Luke 14:30

ESV saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
NIV saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
NASB saying, ‘This person began to build, and was not able to finish!’
CSB saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
NLT They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
KJV Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
NKJV saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?

What does Luke 14:30 mean?

Those who want to become disciples of Jesus need to understand what that commitment entails. Unlike most teaching schools of the ancient world, Jesus was actively persecuted by other religious leaders (Mark 3:6; Luke 6:11; 11:53–54; John 5:16). His teaching will cause parents, children, and spouses to disavow each other (Luke 12:51–53). Jesus' disciples need to be so content with Him they can separate from family members who reject His way, and even be willing to face a public, humiliating, and extremely painful death (Luke 14:26–27). This is not a life that can be agreed to without careful consideration.

As a little parable, Jesus talks about a man who starts to build a tower without considering if he has the money to complete it. In fact, he pours the foundation before he realizes he can't go further. The townspeople mock him for his foolishness (Luke 14:28–29). This is not about accepting forgiveness from sins and becoming a Christian. It's about continued dedication to Jesus, His worldview, and His lifestyle.

There are few things more tragic to the worldwide church than when Christian leaders are publicly shamed for willful, unrepentant sin. They may have started with a strong, Bible-based foundation in their spiritual walk and their ministry. But some do not consider the sacrifices required to keep their ministry and reputation strong. They didn't count the cost and take the necessary precautions, especially the need to focus on Jesus at the expense of wealth, fame, and even their own lives (Luke 14:33). When such leaders are exposed, the public naturally shames them. We may wonder if they realize that their reputations are nothing, but their actions bring dishonor to the Jesus they claimed to serve.
What is the Gospel?
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