There’s something rather comedic about the devil’s final temptation of Christ. When Satan offers our Lord all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, this is a bit like if you’re the heir to a diamond mind and someone comes up to you and says, “tell you what, get ride of that little mine of yours and I’ll give you all the cubic zirconia you can stuff in your pockets.” Jesus already owns the kingdoms of the world and all their glory. He’s already King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Why would He trade His right to rule them all forever for something temporary and inferior? Why would He trade the greater thing for the devil’s pathetic imitation of that thing? It’s a laughable offer.
When St. John warns us not to love the world or the things of this world in our second reading today, he’s inviting us to see Satan’s temptation of us the same way. What does the flesh offer you that you don’t already own more purely? You can chase after gluttony and fame. You can trade your diamond mine for that. But what will you gain? You’ll gain a temporary feast and a temporary honor among fickle friends while forfeiting the eternal feast of righteousness where the very God who created the heavens and earth calls you His own child.
What can you find in the desires of the eyes that is not already yours in greater and more eternal measure? You can chase after lust and gain loneliness and disease while forfeiting eternal companionship and purity in the arms of Christ. You can chase after pride and possessions and gain a moment of self-satisfaction and a treasure that will last five seconds before being devoured by moths, but you’ll forfeit an eternity of God rejoicing in you and every treasure of His endless kingdom.
So don’t love the world and what it offers. Don’t fall for Satan’s trick where he tells you to sell the endless diamond mind for a handful of worthless pebbles. There is nothing the world can give you that you don’t already possess in greater, more lasting measure through the blood of Christ. So love Christ who has clothed you in His love. Cling to the mercy and favor He’s given you, jewels that are more precious than every treasure of this world combined. Find warmth in the righteous robe He placed upon you in the waters of your baptism and be at peace. The devil, the world, and your sinful flesh have nothing to offer you because Jesus Christ has given you everything.