COUNTING THE COST
A.Jesus explains His unusual demands with two parables. The first parable is about a man who wants to build a tower. Jesus says that if the man does not count everything it is going to cost him to build it, then he will get to the end and not be able to finish it.
28 “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ (Luk 14:28-30 NASB)
B.Jesus is explaining that though they may have been well meaning and wanted to follow Him for the rest of their lives, if they do not take the cross and suffering into the equation then they will get to the end and turn from Him. In other words, you won’t follow Him when it counts in the end. We’ll talk more about this in a minute.
C.He also said that those who decide to follow Him and disregard His promise that everyone will have tribulation in this age will be like a king getting ready to go into battle against another king. If he doesn’t take all of the information into account, then the king will end up having to make a peace treaty with his enemy to keep from being totally destroyed.
31 “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? 32 “Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. (Luk 14:31-32 NASB)
33 …In the world you will have tribulation… (Jhn 16:33 ESV)
D.Jesus is explaining that if we do not take up our cross and follow after Him in the way that He lived, that we will end up in compromise with our enemy. If the cross is not a part of our understanding of following Jesus, then we will only follow Him when we have enough money, when everyone things well of us, and all of our plans are being accomplished.
E.When things are not going the way that we want to, then we will compromise with the enemy, the Devil. Did you know that the Satan has a doctrine? Satan is the father of lies, but he doesn’t just tell random lies every time that he influences humans. He has consistent lies.
F.They were following Him because they were excited about Him being the Messiah and what that meant for them. When He called them He invited them to follow Him, but this was the first time that He told them where the following was going to take them. Suffering before glory!
17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mar 1:17 NASB)
G.The first time Jesus told His disciples that He was going to suffer on the cross, his disciples were not ready to count the cost. Several of them began to entertain compromise with the Devil. This was probably the first time Judas began to entertain the idea of betraying Jesus. Even one of His main guys compromised enough with Satan’s voice that he rebuked Jesus. Jesus spoke to him very sternly.
21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” (Mat 16:21-23 NASB)
H.Does Jesus’ response seem harsh to you? Satan? Really? Was He exaggerating? Jesus was not exaggerating. Jesus had heard this voice before. Jesus knew it was Satan, because this was Satan’s doctrine. ‘You can have the glory of the resurrection without suffering.’
I.This is what he offered to Jesus in the final temptation when Jesus was in the wilderness. He offered to Jesus what the Father wanted to give Him anyways, only without the suffering. All that he required was a compromise or ‘peace treaty’ and Jesus would have taken His role over the nations without suffering.
8 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” (Mat 4:8-9 NASB)
We also must repent of listening to this doctrine. It infiltrated the Church in the West like a Trojan horse inside of other doctrines like the ‘pre-tribulation rapture’, which teaches that the Church will be taken off of the earth before we have to go through the Great Tribulation. This is not what the Bible teaches, but this doctrine and others like it have created an environment where the message of discipleship and the cross have become practically irrelevant.