“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”
King James Version (KJV)
4:3 Coming to him - In a visible form; probably in a human shape, as one that desired to inquire farther into the evidences of his being the Messiah.
Mt 4:3 The tempter came to him. The devil. He chose his time craftily, as he always does when he assails man. Whether he came in a personal form or as the whisper of the evil spirit is uncertain. If thou be the Son of God. "If" suggests a doubt, and, perhaps, a taunt. It is a cunning appeal to Christ to work a miracle to satisfy his hunger and to display his power. It would seem an innocent thing for Christ to make bread when he was hungry, for himself, as he afterwards did for the five thousand. Why not? Because if he had availed himself of his Divine power to escape the discomforts and sufferings of humanity he would have failed to suffer as we do, to set us an example in all things, to be tempted in all points as we are; and besides, he "came to minister" (Mt 20:28 Mr 10:45) never to use his Divine power for their own benefit. To have so exerted it for selfish and vainglorious purposes would have been sinful, and a distrust of God. Christ came to save others, not himself. Self-denial was the law of his mission.