When You Are Tempted
The Temptation of Christ
A tray with several tempting "goodies" on it (cake, pie, pastries, etc.)
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1
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Have you ever eaten in a restaurant where, after you have finished your dinner, the waiter came to your table carrying a tray filled with tempting deserts? They look so good! The tray is filled with all kinds of cake, pie, and pastries. Even though you aren't hungry, you are tempted to eat desert because they look so good.
Temptation—we all face temptation. What is temptation? Temptation is wanting to do something which we know we should not do. For example, you have some homework that is due tomorrow, but this is the day your favorite program is on television. It is easy to convince yourself that you will have time to do your homework after your show is over.
Do you think that Jesus ever faced temptation? The Bible tells us that Jesus "was tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin." (Hebrews 4:15) In our lesson today, we will learn about a time when Jesus was tempted and what he did to overcome that temptation.
After Jesus was baptized, he went out into the desert to pray. He stayed there a long time and got very hungry. He had not eaten anything because He was trying to listen to God and do what he said. I'm sure that his tummy must have been rumbling from hunger!
Suddenly, the devil came along and said to Jesus, "There is no reason for you to be hungry. If you are the Son of God, you could take one of these stones and turn it into bread." Jesus was hungry, it must have been tempting, but he did not listen to the devil. He knew that the devil was trying to get Him to do something wrong. Instead, Jesus answered the devil with Scripture. He said, "It is written: 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city up to the highest part of the temple. "If you are the Son of God, jump off of here and God will send his angels to save you." Jesus knew that it was wrong to test God, so he answered the devil saying, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
Finally, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain. He showed Jesus all the world below. "All of this can be yours. I will give it to you if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus answered, "Go away from me Satan! It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"
Three times the devil tempted Jesus and tried to get him to sin. Did He? NO! Jesus did the right thing each time. He remembered what the Scriptures said and it helped him to resist the devil's temptation.
Sometimes you and I may be tempted to do the wrong thing. It will help us to do what Jesus did and call on the Scripture to help us resist temptation! Let's pray and thank God for giving us the Bible to help us live the way He wants us to live.
Our Father, we are thankful for your Holy Word. Help us to study and learn what it teaches so that we will be able to resist the temptation to do wrong that we face each day. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.