Look for the Hook
The temptation of Jesus
A tackle box with various types of fishing lures.
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. Luke 4:1-2 (NIV)
Do you know what this is? (Hold up a fishing lure.) It is a fishing lure. Isn't it pretty? It looks especially attractive to a big, hungry fish. Most large fish eat small fish, so when they see this lure, they are tempted to make a tasty meal out of it. One thing they may not notice is that the lure has hooks attached to it. So, when that big fish decides to make a meal of that smaller fish, instead of enjoying a tasty meal, he will probably wind up being a tasty meal for some fisherman.
If you know someone who enjoys fishing, you probably know that he or she has a tackle box full of lures. (Show the children several different lures.) Why do you need all those different lures? It is because all fish are not attracted by the same lures. Different kinds of fish are tempted by different lures, but they are all tempted by something. Fish aren't the only ones that are sometimes tempted by something that isn't good for them. Sometimes you and I are also tempted. It may come as a surprise to you, but even Jesus was tempted! That is what our Bible lesson is about today.
After Jesus was baptized, he was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness and for forty days he was tempted by the devil. During those forty days, he ate nothing. As you can imagine, he was very hungry. That's when the devil showed up, picked up a stone, and said to Jesus, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."
Jesus was hungry, so it was very tempting, but he answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone.'"
Well, stones weren't the only lure the devil had in his "tackle box." Next, he led Jesus up onto a high place and showed him all of the kingdoms of the world. He said to Jesus, "All of these kingdoms belong to me, but I will give them to you if you will bow down and worship me."
Jesus replied, "The Scriptures say, 'You must worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"
The devil still didn't give up. He took Jesus to Jerusalem, to the very highest point on the Temple, and said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off! The Scriptures say, 'He will send his angels to protect you; they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"
Jesus responded, "The Scriptures also say, 'You must not test the Lord your God.'"
When Jesus was tempted, he relied on Scripture to resist the devil. The Bible tells us that we will be tempted, but that God will provide a way out so that we can resist it. God has given us his Word, the Bible, so that, just as Jesus did, we can depend on what the Scripture teaches to avoid the temptations of the devil. Let us pray and ask the Father to help us to look for the hook when Satan tempts us.
Father, we know that we will be tempted. Some things may look very appealing to us, but we ask for your help in resisting temptation. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.