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With Jesus in the wilderness: Bread, angels and kingdom

An accessible bible study series journeying with Jesus through the three times he was tempted by the devil.

THE ADDITIONAL NEEDS BLOGFATHER AUTOR 242/Mark_Arnold 24 DE MARZO DE 2023 09:55 h
Image via [link]The Additional Needs Blogfather[/link].

Outline



An accessible video and text bible study series journeying with Jesus through the three times he was tempted by the devil.



Travelling together we will stop from time to time to explore key moments and understand what they are saying to us. This series will be accessible for everyone, including people of all ages with additional needs.



 



Bread



 



Watch



Find a comfortable spot to watch the video,which is part of a separate Lent series.



Jesus is tempted



In this session we are going to learn about the first time that Jesus was tempted while he was in the desert.



Jesus had just been baptised by John the Baptist, and then went out into the desert to spend time alone.



Do you have a place where you like to go to be alone? Maybe a favourite park, or a spot in the garden? Or maybe you sometimes like to spend time on your own in your room?



Jesus went out into the desert, it was a wild place where there wasn’t much growing or living.



Have you ever seen a desert? Maybe you’ve seen a desert on a TV programme? Or maybe you’ve been able to visit a desert? What do you think it would be like to be in the desert on your own for 40 days like Jesus?



Jesus and his temptations



As we go through Jesus’ three temptations together we will journey with Jesus, looking at what he said and did that can help us to understand his three temptations better.



“The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert. There the devil tempted him. After 40 days and 40 nights of going without eating, Jesus was hungry. The tempter came to him. He said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘Man must not live only on bread. He must also live on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:1-4, Accessible Edition New Testament (NIrV):



What Jesus said is from a verse in the Old Testament, in Deuteronomy 8:3.



What does this mean



Jesus was right at the start of his three years of ministry on Earth. He had just been baptised by John the Baptist, who had told everyone that Jesus was coming and who he was.



Heaven had opened and the Holy Spirit had come down on Jesus. God had said that Jesus was his son, and that he was pleased with him. The devil wanted to stop Jesus and so as Jesus was in the desert the devil tempted him three times.



Jesus had been in the desert for 40 days and had fasted during that time. That means that he hadn’t had anything to eat. That’s a long time to go without anything to eat isn’t it?



What’s the longest time you’ve gone without anything to eat? Maybe it was when you were poorly? Or maybe you forgot to eat your breakfast and so were really hungry by lunchtime?



Jesus was really hungry after not having eaten for 40 days. His tummy would have been feeling very empty and rumbly.



The devil came to Jesus and showed him some stones. The devil said to Jesus that if he was hungry he could turn the stones into lovely loaves of bread to eat! It must have been very tempting for Jesus to turn the stones into bread to eat and fill his tummy.



But Jesus didn’t turn the stones into bread, instead he resisted the devil’s temptation and told the devil that we don’t just live on bread, but we live on what God says too. He got that from a verse in the Old Testament in a book called Deuteronomy.



What Jesus meant is that if we follow what God says, like Jesus did, we will be able to cope better when things are hard and can resist the devil when he tempts us to do wrong things.



Are you sometimes tempted to do wrong things? Do you ask God to help you when that happens? Next time, try it!



After Jesus resisted the devil’s temptation to turn the stones into bread, the devil didn’t give up, he tried again, twice more!



But what we learn from this part of the story is that the devil can keep tempting us to do wrong things too, and we must always be on our guard and ready to resist him.



Like Jesus, we must always be ready to tell the devil that we trust in God, and in what God says in the Bible.



Activity: Painting stones



In the Bible story we read, the devil shows Jesus some plain stones and tempts him to turn them into bread. Jesus doesn’t give in to the devil.



For this activity, you will need some large pebbles or smooth stones; large enough to paint or draw on.You might find some if you have a garden or if not you might need to look for some in a craft shop or on the beach and do this activity when you have found some.



When you have your large pebbles or smooth stones, wash them thoroughly and dry them. Then using paints, or sharpie pens, carefully write words on them that remind you of Jesus, like love, hope, joy, happy, smile, peace.



You can decorate them too if you like. When you have finished, spend a few moments looking at them and thinking about the words that you have painted or drawn, and why those words remind you of Jesus.



You can then either put the stones on a window sill or shelf so you can see them, or put them in the garden if you have one, or maybe if you go for a walk around your local area you could leave each one on the doorsteps of friends as you go, to remind them that you care about them.





 



Angels



 



Watch



Find a comfortable spot to watch the video



Jesus is tempted



In this session, we are going to learn about the second time that Jesus was tempted while he was in the desert. This time the devil said that God would save Jesus if he fell from the top of the temple, by sending angels to protect him.



What do you imagine when you think about angels? Do you have a picture in your head of what you think angels look like?



Jesus had been in the desert for a long time, 40 days and 40 nights. He hadn’t eaten anything during that time so was probably feeling a little bit weak.



Do you feel a little bit weak sometimes? Do you think that during those times you might be more likely to be tempted to do something that you know you shouldn’t do?



Jesus and his temptations



‘Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city. He had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. It is written, “‘The Lord will command his angels to take good care of you. They will lift you up in their hands. Then you won’t trip over a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.’” Matthew 4: 5-7 (NIrV Accessible Edition).



The verse that the devil quoted was from Psalm 91 v 11-12 and what Jesus said is from Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 16



What does this mean



The devil tried a different trick, he tried to tempt Jesus by using the Bible. He took Jesus to the top of the temple in Jerusalem, which was ever so high, and said that if Jesus threw himself off, he wouldn’t die because the angels would rescue him.



The devil even tried quoting a Bible verse to see if that worked.



Jesus knew that at the end of his time on earth he would have to die to save us all, and he wasn’t going to let any wrong thoughts of angels being sent to rescue him get in the way of his mission.



The devil took Jesus to the top of the temple of Jerusalem, that was very high up. What’s the tallest building you’ve been in? We you scared because it was so high? Did you look down?



Jesus defeated this temptation from the devil by telling him not to put God to the test, using a verse from Deuteronomy which is in the Old Testament.



How well do you know your Bible? Do you have favourite verses that you use if you are feeling tempted? If you don’t know any, ask someone you trust to help you to find some.



Like Jesus, we must always be ready to tell the devil that we trust in God, and in what God says in the Bible. We’ll learn more about how Jesus did that next time.



Activity: Temptations word search



Why not have a go at this wordsearch that uses words to do with the times that Jesus was tempted.



Some of the words are a bit different to the ones we’ve read as they are from a different version of the Bible, but most of them are the same so you should be able to remember them from the story so far.



And don’t forget that with word searches, sometimes the words go backwards or diagonally!





 



Kingdom



Watch



Find a comfortable spot to watch the video.



Jesus is tempted



This time, as we learn together about the third time that the devil tried to tempt Jesus, we look at how the devil offered Jesus the whole world if Jesus would bow down and worship him.



The world is a big place isn’t it? How big do you imagine the world to be? How many countries do you think there are in the world?



The world is huge! To go all around the world it is nearly 25,000 miles! That’s the same as going from Land’s End in Cornwall to John O’Groats on the northern tip of Scotland over 41 times! And there are loads of countries, with the United Nations saying that there are about 250!



Jesus and his temptations



‘Finally, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain. He showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “If you bow down and worship me,” he said, “I will give you all this.” Jesus said to him, “Get away from me, Satan! It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve.’” Then the devil left Jesus. Angels came and took care of him.’Matthew 4: 8-11 (NIrV Accessible Edition).



The verse that Jesus quoted is from Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 13.



What does this mean



The devil offered Jesus the whole world and everything in it, all the kingdoms and all their glory and wealth, if Jesus would bow down and worship him.



Jesus knew that if his mission on earth was successful, the devil’s plans would all be defeated and Jesus would be the winner. Jesus didn’t need the devil to give him the world, Jesus had come to save the world and all of us!



Have you ever been tempted by wanting things that you can’t have? The devil can still tempt us to do wrong things by offering us things that we want, sometimes things that are bad for us. Let’s learn to be like Jesus and say “No!” to the devil.



Jesus defeated this temptation from the devil by telling him to go away, and that he should worship God only, using a verse from Deuteronomy which is in the Old Testament. The devil left Jesus and went away.



Next time you are feeling tempted, will you tell the devil to go away? Maybe you could also remember that verse that Jesus used, to tell the devil that you only worship and serve God.



After Jesus resisted the devil’s third and final temptation, the devil left Jesus and angels came to help Jesus. Jesus was still weak after his 40 days and nights of fasting and having been tempted and tested by the devil three times. He must have been absolutely exhausted.



Like Jesus, we must always be ready to tell the devil to go away, that we follow and trust in God, and believe in what God says in the Bible.



Activity: Kingdom’s colouring



Why not have a go at colouring in this map of the world, showing the countries of the world! How many of them do you know the names of?



The highest mountain in the world is called ‘Everest’ and is the Himalayan mountains between Nepal and Tibet (just north of India). Try and find the right spot on the map, or ask someone to help you, and put a dot there to show the highest mountain.





Mark Arnold, Director of Additional Needs Ministry at Urban Saints. Arnold blogs at The Additional Needs Blogfather. This article was re-published with permission.


 

 


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