Lesson 7: Jesus Christ Was Tempted by Satan

Primary 7: New Testament, (1997), 21–24


Purpose

To help each child learn how to resist Satan’s temptations.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study Matthew 4:1–11, Mark 1:12–13, and Luke 4:1–13. (Note footnote references to the Joseph Smith Translation.) Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account (see “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii).

  2. 2.

    Additional readings: 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Nephi 2:18; 2 Nephi 28:19–22; 3 Nephi 18:18; and Doctrine and Covenants 10:5, 27; 11:12.

  3. 3.

    Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  4. 4.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Bible or a New Testament for each child.

    2. b.

      A paper and pencil for each child.

    3. c.

      The following three wordstrips:

    4. d.

      Picture 7-8, The Pinnacle of the Temple.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Give each child a piece of paper. Ask the children to write down three things that they think children their age might be tempted to do that are wrong. Have the children tell you what they wrote down. You might want to list their answers on the chalkboard and discuss the problems they face today. Tell them that this lesson will help them learn how to resist such temptations.

Scripture Account

Teach the story of Jesus being tempted as told in the scriptures listed in the “Preparation” section. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Note: The Joseph Smith Translation (JST) clarifies the account found in the King James Version of the Bible. Help the children understand that the JST makes it clear that Jesus was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be with God” and not to be tempted by the devil. Explain that Jesus did not willingly go into a situation where he would be tempted, and he doesn’t want us to do so either. Also explain that the JST states that Jesus was taken by the Spirit to the pinnacle and the high mountain and not by the devil as it reads in the Bible.

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.

  • Why did Jesus go into the wilderness? (Matthew 4:1, footnote b.)

  • In the Joseph Smith Translation of Matthew 4:2 it says that while Jesus was in the wilderness, he “communed with God.” What do you think it means to commune with God? How can you commune with God?

  • How do you think the forty days of fasting and communing with God helped prepare Jesus to withstand temptation?

  • How did Satan first tempt Jesus? (Matthew 4:3.) Why do you think this temptation might have been hard for him to withstand? (Matthew 4:2.) How did Jesus answer Satan? What did Jesus mean? (Matthew 4:4.)

  • What were the other ways Satan tempted Jesus? (Matthew 4:5–6, 8–9.) How did Jesus respond to these temptations? (Matthew 4:7, 10.) Do you think these were the only times Christ was tempted? (Luke 4:13. “For a season” would indicate these weren’t the only times.)

  • How did studying the scriptures help Jesus resist the temptations? (Matthew 4:4, 6–7, 10.)

  • What is Satan trying to do to each of us? (2 Nephi 2:18; 2 Nephi 28:20–22; D&C 10:27.)

  • How can Heavenly Father help you resist temptations? What can you do right now that will help you avoid future temptations?

  • What great promise has the Lord given us regarding our temptations? (1 Corinthians 10:13.) Read this scripture together.

Discuss three things we can do that will help us avoid and resist temptation. Display the wordstrips as you discuss them.

  1. 1.

    Decide to resist temptation before you are faced with it.

    Read and discuss the following quotation by President Spencer W. Kimball:

    “Right decisions are easiest to make when we make them well in advance. …

    “When I was young, I made up my mind … that I would never taste tea, coffee, tobacco, or liquor. …

    “The time to decide on … honesty is before the store clerk gives you too much change. The time to decide against using [illegal] drugs is before a friend you like teases you for being afraid or [righteous]. The time to decide that we will settle for nothing less than an opportunity to live eternally with our [Heavenly] Father is now” (“Decisions: Why It’s Important to Make Some Now,” New Era, Apr. 1971, p. 3).

  2. 2.

    Pray that you can avoid temptation (Mark 14:38) and that if you are tempted, you will have the power and faith to resist. Explain that daily prayer, striving to avoid any kind of temptation, and pursuing worthwhile service and activities will help us.

  3. 3.

    Listen to the Holy Ghost. Explain that after we are baptized, we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost, which can help us overcome temptation (see D&C 11:12).

Ask the children to talk about experiences when they have been tempted. Have them share what they did to avoid or resist the temptation.

Refer to the temptations that were written on the chalkboard during the activity at the beginning of the lesson. Discuss several of these individually, and have the children consider how a young person can avoid and resist each one. Ask the children to privately choose one temptation they want to be prepared to resist and plan how they can avoid or resist this temptation.

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. 1.

    Play a “What if” game. Write on pieces of paper “What if” questions that describe temptations the class members might face, such as the sample questions below. Have a child take one of the questions out of a box or jar, read the question, and respond to it. Then have that child choose someone else to select another “What if” question from the box. Emphasize that deciding in advance is an important help in resisting temptation.

    • What if you find something that belongs to someone else?

    • What if you promise your father you will help him, but a friend comes by and asks you to play?

    • What if your friends make fun of you for not smoking some cigarettes they found (or drinking alcohol or taking drugs)?

    • What if you know you will get in trouble if you tell the truth?

  2. 2.

    Have the children pantomime or role-play resisting temptations.

  3. 3.

    Prepare some “Temptation Cards.” On 3″ by 5″ cards or pieces of paper write temptations that the children might have, such as lying, cheating, stealing, using vulgar language, and so on. On other cards, “Help Cards,” write Faith in Jesus Christ, Parents, Teachers, Good friends, Prayer, Fasting, Church leaders, Scriptures, the Holy Ghost, Avoiding temptations, and other things that help people resist temptation.

    Place the Temptation Cards face down in one pile and the Help Cards face down in another pile. Have a child choose a Help and a Temptation Card and tell the class what is written on each. Let the class discuss how what is on the Help Card can make it easier to resist or avoid what is on the Temptation Card. Let each child take a turn choosing cards.

  4. 4.

    Share with the children the following quotation from President Joseph Fielding Smith: “Habits are easily formed. It is just as easy to form good habits as it is to form evil ones” (New Era, July 1972, p. 23). You might want to help the children memorize this quotation.

  5. 5.

    Ask the children to name some decisions they have made that will help them avoid temptation in the future.

  6. 6.

    Help the children memorize Matthew 4:4.

  7. 7.

    Have the children sing or read the words to one or more of the following songs: “Hum Your Favorite Hymn” (Children’s Songbook, p. 152); “The Still Small Voice” (Children’s Songbook, p. 106); “Listen, Listen” (Children’s Songbook, p. 107); “Keep the Commandments” (Children’s Songbook,p. 146).

Conclusion

Testimony

Bear testimony that we have the power to resist the temptations that come to us. Express your love for Jesus and his example of resisting Satan’s temptations.

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study Matthew 4:1–11 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.