Jesus was never shy to tell people how difficult it would be to have a relationship with Him.
Usually when two people are into each other and go on a couple dates, they don’t reveal everything, especially the parts of them that will be hard to accept or deal with. For people, it’s always a quirk or a skeleton in the closet. “I have anger issues.” “I’ve cheated before.” “I like bacon.” “Sometimes I lie.” “I stay out extremely late.” “I drink more than most people do.” Hardly anyone divulges everything about themselves and what it will be like to be in a relationship with them early on.
But Jesus wasn’t afraid to tell people how He is. His quirks included things such as, “I am perfect” or “I hate when people sin against Me”, etc. On the more serious side, He told people straightforwardly, “if you’re going to follow Me, you will have deny yourself.” That’s not something I would ever tell anyone—clingy much? But with Jesus, that’s Him being completely serious—and reasonable. He’s the God over all creation; if I didn’t devote myself to Him, I’d be withholding deserved praise from Him. He also told a follower, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” He meant there won’t be rest. Again, if someone told me I wouldn’t get much rest and relaxation with them, why would I be eager to be with them if it meant I would always be working? But following Jesus never stops, it doesn’t get a break period.
I’m just thankful that I don’t have to find out these difficult things through experience because Jesus already proclaimed them. Of course, my disbelief makes it appear as if God was hiding some part of this relationship, but it doesn’t mean He actually hid anything—He already said certain things will happen, but I didn’t listen.
God has said, “Here’s the cost of following Me. You can’t wait around, you must follow Me immediately. There will not be a ‘good time’ to do it. You won’t get much rest. There are things you will have to deny, and it will be hard, but you must trust that I know what’s best for you. People will hate you because of your association with Me. The world will disagree with you because of Me. You will suffer. You may lose your life in the process of following Me. But you will find life in Me, and you will have it abundantly. You will not experience the sting of Death. You will have wisdom when you turn to Me. I will grant you peace. I will be your provider and protector. You will be my friend and my heir. You will dwell with Me in Heaven. I have sent my Son to take the punishment you earned for yourself. I raised Him from the dead, that you may be forgiven. I am God, and you will be on My side. So count the cost. Is it worth it?”
If He has been so honest with me, I think it is only fair that I am honest with Him. I have sinned. I have willingly sinned. Probably every single day of my life. I have even taken joy in my sin. I have kept things hidden and I have lied, cheated, and wronged others. But by the grace of the Father, Jesus died on the cross instead of me, and by His mercy my sins are forgiven. I turn from my sins now, and I take joy in proclaiming my great need for the Father’s forgiveness. I cannot save myself, and so I claim forgiveness in Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection. I now know the Father and He knows me. This, I now take joy in.