There are many things we want that we are not willing to pay for. Soon, we start settling for the cheap version. We never really wanted the other one anyway. This one is good enough. Lots of others have done just fine with the common variety, so I can as well.
Jesus set high standards for His followers. No doubt, He was considered by some to be unbending in His demands, as the rich young ruler discovered and left with his head cast down. Nevertheless, Jesus never lowered the bar of discipleship; to do so would have been a failure to love.
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.” ― Luke 9:23-26
The disciples of Jesus were accused of many things, of being overly zealous, of being drunkards, of false teaching and even blasphemy; all of which were things that Jesus Himself was accused of. To faithfully follow Him would mean enduring similar kinds of hasty and unjust judgments; not being ashamed of Him or His words in the face of such opposition. To truly follow Him, therefore, would mean bucking the system and going against the grain. Following Him all the way would come at a considerable expense, and thus Jesus warns those who express a desire to follow Him that they need to count the costs (Luke 14:28-29). Multitudes started to follow Him, but the Scriptures tell us that after hearing the “hard sayings of Jesus” (John 6:60), “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more” (John 6:66).
Jesus loves His people. He tells us the truth as He nurtures us with His Word and Spirit; giving us the church, wherein we are nurtured in the Lord. While following Him is difficult, it is worth all that it costs. He gives us what we need (at the moment), not necessarily what we want (at the moment). However, we, like all children, come to see that what He gave us was indeed what we should have wanted in the first place. Following Him turns out to be the best bargain; the grace of God covers all the costs.
Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 58And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” 61And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 62But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” ―Luke 9:57-62