Tempted by the Devil
An article specially designed for parents to read with their children
DID anyone ever ask you to do something that was wrong? Did the person try to get you to do this wrong thing by saying that it would be fun or that it would not really be wrong? When someone does this to us, he is trying to tempt us.
What should we do when we are tempted? Should we give in and do what is wrong? That would not please Jehovah God. But do you know who it would make happy? Satan the Devil.
Satan is the enemy of God and he is our enemy. He tries to get people to do what is bad by promising them things that may sound good. One day the Devil talked with Jesus Christ and tried to tempt him. By finding out what Jesus did when this happened, we can learn the right thing to do when we are tempted.
When was Jesus tempted by the Devil? It was after Jesus had been baptized in the Jordan River. He had gone away from the cities to the mountains. It was very quiet there. So it was a good place for Jesus to pray to God. He could think about the work that God had for him to do on earth.
While Jesus was there in the mountains, one day passed. Then many days passed by. The mind and heart of Jesus were filled with thoughts about God. Finally, forty days and nights went by! All of this time Jesus did not eat anything. Would you be hungry if you did not eat for that long? Jesus was.
This is when Satan tried to tempt Jesus. The Devil said: “If you are a son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” How good some bread would taste!
But could Jesus have turned a stone into a loaf of bread? Yes, he could. For Jesus is the Son of God. He has special powers.
Would you have made the stone a loaf of bread if the Devil asked you to do it? Would this be the right thing to do? Jesus knew that it would be wrong for him to use his powers in this way. Jehovah gave him these powers to attract people to God, not to use them on himself.
But Jesus was very hungry. He wanted something to eat very much. So was Satan able to get Jesus to turn the stone into a loaf of bread—just this one time? Did he get Jesus to use his powers from God in a wrong way?
No, Jesus would not do it. Jesus did the right thing. He told Satan that it is written in the Bible: ‘Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from Jehovah’s mouth.’ Jesus knew that doing what pleases Jehovah is more important than having food to eat.
But the Devil did not give up. He now took Jesus into Jerusalem and had him stand up on a high part of the temple. Then the Devil said to Jesus: ‘If you are a son of God, throw yourself down from here. For it is written that God will have his angels help you, and they will carry you on their hands.’
Why did Satan say this? He said this to tempt Jesus to do something foolish. Maybe the Devil was trying to get Jesus to kill himself. But it would be wrong for Jesus to jump off the temple and want the angels to catch him. So what did Jesus do?
Jesus did not listen to Satan. Jesus told Satan: “You must not put Jehovah your God to the test.” Jesus knew it was wrong to test Jehovah by taking chances with his life. It would not be pleasing to God for him to jump off the temple, and so Jesus did not do such a foolish thing.
Still Satan did not give up. He tried to tempt Jesus again. This time the Devil took Jesus along to a very high mountain. He showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. Then Satan said to Jesus: ‘All these things I will give you if you bow down and do an act of worship to me.’
Just think of ruling all the kingdoms of the world! The Devil tried to make all of his kingdoms look very desirable to Jesus. All he asked was that Jesus do one act of worship to him. What would you have done?
Jesus would not do it. He knew it would be wrong to worship the Devil no matter what he would get. So Jesus said to the Devil: ‘Go away, Satan! For the Bible says, It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is he only that you must serve.’—Luke 4:1-13; Matt. 4:1-10.
It is good for us to know what Jesus did when he was tempted by the Devil. Do you know why? It is because we are faced with temptations too. Every day the Devil tries to tempt us to do things we should not do. Do you know how? Here is an example.
Your mother may make a delicious pie or cake for dinner. But she may tell you not to eat any of it until mealtime. You may be very hungry. So you may feel tempted to eat it. Will you obey your mother? Satan wants you to disobey.
But remember Jesus. He was very hungry too. But he knew that pleasing God was more important. And you show that you are like Jesus when you obey your mother and refuse to eat anything that you are told not to eat.
As you grow a little older, it may be that some other children will ask you to swallow some pills. They may tell you that these pills will make you feel really good. But these pills may be drugs. They can make you very sick, and can even kill you. What will you do? Satan wants you to swallow them.
But remember Jesus. Satan tried to get Jesus to take chances with his life by telling him to jump off the temple. But Jesus would not do it. He did not listen to Satan. Neither should you listen to anyone who tries to get you to take drugs.
Someday you may be asked to do an act of worship to some image, perhaps as part of a ceremony in school. You may be told that you cannot even go to school anymore if you refuse. What will you do now?
Remember that the Devil wanted Jesus to do just one act of worship to him. But Jesus knew that worship belongs only to Jehovah God. So Jesus would not bow down. We want to be like him, don’t we?
How good it is that we have the example of Jesus, the Great Teacher! By always following his example, we will do the right thing when we are faced with temptation.