Luke 14:29
Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
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14:25-35 Though the disciples of Christ are not all crucified, yet they all bear their cross, and must bear it in the way of duty. Jesus bids them count upon it, and then consider of it. Our Saviour explains this by two similitudes; the former showing that we must consider the expenses of our religion; the latter, that we must consider the perils of it. Sit down and count the cost; consider it will cost the mortifying of sin, even the most beloved lusts. The proudest and most daring sinner cannot stand against God, for who knows the power of his anger? It is our interest to seek peace with him, and we need not send to ask conditions of peace, they are offered to us, and are highly to our advantage. In some way a disciple of Christ will be put to the trial. May we seek to be disciples indeed, and be careful not to grow slack in our profession, or afraid of the cross; that we may be the good salt of the earth, to season those around us with the savour of Christ.Haply - Perhaps.

To mock him - To ridicule him. To laugh at him.

28-33. which of you, &c.—Common sense teaches men not to begin any costly work without first seeing that they have wherewithal to finish. And he who does otherwise exposes himself to general ridicule. Nor will any wise potentate enter on a war with any hostile power without first seeing to it that, despite formidable odds (two to one), he be able to stand his ground; and if he has no hope of this, he will feel that nothing remains for him but to make the best terms he can. Even so, says our Lord, "in the warfare you will each have to wage as My disciples, despise not your enemy's strength, for the odds are all against you; and you had better see to it that, despite every disadvantage, you still have wherewithal to hold out and win the day, or else not begin at all, and make the best you can in such awful circumstances." In this simple sense of the parable (Stier, Alford, &c., go wide of the mark here in making the enemy to be God, because of the "conditions of peace," Lu 14:32), two things are taught: (1) Better not begin (Re 3:15), than begin and not finish. (2) Though the contest for salvation be on our part an awfully unequal one, the human will, in the exercise of that "faith which overcometh the world" (1Jo 5:4), and nerved by power from above, which "out of weakness makes it strong" (Heb 11:34; 1Pe 1:5), becomes heroical and will come off "more than conqueror." But without absolute surrender of self the contest is hopeless (Lu 14:33). See Poole on "Luke 14:28"

Lest haply after he hath laid the foundation,.... Has begun to build, has taken up a profession, has submitted to ordinances, and got into a church state:

and is not able to finish it; a foundation may be laid, and the building may never be finished, because the foundation is not laid right; was it, it would continue, and the building go on, and at last be finished; though no man is able to finish it of himself, yet those hands which have laid the foundation, will raise up the superstructure, and complete the whole building, through the power and efficacy of divine grace: but where there is a beginning, and which at first looks well, and there is no progress, but the work is dropped and left unfinished,

all that behold it, begin to mock; as follows;

Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
Luke 14:29. ἐμπαίζειν, to mock; an unfinished tower is specially ridiculous: height is essential.—οὗτος, etc., this man, contemptuously; “this” stands for a proper name. “Vulgo ponunt N. N.,” Bengel. Jesus here appeals with characteristic tact to one of the most sensitive feelings of human nature—shrinking from ridicule. Who would care to be spoken of all his days as the man who commenced a tower and could not finish it?

29. all that behold it begin to mock him] Very possibly this might have actually happened in some well-known instance, since the Herodian family had a passion for great buildings and probably found many imitators. First failure, then shame awaits renegade professions and extinguished enthusiasms.

Luke 14:29. Ἄρξωνται, begin to) No one laughs at the man, whose attempts are not abortive.[150]

[150] It is only when they prove failures, men then begin to laugh.—E. and T.

Luke 14:29To finish (ἐκτελέσαι)

Lit., "to finish out" (ἐκ).

Behold (θεωροῦντες)

Attentively watching the progress of the building. See on Luke 10:18.

Begin to mock

As his resources come to an end.

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