The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you carefully;
they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Luke 4:9-13

The Devil makes three recorded temptations toward Jesus and the third is the one that is the most unusual. In the first, the Devil simply tempts Jesus to use his miraculous powers to feed himself and the second is a promise of worldly power and authority. In the passage quoted above, the devil tries to get Jesus to jump off a building.

Temptations are only tempting if they appeal to the man who is presented with them. So what part of Jesus was he appealing to? His martyrdom? No, Jesus was promised a parachute made of heavenly messengers. His desire for fame? The temple was a busy place, after all. No, indeed. Jesus had not yet begun his ministry and would tell people not to spread news of him several times after that.

The third temptation of Jesus was an appeal to Jesus pride, but since he had no worldly pride the Devil had to tempt him to act pridefully on behalf of God! “Just imagine what people will think! They’ll know you are the so-called Son of God if a crowd of angels lower you to safety. You’ll be instantly recognized. There will be no doubt.”

What temptations do we get caught up on? Even opportunities that seem to have heavenly outcomes can be temptations to sin if they are carried out for sinful reasons.

Ethan Kirl