Luke 14:28 - 32
ESV - 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him.
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The meaning of the parable of the tower and going to war with a king who's stronger starts in the beginning of the chapter of Luke 14. Jesus heals a man suffering from dropsy, at the home of a Pharisee, on a Sabbath day. Jesus asks the lawyers and Pharisees what they would do if a son or an ox fell into a well on the Sabbath. Would they leave them or get them out. The Sabbath was given as a day of rest. Can anyone get any true rest if they left a son in a well until the Sabbath was past? The Sabbath wasn't meant to be only a tradition. That's what it had become. Then He told them a parable about being invited to a wedding celebration. (VSs 7-11) When we go out or when we're invited to a celebration, it's natural for us to try to get there early and get a seat close to the bride and groom or wherever the center of attention is. He said to not do that. He said to take a seat in the back, and if the one who invited you chose to he could upgrade you. The moral is: it's better to humble yourself than to be humbled by the one who invited you. Humility is a major discipline that leads to a higher level of discipleship. Then He said to the one who invited Him to this dinner, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, don't invite your relatives and rich neighbors, but invite the poor the lame, and the blind, since they won't be able to repay you by inviting you to a reception." The ones who does this will be repaid "at the resurrection of the righteous." Charity is a Christian discipline. Then one of the guest tried to say "Amen" by saying, "Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God." Jesus responded by telling a parable about "a man" who gave a big dinner. He didn't say a king or an important man, just a man. The people he invited gave the servant he sent to invite them, all kinds of lame excuses for why they were unavailable to attend. (VSs 17-24) So the man sent the servant back out to invite the blind, lame, and poor, who all came, but there was still room for more at his feast. Then the man sent his servant back out to "COMPEL" them to come in. Who among us has to "compel" our friends to come and celebrate with us? If we do then we need a change of friends. That brings us to the crux of the matter. Jesus goes "All In," He says, If anyone comes to Me, and does not HATE his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, (don't ask) and even his own life, he can't be my disciple." (vs 26) They had to be thinking 'Is He serious?' Today when that scripture is read we think 'Is He being serious?' Yes, He is. It's called hyperbole. It is an obvious and intentional overstatement, an attention-getter. He has more to say. "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? (Luke 14:28) Enough of what? Then He adds "Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?" He's saying 'if you don't have the WILL to finish before you begin you might just as well not start.' Jesus is talking about what it costs to follow Him. So far, all I can count up is what He just added up. Our traditions, our pride, we need to humble ourselves, and we need to see our friends and family for who they really are. I wouldn't call any of that a high expenditure. He's looking at being scourged and nailed to a cross. He says " whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me can't be My disciple." Salvation doesn't cost us anything of value. He paid it all. All that is needed when we take on a big project is the WILL to finish. When a stronger force comes against us we need the WILL to carry on. That's what we need to sit down and calculate. How much WILL do we have in stock! We need to have enough WILL to finish. Ask and you will receive. He has more than enough.
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