Ver. 8,9. This is the third temptation by which the tempter solicits our Saviour to sin, and of all other the most impudent. For what can be more impudent than for the creature to expect a homage to him from him who was his Creator. What mountain this was, and how our Saviour was taken up into it, are things not revealed, and of very little concern for us to know. The text tells us it was exceeding high, yet not high enough from whence one kingdom could be seen in the extent of it. It is therefore most probable that Dr. Lightfoot judgeth most truly, that
"the devil, being the prince of the power of the air, formed an airy horizon before the eyes of Christ, carrying such pompous and glorious appearance of kingdoms, states, and royalties in the face of it, as if he had seen those very kingdoms and states indeed."
Such things the devil can do, and doth do, by condensing the air first, then shaping and figuring, and lastly so colouring it, that it may represent what he intends. All these things he promised to give our Saviour, if he would fall down and worship him. The same eminent person well observes, that
"what Luke calls worshipping before the devil, Matthew calls worshipping the devil";
and concludes solidly,
"that if to worship before the devil be to worship the devil, worshipping before an image (as the papists do) must be worshipping the image."
The devil here arrogates to himself what was God’s alone to give, and such ordinarily are the devil’s promises of things, as to which he hath no power to fulfil what he promiseth.