Older Kids: Jesus’ Life

Lesson 2 – Extreme Courage: Jesus Fights Temptation

Series: The Life of Jesus

Extreme Life—For Older Students


Key Point: Jesus Followed God’s Word

Repeat this phrase throughout the lesson.

Bible Story: Matthew 4:1-11

Challenge Verse: Psalm 119:11—“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”



Each class needs the following:

One half-page of white copy paper

Masking tape

Enough band-aids for every student to have one

Two rulers or yardsticks

Two lemons

2 pool noodles

1/2 bag of Skittles in a baggie

1 container of frosting

5 plastic knives

Enough plates for every student to have one

Enough sugar cookies for each student to have one

Enough napkins for each student to have one

One copy of the pages at the end of this lesson on green and red cards.

Memory Verse Sign


– Place nametags near the door so that you can give them to the students as they arrive.

– Tape a half page of white paper to the ceiling or somewhere high on the wall in one of the corners of the room.

– Use masking tape to make two or four 6 foot, straight, parallel lines on the floor.

– Have the Band-Aids in a convenient location.

– Pray for each student by name.


– Greet each student by name as they enter.

– Give each student an attendance sticker for the attendance chart, and feel free to add guest names to the chart. This will give them a sense of belonging.

– Get to know any guests and help them fill out a guest form.

– Be sure to smile—Your smile and attitude sets the atmosphere as students enter.

The first 10 minutes of 3rd-6th grade classes should be used as an opportunity to build and deepen relationships with students. Relationships are the key to reaching this age group. Ask them specific questions about what is going on in their lives, joke with them, laugh with them, and play with them. Every class should have an activity going as soon as the students arrive. Each classroom should have games such as Jenga, Connect Four, etc. to use during this time. Also feel free to play group-jump rope, four-square, and other fun entry-activities.


As students enter, tell them that something is hidden somewhere in the room (the white, half piece of paper taped to the ceiling or somewhere high on the wall in the corner of the room), but you can’t tell them what or where it is and you can’t even give them any hints. If someone points it out, tell them they’ll get a chance later to find out if they’re right.


Put a Band-Aid on each student’s back. When you say “Go” they will try to pull off everyone else’s Band-Aid without theirs being pulled. Once their Band-Aid is pulled, they can continue to play. The last person with a Band-Aid on their back is the winner. Rules: They cannot grab people or shirts. Set a two minute time limit and have fun with them. (If you have a small group, you may want to play this twice or to create variety, have them play it while hopping on one leg.)

When the game is over: (1) throw away all the Band-Aids and (2) sit down in a circle. (If students want to keep and wear their Band-Aids, that’s okay as long as they don’t become a distraction.)


SAY: Every time I say, “Is Jesus perfect,” I want you to say, “Absolutely!”

Leader: Is Jesus perfect?—Students: Absolutely!

SAY: A person gets a Band-Aid when they get hurt.

Ask the students: Can anyone guess what hurts people the most? (Answer: Sin.)

Ask the students: What is sin? (Answer: Anything we do that’s wrong)

Leader: Is Jesus perfect?—Students: Absolutely!

CHALLENGE: Agree or Disagree:

Sin will always hurt you—If you agree, stand up. If you disagree, stay sitting down.  Correct Answer: Agree

None of us are perfect— If you agree, go to the wall on my left. If you disagree, go to the wall on my right. Correct Answer: Agree

You should always eat mayonnaise on bologna and cheese sandwiches— If you agree, go to the wall on my right. If you disagree, go to the wall on my left. Correct Answer: I don’t know.

Jesus made a way to take your sins away— If you agree, go to the wall on my left. If you disagree, go to the wall on my right. Correct Answer: Agree

You should always pick your nose at school—If you agree, sit down. If you disagree, raise your hands in the air. Correct Answer: Disagree

The way to avoid the hurt of sin is to do what God wants you to do—— If you agree, go to the wall on my right. If you disagree, go to the wall on my left.  Correct Answer: Agree

Everyone should like pickle juice—If you agree, go to the wall on my left. If you disagree, go to the wall on my right. Correct Answer: Who cares?

The best choice you can make is to give your life to Jesus— If you agree, give someone a high-five. If you disagree, sit on your hands. Correct Answer: Agree

On the count of 3 come sit down in the circle: 1-2-3. Go!


Ask the students the following. Tell them all to answer out loud as you ask.

If you wanted to toast some bread, what would you use? (Toaster)

If you wanted to walk your dog what would you use?(Leash)

If you wanted to keep your ice cream frozen, what would you use?(Freezer)

If you wanted to brush your teeth, what would you use?(Toothbrush)

If you wanted to dig a hole, what would you use?(Shovel)

SAY: It would be impossible to toast your bread in the bathtub, or to walk your dog with the car, or what would you think about someone who put the ice cream in the toaster to keep it cold. That’s crazy. You use the right tool for the right job. For example, if you were stranded on an island and you wanted to catch some fish, what tool would you use? (Answer: Fishing pole, net, spear, etc.)

SAY: Did you know that when Jesus was tempted to do bad things and He used the right tool to make right choices? While we act out the Bible story, see if you can figure out what tool Jesus used.

Choose 6 volunteers to help you teach a story about Jesus.

Give three a green card

Give three a red card

Read from the Bible beginning at Matthew 4:1.

Red Card #1 contains the devil’s first temptation. When you get to this part, instead of reading it, call for Red Card #1 and help the student read it or have them repeat it after you. When you get to Jesus’ response, call for Green Card #1. Red Card #2 is the second temptation. Green Card #2 is Jesus’ response. Red Card #3 is the third temptation. Green Card #3 is Jesus’ response. From your Bible read only what is not in quotations.

SAY: Even though Jesus was tempted, He made right choices.

Leader: Is Jesus perfect?—Students: Absolutely!

Ask the students: Who figured out what tool Jesus used when He was tempted to do bad things? (He used God’s Word—the Bible that He had hidden in His heart.)

Repeat after me:

Jesus didn’t just know God’s Word.

He didn’t just repeat God’s Word.

Jesus Followed God’s Word.

Divide your class into two teams (i.e., split the group down the middle)

SAY: We’re going to have a competition to see which side can be the loudest. When I point to this side, yell out, “Jesus Followed!” When I point to the other side, yell out, “God’s Word.”

Note: Go back and forth between the two teams three times.

KEY: God’s Word will always point you in the right direction.



Before the students arrived, you should have made 2 or 4 (depending on the size of your class) six foot lines on the floor. Divide your class into two or four teams and ask half of each team to line up at the end of each side of the tape line. For example, if you have four on each team, have two line up on each end of the tape line.

When you say “go,” direct the first person in line to use the ruler to push the lemon along the tape “road” to the end of the tape line. The first person will hand the ruler to the next student, who will push the fruit back to the other end of the tape. Continue until every student has had a turn. Tell the students to sit down after their turn. The first team with everyone seated should raise their hands to indicate that they are finished. (Depending on the size of your class, you may also want to let everyone have two or more turns.)

After the activity, have the students sit down in a circle.

Ask the studentsWas it hard or easy to push the lemon in a straight line? Why? (Hard, it wanted to go its own way; easy, we figured out a way to do it.)

SAY: It was a challenge to make the lemon do the right thing.

Ask the studentsHow does God encourage us to do the right thing? (He gave us the Bible, teachers and parents who tell us what to do.)

SAY: Sometimes we can be kind of like lemons—we want to do things our way, not God’s way.

Repeat this after me: If you go the wrong way, you’ll end up in the wrong place.

Repeat it again, but louder.


SAY: So, if sinning is the wrong way, how can we do what’s right? How can we be like Jesus? Just think about it: What did Jesus do when He was tempted to do something wrong? (He quoted the Bible.)

SAY: He quoted the Bible and that’s what our challenge verse today is about. It’s about something you hide, but first I’m going to give you a hint about what I hid in the room earlier.

Give a few hints, each time become a little more specific until someone figures out what it is.

SAY: I hid that piece of paper, but that paper isn’t going to help anyone, but God has given you something that He wants you to hide in your heart so that you’ll have a tool that can protect you from doing wrong.

Read Psalm 119:11 from your Bible

Ask the studentsWhat does it mean to hide God’s Word in your heart? (To know what it means; to learn it; to memorize it.)

Ask the studentsWhat keeps you from hiding God’s Word in your heart? (I don’t know how; I forget to do it; I’m not good at memorizing.)

SAY: Hiding God’s Word in your heart doesn’t mean you have to memorize the entire Bible. But it does mean that you know God and you know how to obey Him. When Jesus was tempted to go His own way, He followed God’s Word. We can always learn more about God, so we know how to follow and obey too.


SAY: On the count of three, I want everyone run, touch three things that are three different colors in this room and come and sit back down. Ready…Go!

Choose a few volunteers to name one of the things they touched.

SAY: You made a choice what to touch because it looked good to you. Sometimes doing something wrong may look good to you, but sin will always hurt you or someone else. The best choice you can make is to follow Jesus and do what He would do.


Activity: Samarai

(In your classroom you will find two pool noodles. Have the students make a large circle and then choose two volunteers. Give each a pool noodle. When you say “Go” give them 20 seconds to “beat the living daylights” out of the other person. This is an “extreme” game and although it may sound and look like hits with a pool noodle might hurt, the impact is minimal. So don’t worry—Your students won’t be going away bruised.

Read these Rules to the Students: Head shots are illegal. Be careful not to get so close to each other that you actually hit them with your hand. Take off glasses and large earrings. You don’t have to participate if you don’t want to. Stop when I say stop. (Also, if you have time at the end of class, feel free to take the “Champion” of your class and challenge another class.)


SAY: There will be times in your life when you struggle against sins. There might be something that you know is wrong, but you want to do it. Just like the game, where you used the Samarai (pool noodle) to defend yourself, you need to be ready to have God’s Word defend you.

Ask the studentsWhat if you had never picked up the samarai? Could it have defended you? (No.)

SAY: In the same way, if you haven’t hidden God’s Word in your heart, you won’t be fully ready to fight against sin. And notice, that when Jesus was tempted, He didn’t stop to read and look up verses, He already knew them. That’s how important it is to read and know and memorize the Bible.


Students will make edible compasses to remind them to follow God’s Word.

Each student will need: 1 sugar cookie, about 2 tablespoons of frosting, 3 Skittles, about 2 pretzel sticks, plastic knives, 1 small plate, 1 napkin per student.


Ask the students the following:

Today we’re learning that the devil tempted Jesus to do wrong things. How many times was He tempted? (Answer: Three)

Who can find our story on the Bible Time Line? (From the Book of Matthew which is the first book in the New Testament.)

And what tool did Jesus use to do what’s right? (Answer: Jesus Followed God’s Word)

SAY: A compass is something you use to help you go the right way and we’re going to make some cookie-compasses to remind us that we always go the right way when we follow God’s Word.

Draw or show a picture of a compass and let kids be creative: They don’t have to just put an “N” for North. They can put an arrow, etc. Also, use the following discussion questions as the students are making their compasses.

Discussion Questions

Ask these while the students are making and eating their compasses.

Why do you think the devil wanted to tempt Jesus?

How can you begin to remember God’s Word today?

When does God’s Word give you direction?


When your students are finished eating, have them sit in a circle.

Ask the studentsWho remembers where our verse was found last week? (Answer: Psalm 56:3)

Ask the studentsWho remembers what it said? (Answer: When I am afraid I will trust in you. Or, if you want to make it rhyme–When I am afraid I will trust in Thee–Psalm 56:3.)

SAY: Everybody get your Bibles and get ready for a Bible Drill. I’m going to tell you a book of the Bible and I want you to try to find it. When I say, “Ready,” hold the Bible between both hands, but you cannot open it. Then I will say a book of the Bible and a chapter and “Go.” If you open your Bible before I say, “Go,” you will be out. Once you find the book I ask for, raise your hand.

Ready…The book of Psalms / Chapter 119–Go!

Psalm 119

(Be sure to help students who are new. We don’t want anyone to feel left out or awkward.)

SAY: Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. Now look at verse 11.

Read Psalm 119:11 from your Bible.

Ask the studentsDoes anybody’s Bible say it differently? (If students indicate that their Bible states it different, have them read what their Bible says and then explain that the Bible wasn’t written in our language. This is the reason that we have different translations. They contain the exact same message, but they may use different words to express it.)

Have the students close their Bibles.

Ask the studentsWhere was our Bible verse found today? (Answer: Psalm 119:11)

SAY: Everybody get your Bibles ready. We’re going to find it again. And remember to wait until I say, “Go.”

Ready…Psalm 119:11–Go!

Repeat this again–a third time.

Then SAY: Everybody get your Bibles ready. We’re going to find a different verse.

Ready…Psalm 56:3–Go!

If you have time, do the following challenges:

Ready…Psalm 23–Go!

Ready…John 10:11–Go!

Ready…John 8:12–Go!

If you have time, review the other Bible skills they’ve been learning (i.e., What are the Gospels? Where are they found? Where is Genesis and Exodus, etc.)

NOTE: Be sure to congratulate all your students on how they are doing and help any guests that may be in your class. We don’t want them to feel out-of-place. I had rather you skip this section than make a guest feel uncomfortable.


Control Tool

Leader: God’s Word will always to what? Students: Point you in the right direction.

SAY: Today we are going to thank Jesus for being perfect and making a way for us to go to heaven.

We’re going to thank Him for always following God’s Word and doing what is right.

We’re also going to thank Him for giving us the Bible and helping us do what is right also.

List Prayer Requests

Be sure to pray specifically for each request.


Use any extra time to help your students memorize the verse for today.


*Adapted from Group Publishing, Lava, Lava Island VBS, “Jesus Brings Hope” Day 1.

Jesus Responds #1

Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Jesus Responds #2

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord you God to the test.’”

Jesus Responds #3

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”


The Devil Tempted Jesus #1

“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

The Devil Tempted Jesus #2

“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

The Devil Tempted Jesus #3

“All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me.”

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