Summary: Jesus told these stories in Luke’s Gospel to teach us to count what it would cost us to fully follow Jesus and what it would cost us if we choose a different path.
Opening Statement: I came across a story this week that all the farmers will appreciate, especially Marvin Abplanalp. A hen and a pig approached a church and read the advertised sermon topic: “What can we do to help the poor?” Immediately the hen suggested they feed them bacon and eggs. The pig thought for a moment and said, “There is only one thing wrong with feeding bacon and eggs to the poor. For you it requires only a contribution, but for me it requires total commitment.” That story also serves to illustrate a key point that we will be emphasizing from the Scripture today: Counting the Cost.
Observation: That is something that we don’t like to think about too often. But, everything comes at a cost. For an athlete, they must decide early in life just how serious he/she wants to become in their sport and train accordingly. I was watching some of the Olympians recently. Some of those people have been training for 6-10 years just to qualify to participate in the Olympic games. What dedication to sport. What a price to pay. They will train and condition themselves for years just for the chance to compete.
Key Word: The parables in front of us today are simple story parables in which Jesus illustrates the importance of fully devoted discipleship. One story is taken from the agricultural world of that day and deals with construction or building; the other is taken from a political situation and deals with destruction or fighting. But Jesus used both parables to teach the same lesson.
Title: We’ll continue today by looking at The Unfinished Tower and a Kings Rash War – Counting the Cost of Discipleship
Proposition: Jesus told these stories in Luke’s Gospel to teach us to count what it would cost us to fully follow Jesus and what it would cost us if we choose a different path.
Text: Luke 14:28-33
Recitation: 14:27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 14:28 For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down first and compute the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 14:29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish the tower, all who see it will begin to make fun of him. 14:30 They will say, ‘This man began to build and
was not able to finish!’ 14:31 Or what king, going out to confront another king in battle, will not sit down first and determine whether he is able with ten thousand to face the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 14:32 If he cannot succeed, he will send a representative while the other is still a long way off and ask for terms of peace. 14:33 In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions. The Message: Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple. “Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: ‘He started something he couldn’t finish.’ Or can you imagine a king going into battle against another king without first deciding whether it is possible with his ten thousand troops to face the twenty thousand troops of the other? And if he decides he can’t, won’t he send an emissary and work out a truce? Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it goodbye, you can’t be my disciple.”
Background: The historical setting for these stories was during the time large crowds accompanied Jesus on the way from Galilee to Jerusalem. Within the crowd, there were “spiritual window-shoppers”, “tire-kickers”, and the curious who were hangin’ around for the miraculous. They loved following him so long as the miracles were being performed and the crowds were satisfied. They were ready to make him King and his closest friends wanted positions within his kingdom (they even argued over it). But Jesus knew things were going to get really rough in Jerusalem. He knew that following him was not going to be an easy thing to do. So he told this story to prepare them for what was ahead.
Application: Living the Christian life is not always an easy thing to do. The Christian life as we see it on a Sunday morning is pretty easy. But the Christian life out there in our families and relationships can be extremely difficult, costly.