Counting the cost

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Construction work on the Siena Cathedral stopped in 1348.

Counting the cost is the name of a pair of parables Jesus told. The two parables are written in the New Testament in Luke 14:25-33.

What Jesus said[change | change source]

Large crowds were travelling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters— yes, even his own life— he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

— Luke 14:25-33[1]

What it means[change | change source]

The disciples of Jesus gave up everything they had for the kingdom of God, even their lives. To follow "God's salvific aim" meant to put family and possessions in second place.[2][3] Christians believe the cost of being a disciple is worth the promised rewards.

References[change | change source]

  1. Passage Lookup - NIVUK -
  2. Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, Eerdmans, 1997, ISBN 0802823157, pp. 566-567.
  3. Charles McCollough, The Art Of Parables: Reinterpreting the Teaching Stories of Jesus in Word and Scripture, Wood Lake Publishing, 2008, ISBN 1551455633, pp. 94-95.