Throughout the years Jesus Christ walked the earth, He was tempted on some occasions to lose sight of His purpose on Earth. Notable among the temptation is what happened in the Wilderness. I would, however, want to point out another setting in which He was tempted and how this recurs in our daily lives.
The Jews and even Jesus' disciples had their perception of who the Messiah was supposed to be. Jesus Christ didn't fit into their description and this created great tension between Jesus and the Religious leaders of His time. We face the daily temptation of living up to the standard set by men in order to gain their approval, losing sight of what God would have us do in a particular period. The definition of success seems not to have a transcendent perspective in any way. I'd want to point out how this temptation surfaced in Jesus' life even on the cross.
Matthew 27:39-45 (KJV),
"39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it in three days, SAVE THYSELF. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
42 He saved others; himself he cannot* save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth."
At times, it seems so clear that an immediate demonstration of power will cause those doubting to believe and turn to Christ. No matter how well-intentioned some of these attempts might seem, we should not lose sight of God's wisdom for the season. The goal as a believer is to stay faithful to God. How this plays out can be quite tricky in our relationship with others. It is not dependent on what looks appealing or not. It only depends on God's intention. If a display of wealth in a particular setting is God's means to Glorify Himself, then so be it. If it is a display of poverty in a different setting, then so be it. The question we should always ask ourselves is that "IS IT WHAT GOD WOULD HAVE US DO?"
In Jesus Christ's setting, I think there could have been the temptation to deliver himself; demonstrating great Power by "SAVING HIMSELF" for all those around to testify to the fact that, though His body was destroyed beyond recognition, He was able to deliver Himself and got down from the cross. Jesus' true victory meant that He had to die on the Cross. If He had rescued Himself, maybe the Scribes, Pharisees, etc would have believed Him and this means that He will be seen as more credible but that was not the PURPOSE. It is like the way we always rush for Social Media likes by presenting ourselves the way people want us to look.
Jesus Christ was not seeking the endorsement of the "thought leaders" of His age but to Please the Father. The big deal was about dying in our place and destroying death so that those who believe no longer live in fear of death; being reconciled to God. The devil would just be satisfied with all miracles of healing and demonstration of power but not the death on the cross.
Jesus resisted this temptation and went the whole 9 yards for the forgiveness of our sins and justification.
I'd end with a verse from a Gospel Rapper which outlines what I am trying to communicate.
[Verse 3] Source of Lyrics is
The devil took him very high to the highest mountain peak
And he said if you would fall down and worship me
All of the kingdoms of the world and the glory
Would instantly be yours end of the story
Jesus' mission was to rule all the nations
This is exactly why it is a temptation
No more suffering no more pain
Start the Christian cosmos let your kingdom reign
No Nero no Adolf no slavery the cross you can stay off
Bind the broken-hearted heal the sick
Establish truth and justice no crucifix
But Jesus resists and goes to the cross
And trusting God's promises He doesn't self exalt
Would shed His own blood in the three He rose again
He wins the God man never sinned