When we went to the Navajo reservation last summer the Temptation of Jesus was one of the lessons we taught. Partially because I had this great idea for a play, partially because the temptation of Jesus speaks to elements of their culture, and partially because I love all of the lessons we learn from the temptation of Jesus. Which of course meant, I was super excited to teach this to my Sunday School class.
We last saw Jesus getting baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist.
What I learn from the Temptation of Jesus
First thing I learn from the temptation of Jesus is the importance of memorizing scripture. Every time Satan tempts him, Jesus has an immediate answer from scripture. And more importantly from Deuteronomy, the book most of us skip because it’s all rules. It just reinforces why I should be memorizing Bible verses, and actually led to the Temptation of Jesus activity we actually completed.
The second thing I learned, Jesus was tempted too. He didn’t sin, but Jesus was tempted. Do you know how HUGE that is? The very SON OF GOD was tempted. He was tired, he was hungry, and if he’s like me when I’m hungry, he was cranky. And He did not sin. That gives me hope in a way I cannot tell you. It tells me there is nothing wrong with being tempted. It’s when we ACT on the temptation that it’s a problem.
My final lesson is one I see from Jesus’ ministry over and over again. It is important to retreat and to take time to pray and be alone with God. Of all of these, this is the hardest for me to do. I don’t like to be still. I’m naturally moving all the time and being still before God is antithesis to me. Which led to the other Temptation of Jesus activity I wanted to do……
Temptation of Jesus activity
Since Jesus answered Satan with scripture, it’s obviously important to know the Bible. Not just a “I know the answer is in there,” but actually be able to answer back with it. So we made a Memory verse book for the kids to be able to study.
So funny story. I sent the kids off to gather the supplies for this craft, here’s what our supplies originally looked like:
And then the kids spent 15 minutes searching for the 3 different staplers I know are in our house. Finally I said, “Forget the stapler. Find me paper clips and hair ties.”
Then I set down to start our project.
0. Cut out all of the memory verse cards and put them in a nice neat stack.
1. First punch two holes in the pages, and thread the hair tie onto the paper clip. You want the hair tie on the bottom edge so the final step will be easier.
2. Feed the hair tie through the bottom hole punch.
3. Pull the hair tie through the top hole punch.
4. Slip the hair tie onto the rubber band, and now you’ve got a nicely bound memory verse book.
The plan is for the kids to decorate the verses as they memorize each one. So far they’ve got around 4 or 5 of the verses I included in the book colored.
The ttemptationof Jesus activity I wanted to do
Jesus spent 40 days alone praying, fasting, and talking to God. I really wanted to have the kids go outside and spend twenty minutes or so just sitting there talking to God. But, it’s been raining for the past couple of days. Which is good because we need the rain, but it did put a damper on my “spend time alone with God plan.”
The second temptation of Jesus activity we actually did
On Thursday morning we went out to eat before Princess’ dance class/party. I brought our “Good verses to know” books along with us. As people were winding down on eating food I pulled out our books and we went through each of the verses.
Slowly we discussed each of the verses I’d included in our book and how we might use them. Some I included because they’re encouraging, others because it answers a specific problem they might have (like the above verse about showing respect to everyone, imagine how much better the internet would be if people could just follow that one), others could answer questions other people might ask them someday (why do you believe, what does that mean).
We had a good discussion considering their age, and they slowly talked through the verses and talked about how they might use the verses when they are tempted. All in all it was a great discussion.