Decision making-what would Jesus do?
In this story Jesus has been interacting with the religious of Israel, but now he turns his attention to those who would claim they want to follow him. He tells those who "were travelling with him" that there are costs to discipleship. We need to assess these costs and this he illustrates in two parables: building a tower, and going to war. Count the cost!
He is saying you have to consider the costs before making any decision.
The cost of discipleship
Jesus' statement "whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me", Luke 9:23 is behind these parables. Instead of self-reliance, a disciple must rely on a following Jesus whose credentials are anything but convincing! A daily faith-reliance on a crucified messiah (v27) comes with a cost, A seeker needs to consider this cost before taking up the day-by-day faith. Jesus forces the potential disciple to abandon self-reliance for a dependent reliance on God.
Parable - on building a tower, v28-30. The two short illustrative parables support the contention that there is no point following Jesus without first recognizing the cost demanded of a disciple. If we are not willing to pay the full price, then there is no point starting out on the journey. None of us would be so silly as to not first sit down and calculate if we can complete the building project. It is probably a watch tower, but possibly any farm building.
Sit down and estimate and calculate the expense then asks yourself the question, will you be able to complete the project? Or you may incurr ridicule.
And having laid the foundations the foundations you may be unable to finish the building?
Parable - on going to war, v31-32. Who would be so foolish as to undertake a war, without first gauging whether success is possible? Under normal circumstances no sensible person would. Consider the cost - if it is not possible to win the war, then accept the reality and go for peace. As the old saying goes; don't start what you can't finish.
Obviously no king would be so stupid as to go to war without first making sure he can win. To fight against another king will he not first sit down and consider and deliberate whether he is able to oppose the one coming against him? If he is not able to win, then he will send a delegation, having sent an ambassador. By sending a representative he requests terms for peace.
What would Jesus do? He would go on record against people who act in the name of God to hurt others. He'd stand up against crusaders parading with signs that venomously attack and label others. And he'd speak out against those who profit from the oppressed but who claim their God is full of compassion.
So what would Jesus do? He would seek God for the strength and wisdom to make the right decision. The consequences we meet today are a result of the decisions we made yesterday. And the decisions we make today will determine our happiness tomorrow. Notice how Jesus made life-changing decisions.
Jesus chose. The key word in making decisions is to “choose.” We are not what we are today by accident. We are the sum total of all the decisions we have made in our lives, plus those times we did not make decisions. We arrive where we are in life by decisions and non-decisions, and we are responsible for both. Therefore, it makes sense to be like Jesus and control our lives and destinies as much as possible by choosing to choose.
Jesus withdrew. When we make decisions, we have to withdraw. Jesus withdrew from the world so He could spend time in prayer. He went alone to think His way through decisions. He spent time alone in prayer before every major decision or circumstance in His life and ministry on earth. What Jesus did is no different than what we also must do if we are going to made the right decisions in life.
Jesus prayed. If Jesus who was God felt it necessary to spend time in prayer, how can we do otherwise? As we make decisions, we should first of all ask God for the wisdom that He can give (James 1:5).
Jesus obeyed. Jesus said, “A good decision had to be in line with God’s will, which is found in God’s Teachings. We need to study the Scriptures and seek God in prayer to discern Gods will.