Bible Society of South Africa

The best defence – 15 March 2022

By Xanthe Hancox

Bible text(s)

28“If one of you is planning to build a tower, you sit down first and work out what it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job. 29If you don't, you will not be able to finish the tower after laying the foundation; and all who see what happened will laugh at you. 30‘This man began to build but can't finish the job!’ they will say.

Luke 14:28-30GNBOpen in Bible reader

Both this parable and the one following it (Luke 14:31-33) about a king drawing up battle plans speak about building a strategic defence. Towers provided a lookout for watchmen to warn against an approaching enemy. Then the king could rally his troops and defend his territory.

But a half-completed building project or a foolish battle plan are both bad ideas. A wise person adds up the figures and considers the costs in whatever needs to be done.

Jesus offers a defensive tactic for success in the battles that await kingdom warriors. The strategy is a strong commitment to preparation.

The life of a disciple includes many trials and tests of faithfulness. At times we lose heart and are ready to give up. But Jesus discloses the secret of success – a decisive commitment to the Word of God.

The repeated theme in these verses is whether you are able to carry out a task. Each of us must ask, “Am I able to be his disciple?” This is a serious question. But Christ has won the victory. Because of Jesus, you and I can say, “Yes, I am able. ‘I can do all this through him who gives me strength.’” (Philippians 4:13) It takes a radical belief in the power of Christ in us to stand firm and endure.

Prayer: Lord, help me count the cost and commit to serving you. Please give me the grace to pursue the course you have given me, and in your strength, to prevail. Amen

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