The Ideal Thing to do
When we have people who liked us, and those who are probably following our footpaths to know one or more things about how we act the way we act, how we do certain things the way we do them, to learn and so that some of those things guide them through life. When we get to certain juncture, we shall tell them some things that would be of immense benefits to them that if they can try and follow those, they will do well and may perhaps exceed us.
Jesus being a great leader also got to this certain juncture when people were following him when he was on earth millennia back, such that he had to pause for some moments and tell them certain things that are ideal (the most suitable or perfect) that people in the world do, and he expects that they being his followers ought to do something akin to that for if they have not done that they cannot profess themselves to be his followers.
As we know that his word is eternal, those ideal points he raised that people do, which he is not expecting a lesser from them to do to show that they really are following him is what I want us to closely examine in this article as found in the book of Luke 14:26-35. I shall however be focusing on these verses, 28th through 30th.
What is the Ideal Thing?
In this part of the world where people value building houses, their houses, they do not like to buy houses as it is applicable in the advanced world. The most suitable thing for anyone who intends to build a house to do is that such a one would approach the civil engineers, architects and others (artisans) who know about construction to ask for what would be the rough estimate that would complete the kind of house that he wants to build.
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” (Luk 14:28)
It is known that some are good in paper works but they do not have the field experience, the person who intends to construct a building as this would also construct those local people who do not have degrees from schools but who over the years have the experience and would inquire from them the cost to build such houses. They would ask for the minimal costs and the maximal costs, in case the handler does not want to manage anything for the work.
We shall discover that this indeed is the ideal thing to be done by anyone who intend to embark on such project.
What the Man will do
After asking for the cost, Jesus told his followers the next thing that the person will do and what he will do is that he will sit down to examine himself, saying if I put this leg inside the river will the crocodiles not draw my leg away? In other words, he will ask himself, assuming he is a salary earner that will my salary be enough for this. How would I maintain myself if I want to use my salary for the construction work? Where would I get other sustenance sources from?
And it a business person he would ask himself, if I start this now, what would happen to my business? Would I be able to maintain my business?
Above all the person if married would ask himself how he would sustain his family during the project so that the family would not suffer so that his children would not drop out from the schools.
He would look for some that he can use his strength to do, if there is anyway, he can help the workers there that would reduce the work all these he shall look at before embarking on such.
The ideal thing as Jesus said is that each person who wants to embark on a capital work like that needs to count the cost before starting so that needful adjustments would be made.
Before the Man is Mocked
After laying the foundation for the work, the man is expected to be financing the work so that it does not stop, because the work is a capital project which will be consuming money but would not bring money to the person at that time.
“Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,” (Luk 14:29)
After the work has started and the man cannot complete the work, Jesus says people would start to mock him. However, before the man would be mocked by people, some things would happen which I want us to see.
1. There Would be Wastage:
How do I mean by this? What I mean is that since he has embarked on the work without proper planning, deep reflection as Jesus said and he only embarked on the project because he wants to show his landlord too that he can also build house that he will be living in, he would not buy enough materials for the work, this kind of person is the person who would be telling the contractors and builders, bricklayers that they should be managing materials for him. In the process of managing materials there are times the bricklayers would abandon the work because of shortage of materials and the mixed sand with cement would be wasted.
2. Negatively Affecting the Family
There are people whose children have been dropped out of schools because they wanted to build house at all cost. They have traded the futures of their children for the immediate gratifications of the parents. Some took loans to complete their houses and by the time the houses would be completed they were retrenched, and their children dropped out of schools.
3. In time of Sicknesses
As we know that humans’ systems are like machine, it can develop fault at any time, and when such happens the ideal thing for the person is to go to those who have knowledge about the human systems, but because all they have had been expended on the project they have started they would not be able to take care of themselves health wise, and due to this we have seen some people who died before completing those houses and their bodies were buried there. Some who do not die, may become permanently disabled.
4. Collapsed Business
We have seen people who because they want to build their own apartments because of the embarrassment they are experiencing from landlords embarked on such projects, though they finished the project, but their businesses also collapsed. Their businesses collapsed because they did not do the ideal thing as stated by Jesus here, they failed to put their businesses into considerations when starting the project they failed to recognize that building houses at the initial would be gulping money, and the gains and capitals they have over the years invested into the businesses were expended on the building projects and by the time the project would finish their businesses are already at the lowest ebbs and some till now could not bring back their businesses again.
They cannot bring back those businesses because when some customers leave a business person they will never return again, the best thing for a business person is to always ensure that he tries his best to maintain and keep his customers.
5. Heightened Stress
They may have to pass through heightened stress for embarking on this without proper planning because they would be moving like a pendulum from the market to where the building project is being constructed. What I am saying is what they ought to buy at once, they would be buying bit by bit and would become stressed up by this, unlike someone who has counted his cost and has bought the materials at once. Though bought on credit, but since he knows how to pay the creditor it is better.
This cannot be ruled out in case some of the negative things happened to the person, take as instance maybe his wife took ill during the process and the sickness because they cannot nib it in the bud eventually resulted in the person becoming permanently disabled, such a person would be depressed, because of the stress of taking care of children alone. In addition to this, the money he would use to take care of his wife would be doubled, which eventually would result in slowing down the work itself.
All these would happen even before the person is being mocked by the people for poor planning for the inability to do the ideal thing to count the cost before embarking on such project.
The man would be mocked because he cannot complete the project he has started; however, they would not mock him if he is still managing himself and paying his bills as and when due and maintaining his family.
“Saying, this man began to build, and was not able to finish.” (Luk 14:30)
Relationship of This With Being Jesus Follower
Jesus by using this illustration for his followers is telling them of the following.
1. Making Decision: In as much as he appreciated what the people were doing following him, for by following him could they know what he stands for, but he enjoins them that for them to be his real followers, they need to decide.
2. Weighing the Options: The decision to make would involve them weighing the options of following him with the options of not following him before deciding. For some of them were like those Samaritan people that the woman invited to Jesus. They all ran to see the messiah at first but after seeing him, they weighed the options and told her that it was not because of what she said that made them follow Jesus, but they really have seen that he was the expected messiah.
“And said unto the woman, now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” (Joh 4:42)
3. To Withstand Tribulations: He told them this because when they have decided and tribulations surfaced, they would stand to that tribulation and overcome it, but if they have not really counted the costs and the tribulation comes, they would back out.
4. So That They Won’t be Mocked: He told them this because as the religion Jesus brought was a new religion, there is tendency for the people to mock his followers later, especially when he was nailed on the cross, but when they have counted the cost like the three Hebrews that Jesus is the person they want to follow they would overcome people’s mockery. (Dan 3:18)
5. Denial: This he told them because he knows that temptation would come which will push them to want to deny him, but when they have made up their minds, they would not be able to deny him.
When we do the ideal thing,
it does not mean that we shall not encounter troubles, trials, temptations and persecutions but we shall be able to stand firm against whatsoever it is that may rear its ugly head against our faith in Jesus Christ.
© 2020 OLUSEGUN