DID anyone ever ask you to do something that was wrong?— Did he dare you to do it? Or did he say that it would be fun and that it would not really be wrong to do it?— 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 would be happy?— Yes, Satan the Devil would be.
Satan is the enemy of God, and Satan is our enemy. We cannot see him because he is a spirit. But he can see us. One day the Devil talked with Jesus, the Great Teacher, and tried to tempt him. Let’s find out what Jesus did. Then we will know the right thing to do when we are tempted.
Jesus always wanted to do God’s will. He openly showed this by being baptized in the Jordan River. It was right after Jesus’ baptism that Satan tried to tempt Him. The Bible says that “the heavens were opened up” to Jesus. (Matthew 3:16) This could mean that Jesus now began to remember all about his earlier life in heaven with God.
After his baptism Jesus went into a wilderness to think about the things that he had begun to remember. Forty days and nights went by. All this time Jesus did not eat anything, so he was now very hungry. It was at this moment Satan tried to tempt Jesus.
The Devil said: “If you are a son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” How good some bread would have tasted! But could Jesus have turned stones into loaves of bread?— Yes, he could have. Why? Because Jesus, the Son of God, had special powers.
Would you have made a stone into a loaf of bread if the Devil had asked you to do it?— Jesus was hungry. So wouldn’t it have been all right to do it just once?— Jesus knew that it was wrong to use his powers in that way. Jehovah had given him those powers to draw people to God, not to use for himself.
So, instead, Jesus told Satan what 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 even more important than having food to eat.
But the Devil tried again. He took Jesus into Jerusalem and had him stand up on a high part of the temple. Then Satan said: ‘If you are a son of God, throw yourself down from here. For it is written that God’s angels will keep you from hurting yourself.’
Why did Satan say this?— He said it to tempt Jesus to do something foolish. But again Jesus did not listen to Satan. He told Satan: “It is written, ‘You must not put Jehovah your God to the test.’” Jesus knew that it was wrong to test Jehovah by taking chances with his life.
Still, Satan did not give up. Next he took Jesus along to a very high mountain. There he showed him all the kingdoms, or governments, of the world and their glory. Then Satan said to Jesus: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.”
Think about the Devil’s offer. Did all these kingdoms, or governments of men, really belong to Satan?— Well, Jesus did not deny that they were Satan’s. He would have done that if Satan had not owned them. Yes, Satan really is the ruler of all the nations of the world. The Bible even calls him “the ruler of this world.”
What would you do if the Devil promised you something if you worshiped him?— Jesus knew that it would be wrong to worship the Devil no matter what He would get. So Jesus said: ‘Go away, Satan! For the Bible says that it is Jehovah your God you must worship and that you must serve only him.’
We also are faced with temptations. Do you know of some of them?— Here is an example. Your mother may make a delicious pie or cake for dessert. She may tell you not to eat any of it until mealtime. But you are very hungry, so you may feel tempted to eat it. Will you obey your mother?— Satan wants you to disobey her.
Remember Jesus. He was very hungry too. But he knew that pleasing God was more important than eating. You show that you are like Jesus when you do what your mother says.
It may be that other children will ask you to swallow some pills. They may tell you that these will make you feel really good. But these pills may be drugs. They can make you very sick and can even kill you. Or someone may give you a cigarette, which also contains drugs, and dare you to smoke it. What will you do?—
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. What will you do if someone dares you to do something dangerous?— Jesus did not listen to Satan. Neither should you listen to anyone who tries to get you to do wrong things.
Someday you may be asked to do an act of worship to an image, something that the Bible says we must not do. (Exodus 20:4, 5) It may be part of a ceremony at school. You may be told that you cannot even go to school anymore if you refuse to do this. What will you do?—
It is easy to do what is right when everyone else is. But doing what is right can be pretty hard when others are trying to get us to do wrong. They may say that what they are doing is not really so bad. But the big question is, What does God say about it? He knows best.
So no matter what others say, we should never do things that God says are wrong. In that way we will always make God happy, and we will never please the Devil.
LEARN FROM THE GREAT TEACHER