Jesus Lived in Perfect Obedience to His Father
January 31, 2010
Rita and Paul taught this to eight students on February 6, 2010 — part 5 of 9 — we will hand out the kids’ 2wtl booklets at lesson 8 or 9]
The remaining lessons based on Matthias Media’s “two ways to live”:
- Point 4 (this lesson): “Jesus always lived under God’s rule”
- Point 4 (cont.): “By dying in our place He took our punishment and brought forgiveness.”
- Point 5: Resurrection.
- Point 5: Ascension of our King.
- Point 6: Two ways to live.
Central Lesson: Contrast Adam and Eve’s temptation and disobedience with Christ’s temptation and obedience. Our kids have learned well about Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden– now we have our Lord in the Judean wilderness.
Primary Scriptures: Luke 2:40-52; Matthew 4:1-11; John 2:13-17; Romans 5:12-21
Materials: map (showing Jerusalem and the temple), photos showing Judean wilderness/desert, coloring page, name cards, psalms and hymns, exercise books, snacks, coloring felts
- Prayer — together
- Singing Psalms and hymns
- Snack/break — shoes off
- Review of today’s lesson
- Exercise books: redraw points 1, 2, 3 of 2wtl, and introduce point 4: scripture beneath text will be: “… it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (Matthew 4:18.) Next week, which continues point 4, we will add Matthias Media’s recommended 1 Peter 3:18.
- Singing Psalms and hymns
- Closing prayer
The following scriptures are relevant; it would be good if they came up in discussion; also, they relate to the coloring picture:
“Meanwhile his disciples urged him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you know nothing about.’ Then his disciples said to each other, ‘Could someone have brought him food?’ ‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.’” (John 4:31-34).
“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. [...] The LORD said to me: ‘[...] I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.’” (This is Moses’ prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:15-18.)
“[...] These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (John 14:24.)
“I glorified you on the earth, having completed the task that you gave me to do; [...].” (John 17:4; Mounce translation.)
Remember when we learned about baby Jesus born in Bethlehem? In a dream, an angel had told His earthly father, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” [Matthew 1:20]. This means that the Holy Spirit formed[/produced] baby Jesus and put Him into Mary’s womb. He was a complete brand new unborn baby in the tiniest form [zygote], created pure by the Holy Spirit, ready to be fed and protected by Mary’s body.
In this way, even though He was a man, He was not born under the curse of Adam. He was a new creation, just like Adam was. Jesus could face His father, the Creator of heaven and earth, without feeling any guilt– just like Adam and Eve could before they sinned. There was no punishment waiting for Jesus, and He did not need to be saved.
However, just like the first man Adam, Jesus would be tempted. Remember what a temptation is? [An invitation to disobey God.] Satan, the same serpent from the garden who lied to Eve, told many lies to Jesus, tempting Him to disobey God. But Jesus never disobeyed God– He lived to obey God, and His obedience even led Him to the greatest suffering and death that anyone has ever known.
b) Jesus as a Child
After Joseph brought his family (Mary and baby Jesus) back to Israel from Egypt, they settled in Nazareth. We talked about this in December. The Bible teaches that young Jesus became strong and wise as He grew up. God’s favor was upon Him.
Once every year, Jesus went to Jerusalem with His parents to celebrate the Passover feast. Can anybody remember from the last lesson why the Jewish people celebrate this feast?
When Jesus was 12-years-old, He went to the feast as usual with His parents. When the feast was over, a group of people, including Jesus’ relatives and friends, left Jerusalem and traveled together. Joseph and Mary thought Jesus was in the crowd of travelers. However, the boy Jesus had stayed in Jerusalem. After a day of traveling, Joseph and Mary realized that their son was not with them or with any of their relatives or friends. The Bible says they were terribly worried. We can likely understand why: they knew that their 12-year-old was a smart boy and would have known that it was time to travel back home. They also knew that He had never disobeyed them. All parents know this awful feeling when they are not able to find one of their kids– even one who is twelve.
Joseph and Mary went back to Jerusalem to look for their son Jesus. After three days, they found Him in the temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers [verse 47].
His parents were also amazed at the sight.
His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
When Jesus mentioned His “Father’s house,” He was speaking about His father in heaven.
Jesus had not disobeyed His parents. He knew that it was very important for Him to be near to God and to learn the things that were important. If Joseph and Mary had understood this, they would not have been amazed– they would have known that He would be in the temple talking to the teachers, and would have been amazed if he weren’t! When we know who Jesus is, we are not surprised by His holiness, and we are not surprised when we find Him doing good things. He does not do anything else.
He saw that His parents did not understand, and He went back home with them. The Bible says:
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
[We do not know how old they were, but Jesus had at least four brothers, and multiple sisters. (Matthew 13:55-56.)]
c) Temptation in the Wilderness and in Jerusalem
(Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13.)
Many years later, when Jesus was around 30 years old, the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. The devil is Satan– the same serpent who tempted the first man and woman in the garden.
Why do you think the Holy Spirit would lead the man Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan? [Answer: passing these tests (tempted to disobey) would show true obedience. Similarly, God led Israel into the desert for 40 years to test/prove them-- whether they would obey Him or not. (Deuteronomy 8:2.) When Jesus would pass these tests, and live a perfect life, it would bring glory to the Father (John 17:4).]
Do you think Jesus would have been happy about going into the desert wilderness all alone, where He would be tempted by Satan? Jesus was the very image of God, and equal with God, yet He came to this earth as a human. In that weak body, without a friend beside Him, He would face the hot days, the cold nights, the hunger, and the lies of Satan.
Alone in the desert wilderness, Jesus did not have any prepared food around. He was with the wild animals. [Mark 1:13.]
Jesus did not eat food for 40 days and nights. This is called “fasting.”
The Israelite people had often fasted to show themselves to God as small and humble, often when they were sad about something, when they were sorry for something, or when they were asking (or praying to) God for something. [Judges 20:25; 1 Samuel 7:5; 2 Samuel 1:11; Ezra 8:21; etc.] For example, when his baby boy was sick, king David fasted and cried to God hoping that God would help the boy become healthy again. [2 Samuel 12.]
During this time in the wilderness, Jesus was showing Himself as humble– as just a man on this earth. It was not a time for Him to use His godly powers. Jesus often prayed to His Father in heaven, and here in the wilderness God’s words were feeding His soul even though His stomach was not being fed.
After Jesus had not eaten anything for 40 days, He was hungry.
The first sneaky way that Satan invited Jesus to disobey God was by saying to Him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus could have easily commanded the stones to become bread so that He could eat, but He knew that if He used His godly powers now, that would have undone this act of humility before His Father in heaven. Therefore, instead of doing what Satan had suggested, Jesus answered Him by saying what Moses had written in the Bible many years earlier: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.“
Jesus would not eat until He had left this wilderness place where the Holy Spirit had brought Him.
Satan even spoke words from the Bible in his second attempt to trick Jesus into disobeying God.
First, he took Jesus into Jerusalem and placed Him on top of the highest part of the temple. You see that Jesus was not using any kind of powers against Satan– He was a person, just like you and me, and He was going to pass the tests of obedience as a human. Satan could even lift Him up and set Him wherever he wanted.
Here on top of the highest part of the temple, Satan said to Jesus,
“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down [from here--Luke]. 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.’“
Satan was quoting the Bible from a part of Psalm 91 to Jesus.
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
Jesus knew that scripture from reading the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament. He knew that God’s angels were well able to protect Him if He fell, but He knew it was not right to put God to the test. Christians believe in God without asking Him for magic signs to prove that His words are true. This would not help anybody believe anyway; Jesus said that those who do not believe will still not believe, even if somebody rises from the dead to warn them. [Luke 16:27-31.]
Satan was trying to fit the Bible into his plans by using just one part of it. We must do the opposite– we must fit our plans into the Bible by using all of it. Jesus showed Satan that just one chunk of scripture might not be completely understood if it is left alone. See if you can take bits and pieces out of any book you have and come up with a story or a lesson that is very different than it was before you chopped it up!
For the third test, the devil took [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Satan used his powers to show Jesus everything in the world all at once. [Luke 4:5.] Satan wants to be like God [Isaiah 14:14]. He hates God, and wants to be the one who is worshiped.
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
Jesus chose to be obedient to His Father rather than to worship Satan, even though Satan offered to give Him all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus did not love the things in this world. Those who believe in Jesus are also commanded to not love the world or the things in the world. One of the twelve men He chose, named John, wrote this:
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17.)
If Jesus had taken Satan’s offer, and become the ruler of the world at that moment, that means He would have disobeyed God’s plan for Him to lay down His life and die to pay the penalty for our disobedience against God. If Jesus had sinned just once, you and me would have no hope. We could only live in fear of the day that God will judge us. Then there would be nobody who could pay for the huge cost of our disobedience. Only the spotless Son of God is able.
After this, Satan left Jesus, to wait for another opportunity to test Him. [Luke 4:13.] Angels came to Jesus and began to take care of Him, and then He traveled back to Galilee.
Satan had lost this battle in the wilderness, but there were more battles to come. We will learn next week about how our King Jesus completely conquered Satan, and all evil and death, through His continued obedience to His Father in heaven which led Him to the cross, where He chose to die for us in obedience to His Father.
Even though Jesus never sinned, He is still able to understand how weak we feel when we are tempted by Satan, because He was tempted in every way. This is why we can be confident when we ask for help. [Hebrews 4:15-16.] It is very wise to ask Him for help when we are tempted instead of trying to fight without any help. That might be like David trying to win the battle against Goliath without God’s help.
Did you notice that both Jesus and Satan memorized verses from the Bible? Of course, Jesus obeyed the Bible, but Satan never does.
Memorizing scripture (the writings in the Bible) is a very good idea. When the apostle Paul teaches about the armor of God, he says that the Bible [rhēma theos-- the word/speech of God] is the sword in our battle against evil. [Ephesians 6.] God gave us the Bible because He wants us to read it and to use what we learn from it. It is sad to see a dusty Bible on top of a piano or a shelf.
In the year 2008, one company figured out that the Bible has been (or is currently being) translated into over 4000 different languages. As for the number of Bibles on the earth, there are many different estimates; however, one thing is sure: the Bible is the world’s best-selling book, with billions of copies in print. China alone, which is not known to be a very Christian country, claims to publish one million complete copies per year, and says that the Bible has “become one of the most popular books” in China.
d) Jesus Clears the Temple (first time)
[If time permits.] (From John 2:13-17.)
Some time later, it was spring, and the annual Passover feast was coming up again. So, Jesus traveled from Galilee to Jerusalem city.
When He got to the temple, He found businessmen right inside the courts of the temple selling cows, sheep, and doves, and other people sitting at tables changing money from various currencies around the world.
Jewish families had traveled to Jerusalem from all over the world for the Passover feast, for the very purpose of worshiping God. It must be nearly impossible to worship God inside a temple that is crowded with people making money and other people converting their coins and buying things. The very people who came to worship God had to figure out how to obtain a cow, sheep, or dove for their family. Sometimes they brought an animal all the way to Jerusalem, but the Jewish officials would say that it was not perfect, and so they needed to buy another animal instead.
There is also some concern that most of these businessmen were not being fair with their prices. This is explained more in scripture that talks about other parts of Jesus’ life.
Jesus, the Son of God, was very angry, and with good reason. So He made a whip out of cords, and forced all the people, cows, and sheep to leave the temple. He spilled out the coins of the money changers and pushed their tables over.
He told the people who were selling doves to take them out of the temple courts. “How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” He said.
As they watched, His students remembered scripture written by king David that explained how the Christ would be very concerned and intense about His Father’s house. If the Father in heaven was being insulted, then His Son Jesus Christ was being insulted. [Psalm 69:9.]
This story shows to us how serious Jesus was about obeying His Father. He would not tolerate a situation where men who claimed to represent God at the temple they called “the house of God” were behaving as if God’s house was a trash marketplace to fill the pockets of greedy men.
Jesus was bold to stand for what was right, even though many of the thousands of visitors would look and talk about what happened, and the temple authorities would certainly react. Jesus did not feel ashamed or shy about doing what was right.
We need to remember how much bigger and more important God is than many crowds of men who might look important. If we love God, we will not be happy to see evil work being done, especially when it is done in His name.
Even more important, we must not mix our greedy plans with times and places that are set aside for worshiping God.
Here is something to think about: Apostle Paul told Christian believers that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and that they are not their own. [1 Corinthians 6:19.] If my body is a temple made for God, then it should not be used for my foolish plans and desires.
Obedience to God is not just something that Jesus needed to think about. The one who I obey is the one who is my king. It is true that we are not perfect, and that there is good news because of Jesus’ perfect obedience and His payment for our sins. However, it is also reasonable (Romans 12) that we give ourselves to God in obedience.
We touched on scriptures in Romans 5:12-21 when we were studying original sin. We may read/discuss this portion of scripture, which is central to point 4 of 2wtl.
Additional Possible Stories that could be Taught
- Jesus’ Baptism (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22.)
- Jesus Prays all Night before an Important Day (Luke 6.)
- Jesus Proves that His Power Cannot be from Satan (Matthew 12:22-37; Mark 3:20-30.)
- Jesus Performs Good Works on Sabbath Days despite Accusations
Rita’s idea: each child gets a sheet of construction paper (the color is their own choice) and then has to draw a person on it. Only when they get the name do they realize that they have to draw themselves. That way no one can hurt another’s feelings. After 20 minutes or so, we can gather them up, show them, and put them on the bulletin board (or make them into a laminated book). Teaches that each child is unique and created by God; also we will see how the children perceive themselves… most of them can draw extremely well.
Sample colored version:
Three modern-day photos of the Judean Wilderness: [does not look much like the garden of Eden]
These can be answered in teams, as we sometimes do it, or we can sit together and have more of a discussion.
- When Jesus was a boy, did He ever disobey His mom (Mary) or His dad (Joseph)?
- Why did Jesus stay in Jerusalem when the Passover feast was over?
- When Jesus said that He needed to be in His Father’s house, whose house was He talking about?
- When Jesus was in the Judean wilderness/desert, how many times did Satan tempt Him to disobey His Father? 
- Satan offered Jesus an earthly kingdom, but Jesus’ kingdom is _____? [heavenly]
- Could Jesus have made the wrong choice, just like Adam and Eve did?
- How many names/titles can you think of for the serpent who tempted Adam and Eve in the garden? [Satan, the devil, serpent, snake, dragon, Lucifer, etc.]
- If Jesus had sinned just one little sin in His life, could there still be some way that we could come to the Father? Is there any way to the Father except through the Son?
- Why can’t people who are basically pretty good people just go to heaven? [If they are guilty of one offense, they are guilty of all; God will not tolerate even one idle word, much less any lie or idol; all are cursed under Adam; etc.]
- Did Jesus pass the tests that He faced when the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness?
- Since Jesus passed the tests, did this bring shame or glory to God, His Father? How would it bring glory to God?
- Is Jesus able to understand our struggles with temptation? Why is He able?
- Look at your photos of the Judean wilderness/desert. Imagine being there alone, without having any camping gear, and without eating, for forty days and nights. How would you feel? Now imagine being offered food, and being offered to become the king over all the world. How would that feel?
- What is the sword in our struggle against evil? [the Spirit, which is the word of God-- scripture-- Bible]
- If you saw Jesus on this earth, when He was a boy in Jerusalem, or a man in Galilee, would He look like God, or would He look like another man on the earth? Would His head be glowing like some paintings show?
- Even though He was a man, could Jesus still have turned a stone into bread? Could He have fallen off the highest part of the temple and came down safely, without a scratch? [Yes.] So what does this mean about Jesus? [He was man, but was also the divine Son of God.]
- How did Jesus know the Bible so well when He was 30 years old?
- Where did Satan take Jesus for the third test? [To the top of a very high mountain. Note: Ordering of the final two tests is swapped in Luke.]
- Why did Jesus not bow down or worship Satan?
- Who was the King in Jesus’ life?
- Does Satan have powers?
- What does Satan want? Who does he care about?
- Because of Jesus’ victory, God has set Jesus as the King of kings. Is it possible for us to be obedient to two kings? Why not?
- Does the Bible say it is okay if we love the world and the things in the world just a little bit?
- How can a person live forever?
- The spotless lamb from last week was a shadow of the perfectly obedient Jesus. In order for the Israelites to be saved from death, the lamb’s blood needed to be around the frame of the door on their houses. What does this mean about the price that Jesus had to pay in order that we can live forever?
- What is the reason for the Bible? Who wrote the words in the Bible?
- Has God made sure that the Bible is the most difficult book to find on the earth?
- To discuss: A lie that looks like truth, or is presented with a part-truth, is the most clever kind of lie there is; Satan as the father of lies– the expert– even appearing as an angel of light. Compare: wolf in sheep’s clothing.
- How many human beings have lived on this earth and never sinned? 
- Why does even a baby need Jesus to pay the price for him to be saved? [Cursed through Adam.]
 He was not formed the way we are, by the uniting of reproductive cells of a man and a woman. Though cared for in the womb of the virgin Mary, there was, by definition, no biological contribution from Mary in His holy conception– a conceived zygote has already bypassed both gametes– the sperm and the egg.