and how Christians from across the theological spectrum can address the presence of the devil in this story. 

This set's Bible Background and Summary page are open to the public, as are all our public lesson forums. The Writing Team's lesson plans, however, are only open to our Supporting Members –whose support makes our site and work possible. Become a Supporting Member today.

Art Workshopwildernessjar

Students will create a "Wilderness Jar" to use at home around the dinner table during Lent, or as a personal devotional prompt. In the jar are prepared devotions that share the story and its subject matter, and invite response. Ideally for use during Lent, or whenever and wherever they want to use their jar.

Bible Skills & Games Workshop

Students will play a unique "tug-o-war" quiz game about the Wilderness Temptation story based on their knowledge and listening skills. The game demonstrates the "tug" of temptation and how we can get help to "tug back"!  

Computer or Illustration Workshop

Using Kid Pix 4 software (or any free illustrating type of software, including "Paint"), students will adapt and caption a set of terrific cartoon illustrations that imagine what Jesus was doing and thinking during his 40 days in the wilderness. How Jesus prepared himself to resist temptations and commit to God's plan. In addition to electronic copies of the illustrations, they are provided in a handout for discussion and take-home.

Cooking & Writing Workshop

bakers-meltsTaking our cue from Jesus who responds three times to The Tempter with the words, "It is written," students will use "piped" edible words and Word!  to remember and reflect on this story. The lesson's appliance requirements consist of only a microwave and freezer —allowing churches with more "minimal" facilities to enjoy a cooking workshop. 

Drama Workshop

Students will take part in a special dramatic reading and acting out of the scripture, then perform "temptation-response" skits. A special non-reader adaptation is included.

Science (or Magic) Workshop

Students will first watch the teacher perform a trick with balloons, then learn how to do it themselves in a lesson that vividly demonstrates the destruction that giving in to temptation can cause —and ways to resist it. 

KingdomWithout-JesusisTestedDVDVideo Workshop

Students will watch and discuss two video clips depicting Christ's temptation in the wilderness. Both re-tell the story in a unique way and create opportunities for discussion. 


Illustration: Copyright Simon Smith http:/ Used with Permission.


Images (4)
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  • KingdomWithout-JesusisTestedDVD
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  • Jesus-Temptation-Logo
Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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