Jesus was ravenous. He had fasted forty days. His physical body was at its most vulnerable. The devil says, "You can turn these rocks into bread. Why don't you do it?" Yes, Jesus could do that but he didn't. The devil wanted him to cave. He wanted Jesus to zap the rocks and eat like a starved animal. He wanted Jesus to fail in his mission to come and pay the redemption price for mankind's sins.
The second time he takes Jesus to Jerusalem and sets him on the highest point of the temple. "I dare you to jump. If you're really the Son of God, the angels will catch you." The devil was doing his best to provoke him.
The third time the devil took Jesus to the top of a mountain where he could see all the kingdoms of the earth. "These kingdoms are yours if you'll kneel and worship me." Now comes the final offering, one of vanity, one of power--it's pretty heady stuff.
Jesus had to deal with Satan throughout his time on earth. This was just the beginning; but, taking a look at the kinds of temptations and what Jesus had to say about each is the material for Sunday's sermon. Beginning with basic human needs, Jesus said that we don't live by bread alone. He also said that we live by every word that comes from God. Philippians 4:19 says that God will supply all our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Temptation is when the desire for something is not in agreement with God and his Word. Here the devil is tempting Jesus to do something that isn't really bad. It's not right but eating isn't wrong either. Satan is adept at convincing people that what they are doing is okay.
The temptation of throwing himself off the pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem to be caught by the angels is slick. What a spectacle--all the population seeing Jesus being caught by the angels. Just think of the fame Jesus would have. He would be known and revered by everyone. No need to spread a message of change to the world. No longer would mankind need to decide for himself. Everyone would know this is God. Who else would the angels catch? This whole thing could go sideways. The terse reply is, "Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God."
The temptation of power is next. All Jesus has to do is bow down to Satan. But, it'll never end. Power is its' own evil. Satan knows that. There's no end to the lust for power. Jesus is abrupt. "Go away. Worship the Lord your God and serve only him." Aren't we all glad that Jesus didn't fail in these temptations.