In our text before us we have three examples of people wanting to follow Christ. The word "follow" appears in each instance. Two times would-be disciples come up and declare that they will follow Jesus; and the middle one, Jesus asks to follow. “Follow” is the key word here. It's the subject in the present tense, authoritative tense. When Jesus says ‘FOLLOW’ me He's calling for the fullest devotion, for permanent following, it's not an event, it is the rest of your life.
Jesus is concerned with hypocrisy, especially hypocritical worship, when people say one thing and do something else. These would be disciples are saying to Jesus they want to follow Him, but they have not counted the cost, and Jesus is asking them, “Are you sure? Do you know what you’re getting yourself into? Do you realize what this is going to mean for you?” In this passage, Jesus is testing their hearts, and ours!
David Platt says it best in his book, “What is Jesus worth to you? The Radical Question.”
“What if there is another way? What if we were created for a much greater purpose? What if we were created, not to advance ourselves, but to deny ourselves? What if Jesus is worthy of more in our lives that a Christian spin on the American dream? And what if there is greater, more lasting success, security, safety, and satisfaction that can be found only in radical devotion to him?” Think about it. What if Jesus calls a college graduate to head for the mission field and leave behind the lucrative job offer? What if He calls the well respected, wealthy businessman to sell the business and use the profit to expand the Kingdom? What if Jesus asks me to be really active in retirement instead of relaxing and spending time with my kids and grandkids? What if Jesus calls you to a lesser position or lower income and standard of living? What if Jesus calls us to leave our friends and family to go to a place we’ve never been? What if, now that we as a congregation have committed to supporting and promoting adoption, Jesus calls us to set up a fund to assist those who adopt, or calls us to go and build orphanages, or to sponsor bringing children to America? Are we really ready to say “Everything the Lord says I will do?”