Counting the Cost

Text: Luke 14:27-33

In this passage, discipleship is not being discouraged, but Jesus is emphasizing he fact that we must understand what we are committing to by following Him. He used two illustrations to make His point – a man building a tower and a king going to battle. As we take a closer look at Jesus’ illustrations, we see how we are to count the cost of discipleship.

Building a Tower (Luke 14:28-30)

  • Discipleship involves work – God expects us to be engaged in “good works” (Ephesians 2:10); obedience is part of being a disciple (Matthew 28:19-20; 7:21); we must build properly (Matthew 7:22-23; Colossians 3:17)
  • Discipleship takes time – we are to make the most of our time (Ephesians 5:16); make time to assemble with the saints (Hebrews 10:24-25), study (2 Timothy 2:15), pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17), etc.
  • Discipleship requires resources – does not mean the poor are at a disadvantage (Matthew 11:5; James 2:5); if anything, the rich must be careful to not let their riches hinder them (Matthew 19:21-24; 6:19-21); but we are to do what we can with what we’ve been blessed with (1 Corinthians 16:2; Ephesians 4:28)

Going to Battle (Luke 14:31-32)

  • Discipleship includes training – we are involved in a spiritual battle between good and evil (2 Corinthians 10:3-4); train with our weapon, the word of God (Ephesians 6:17); train our minds (Hebrews 5:14; 1 Peter 1:13) as this is where the battle is won or lost (2 Corinthians 10:5)
  • Discipleship involves fighting – fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12); recognize that the fight will not be easy (Ephesians 6:12; 2 Timothy 2:3); but we will be victorious through Christ (Revelation 17:14)
  • Discipleship demands personal evaluation – honest self-evaluation (2 Corinthians 13:5); we must improve areas in which we are lacking (1 Corinthians 15:34; Hebrews 5:12), and continue in areas of strength (1 Corinthians 15:58)

We Must Be Willing to Sacrifice

  • Be willing to sacrifice our lives (Luke 14:27) – this leads to salvation (Matthew 16:24-25)
  • Be willing to sacrifice the things of this life (Luke 14:33) – these are only temporary (2 Peter 3:10); lay up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21)


  • If you are not a disciple of Christ, you need to become one
  • However, count the cost – know what you are committing to
  • If you are a disciple of Christ that has been unfaithful – remember your previous commitment and repent

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