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LEARNING FOCUS 1: Lent, the opportunity to turn away from evil.

 

CONTENT

 

After Jesus had been baptised by John in the river Jordan he went into the desert.  Jesus needed to be alone to pray in preparation for his ministry.  It was not an easy time for Jesus.  He was tempted by the devil, but he resisted him, and the experience strengthened him for his mission.  This is Luke’s story of what happened.

 

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.  He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.  The Devil said to him, ‘If you are God’s Son, order this stone to turn into bread’.  But Jesus answered.  ‘The scripture says, people cannot live on bread alone’.

 

Then the Devil took him up and showed him in a second all the kingdoms of the world.  ‘I will give you all this power and all this wealth, the Devil told him.  ‘It has all been handed over to me, and I can give it to anyone I choose.  All this will be yours, then, if you worship me.’

Jesus answered, ‘The scripture says, Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’

Then the Devil took him to Jerusalem and set him on the highest point of the Temple, and said to him, ‘If you are God’s Son, throw yourself down from here.  For the scripture says, ‘God will order his angels to take good care of you’.  It also says ‘They will hold you up with their hands so that not even your feet will be hurt on the stones’.  But Jesus answered, ‘The scripture says, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’.   When the Devil finished tempting Jesus in every way, he left him.

Luke 4: 1-12

 

Discuss what happened to Jesus in the desert and how he responded.

 

SOME KEY QUESTIONS

 

  1. Why did Jesus go into the desert by himself?
  2. What did you notice about the way the devil tempted Jesus?
  3. What did you notice about the way Jesus responded each time?
  4. How do you respond when you are tempted to do wrong?
  5. What helps you to resist temptation?
  6. How would you link Jesus’ time in the desert to the experience of Lent?

 

SOME SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

 

  • Think about a time when you’ve been tempted to do something you know to be wrong and have resisted.  
  • Make your own Lenten calendar showing how you will spend the forty days of Lent preparing for Easter.  Leave a blank square at the end of each week to fill in after reflecting on your actions giving reasons for how they have shaped your life and the lives of others.
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