Newsletter Issue #25 -- September 12, 2018
Ask, "After a certain period of time, when you learned this new activity, did you have the opportunity to show it off to your family and friends? Did your father, mother, or family members tell you how proud they were of you?" (Allow for discussion)
In Lesson One we learned about Jesus' childhood and how he grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. In today's lesson we will learn how Jesus began his ministry. In those days John, one of Jesus' relatives, began preaching in the Desert of Judea telling people they need to repent and turn to God. (To repent means to stop doing wrong things and turn back to God.) As a result many people confessed their sins, that is admitted their wrong doings to God. Then John would baptize them in the Jordan River. Baptism showed they were cleansed from their sin, because they had repented and turned back to God. When Jesus was thirty years old he went out to meet John in the desert to ask him to be baptized. Listen to what the Scripture says happened next:
Read Matthew 3:13-17 from a child-friendly Bible.
Jesus' baptism marks the beginning of his earthly ministry. The Bible tells us that Jesus never sinned. Therefore, he was baptized not because he was sinful or needed to repent, but to show us that we need to obey God by repenting and turning back to him. Jesus was obedient to his Heavenly Father when he began his ministry, and as a result, his Father was greatly pleased with him. Jesus' baptism is his kingly coronation (the act or ceremony of crowning a king), but rather than having a crown placed on his head like in most earthly coronations, God the Father crowned Jesus with the Spirit of God, which appeared as a dove* over his head!
* As you explain the story of Jesus' baptism, slowly cut out the paper dove pattern (in the patterns section at the back of the book). When you tell the part about the dove, unfold it and place it over your head or over a student's head. Optional: have the children cut out their own dove.
Immediately following this happy and joyous event of Jesus' baptism, he was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tested. For forty days he lived among wild animals and was tempted by Satan (Mark 1:12-13). To be tempted means that you are enticed or lured to follow Satan. (You may want to discuss that there are times in our lives when following a wonderful and happy event, a difficult event may follow. But don't forget that God has a plan for you and that you need to remain obedient and trust him during difficult times.)
Read Matthew 4:1-11 from a child-friendly Bible or tell it in your own words.
Satan tempted Jesus to use his Godly supernatural powers for his own use. But God the Father wanted Jesus to trust and obey him to provide for his needs. He didn't want Jesus to rely on his own miracle-powers to supply his food or safety.
Have you ever heard the saying, "God helps those who help themselves"? This is not from the Bible. In fact, it is totally against what the Bible teaches us. Jesus' temptations teach us that God wants us to obey and trust him to take care of us.
1) How did Jesus respond when he was tempted? (He fought back with Scripture. The Bible is our weapon, our Sword of the Spirit - see Ephesians 6:17)
2) Can you remember what Jesus said when Satan tempted him to turn stones to bread? (Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.) Jesus' answer is from Deuteronomy 8:3 in the Old Testament. This recalls when God's people wandered in the wilderness and how God taught them to depend on him for their food by providing manna for them to eat.
3) How did Jesus respond to Satan when he told him to throw himself off the highest point of the temple? ("Do not put the Lord your God to the test" Deut. 6:16.) Satan was tempting Jesus to test God's faithfulness to him. Because God has promised to take care of us, and he doesn't lie, we don't have to doubt him.
4) Finally, Satan offered to give Jesus all the Kingdoms of the world if he would just bow down to him. How did Jesus defend himself against this temptation? (He again used his "sword," the Word of God, and said, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only'" Deut. 6:13.)
When the devil finished tempting Jesus, he left him until another opportunity came along. Then angels came to take care of him (see Luke 4:13 and Matthew 4:11). Jesus continued to be tempted throughout his lifetime until his supreme test on the cross. Jesus was tempted in every way that we are tempted, but never sinned. God allowed Jesus to be tempted so he would know our trials and could sympathize with us in our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:14-15). And because he was sinless, he was the perfect sacrifice to die in our place to take away our sins.
Jesus tells his followers to be alert and on guard against Satan. He tells us to "watch and pray" so we remain obedient to God and do not fall into temptation. The only way we can know what to obey and to watch out for, is by knowing what Jesus says. How do we learn this? (by reading the Bible)
"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation" Matthew 26:41.
"Dear Jesus, thank you for being tempted in every way, but never sinning. Thank you for hearing our prayers and taking care of us. Please help us to watch and pray so that we don't sin against you. Amen."
Make the coordinating craft or food devotion (Included with book purchase.)
Play the coordinating game (Included with book purchase.)
Learn more about our Bible Lesson Plan, Tell Me the Story of Jesus.