With Jesus In The Wilderness: Episode 3 – Kingdom!

An Accessible Journey With Jesus In The Wilderness

Episode 3 – Kingdom! (The third temptation of Jesus)

An accessible video and text bible study series journeying with Jesus through the three times he was tempted by the devil. Travelling together we will stop from time to time to explore key moments and understand what they are saying to us. This series will be accessible for everyone, including people of all ages with additional needs.

Find a comfortable spot to watch the video. The video for this third episode is here (it’s part five of a separate Lent series): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyWnJGB8qOk

Lord Jesus, as we think about when you were tempted in the wilderness, help us to understand all that you want to show us as we journey with you. Help us to learn from you through what you said and what you did. Help us to be like you and to share the Good News about you with people that we meet. In your own name we pray, Amen!

Jesus is tempted:
We’ve been learning together about how Jesus went out into the desert for 40 days. The devil tempted Jesus three times and we’ve looked at the first two of those temptations already (see links at the bottom of this session), when the devil tried to persuade Jesus to turn stones into bread and when the devil said that God would save Jesus if he fell from the top of the temple, by sending angels to protect him.

This time, as we learn together about the third time that the devil tried to tempt Jesus, we look at how the devil offered Jesus the whole world if Jesus would bow down and worship him.

Q. The world is a big place isn’t it? How big do you imagine the world to be? How many countries do you think there are in the world?

A photo of the world taken from space

The world is huge! To go all around the world it is nearly 25,000 miles! That’s the same as going from Land’s End in Cornwall to John O’Groats on the northern tip of Scotland over 41 times! And there are loads of countries, with the United Nations saying that there are about 250!

A map showing the route from Lands End to John O’Groats

Jesus and his temptations:
As we go through Jesus’ three temptations together in this three-part series we will journey with Jesus, looking at what he said and did that can help us to understand his three temptations better. We’ve already looked at the first two times Jesus was tempted in the desert by the devil, in the sessions called ‘Bread!’ and ‘Angels!’, and in this one, called ‘Kingdom!’ we’ll look at the third and final time that the devil tried to tempt Jesus.

Today, we will look at the third time that Jesus was tempted by the devil. The part of the Bible we’re going to read from is Matthew chapter 4 verses 8-11, and the version below is taken from the Accessible Edition New Testament:

An open Bible

‘Finally, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain. He showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “If you bow down and worship me,” he said, “I will give you all this.” Jesus said to him, “Get away from me, Satan! It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve.’” Then the devil left Jesus. Angels came and took care of him.’

Matthew Ch4 v8-11 (NIrV Accessible Edition). The verse that Jesus quoted is from Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse 13

What does this mean:
The devil was trying to stop Jesus before Jesus’ ministry on earth had really got going and so as Jesus was in the desert the devil tempted him three times. The devil failed the first and second times and Jesus had quoted from the Bible to show the devil that he relied on God’s word.

So the devil tried one more time, a third time. He offered Jesus the whole world and everything in it, all the kingdoms and all their glory and wealth, if Jesus would bow down and worship him. Jesus knew that if his mission on earth was successful, the devil’s plans would all be defeated and Jesus would be the winner. Jesus didn’t need the devil to give him the world, Jesus had come to save the world and all of us!

A map view of the world

Q. The devil offered Jesus the whole world and everything in it. Have you ever been tempted by wanting things that you can’t have? The devil can still tempt us to do wrong things by offering us things that we want, sometimes things that are bad for us. Let’s learn to be like Jesus and say “No!” to the devil.

Jesus defeated this temptation from the devil by telling him to go away, and that he should worship God only, using a verse from Deuteronomy which is in the Old Testament. The devil left Jesus and went away.

Q. Next time you are feeling tempted, will you tell the devil to go away? Maybe you could also remember that verse that Jesus used, to tell the devil that you only worship and serve God.

After Jesus resisted the devil’s third and final temptation, the devil left Jesus and angels came to help Jesus. Jesus was still weak after his 40 days and nights of fasting and having been tempted and tested by the devil three times. He must have been absolutely exhausted.

What we have learned again from this part of the story is that the devil can keep tempting us to do wrong things too, and we must always be on our guard and ready to resist him. Like Jesus, we must always be ready to tell the devil to go away, that we follow and trust in God, and believe in what God says in the Bible.

You see, although Jesus had resisted the three temptations of the devil, including the one where the devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth and everything in them, Jesus became the King of Kings anyway as he went on to defeat the devil’s plans and to save us all.

Activity: Kingdom’s colouring
In the Bible story we read today the devil once again tried to tempt Jesus, but once again Jesus resists. The devil took Jesus to a high mountain and showed Jesus the whole world and offered it to him if Jesus would bow down and worship the devil. Jesus refused, and sent the devil away!

A colouring sheet of the countries of the world

Why not have a go at colouring in this map of the world, showing the countries of the world! How many of them do you know the names of? The highest mountain in the world is called ‘Everest’ and is the Himalayan mountains between Nepal and Tibet (just north of India). Try and find the right spot on the map, or ask someone to help you, and put a dot there to show the highest mountain.

Lord, as we learn more about how you were tempted by the devil, it reminds us of times when we’ve been tempted to want thing too, maybe things that aren’t good for us. You showed us that if we trust in God and in his word, the Bible, and ask for his help, we can resist temptation too and send the devil away.

As we think about how you were tempted to take what the devil offered you but resisted, we pray that we would resist too, and that instead we would live like you did, honouring God and serving him.

In your name, Amen!”

I hope you’ve found this series helpful, looking at the three ways that Jesus overcame the devil’s temptations. Why not show it to someone you know who might enjoy it too?

Arranged by Mark Arnold, Additional Needs Ministry Director at Urban Saints. Email: marnold@urbansaints.org

All text © Mark Arnold / The Additional Needs Blogfather. Images © unknown.

See also:
With Jesus In The Wilderness: Episode 1 – Bread!

With Jesus In The Wilderness: Episode 2 – Angels!

Accessible Jesus: Modelling Inclusion

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