Summary: Family Sermon: What can we learn from Jesus’ temptations

NR 13-02-05

Family Service Talk on

The Temptations of Jesus

Lent is a period of 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday when we remember Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness

It was a time of quiet, fasting and prayer, in preparation for the beginning of his ministry in Galilee and beyond.

It was also a time of temptation, when Jesus was tempted by the draw of worldly power and spiritual glamour he was weakened by hunger, danger in the Judean desert.

Question: In our Gospel reading today how many temptations did Jesus set the Devil?

Ans: None?

Question: How many temptations did the Devil give Jesus?

Ans. Three

Question: What were they?


1. To turn stones into bread

2. To throw himself off the top of the Temple in Jerusalem

3. To bow down and worship the Devil.

Why were they temptations – because they are things that Jesus wanted but Jesus did not want them on the Devil’s terms!

He wanted to do them when God told him to do it.

It is easy to do the right thing at the wrong time!

Story: I have the ability to put the cooker on – and just quickly go and do something on the computer as it is warming up – only to be drawn back into the kitchen by the smell of burning.

Jesus had set this time aside for prayer – and the Devil was out to distract him.

Question: What was the Devil’s first distraction?

Answer: To try to get Jesus to turn stones into bread

There is no doubting that Jesus could have done this – he was after all God – and he did feed 5000 and more people from five loaves and two fishes.

But it wasn’t the time to do it!

Question: What was the second temptation?

Answer: To draw attention to his specialness by jumping off the Temple – and being caught from falling by the angels.

It would certainly get you noticed – just imagine the front page of the Jerusalem Chronicle the next day.

But that wasn’t God’s way – it was the devil’s way.

The end doesn’t justify the means.

Jesus wasn’t called to be “Superman” – he was called to be a servant.

Question: What was the third temptation?

Answer: To get power by selling himself out to Satan.

Many people have exploited a lust for power by selling out to the Devil.

Some of the obvious one are Hitler, MaoTse Tung, Pol Pot and Stalin to name a few. They have committed atrocious acts to get into power, and in particular killed many people.

The lust for power is a really serious danger.

But it doesn’t have to be in big things.

We can lust for power in controlling others. By going with the rest of the gang

It is hard to say “no” when your friends are all saying “yes”


It is only as we listen to the voice of God that we will reach that potential that is good for us.

The most important thing in life is to develop that relationship with God

Jesus is a great example to us – and look how God used him

Jesus had none of the hallmarks of greatness – yet he is the one person who has been the greatest influence for good in our world.

He never held a high office,

He never went to University,

He never travelled more than 100 miles from where he was born.

He was brought up in the backwoods of the Roman Empire – at a time where you could only make an impact on society if you went to Rome Athens or Alexandria.

So what did he have going for him

Jesus was single-minded in one thing only - to do God’s will in his life.

He lived a life in which he did no wrong at all.

He came to this earth to bring us back into a right relationship with God by paying the penalty for our wrongdoings – something we call our sins.

And he offers us a new way of living – by following what he taught and by dedicating our lives to follow God’s ways.

My question to you this morning is this?

Is that something you would like to do too? If so, please came and have a chat with me afterwards.

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