As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.
Mt. 10, 9
Matthew the tax collector rose and followed Jesus. At what cost?
At a cost of his personal security. As a tax collector working under the security of the Roman government, Matthew was protected by the government's forces. Even if he would abuse his power, nobody dared go against him. He was safely secured by the forces of the Roman Empire!
He lost that security.
At a cost of his financial security. As a tax collector, he had great wealth. Lived in excess. And with money came power.
He lost both.
Discipleship is costly. It is does not guarantee personal safety from those who want to harm the disciple. It does not guarantee an easy, luxurious life. For one follows, not out of material, financial concerns and profit. One becomes empty in order to be filled up by the treasures promised to the follower.
No wonder so few follow Jesus.