Lesson Developed by
Jesus Had Struggles and Temptations Too
Tips to Prepare
- Set the room with chairs or around a table for a small group conversation
- Set up 2 tables for kids to break into 2 smaller groups
- Two mitt potholders per group
- A fork and a knife for each group
- 1 large chocolate bar, like a Hershey’s bar per group (must be wrapped in paper, not plastic).
- Music for Exercise Option 1
- Laptop or media device with the following clip “The Room Where It Happens Animatic” (YouTube clip.)
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’” Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” 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.’” When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage.
Introduction for Leaders
- Begin with a check in with members
- Ask a group member to read the focal Scripture
- Open with prayer
Select the option that best suits your group’s needs:
Exercise Option 1:
- Each group is handed two mitt potholders, a fork and a knife, and a large chocolate bar, like a Hershey’s bar (must be wrapped in paper, not plastic).
- They are given the instructions of being in a race with the other team to eat the chocolate first, but only by using the knife and fork (while wearing the gloves) to unwrap and eat the bar.
- They pass the bar and utensils around while the music starts and stops. [The trick here is that the students almost always try to stuff their faces full of chocolate, instead of actually serving one another. The “temptation,” even though they are in a group, is to consume all the chocolate themselves.]
- Regroup and ask them: How could you have won faster? (By feeding more people, including the leaders!)
Exercise Option 2:
Watch the video clip together (YouTube clip)
Reflect Together on the Following Questions:
1. What was Jesus tempted by? What was Burr tempted by? What are we tempted by?
2. What does our faith have to say to us in these times? How can others help us in our times of temptation, much like our chocolate game allowed for?
3. What does it mean to think about Jesus being tempted and struggling, just like we are?
Close the lesson in prayer (either leader or a group member)