Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
In the passage above, we see Yeshua after 40 days of deprivation. At this time of weakness, Satan offers Yeshua's the three temptations of man kind. The apostle John clarifies what the world offers to satisiate the desires of men saying:
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Each temptation offered Yeshua reflects one of the desires illuminated by John:
"...command that these stones be made bread." The desire for food equals the lust of the flesh. Yeshua counters saying that the word of God, which nurishes the whole person, transcends the physical need for food.
"...Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee:" The acknowledgement of our own self important shows the pride of life. As a son of God, Yeshua knew his personal desire for glory and even special treatment did not matter to his heavenly Father. He, as an eldest son, had a duty to fulfill which would lead to true glory.
"... and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world." Satan took Yeshua up to the tallest place around so Yeshua could see for miles in every direction the many gifts laid out before him by Satan. Here the lust of the eyes comes into play, as we watch Yeshua close his eyes to gifts and open hisself to doing only what God has chosen for his life.
We learn an object lesson in defeating the only real enemy of God: the human animal. We must acknowledge that the world of temptation, though it may seem limitless, infact dwells purely in the desires of individual persons.
Just as the ancient story of the genie in the bottle shows, man can have everything he can desire in three wishes: to pleasure his flesh, to fill his eyes, and to glorify himself.
Lets test this hypothesis against the Ten Commandments iterated in the Torah:
I. No God but Me - YHWH instructs his people how to act. No one tells YHWH what to do, but in the ancient world it was common to sacrifice to an idol to convince a god to do something on your behalf. Essentially YHWH defeats all three wishes of men here because he doesn't give you what you want. God teaches you what to want.
II. No idol worship - Seeing is believing! (eyes)
III. Don't make my name mean nothing important - Do not proclaim yourself a great servant of God because you occupy an office established by God. The servant is not great; The master is. Keep your desire for glory out of his world.(pride)
IV. Remember the Sabbath - It's easier for me to rest on Sunday because its when most businesses are closed everyone else is off (flesh). If work Saturday I can buy more things with the extra money (eye). If I keep Saturday, people will think I'm strange and disassociate from me(pride)
V. Honor your father and mother - They aint never gave me anything I wanted(flesh) so I aint giving them anything now.(pride)
VI. No Murder - I know who is worthy to die (pride)
VII. No Adultery - She looks better (eyes) , the loving is better (flesh), and I finally got the one I deserved (pride)
VIII. No Stealing - I need it more than they do (flesh), I deserve it more than they do (pride), I have to buy the things I want (eyes)
IX. No False Witness - I gotta make sure this guy gets what I know he deserves (pride), I took a bride to get what I like (eyes), when he's gone I'll be able to have his wife (flesh)
X. No Coveting - What God gave me isn't sufficient for my needs (flesh/eyes) God doesn't understand what I need so I'll decide myself (pride)