In Matthew 4:5-6 - The Temptation of Jesus - it is written:

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."

The way I immediately interpereted this was that Jesus was having suicidal thoughts. Is this correct, and if so, do we know why? Is this the only point in the bible where Jesus does have suicidal thoughts?

  • 5
    Why does this passage make you think he had suicidal thoughts?
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 12, 2015 at 13:26
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    @curiousdannii He was up on the highest point of the temple considering jumping off. Seems very suicidal to me.
    – Jud
    Aug 12, 2015 at 13:27
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    What makes you think he was considering it? It's Satan speaking, not Jesus, and the whole point was that he wasn't at any risk if injury...
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 12, 2015 at 13:28
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    Welcome to Christianity.SE! I hope you'll spend some time browsing the questions and answers here. I understand what you're driving at with the question, but it's a tough one for this site. It relies upon modern psychological concepts of our inner processes and mental imagery reflecting our own mental state. This question might work better here if it asked whether there are any Christian denominations that take anything like this view of that verse, and what other Bible passages they point to in support of this view. Aug 12, 2015 at 13:52
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    @LeeWoofenden Thank you for the explanation. I was curious as to why it was being downvoted. As a southern baptist, we take things such as "the devil speaking to you" as "you're having thoughts that are not your own". I will edit my question when I get back to my computer!
    – Jud
    Aug 12, 2015 at 13:54

5 Answers 5


The passage is not about suicide. You can tell this because the temptation given to Jesus is:

"throw yourself down. For it is written: 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"

In other words, Jesus would not be killed by throwing himself off the temple, and the temptation is to demonstrate this.


Wasn't he in every wise tempted as we, but without sin? From this perspective I think that it's very possible that he did, but probably not in the verse from your question. Unless being depressed at all is a sin, but it seems to me that suicide is the sin and depression would be the temptation.

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    – ThaddeusB
    Sep 8, 2015 at 2:43

The passage has nothing to do with Suicide and everything to do with temptation. In order to understand the Gospel as it has been preserved one must understand first, what we fell from, and Second, what we aspire to rise to.

The temptations giving to Christ are the same as those outlined in 1 John 2:16 "For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world."

These 3 temptation presented to Christ make up those same temptations that were presented to Eve that caused our first parants to embrace sin and death.

Gen 3:5 But the serpent said to the woman, "you will be like God (Pride of life) knowing good and evil"

Gen 3:6 "So when the Woman saw that the tree was good for food" (lust of the flesh) It was a delight to the eyes (lust of the eyes) and the tree was desired to make one wise (Pride of Life) She took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to the her husband and he ate. (Disobediance)

Now when our Lord and Savior, after fasting for 40 days and nights was approached by Satan,he was hungry. His first temptation, withen his power was to take Rocks and turn them to bread. This desire of the flesh to eat must have been extreme, Christ had been fasting for 40 days and the creator of the world who made the universe out of nothing and could easily have changed a few rocks into bread.

It is important to notice here the method by which christ is teaching us, the 40 days represent the 40 years in exodus and Christ Humbling himself as God The Father humbled Isreal in the dessert, testing them to see wether they would keep his commandments or not. (See Deut 8:3) Where Isreal Failed, like our first parents, and we also fail, Chirst succeedes and concures the desires of the flesh.

Then Satan tempts Christ to show his power as it is written in Ps 91:11-12. He is effect is putting Christ to the test, "show me your power" and Christ says in effect "no" "You shall not tempt the Lord your God" He is humbled himself even more, not pridefully using the power given to him, but humbling himself and being obedient to his mission.

Then the Devil took him to a very High Mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and all the Glory of them; and he said to him " all these I will give to you, you will fall down and worship me"

This is what Chirst came for, this is what his mission was, to bring the world back to God and restablish the Kingdom of David, the Church. The possibility of doing such a think without suffering the Cross, imagine the temptation any man might have with this offer, getting all things without suffering. This was the "lust of the Eyes" it is what chirst in his flesh desired, to avoid the pain of crucifiction and have all kingdoms under him. Lust of the eyes.

Chirst once again, as always in his life, was obedient to God the Father united in purpose.

The passages of Mathew 4: 5-6 have nothing to do with suicide or any other individual sin. It has to do with all sin as all sin can be attributed to the 3 charactoristics listed in 1 John 2:16.

Christ took Sin on himself, having suffered the greatest of temptations and concurring sin and death on the Cross. He did this perfectly as the spotless lamb. Our Goal as Christians is to emulate Chist in this by entering into his Passover, by uniting to him Through Baptism and the obedience of faith. Having been saved at baptism we as Christians in this "vale of tears" are continuelly tempted by the Lust of the Eyes, Lust of the Flesh and the Pride of Life. As we work to overcome these obsticales, the Church Christ founded gives us a means through it's sacrements to repent biblically and work towards our complete sanctification by uniting our efforts to Christ sacrifice on the Cross. Col 1:24.

Not suicide but the relationship lost in disobedience now restored through and by emulation of Christ through and Obedience of Faith.


I don't know why you interpreted it as Jesus having suicidal thoughts. If anything he was having delusional thoughts to jump off and have angels come to prevent his fall. So this is not a passage of having suicidal thoughts.

Maybe in other verses when he was saying he needed to die he was more suicidal, such as in Matthew 16:21:

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

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Marc's answer falls apart as soon as he hits the scripture you referred to. That's disappointing, it was getting really good up to that point.

This entire passage reveals a lot about our savior and our enemy. It reveals Satan's cunning and nerve, and Jesus' struggles and obedience. The only other passages that give us such a look into Jesus' struggles are those of him in the garden of Gethsemane. We can actually learn a lot about his deepest struggles from these two passages, as they both reveal the same struggle. From the start, Jesus knew that if he were to be obedient to the path God the Father had set out for him, he would have to sacrifice himself for a world that hated him, would reject him, and even those that accepted him would struggle to imitate him. In Gethsemane he makes his struggle clear; "Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39) Jesus did not want to be separated from God and drink the cup of His wrath to pay for the sins of all of mankind. He did not want to be "marred beyond human likeness" (Isaiah 52:14). Satan knew this all too well, and tempted him at his weakest. After 40 days of not eating, Satan tested Jesus' obedience with the temptation of turning stones to bread. Jesus suffered the temptation successfully, showing no signs of breaking, but Satan came in next with temptations to fight directly with Jesus' deepest struggle. Satan offered him two ways out; the first was suicide. He disguised it by quoting prophecy, making the fall seem inconsequential; why not jump? You're the son of God, and prophecy says that He will send his angels to save you. The second of course was avoiding the sacrifice altogether; I control the world that you have every right to rule. Bow to me, recognizing my authority as the god of these people, and I will hand all of them over to you, no hassle. Of course, Jesus resisted the temptations, which is encouraging for the rest of us to reflect on.

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