The Temptations of Jesus Christ.
The temptation of Jesus Christ in the wilderness after 40 days of fasting occurs before he started preaching. The 40 days hearkens back to the flood of Genesis and the Hebrews wandering the desert for 40 years until the generation that had escaped from slavery in Egypt died off. The number 40 represents a death of the old so that the new can take its place and this is what is happening with Jesus Christ in this story.
This is the story of the temptations of Jesus Christ in Matthew, "1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted a by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ 5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ 7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ 8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ 11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him."
The wilderness in this story represents the soul being away from God's kingdom and being outside of the place of life, in other words this world. The devil is Jesus Christ's lower nature and he resides in the wilderness, not God's kingdom. This story is a metaphor for the soul in this world and everyone goes through it.
Fasting is a very common religious practice and it is about denying the flesh and putting the spirit first. The first temptation is appropriate to this severe fast which would probably kill most people. Bread is ultimately from the Earth and in a way bread is stone turned into food. Jesus Christ's reply is that man shall not live on physical food alone to nourish himself and that God's word is the ultimate nourishment. There is a great spiritual famine and the food of this world is the food of desolation as represented by the bread coming from the stones of the barren landscape.
The second temptation is interesting and everyone misses the point of it. The temple in the holy city is God's house and Jesus Christ in spirit exists in the highest point of it, but the devil wants him to willingly fall from that high place into low place of the physical world, which is death. The devil wanted Jesus Christ to go through the Fall of Man by spiritually jumping to his death. Jesus Christ's reply was that God won't catch those who willingly choose to fall from God's high place into death. God will bring people up instead.
The third temptation offers Jesus Christ every dictator's dream which is to rule the world. But this has hidden meaning in it as well that no one sees. The very high mountain represents the connection between the physical and spiritual worlds and this is what a mountain represents in the Tarot, it's where the gods lived in ancient Greece and it is where Jesus Christ prayed in the walking on water story. The devil is taking Jesus Christ up the mountain to go beyond time and space so that he can show Jesus Christ all the kingdoms of the world. People assume the devil showed him some kind of vision of the kingdoms of the world but this passage does not say that the devil showed Jesus Christ a vision of all the kingdoms, it says that he saw them all directly with his own eyes. If he was shown a vision then why not just stay at ground level? How is being shown all the kingdoms of the world possible? As explained on the pages called Flying Saucer Philosophy and The Axis of the Universe, there is no distance, it is an illusion. There's a passage in The Hermetica which describes it this way, "Consider this for yourself: command your soul to travel to India, and it will be there faster than your command. Command it to cross over to the ocean, and again it will quickly be there, not as having passed from place to place but simply as being there." Jesus Christ was already there, at every kingdom in the world because distance is an illusion. That is how the devil was able to show him all the kingdoms of the physical world at once. Jesus Christ telling the devil to be gone is him rejecting his lower nature and the false splendor of the physical world and at this point he is born again and ready to start his ministry.
There are other passages in the Bible which suggest that distance is an illusion such as when Jesus Christ teleported himself before his disciples after his resurrection and when the Bible says that every eye shall see him.