I never want to be a person who inhibits someone from following Jesus. I have spent my ministry trying to explain the story and message of Jesus quickly and efficiently to others. I want them to know why he came, what he accomplished and how to follow him. Lord willing, I can do that in one sitting and lead people to a saving relationship with Jesus.
What bothers me is that Jesus never seems to make following him seem like an easy task. Whenever people came to him, he seemed to discourage them. In John 6, the crowds have swelled, and he preaches a sermon on the bread of life, and the masses walk away because it is a hard teaching. All the gospels tell of a rich, young ruler who comes to Jesus and wants to find eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commands, and then he says there is only one other thing. Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor. And he goes away sad.
Still another time, people come to Jesus, and they have some other tasks to handle before they follow him. He doesn’t care about their comfort, their funerals, or their family. He says that following him is complex, and you will have times without a bed, the ability to grieve, or even say goodbye. So the people go away sad, and I am sure, a little confused.
Jesus seems harsh and, at times, a little obstinate toward people who want to follow him. He does not give them easy steps, simple changes to make, or a short list of things to believe. He is not easy to access, follow or sometimes understand. To be a follower of his, you will have to surrender your life and all that goes with it.
It has been said that Jesus is not interested in fair-weather fans who think he is a good guy. Instead, he desires to have followers who are totally committed to him and his work. Jesus is full of grace, but that grace does not come cheap; it will take everything you have.