Jesus taught that a king who was vastly outnumbered in an impending war if he was wise would make peace with the enemy. We shall look at the meaning Jesus was getting to in this parable here. Luke 14:31-33.
31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
Okay, let’s look at this. First of all, I want to share something with you that the Christian life is battle. We’re in a war. Now, if you’re not having much opposition in this war, that’s because you’re probably floating the same way down the stream as Satan himself. I heard Andrew Wommack use that statement. I thought it was quite funny. He said even a dead fish can float downstream. I thought that was funny.
The Christian life is meant to be a swim upstream. You know, a Salmon when they’re going to give birth, to their roe, to their eggs and the eggs develop to be little fishes, they swim upstream. Every female Salmon finds the river that they were born in. You know, that might be thousands of miles away and the GPS in their head tracks them back to the river mouth that they came out of as a baby. And they jump all the way up that stream. Right to the top of the stream and lay eggs and then the mother dies.
Now, salmon just wouldn’t be created, new salmon wouldn’t be created unless a mother did that. The babies need a place to mature out in safety where there are no predators and that’s just part of nature. Just like that, the Christian life is a swim upstream. So many people in the Christian world live like the people of the world.
There was a survey done in United States and I can’t quote which year but it was done by Barna Research. And they found that the only discernible difference between the TV habits, buying habits all the purchases made, the salaries and job positions Christians and non-Christians was that Christians went to church on a Sunday. That’s the only difference they could find.
Do you know that Satan is at war with the Christian church and the body of Christ? The only enemy that Satan has is Christians, the body of Christ. Everyone else are his. He doesn’t go to war with others. And he doesn’t especially go into too much at war with a Christian who’s not doing anything for the Kingdom. But as soon as you start to live the life of Christ, as soon as you start to have compassion on your neighbors and start to use your money and resources to further the kingdom of God on earth and make a difference to the injustice, the poverty and the broken hearted in this world; as soon as you step out and start to be different and start to swim upstream, a massive campaign gets launched against you, to stop you.
Now, many people go through these campaigns and just back right off and stop everything they do, they’re just discouraged. But Jesus promises that in James, if we go through these tribulations, it’ll strengthen our faith. The tribulations don’t come from God. They come from Satan. But it teaches us to endure and have patience and the more tribulations we go through, the stronger our faith is and the bigger things we can do.
Okay, so, let us establish that we’ve got an enemy and let’s move in to this parable. If a king, if United States, let’s just talk about the United States, you know a good 50% of people that watch YouTube are from the United States and 70% of the people that read my articles are from the United States. Well let’s just talk about United States. Let’s say Korea, let off a nuclear device and they know that Korea has got missile guidance systems that can drop nuclear devices on the United States and they can send to so many American cities. The American cities haven’t got the defense mechanisms in place to stop all those missiles. If they send a hundred at once, only one of them that’s going has to get through and for 400 kilometers or whatever 600 kilometers around where that nuclear device went off everyone would be dead.
Now, Korea let off nuclear devices. Right in the middle of the war on terror, and we invaded Iraq, going after the weapons of mass destruction. We went to war with Iraq and Afghanistan looking for these weapons of mass destruction and then Korea lets off one of these weapons of mass destruction. The ones in Iraq were never found, were never proven to be there and never found and they were complying, we still went to invade them but in Korea, Korea let off a nuclear weapon and America didn’t go to war with them. America sent a peace delegation to Korea. They said, “Please don’t do it again. “
Now, this is a illustration of this parable. If America had to take in on Korea with full forces, the American people may have suffered hundreds of thousands or even millions of deaths. So they went with a peace delegation. They went with nice talk and try to talk them out of it. They didn’t sail ships out there and start to attack in Korea like they attacked Iraq.
So, Jesus says, to get this is context, Jesus says that anyone who wants to build a tower, if he does not sit down first to count the cost whether he has enough to finish it is foolish. Lest after you’d have laid the foundation and you are not able to finish it. All those who see it would begin to mock you. No one building a tower or a house sits down and starts to build the house without knowing he’s got enough money to finish the house or he’s going to have a half built house and people going to think he’s stupid saying, ‘This man begin to build and he was not able to finish’? or Jesus continues “or what king would make war against another king does not sit down first and consider whether he’s able with ten thousand men to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand men.” America can’t win a nuclear war with Korea because even one missile getting through would be too much of a loss the American people so they sent in a peace delegation.
Jesus continues “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
There’s a reason why one king’s going to war against another king. One king goes to war against another king because he wants what that other has. He wants the resources of that other king’s country. Okay, so if he can’t win a war with that king, if a king is coming against you with twenty thousand men and you’ve only got ten thousand. Rather than go to war with that king and lose and lose your whole country, you’ve got to make a sacrifice and a trade off and go out to that king and say, “Okay, okay, I’ll stop undercutting you on the wheat prices and I’ll stop selling my cattle cheaply in the Asian markets. Don’t fight me. Okay? We lose. We’ll take a 30% cut in our foreign exports and we’ll suffer and our people will do it poor but please let’s not fight over this. You win.” Right?”
What Jesus is saying, if you don’t forsake all, you can’t be his disciple. He’s saying, to follow him, it’s going to be a sacrifice. You’re in a real war, you’re in a real war with Satan. It’s easy just to float downstream with the rest of the people. It’s a lot harder to give of your finances and give of your time and give of your resources to do the things of God.
Now the last thing I want this to sound like is another legalistic discourse on something Jesus has said. Jesus death on the cross was sufficient payment for us all to get into the Kingdom. But this parable was shared with people about the cost it was going to cost to be a successful follower of Jesus.
Any person that wants to compete in the Olympics one day knows that first of all comes years and years worth of hard practice. Day after day, year after year they have to commit to racing and getting fit enough to compete with the best in the world. People who really want to become the best in the world at their sport, endure all the pain and all the years of practice so that they can have a chance to race on day for their country. But the people in the Christian world somehow do not approach their Christian faith with the same dedication.
I know that having warning always is a good thing. I remember once I was helping a friend of mine speak in prophecy ( i.e That is speak a message directly from God to another person) To have my friend practice I had him ask Jesus for a message for me. He said that I was going to go through a refiners fire. This meant that I was going to go through some hard times that were going to make my Christian character better.
Well within a year I was having a really hard time. I was so happy as I was going through a few years of attack from Satan that I had been pre- warned.
If you are a Christian Jesus was warning you with this parable. If you want to do great things for God and make a lasting difference in this world, it is going to come at a very real cost. If you are happy just to coast along, there is not going to be too much of a war for you.