I have heard some people have a hard time relating that passage. Can these “temptations” relate to our own spiritual journey?
Temptations come in many disguises, but they always appeal to our human “weaknesses,” whatever those might be. I remember hearing a priest preaching on this point many years ago, about the Tempter finding our “Achilles Heel” or weak point and starting a subtle attack or better still a temptation. The only weak spot Achilles had was his vulnerable heel, and that’s what eventually caused his downfall in the
mythical Trojan war. The only weakness that the mythical King Midas had was his lust for gold; and that proved to be his downfall.
Adam and Eve had everything they could ever need in Paradise, as long as they remained obedient to God’s commands. However, their weak spot was a desire to misuse power and try to become like God. This is the temptation to which they surrendered, with disastrous results for humankind because of their disobedience. Jesus, however, remained focused on the word and plan of his Father, and so was firmly obedient at all times.
Once we step outside the plan of God, made known to us in scripture through his Church, we become disobedient. When we step outside the guard rails that God has set up for us, and his desires for our correct actions, then we’re giving in to a different voice. This other voice lies to us, and always has its own evil agenda that tries to steer us to freely choose to misuse power, prestige or possessions. In and of themselves, these three things are not sinful. It is only when we use our free will in a way that abuses our freedom, and abuses these three gifts, that we become disobedient to God. The Tempter will always try to drive a wedge between us and God, hoping we’ll doubt God’s providence and rely on your own strength. He did this to Adam and Eve, to the Israelites during the exodus in the desert, and he tried to do it to Jesus.
During Lent the Church unites herself to this mystery of Jesus in the desert. Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the evil one, whose works seduce man to disobey God. So, it is very important for us to have a daily exposure to holy scripture, so that God’s plan, his word, becomes deeply embedded in our consciousness and becomes our protection as it did for Jesus during his own temptations. See also (CCC#131,133, 394, 538 and 540 ).