And the devil said to him, If you be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
Like a waterman, he looks one way and rows another. The special thing he shot at, indeed, was to make Christ call in question the truth of that oracle that sounded at Jordan, to think through unbelief that He was not the Son of God. But yet the words of the temptation seem to import that he sought only the working of the miracle. And yet the devil would rather a great deal He would never work the miracle, so He would doubt Himself not to be the Son of God. For this would have been the greater foil. This discloses to us one of Satan's mysteries. Sometimes he will tempt us to some sin, to which yet he cares not much whether we yield or no, hoping to get a greater conquest of us by not yielding. As thus, when by not yielding we grow proud, vain-glorious, secure, confident; wherein the devil seems to deal like a cunning gamester, that hides his skill, and loses two or three games at the first, that he may win so much the more afterwards.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.