When faced with temptation, as Jesus was, what will we do?

2014-08-02T00:00:00Z When faced with temptation, as Jesus was, what will we do?By BILL TINSLEY For The Gazette The Billings Gazette
August 02, 2014 12:00 am  • 

I recently stood on a mountain peak in the Alps, an area referred to as Obersalzberg. Stretching out before me, in the valley below, was the historic city of Salzburg. Nearby, nestled in another valley, lay Berchtesgaden and Konigsee. I stood over a small square stone. One side marked the boundary of Germany. The other side marked the boundary of Austria.

As I scanned the landscape that fell away beneath my feet in the shrouded distance, I felt as if I could see forever, that I might be standing on the top of the world. It was an impressive sight.

Standing at this awe-inspiring spot, I was reminded of the Scripture that tells of Jesus’ temptation. He was taken to a similar high point where the nations of the world seemed to stretch out at his feet. It was there that the devil made his offer, “All these things will I give you if you bow down and worship me.” Jesus answered him, “Be gone Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” (Matthew 4:9-10)

On the mountain cliffs, not far away, I could see the outline of a building. The Kelsteinhaus, more commonly known as the Eagles Nest, was a home built as a gift for Adolf Hitler on his 50th birthday. It is reported that Hitler seldom came to the Kelsteinhaus.

But it was in this region, in the mountains above Berchtesgaden and Salzburg, that Hitler completed his writing of “Mein Kampf,” the massive document that outlined his beliefs and his plans. His quest for world domination varied very little from what he included in that early manuscript.

In 1942 Hitler said, “There are so many links between Obersalzberg and me. So many things were born there … I spent there the finest hours of my life … It was there that all my great projects were conceived and ripened.” The outcome is well-documented in history.

He would follow an agenda of manipulation, force, war, terror, brutality and racism. His agenda left in its wake more than 6 million murdered Jews and at least another 50 million dead worldwide.

Almost a century ago, in 1925, Adolf Hitler looked off into the awe-inspiring distance from this same mountain vista and experienced a similar temptation to the temptation Jesus faced. Unlike Jesus, he accepted the devil’s offer.

In a way, every man and woman must make a similar choice. We may face the temptation in our work, our schools, our government and our homes. We are tempted to enforce our own will upon those around us by duplicity and deceit, by force, anger and violence. We are tempted to arrogance, self-will and prejudice.

We all must choose whether we will bow down to the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13), the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), or whether we will choose, as Jesus did, to worship the Lord our God and serve him only.

Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective. Visit www.tinsleycenter.com. Email bill@tinsleycenter.com.

Pastors, ethicists, educators or others who would like to write a column about faith, ethics or values for the section, should contact: Susan Olp; The Billings Gazette; 401 N. Broadway; Billings, MT 59101. Or call her at 657-1281; fax to her attention at 657-1208; or email to solp@billingsgazette.com.

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More from the Gazette

Parish plans St. Valentine's Day dinner-dance

Parish plans St. Valentine's Day dinner-dance

January 24, 2015 6:30 amLoading…

Faith guide

January 24, 2015 12:00 amLoading…
Billings pastor honored by seminary

Billings pastor honored by seminary

January 24, 2015 12:00 amLoading…
What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

January 24, 2015 12:00 amLoading…

Faith guide

January 17, 2015 12:00 amLoading…
Sometimes prejudice is a subtle part of who we are

Sometimes prejudice is a subtle part of who we are

January 17, 2015 12:00 amLoading…
Taking relationship skills to a new level

Taking relationship skills to a new level

January 10, 2015 6:30 amLoading…

Faith guide

January 10, 2015 12:00 amLoading…
Freedom only half the equation on journey of life

Freedom only half the equation on journey of life

January 10, 2015 12:00 amLoading…
The sacred side of photography

The sacred side of photography

January 03, 2015 6:30 amLoading…

Faith guide

January 03, 2015 12:00 amLoading…

Food Bank Sunday

January 03, 2015 12:00 amLoading…
The infinite monkey theorem and our existence here on Earth

The infinite monkey theorem and our existence here on Earth

January 03, 2015 12:00 amLoading…

Faith guide

December 27, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Look to the one responsible for all your days

Look to the one responsible for all your days

December 27, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
12 Days of Christmas more than just a song

12 Days of Christmas more than just a song

December 20, 2014 6:30 am Photos

Photos

Loading…

Faith guide

December 20, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Diaper drive benefits babies at Christmas

Diaper drive benefits babies at Christmas

December 13, 2014 9:00 amLoading…

Faith guide

December 13, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Follow The Billings Gazette

Popular Stories

Get weekly ads via e-mail

Featured Businesses