Jesus in the Wilderness ~ Object Lesson

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Use your favorite candy for an object lesson teaching children about the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. How should we handle temptation?


  • To list events of the temptation of Jesus
  • To recognize that we can be tempted and not sin
  • To understand the importance of scripture memorization

Materials: a package of your favorite candy (mine is M&Ms!); a bowl

Geography: Jordan River

Background: The people wondered if John was the Messiah. But he told them that One would be coming Who would baptize with the fire of the Holy Spirit, and not  with water. One day Jesus showed up at the Jordan River to be baptized. John said, “It is I who should be baptized by You!” But Jesus told him that He needed John to baptize Him to “fulfill all righteousness.” After Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened up. The Holy Spirit took on the form of a dove and flew down to Jesus. God the Father spoke from heaven saying, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

Main Events of Jesus in the Wilderness:

[Open the candy and pour it all into a bowl.] Mmmmmm…this is my favorite candy. I really love to eat this candy, but because I have to teach my lesson, the bowl is going to have to sit here while I teach. [Look longingly at the bowl.] I sure do love this candy. Maybe I can have just one piece. It wouldn’t hurt anything. You wouldn’t even know I took one because there are SOOO many pieces left. But no, I said I’d leave the candy alone until I was finished.

{Read the scripture, Luke 4:1-13, and discuss it as you go. The verses here are from the NIV. Focus on these questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? It would be great if each student had his own Bible.}

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

Who is in this story? Jesus and the devil

Where are they? In the wilderness

When did this happen? Just after Jesus was baptized

Why did Jesus go? He was led by the Spirit

What has happened so far? Jesus was baptized; He was tempted by the devil; Jesus ate nothing for 40 days; The devil tells Jesus to turn stones to bread; Jesus gives and answer.

How does Jesus answer? Jesus used scripture.

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

Where are they? a high place

When did this happen? Just after Jesus was tempted to turn stones into bread.

Why did Jesus go? He was led by the devil {Isn’t that interesting!}

What did the devil do? Showed Jesus all of the kingdoms on the world; told Jesus he would give him authority over all the kingdoms if Jesus would worship him.

 How does Jesus answer? Jesus used scripture.

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Where are they? the highest point of the temple in Jerusalem

When did this happen? Just after Jesus was tempted by the kingdoms of the world

Why did Jesus go? He was led by the devil

What did the devil do? Asked Jesus to throw Himself off the top so the angels would catch Him; quoted scripture to Jesus

 How does Jesus answer? Jesus used scripture.


Life Application of Jesus in the Wilderness:

{Smell the candy.} Hmmm…the lesson is almost over. Can I go ahead and eat one? Just one? [No. That wasn’t the plan. The lesson must be over.] We must not budge when it comes to temptation. We must do what is right. How did Jesus succeed? [He quoted scripture.] Jesus knew enough scripture to be able to quote exactly the Truth He needed when He needed it. The Holy Spirit was able to bring to His mind what He needed for strength. And what is so amazing is that we have this same help when WE need it!

Once we decide to believe in Jesus and live totally for Him, the Holy Spirit resides, lives, inside of us. And whenever we need help, the Holy Spirit is waiting for us. So many times we walk around in defeat, or we continue to try to do life in our own power and defeat temptations on our own.

Did Jesus sin when He was tempted? [No] The temptation itself is not the sin. It’s the ACT of doing the temptation. Temptation always looks good. {Show the candy.} If I was to sit here and eat this entire bowl of candy, what would happen? [I’d get sick, gain weight, be a glutton.] Temptation can look really nice, fancy, fun, and exciting…but in Truth, it’s yucky, evil, and goes against the heart of God.

What can you do? 1) Repent and be saved. 2) Know the scriptures. 3) Call on the Lord when a temptation is in your face. He’ll be waiting for you.

What Truth did you learn from this lesson?

This lesson is a part of The Jesus Storybook Bible Hands-On Activities. To view more lessons from other bloggers that match this children’s Bible, please click the link below.

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