Main Point of Discussion:
The best way to fight and overcome temptation is to resist the Devil and get out of the situation.
The Movie Clip:
Rancher Daniel Evans, who lost part of his leg in the Civil War, is a broken man who owes a large amount of money to a powerful man in Bisbee, AZ. When the notorious outlaw Ben Wade is captured after the heist of a stagecoach, Dan offers to assist in escorting the cold-blooded killer to the city of Contention, where Wade will board the 3:10 p.m. train to Yuma, AZ and stand trial. In return, Dan would receive $200, enough to save his land and provide a better life for his family. Following them on their perilous journey is Ben Wade’s ruthless gang, who are determined to rescue their leader from the grips of the law.
Introducing the Clip:
Today I want to show you a clip from the movie “3:10 to Yuma.” Basically, a poor rancher named Dan (Christian Bale) has agreed to escort the dangerous killer, Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to the train station, so he can stand trial for his murderous deeds. In this scene, the powerful outlaw presents Dan with a very real and very tempting offer that would basically save his life and take care of all his problems. As we watch it, try to put yourself in Dan’s place and think about how you might react if you were faced with the same situation.
Show the Clip:
START CLIP AT 1 HOUR 21 MINUTES AND 33 SECONDS.
Ben: So this is the bridal suite? Now, I wonder how many brides have taken in this view? What are you gonna do with your $200 now, Dan, now that the rains are coming?
Dan: I owe people money, Wade. That drought left me in the hole.
Ben: Well, what do you think about double that amount? You could pay your debts. Buy a hundred more cows. Build a new barn.
Dan: How you reckon I’m gonna do that?
Ben: Just lay down your gun and let me walk out the door and it’s worth $400 to you.
Dan: Is that what you reckon my price is?
Ben: No. No, I reckon it’s a thousand. One thousand dollars. There was ten times that amount on Butterfield’s coach. You want my cut, Dan? It’s all yours.
Dan: Isn’t that kinda reckless of you, Wade, seein’ as you’re so sure your crew’s comin’ to get you?
Ben: Oh, there comin’ Dan. As sure as God’s vengeance, they’re comin’. But I just like to do things easy. Imagine what you could do with a thousand dollars, Dan. You could hire a couple of ranch hands. Your boys could go to school and grow up smart. What about Alice? She would be the proud wife of a bonafide Arizona rancher. All you got to do is say yes.
Dan: (laughs) Well, would you give me a banknote, Wade, or maybe you’d be kind enough to make a deposit for me?
Dan: Well you tell me, Wade, how would I account for that amount of money? What would I tell people when I spend it? That you got the jump on me? That you escaped and somehow I got a fortune? How dumb you think people are?
Ben: Nobody needs to know.
Dan: You know what? Can you do me a favor? Don’t talk to me for a while.
Ben: You mean we’re still not friends?
Dan: No. No we’re not.
Ben: Come 5 to 3, we’re gonna be a helluva lot closer than you think.
END CLIP AT 1 HOUR 24 MINUTES AND 35 SECONDS.
I think most people can relate to Dan’s position - which is basically to give into temptation, especially if the end result seems to solve so many problems. But, how should we handle these moments of temptation?
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: Before we begin, tell everyone your name and why you would or would not have wanted to live in the Old West.
- ASK A FEW: The character named Dan in 3:10 to Yuma is basically someone who lives by his principles even though it costs him. How is this like being a Christian in today’s world?
- ASK A FEW: In the scene we watched, you could see the internal struggle Dan was going through? Have you ever felt like that? What happened?
- ASK A FEW: If you were in Dan’s position, would you have taken the money? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Would it affect your decision if you were certain no one would find out? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think Dan resisted the temptation just because he thought he would get caught? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Why do you think Dan asked Wade to stop talking to him?
- ASK SOMEONE: How is Dan’s situation a lot like when we are tempted?
Read the following passages:
ASK A FEW: What are the two critical pieces to resisting temptation and the Enemy according to these passages? (running away from temptation and resisting Satan)
ASK A FEW: How did Dan follow that pattern? (he resisted Wade’s offer, then asked him to stop talking so he could remove himself from the temptation)
ASK A FEW: Why does the Bible instruct us to run away from temptation instead of fighting it?
ASK A FEW: In the clip, Dan stood to gain a lot by giving into temptation. How is that also true with some of the temptations we face? (i.e. cheating will get us a good grade, stealing will get us something we couldn’t afford, etc.)
ASK A FEW: Sometimes Christians flee from temptation and resist the Devil because they are afraid they might get caught, but is that a good reason to live a righteous life? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: Do you think Dan would have eventually given into Wade if he continued to talk about the money? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: Do you think we give in to temptation easier when we try and reason with the Devil? Why or why not?
ASK A FEW: Why do we sometimes buy the lie that the short term gain in giving in to temptation is worth the long term consequences?
ASK A FEW: What do we have to gain by fleeing temptation and resisting Satan?
ASK A FEW: What are some specific ways we can resist Satan and run away from temptation? (i.e. pray without ceasing, don’t get online when no one is around, etc.)
James 4:7 (New Living Translation)
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
2 Timothy 2:22 (New Living Translation)
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.
In the movie “3:10 to Yuma,” Dan had an enemy gang who was coming to kill him because he was unwilling to give in to the temptation to free the murderer, Wade. In much the same way, we have an enemy gang who is constantly after us on a spiritual level. They want to destroy our lives, and their main weapon is temptation. The most important thing to realize is that we shouldn’t try to fight the Devil and his “gang.” Rather we should resist him through the power of the Spirit and get out of the situation as fast as possible.
Ask everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes.
I want us to take a few minutes and think about the areas of our lives where we sit and toy with temptation rather than resist and flee, and ask God to give you the power to resist Satan and flee rather than giving in.
After a few minutes, close in prayer and invite people to trust Christ.
Close in Prayer
Written by Lane Palmer