The Temptations of Christ
At the beginning of our Lord's public life, he was led by the Spirit to meet the evil spirit. There are three temptations described in the gospels. I will translate them into modern language. Satan was offering our Lord three shortcuts from the cross. Satan was saying, “You are here to establish your kingdom; you want to win over the hearts of men. I will give you the secret.” The first temptation was to escape from the cross: allow people to follow their id. “Look at those stones down there. They look like loaves of bread. You have not eaten in forty days; you have a hunger instinct. Others have a sex instinct, or a power instinct. They have an ego instinct. You want to win men; let them follow their drives. Obey the id. Then they will follow you. But not the cross.” The second temptation of Satan was technological. Satan was saying, “People love wonders, miracles, marvels, anything that makes them say,”Oh!” They will not remember the marvels very long, but give them new wonders. Throw yourself down from the steeple; fly to the moon. They'll not remember your name in three weeks. Give them another wonder. Change nature. Overcome it. Give them a pill. But not a cross.” The third temptation was political. As if holding the whole earth like a shiny globe in his hands, Satan said to our Lord, “All these kingdoms are mine. They're mine.” Was Satan telling the truth for once in his life? Here he suggested to the Lord that theology is politics. “Forget you are God; you are the Messiah. The mastery of the world and the future will depend entirely on politics. So go into the political arena, and I can help you, for all these kingdoms are mine. But forget about the cross.” Satan tried to tempt our Blessed Lord from the cross. This is the essence of the demonic.