8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
One could say this predates television, binoculars or the internet. All that Matter describes could be interpreted this way, and that would be an acceptable extrapolation. Another example of the same imagery is in Revelation.
Revelation 11: 8–11
8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11 And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
It is a natural response for us to take a reference and assign our understanding to that reference based on our existing environment and knowledge. If you consider the knowledge of nuclear weapons today did not exist two thousand years ago, so they assumed this was volcanic activity or meteors. Again, it can happen in any number of ways.
What is profound about all this, is that the events are predicted in a detail we can attribute as mans capacity and understanding evolves. Which is to say, it makes more sense as time goes by and becomes relatable in practical ways that initially may have appeared fantastic. This is the essence of distant prophesy, our understanding evolves, we have to catch up sometimes in order to understand what God has said.