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Is evaluating Luke 14:25-33 verses which discusses the Parable about Discipleship Tested / Counting the cost as instructions for Personal Financial Planning/Project management/Business Planning be considered as taking said verses out of context?

The reason I'm asking is because Luke 14:25-33 starts off by emphasizing the sacrifices/challenges for Christians as disciples of Jesus Christ, however, would we be able to also consider said verses as instructions for Personal Financial Planning/Project management/Business Planning be considered as taking said verses out of context?

Luke 14:25-33

Discipleship Tested/ ( Parable about Counting the cost )

25 Now [a]large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not [b]hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends [c]a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

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  • Again, for the umpteenth time, if someone downvotes then please give a reason in the comments section. Dec 31, 2021 at 15:40

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No, I don't see anyway they are instructions. Not just because Jesus isn't using them as instructions(like you said, his point is clearly about discipleship), but because what Jesus is saying is such plain common sense. No one needs to instruct you to check if you have enough money to afford the building of a tower; you'd have to be a fool if you didn't check and went ahead started building anyway, as it's possible you don't have enough and you'll either have to go broke(and your family as well) or cancel the building entirely(perhaps it might be too late and you're already broke). Likewise, no one needs to instruct you to ascertain whether or not your army is strong enough to take on another; you'd have to be even more of a fool to not do so, as the lives of thousands of men are at stake! I mean, what did Jesus say here apropos personal financial planning that you didn't already know?

Instruction is defined as "detailed information telling how something should be done, operated, or assembled." No one in Jesus' audience took what he said as "detailed information" on such and such. No one was saying, "Guys, write that down! Jesus is revealing some high-quality instruction." They knew he was just using an illustration that appealed to their common sense. He was connecting discipleship(the costs of it) to something that is plain common sense to everyone(something that was not anything anyone needed to be told), so as to make his point(i.e. if you carefully calculate the costs of building something, or discern whether or not your army is prepared to take on another in battle[so as to figure out whether or not you should build whatever it is you want to build, or whether or not you should try and make peace with the enemy instead of going to battle], then why wouldn't you carefully plan when it comes to discipleship? You should carefully examine the costs, and see whether or not you are prepared to take on the life of a disciple of Jesus. You should not be negligent or slothful, just as you wouldn't be if you were planning to build something or planning to go to battle with an army). In doing so, the people in his audience could easily hear and go, "Ahh! He makes a valid point."

I hope this helps, and have a good day! :)

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  • Sorry, I should have used the phrase "Emphasizing the importance of Managing / Planning" instead of "Instruction". By the way, if you view the comments section of hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/73092/19810 , you will notice that @dottard has a good interpretation. Dec 30, 2021 at 16:16
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Is evaluating Luke 14:25-33 verses which discusses the Parable about Discipleship Tested / Counting the cost as instructions for Personal Financial Planning/Project management/Business Planning be considered as taking said verses out of context?

First, consider that the way Jesus taught was mainly through illustrations or parables. "Jesus generally drew his illustrations from the surrounding creation, from familiar customs of everyday life, from occasional happenings or not-impossible situations, and from recent events well known to his hearers." ("Illustrations", Insight on the Scriptures) He did this so the people would more readily understand what he was teaching.

As Dottard mentions in comments, Jesus was talking about what it would take to be one of his disciples. The article "Have You Counted the Cost?" in the Watchtower August 15, 1992 issue gives a concise explanation:

By his parable, Jesus pointed out that to become his disciple involves changes and sacrifices. Why? Because the present system of things is materially oriented and motivated by self-interest. Most people are mainly concerned with satisfying their fleshly desires, paying little or no attention to their spiritual needs or their relationship with God. (2 Timothy 3:1-4) This attitude, or spirit, however, is in direct contrast to that shown by Jesus Christ. “The Son of man came,” he said, “not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many.” He placed the highest value on spiritual rather than material things when he said: “It is the spirit that is life-giving; the flesh is of no use at all.”​—Matthew 20:28; John 6:63.

Consequently, when Jesus advised those who wanted to become his disciples to count the cost, he was speaking primarily, not of material values, but of spiritual ones. What is more important to them, the material advantages the world offers or the spiritual benefits that discipleship offers? This is why after giving the parable and a related one, he concluded: “Thus, you may be sure, none of you that does not say good-bye to all his belongings can be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33) Is the would-be follower willing and ready to make such a sacrifice, or is it too high a price to pay?

So, is evaluating these verses taking them out of context? Some may argue yes, while others no. But when we look at how Jesus was using the illustration, he was giving an example of practical wisdom or common sense.

[All scripture quotations from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)]

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This might a bit of a stretch using the following circuitous / tortuous logic, however, let me explain

A) The Luke 14:25-33 bible passage verses is about the sacrifice/challenges in regard to being a disciple of Jesus Christ

B) It is important to note being a disciple of Jesus Christ does mean that we should live out the Christian life according to The Bible Word.

C) Since the following 1 Timothy 5:8 bible verse instructs people to look after members of their household (family, even oneself if we are single, etc.) which could be

-family/personal financial planning

-project planning at a job that allows us to have a salary to look after our household

-business planning if we are self-employed or even a CEO or some executive of a company which also allows us to have a salary to look after our household , and please keep in mind that 1 Timothy 5:8 bible verse is part of The Bible Word.

1 Timothy 5:8

8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

D) Therefore, keeping 1 Timothy 5:8 bible verse, we could argue via circuitous / tortuous logic that the Luke 14:25-33 bible passage verses are broad enough to entail Personal Financial Planning/Project management/Business Planning in a Christian's life.

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    I see things more simply - Jesus example of financial planning was used as a metaphor of the cost of life planning when a person considers dedication to the Lord.
    – Dottard
    Dec 29, 2021 at 20:56
  • @Dottard Are you saying? Tower Building would naturally involve planning (including financial planning, & more) like purchasing equipment, hiring workers, moving materials, etc. King commanding his military involves military logistics, etc., which all obviously involve planning (including financial planning, and more). Essentially, it's quite obvious said duties need all sorts of planning. The key point of said parable is that said tasks are very similar to being a Christian disciple. It's a given that said parables incidentally point to everyday life's tasks' planning. Dec 29, 2021 at 21:15
  • @Dottard Essentially, Only incidentally do the aforementioned parables emphasize everyday life's tasks' planning. Dec 29, 2021 at 21:24
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    Yes - the Christian life involves as much planning as a commercial project. Another way to understand Jesus' parable is: If you plan a commercial project well, why not plan the commitments involved in the Christian life as well?
    – Dottard
    Dec 29, 2021 at 21:32

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