Forty days and forty nights is a long time to go without eating any food! That’s how long Jesus had been praying in the wilderness. And He hadn’t eaten at all!
He had gone to the desert wilderness right after He was baptized by John the Baptist. Now He was very hungry.
When the devil saw this he thought, I will tempt Jesus and make Him do as I say. If I can get Him to obey me I will be better than God.
He went to Jesus and said, “If You are really the Son of God, tell these stones to turn into bread.” He thought that if Jesus was hungry enough He would do anything to get some food.
Instead of doing what the devil said, Jesus repeated a verse from the Bible. It says that people do not live just by bread. They need the Word of God also.
The devil wasn’t very happy about Jesus’ answer. He couldn’t argue with it though, because he knew it was true. But he wasn’t ready to give up yet. He then took Jesus to a high part of the Temple.
He decided to repeat a verse from the Bible too. “If You are really the Son of God, throw Yourself down to the ground,” he told Jesus. “Because it is written in the Bible that God will send His angels to take care of You.”
Jesus told him, “The Word of God says you should not tempt the Lord your God.” He knew that God knew what was best for Him and would take care of Him.
By this time the devil was very unhappy. But he decided to try once more to make Jesus obey him. He took Jesus to the top of a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world. The devil said, “I promise to give all of these to You, Jesus, if You will just fall down and worship me.”
Jesus knew that the devil could not be strong against the Word of God. So, for the third time, He repeated a verse from the Bible to defeat him. “God’s Word says that we should worship only the Lord God in Heaven and we should serve only Him.”
Then the devil left Jesus, because he knew that he couldn’t be strong when someone repeated God’s Word to him.
After the devil was gone, God sent angels to take care of Jesus.
Do you know what we can learn from this story in the Bible? It is that God loves us and will always care for us. That is why He gave us the Bible, His Word. So, if the devil ever comes to tell you to do something wrong, remember to say what Jesus said. He is our example. You can always win against the devil if you use God’s Word!
Temptations on a child’s level are very different from the temptations that come to adults, and yet they are very real. Try to help your child understand that temptations can be overcome. Explain to your child how he can use memory verses from God’s Word to help him do right when a suggestion to do wrong is made.
Compare the protection of God’s Word to an open umbrella. Tape some words representing temptations (disobey, be unkind, say harsh words, etc.) onto Ping-Pong balls or balls of wadded paper. Allow your child to use the umbrella as a shield while you toss the balls in his direction. Point out that if he is alert and uses the umbrella, you can’t hit him. In the same way, God’s Word can be a shield.