There are roughly 30 years between the birth of Jesus and the beginning of His public ministry. The Gospel of Luke is the only gospel that includes any biographical information about Jesus’ life during this 30-year window. Luke 2 tells us that Jesus made a trip to Jerusalem with His family, where He ended up amazing the teachers of the Law with His knowledge and understanding of scripture. In this, we also see that at the age of 12, Jesus understands His identity, telling His mother and father when they find Him in the temple, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)
The next scenes in Jesus’ life are His baptism by John the Baptist, His temptation by Satan in the wilderness, and the early portion of His ministry in the area of Galilee, which includes the calling of His disciples. From the very beginning, Luke carefully details the type of ministry Jesus has come to do. To the confusion and disdain of the religious elite of His day, Jesus does not follow the accepted religious norms of the time. He spends much of His time around the disreputable, the outcasts, the poor, and the sick. He embodies His own words to the Pharisees’ question about the company He keeps: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” (Luke 5:31)
From the outset of Jesus’ ministry, we see that He has not come to court the praise of the socially powerful and religious elite. He has come to bring salvation. The only ones who would find it then and will find it today are those who are aware of their need for it. “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:32)
NEW TESTAMENT VISUALIZED
GALILEE TO JERUSALEM MAP
The early portion of Jesus' ministry takes place in the region of Galilee before He
"sets His face to go to Jerusalem."
"For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15 ESV). The family ingredient of Course Correction brings us instruction and encouragement as His followers. While on earth, Jesus was fully man and fully God. As fully man, He was tempted to sin and had to struggle to resist just as we do. However, He never gave into temptation but found the way of escape every time (1 Cor.10:13). He always stayed on course perfectly with His Heavenly Father. He understands our weaknesses but calls us as believers to resist the devil and flee (James 4:7). This passage details three incidents of Jesus’ temptation and the enemy’s attempt to get Him off the path. Jesus fought back and triumphed through the Word of God. As you read, talk about your own temptations, triumphs, and failures, as well as the pattern of Jesus’ ways of resistance and victory. Through Course Correction, even when we stray, His Spirit leads us back to Him.
- How long did Jesus go without eating? Did He get as hungry as we do?
- Why didn’t Jesus turn the stones into bread?
- At the end of the story, did God provide for His needs another way? Hint: Mt.4:11. What can we learn about God’s faithfulness in the midst of our needs?
- After each temptation, Jesus started His resistance to sin with what three words? What book was Jesus referring to with that phrase? How is the Bible different than any other book ever written?
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:13. What promise does God give us in our resistance to sin? What are some ways God might help you when you are tempted to sin?
Activity 1: Battling Temptation
Supplies: blank board game, game pieces, dice, index cards
After reviewing the story and questions, brainstorm different temptations you all face. Don’t talk about ways to resist them at this time, just write one on each card. To play: roll dice, pick a temptation card and tell a way you could resist. If successful, you may move the number of spaces on dice. Whoever crosses the finish line first wins.
Activity 2: Stay on the Path
Prep: place long rope or tape line to create a "path" around a room. Leave “temptation treats” (cookies, candy, or toys) along the path that entices kids to leave the path and retrieve them. Play: Start off in another room. Explain that the goal of the game is to never leave the path. Their feet must stay on it at all times. Explain that there will be a surprise at the end and temptations to leave the path but they must resist. The path will lead them to a BIGGER PRIZE. *If kids do leave path, help them put down temptation prize and get back on path. Discuss.
Small Group Discussion
- What example is there to follow?
- What principles are there to follow?
- No human, not even Jesus himself, skips the growth and maturation process. True growth is not one dimensional, but is toward God and our human relationships. Both often come with pain. Where is God growing you today?