The King's War Plans
The pondering place, though not the posture, reminds me of when and where I get many of my ideas, solutions or answers--in bed before I get up.
The one comment I remember from the art critic was that the artist intentionally gave us no details of clothing to indicate rank nor defining physical characteristics in order that anyone could relate to the parable.
Jesus' illustration was that of a king who is aware of an army coming to attack that is twice the size of his own. He doesn't have much time to ponder the situation. If he considers it possible to defeat the enemy, he will commit to warfare. But if not, his only option to avoid disaster is to seek peace before the confrontation. To delay is to default.
The context of the parable is Jesus' call to discipleship. You'd think He was trying His utmost to discourage followers by the harsh demands (hate father and mother, carry your cross) and the repetitious he cannot be my disciple. However, this section is sandwiched between parables that reveal God's true heart desire: the story about the wideness of His mercy--the banquet where the poor, the crippled, the blind, the lame were brought in; and the parables of seeking the lost and the great joy in finding, even one!
The crowds followed Jesus, they were drawn to Him, but not all were His disciples, many were merely going along. He is calling for intelligent, realistic and total devotion; count the cost and consider the consequences of refusing the call.
I made that decision long ago, yet the commitment to follow is a daily experience. I am willing to lay down my life for Him, sometimes pondering what that means for me.
I leave you with the song I came across this morning by Felipe Ortega, one of my favorites: Give Me Jesus.