Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Matthew 4:1-11

Story Summary

(note: this story also occurs in Mark 1:12-13 and Luke 4:1-13 )

This is a short story and is best read directly from the scripture. Jesus was tempted 3 times by Satan, and gave 3 rebuttals from scripture. The main points of emphasis for this lesson are:

  • Knowing scripture helped Jesus resist temptation
  • Jesus did not fall for Satan's temptation and never sinned his entire life


What You Will Need

Stones, and bread

Video Options

Jesus was Tempted

From LifeKids

The Temptation of Jesus

From Saddleback Kids

Jesus is Tempted

From Kids on the Move

Resource Sheet

Jesus Tempted in the Desert Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts Satan trying to tempt Jesus as he was in the desert fasting for 40 days


1. Warm Up get your kids talking and engaged

What do you like to eat when you are hungry?

Today, we're going to learn about a time when Jesus didn't eat anything for 40 days!

2. Teach the Story teach a holistic story

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read the story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or read directly from the Bible.

3. Bible Mastery give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud Matthew 4:1-11

4. Comprehension Questions make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • Where was Jesus when Satan tempted him?
  • The desert
  • How long did he go without eating?
  • 40 days
  • What did Satan ask Jesus to do first?
  • To turn the stones into bread to eat
  • What did Satan ask Jesus to do second?
  • He told him to throw himself off the top of the temple and have angels catch him
  • What did Satan ask Jesus to do third?
  • He took him to a high mountain and promised him everything he saw if he would just bow down to Satan
  • How did Jesus resist temptation?
  • By quoting Bible verses
  • Did Jesus ever sin when he was on this earth?
  • No

5. Faith Questions open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer

  • Jesus was able to live a perfect, sinless life because he was God himself, come to earth to be our salvation.
  • We all sin, though, because we're not God. Have you asked Jesus, who was perfect, to forgive your sins?

6. Memory Verse hide God's Word in their heart

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Reinforcement Activities

Walk the Line

Scripture The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert. There the devil tempted him.Matthew 4:1
Supplies masking tape
  • Place a masking tape line across the floor.
  • Have students take turns trying to walk on the line while their classmates try and distract them and step off.

Jesus in the desert

Scripture The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert. There the devil tempted him. 2 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 doesn't live only on bread. He also lives on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Deuteronomy 8:3) Matthew 4:1-4
Supplies card stock, pipe cleaner, sand, small stones, glue, hot glue gun
  • Print Matthew 4:4 on strips of paper or at the top of card stock.
  • Spread glue on card stock and sprinkle sand over the glue.
  • Use a hot glue gun to attach stones.
  • Make a person out of pipe cleaner.

Fasting Lesson

Heads up! Fasting from food or drink is not a healthy practice for children.
Scripture After 40 days and 40 nights of going without eating, Jesus was hungry. Matthew 4:2
  • Fasting means to abstain from something, often food or drink.
  • The time you spend abstaining, should be spent with God, either through prayer or Bible study.
  • The Bible shows examples of fasting for grief or distress, spiritual preparation or repentance.
  • verses on fasting:
  • Numbers 29:7
  • Judges 20:26
  • Kings 19:8
  • 1 Samuel 31:13
  • 2 Samuel 3:35
  • Daniel 10:2-6
  • Jonah 3:3-9
  • Matthew 6:16-18
  • Matthew 9:14-15, Mark 2:18-20, Luke 5:33-35
  • Acts 13:3
  • Acts 14:23
  • Do not encourage the children to abstain from food or drink, rather challenge them to give up something else for a period of time.
  • Examples: tv and video games, eating sweets.

Wait for Snack

Scripture After 40 days and 40 nights of going without eating, Jesus was hungry. Matthew 4:2
Supplies tasty snack
  • Provide students with a tasty snack, something they are not used to receiving for snack during your time together.
  • Lay it out for the students to see, but do not let them have it until the end of class (or possibly 40 minutes).
  • Ask them if it was hard to wait.
  • Jesus waited 40 days.

Brainstorm Ideas for Memorizing Scripture

Scripture But he answered, "It is written... Matthew 4:4
Supplies chalkboard, white board or paper
  • Jesus quoted scripture as a way to resist temptation.
  • We should follow in Jesus' footsteps and do the same.
  • Examples:
  • Print scripture and place it in the bathroom to read while you brush your teeth.
  • Put your student sheet on the fridge and review it each night during homework time.
  • Take turns going around the dinner table and have each person say a word of the verse.

Brainstorm for memorizing scripture

Supplies pocket size rocks
  • write: way, truth, life on their rocks to keep handy (pocket, dresser, backpack) to think about the memory verse.
  • Also, glue sand on this week's color page for the desert.