Matthew 4:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 4:5, NIV: Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.

Matthew 4:5, ESV: Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple

Matthew 4:5, KJV: Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

Matthew 4:5, NASB: Then the devil *took Him along into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,

Matthew 4:5, NLT: Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple,

Matthew 4:5, CSB: Then the devil took him to the holy city, had him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,

What does Matthew 4:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness in preparation for being tempted to sin by Satan, the devil. He is hungry, His body crying out for food. He has already turned away the first temptation: to sin by turning stones to bread "if you are the Son of God" (Matthew 4:1–4).

Now Satan brings a second temptation that also hinges on whether Jesus is the Son of God, something they both know to be true. This is the equivalent of starting a challenge with, "if you're so smart, tell me…" Through taunts and twisting of Scripture, Satan is challenging Jesus to act independently of God the Father. The Devil wants Jesus to assume His own authority over that of God the Father. This would be willful, sinful defiance.

Now Satan takes Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem. We aren't told how they travelled so quickly, or how they arrived at the highest point of the impressive Jewish temple. However it happens, it reflects the devil's considerable powers. One possible location for this moment is the southeast corner of the temple; this once rose 300 feet, or more than 90 meters, above the terrain below.

From that precarious vantage point, the Devil will pervert Scripture, pushing Jesus to take action apart from the Father's will.