The temptation of Christ, as it relates to His miracles, shows the difference between the ordinate and the inordinate, revealing the faults of sin. Nothing the devil usurps to incentivize Christ into sin is in of itself sinful. Satan preys upon Christ’s bodily hunger, His faith in the Father, and His right to rule.
I think it was C. S. Lewis who first turned me onto the idea, it may have been in his book Miracles, that when Christ fed the multitudes He made bread from bread. That is, instead of making the bread from dead stone as Satan suggested, He made more bread in the manner that nature creates more bread, say that Jesus did it much faster.
It is a beautiful image, Christ breaks the bread—remember, He is the bread of life—and, as he feeds His hungry followers, instead of there being less there is more. So, why would it have been sin to make bread from stone, what is the importance of the supernatural as it works within or without nature?
If we bring it down to our level, I think we can see. Life only comes from one source. You can’t eat stone, you must eat bread, and in the same way we cannot live upon dead philosophy, we must embrace the one true source. Man does not live on bread alone. Nature speaks of the spiritual. We eat food and it is a symbol of the spiritual Bread Christ is for us.
Then Satan challenges Christ to leap from the temple. That serpent even quotes bible verses implying that if the Father truly was taking care of the Son then Jesus could jump to the ground without harm. Later, Jesus finds himself in a similar circumstance. Entering His home town He stirs up a multitude against Himself. They Force Christ to a cliff of which they intend to compel Him over. However, Jesus walked right through them.
So, why was that miracle okay when Satan tempted Jesus to do something so similar? This is a bit easier to understand. In our own lives, there is a wide divide between falling into trouble for a good reason and falling into trouble for a bad reason.
God will take care of you, but do not tempt Him. If, in the course of doing what’s right, that is fulfilling one’s duty, you find yourself in a pickle there will often be help for you. If you throw yourself into danger, or are loose with your money, because, “well I’ll be bailed out,” help will dry up. The Father will not allow Himself to be turned into a mere get-out-of-trouble-free card.
Then Satan shows Christ all the kingdoms of the world, and offers them if only Christ would bow his knee. All the kingdoms of the world are given to Jesus, and Christ does bow his knee, but not to Satan. Jesus submits to the Father’s will, and all things are set under his feet.
In the end, we all serve some master, either the rebel or the King, but all knees will bow and all tongues will confess the glory of the LORD.