“It’s the right thing to do,” Satan says. “And it’s the right time to do it.” God’s timing, his destination, and the way to get to the destination are always perfect, but Satan wants us to work in his time frame, follow his path, and get to his desired destination. His way always involves a shortcut from the road of obedience. That was the essence of the third temptation in the desert.
And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
The pinnacle of the temple was probably the southeastern corner of the wall overlooking the deep Kidron Valley. It was the place where priests would announce the morning and evening sacrifices. For Jesus to fall from that point and land unharmed would have been a miraculous spectacle, and many eyewitnesses would have seen the jump and safe landing. Word about this feat would have spread quickly.
Satan quoted from Psalm 91:11-12. This psalm explains the security and protection that God gives to those who trust him. The psalmist notes that God has commissioned angels to protect us. Satan’s use of the psalm “shows that even God’s most marvelous promises can be foolishly applied.”
In his commentary on Luke, Trent Butler paraphrases this temptation well.
Show the world who you are. Prove to them in one instant how much power you have, what you can do for them. Let God serve you one time. You serve him all the time. I will show you how. Come with me to holy Jerusalem, certainly the city of God’s kingdom. Stand up here on the highest point of the temple. Look down on the beautiful holy city at your feet. They will really be at your feet in a minute if you just listen to me. Scripture tells you how to do it. Read Psalm 91:11–12. Surely this passage was talking about Messiah. God will take care of his Messiah. He does not want you even to stub your toe. Jump right down. God is faithful. He will rescue you in midair. Everyone will see. All will fall at your feet. Your ministry mission will be accomplished. I will help a little. Just quickly jump off and wait for God to help.”
Jesus responded to Satan’s taunting challenge by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16. Israel often tested God’s patience and presumed on his grace. This passage reminds us that we are to “diligently keep the commandments of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:17) and never put him to the test by knowingly going against his plan.
That’s our prayer. Don’t let us knowingly go against your plan. You are patient with us. Don’t let us test your patience. You are gracious to us. Don’t let us presume on your grace. Help us do what is right and good in your sight. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 Bible Knowledge Commentary, Eds. John F. Walvoord & Roy B. Zuck (Wheaton, Ill: Victor Books, 1985) Psalms, Allen P. Ross, 860.
 Trent C. Butler, Luke, vol. 3, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 62.