Matthew 4:1-11- Jesus tested in the wilderness
Today we are continuing our series in Matthew’s gospel.
Read the bible story either as it is below in the NIV bible or from a children’s bible you have at home:
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’
4 Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the highest point of the temple. 6 ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down. For it is written:
‘“He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
7 Jesus answered him, ‘It is also written: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. 9 ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’
10 Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Watch the bible story
Questions to think about
Here are some questions to think about. The verses the answers are found in are given in brackets.
- Where does Jesus go to in this passage and why does he go there? (1)
- What does he do for forty days and nights? What does it mean to fast? (2)
- How does he feel after fasting for this length of time? (2)
- What does the devil tempt him to do first? (3)
- Given we know he is very hungry, how hard might it be to resist this temptation?
- What is Jesus’ answer to the devil? (4)
- Where does Jesus get his answer from? (4)
- What is the next thing that the devil asks Jesus to do? (5-6)
- How does Jesus answer him this time? (7)
- What is the final thing the devil wants Jesus to do? (8-9)
- How does Jesus reply this time? (10)
- Can you see a common theme to how Jesus replies to the devil’s temptations? What does he use? Where do his answers come from?
Jesus is very hungry and tired when the devil tempts him, and the devil offers him things that would seem very tempting to have. However, Jesus knows that these things are not as good as what God gives us. He uses the words of God in the bible to fight against the devil’s temptations. He knows that the words of God are better than anything the world has to offer however good those things might seem to us. God’s words can help us stand up against things we know not to be true too, they can help us when we are tempted to do things that are wrong, they can remind us of the truth that God tells us and reassure us of the hope we have in Jesus.
Questions to discuss
- When might you be tempted to turn away from God’s ways?
- What does this passage help us to remember when we are tempted to turn away from God?
- Where might we look for help when we are struggling to know what the right thing to do is?
- When life feels hard, where might we find words of hope?
You will need:
- 2 sheets of white paper
- Colouring pencils/pens
- Glue stick
- Fold one of your pieces of paper in half like a book fold. Stick the back of the right-hand side of this piece of paper to the front of the right-hand side of the other piece of paper so that it looks like a booklet.
- On the first two pages draw a loaf of bread and write the first half of the Bible verse Matthew 4:4. ‘Man shall not live by bread alone…’
- On the second two pages draw a book which represents the Bible. Write the second half of the Bible verse Matthew 4:4 here: ‘…but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
- Now you can colour in your pictures.
Father God, Thank you for Jesus, that he was always able to do the right thing. Help us to trust your words in the bible when we are finding things difficult or aren’t sure what to do. Help us to follow your ways. Amen