Garo Nalbandian

The southeastern corner of the Temple Mount looms large in the imagination of many Christian pilgrims, who identify it as the location of Jesus’ second test, the “pinnacle of the Temple.” In the Gospel of Matthew, the devil leads Jesus to Jerusalem to undergo this second test. Satan urges him to cast himself from the Temple to see if God would save his life. Jesus again quotes from Deuteronomy: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah” (Deuteronomy 6:16). At Massah, the Israelites bickered and tested God, forcing Moses to perform a miracle—striking a rock from which water gushes forth—to satisfy their thirst. Jesus, by contrast, refuses to test God or doubt his fidelity, and never asks God for a miracle to save him.