1] Then Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil.  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry.  And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.  Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.  Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him upon the pinnacle of the temple,
 And said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written: That he hath given his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone.  Jesus said to him: It is written again: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.  Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them,  And said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me.  Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written, The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve.
Matthew 4: 1-10
Go here to read part one of our Lenten examination of the temptation of Christ by Satan, here to read part two, here to read part three and here to read part four. Satan had now issued his final temptation to Christ, all Earthly, power and waited for a reply.
As Mohammed demonstrated five centuries later, a religion that establishes secular rule over a kingdom at the inception of the religion can spread very fast and very far. Reestablish the Davidic kingdom under Christ and Christianity might have spread just as rapidly, especially if Christ called upon the ten legions of angels he referred to at the beginning of His Passion. Instead of just teaching, the Way taught by Christ would become the laws of the Earthly kingdom He would establish. His mercy and justice would become statutes, and not just teachings passed slowly by word of mouth and in writings. His mission could be accomplished without the pain and ignominy of the death on the Cross, a death Jesus would pray that he might not experience. A throne or the Cross, in terms of His human nature this may have been the most compelling temptation. Christ would be depicted throughout Christian history as Christ the King. Why not be a King while He lived? What good He could accomplish here on Earth, ushering mankind into a utopia under His all wise rule.
It is instructive to recall that throughout his forthcoming three year ministry, everyone except Christ expected him to do this. Certainly the Apostles did, constantly asking Him when the Kingdom would begin and arguing among themselves for positions of power in this new polity. The Sadducees did, viewing His entrance into Palm Sunday as setting the stage for His revolt, and their fears that His attempt, or the attempt of His followers, to crown him as King, would lead to war with Rome. As for the Romans, Christ died on a Roman Cross under a sign accusing him of being, or pretending to be, the King of the Jews. Everyone seemed to expect that Christ would attempt to be a King here on Earth. Why not fulfill these expectations?