Our Gospel from St. Mark gives a swift and brief look at the temptations of Christ. He doesn’t expound much on the temptations that Jesus faced out in the wilderness, but Matthew and Luke certainly do.
Satan takes the moment to taunt. Just like a bullying kid standing at the base of a plywood ramp, Satan double-dog dares Jesus to do something risky. Using Scripture, Jesus doesn’t take the leap:
Satan says, “Satisfy your hunger and turn these stones to bread.” Jesus puts on the shell of self-denial, recognizing that everything comes from God and that God provides.
They go to the pinnacle of the temple. “Jump off,” says the bully, “and land unharmed. If you’re so great, God’ll protect you.” Jesus uses a little common sense and says that people who have real power don’t need to show it off or use it to suit their own ends.
Then there’s the big one — “All the kingdoms of the world can be yours,” says Satan, “if you’ll only worship me.” Jesus humbly says that God is the only one worth serving.