Matthew 4:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 4:9, NIV: All this I will give you,' he said, 'if you will bow down and worship me.'

Matthew 4:9, ESV: And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

Matthew 4:9, KJV: And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Matthew 4:9, NASB: and he said to Him, 'All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.'

Matthew 4:9, NLT: 'I will give it all to you,' he said, 'if you will kneel down and worship me.'

Matthew 4:9, CSB: And he said to him, "I will give you all these things if you will fall down and worship me."

What does Matthew 4:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

For the third temptation of Jesus, Satan has taken Christ to a high mountain top. This seems to have been chosen simply for the sake of drama; no mountain can literally see the entire world. On this peak, Satan shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in their glory. This most likely involved supernatural visions of various places on earth.

This last temptation involves pure and simple power. Satan offers Jesus ownership and rule of the entire world in exchange for worship. What gave this temptation heft is that the rule of the earth did, in fact, belong to Satan. Paul calls the Devil the "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4) and Jesus Himself will later refer to Satan as the "ruler of this world" (John 12:31). Satan could have handed over the keys to Jesus in exchange for being worshiped by the Son of God.

The reader should note—with emphasis—that this is the only place in Scripture where an individual is offered prosperity in exchange for worship. Likewise—with emphasis—the reader should note such an offer comes from Satan. The so-called "prosperity gospel," which presumes that faith is an avenue to worldly wealth or success, is a despicable perversion of God's truth (1 Timothy 6:5; 2 Peter 2:1–3).

We're not told that this temptation was something Jesus considered prior to this moment—as He would have with His hunger (Matthew 4:1–4). Still, most people can understand the attraction of being offered that much earthly power. Jesus, though, understood He would become king over all the earth; and that would happen in God's timing. Satan's offer was to allow Jesus to skip the suffering and waiting, and to take power immediately.

Jesus was content to wait to take the throne under the right circumstances. John quotes Christ as saying, "Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself" (John 12:31–32).

Jesus will not only quote Scripture to refuse this last temptation, He will soundly rebuke Satan and send him away for suggesting it.