At the beginning of his public ministry Jesus had to unmask and reject the false images of the Messiah that the tempter proposed to him. But these temptations are also false images of man, which always assail our conscience, disguising themselves as suitable and efficacious, even good, proposals.
As the Fathers of the Church teach us, temptations are part of Jesus's 'descent' into our human condition, into the abyss of sin and its consequences. A 'descent' that Jesus undertook to the very end, to the point of death on the cross and the descent into the netherworld of extreme distance from God. In this way, he is the hand that God stretched out to man, to the lost sheep, to bring him back to safety.