As regards the reality behind the second test of Jesus (Matthew 4:5–7), Holtzmann suggests Mark 8:11–12, while Preisker and Brown propose John 7:1–4. Neither hypothesis has any real merit.
In Mark 8:11–12 the Pharisees demand a sign from heaven, but the only point in common with the second test of Jesus is the fact that they were “testing” him. The episode takes place in Galilee, and no one would have ever thought of it in terms of the second test were it not the immediate sequel of the multiplication of the loaves, with which Holzmann, as we have seen, mistakenly associates the first temptation.
In John 7:1–4 Jesus’ skeptical brothers suggest that he should cease embarrassing the family in Galilee and go and perform his miracles in Jerusalem. The mention of the Holy City does furnish a link with the second test, but that is all. There is a radical difference between Jesus working a miracle for another’s benefit and God working a miracle in favor of Jesus by saving his life.