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Temptation Challenge

Children's sermon
Jesus sets the bar high by resisting temptation even from the imagination of the devil. To show just how amazing that accomplishment is this lesson will put temptation in each kids’ hands. You may have seen the videos of kids in a room alone with a marshmallow. They are challenged to not eat the marshmallow then left alone in the room. The kids obviously struggle with the temptation to eat the marshmallow. For this lesson you can use marshmallows or Oreos, both are relatively allergen free. If you use marshmallows I recommend getting the big roasting kind.

As the kids come forward hand out one treat per kid and tell them not to eat it yet because you are going to celebrate something amazing together at the end. Once the kids all have a treat in hand and are seated begin reading Matthew 4:1-11. Before each temptation stop and suggest that you sniff, lick, or nibble your treat together.

Say Something Like:

I have a treat for all of you that I am going to pass out, BUT DO NOT EAT IT YET. We are going to wait till the end to celebrate something together. (pass out treats) Okay now that we all have our treat I am going to read you a story from the Bible.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.

Wow these treats smell really good, have you smelled yours. Let’s sniff together. (take a big sniff of the treat and encourage the kids to do it too) Okay sorry I got distracted, let’s continue with the story.

The tempter came and said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”  But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone,    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Wow these smell great, but I bet they taste even better. Maybe we should just have a little lick (lick the treat and encourage the kids to follow along) Okay no we need to save these. Let me keep reading.

Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’   and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Oh man my stomach is starting to growl that tasted so good. Maybe a little bitty bite wouldn’t hurt. (take a little bit and encourage the kids to follow) We are almost done with the story! I think we can wait a little longer to finish the treat but it is SO hard not to just eat it now.

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor;  and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Hurray! Jesus did not give into the temptations the devil showed him. And we did great not eating this treat, though it was hard wasn’t it. Jesus shows us that we can live without sin.

Let’s say a prayer thanking Jesus for resisting temptation and showing us it is possible.

Mighty God, Jesus did a great Job not sinning. We want to be that strong too. As we celebrate with our treat give us the strength to be like Jesus. Amen (then announce you can eat your treat!)
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