We live in an age of entitlement, and I think it’s something we carry with us wherever we go. When people are saved and walk from out of the world into the church, are they carrying this spirit of entitlement with them? What’s the difference between feeling entitled and being entitled? Is there room for such thought in the heart of the Believer?

These were some of the thoughts that crossed my mind when I read about the centurion in Luke, whose servant was ill and about to die.

God Promotes

When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this,”

Luke 7:4 (NIV)

Other people may look upon our lives, the things we do, the way we live, and think that we are deserving; that is, we are entitled to something. That’s okay. However, we shouldn’t look at our own lives, the things we do, the way we live, etc., and think we are deserving or entitled. We know the centurion saw himself differently than those elders he sent to Jesus.

So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.”

Luke 7:6 (NIV)

The centurion didn’t see himself as being worthy enough for Jesus to enter his house. The centurion demonstrated two qualities here. Faith and humility. We know of his faith because Jesus remarks upon it.

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”

Luke 7:9 (NIV)

The centurion didn’t see himself as worthy, but other people did. I see this as humility. The centurion didn’t think he was owed anything for what he had done for the Jewish people. We have to be careful to think that God owes us anything. God makes promises to us because of who He is. We have lots of promises from God, and because of who He is, we are entitled to the fulfillment of those promises. In and of ourselves, we aren’t owed anything by God.

Isaac’s Faith

When I think about the promises of God, I think about God’s promise to Abraham.

I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.

Genesis 17:6 (NIV)

Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.

Genesis 17:19 (NIV)

God made these promises to Abraham and told him they would be fulfilled through his son, Isaac. However, sometime, later on, God gives Abraham a command.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

Genesis 22:2 (NIV)

We know Abraham demonstrates greater faith than we’ve seen before because he does what God told him to do. He goes with Isaac to the region of Moriah and prepares to sacrifice him until he’s stopped by the Lord. However, we might not consider Isaac’s faith.

Isaacs, without a doubt, knew about the Lord. It was Abraham’s responsibility to teach his son about God, and I’m sure he fulfilled it. We might think that Isaac was a young child when Abraham was told to sacrifice him. However, the text, while not telling us how old Isaac was, gives us enough information to determine that Isaac was a young man and not a child.

Let’s look at Genesis 22:5 from a few different Bible translations.

He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” (NIV)
“Stay here with the donkey,” Abraham told the servants. “The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back.” (NLT)
Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” (ESV)
And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. (KJV)

Genesis 22:5

Except for the King James Version, which uses the word, lad, which means boy, these versions all would seem to infer that Isaac was a boy.

Abraham said to his servants, “Settle down and stay here with the donkey; the young man and I will go over there and worship [God], and we will come back to you.”

Genesis 22:5 (AMP)

The Amplified Bible calls Isaac a young man. Abraham was speaking to his servants, who are also called “young men” in the ESV and KJV. The word in Hebrew being translated here is “naar.” It means, “A boy, lad, youth, retainer.” This is the same word used to describe Isaac, which is translated as “boy.” It’s also the same word used to describe the servants who are described as young men. Therefore, we can surmise that Isaac was a young man. This is one supportive point for Isaac not being the young boy that we might have thought.

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together.

Genesis 22:6 (NIV)

If we just read a translation calling Isaac a boy, we might wonder how a boy could carry all of the wood needed for a sacrifice. This verse is another point that supports the notion that Isaac was a young man and not a boy. It doesn’t make sense that Isaac would be a small boy who could carry a bunch of wood.

I believe the next verse also reveals that Isaac had been taught about the Lord, and all the things necessary for a sacrifice.

Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Genesis 22:7 (NIV)

I don’t see a young child being so cognizant as a young man of everything needed for a sacrifice.

These are all points within the Bible that point to Isaac not being a young boy but a young man. Outside of the Bible, Jewish tradition and other commentators give several different ages over twenty years old for Isaac.

Jewish males were considered adults at the age of twelve. Now, consider Isaac, a strapping young man capable of carrying all of the firewood necessary for a sacrifice. Surely, Isaac could have easily resisted his father if he didn’t trust him and have faith in God.

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.

Genesis 22:9 (NIV)

Abraham was able to bind Isaac as a sacrifice because Isaac allowed him to do so. That’s great faith!

Conclusion

There is no room in the kingdom of God for those who would exalt themselves. In the centurion, Abraham, and Isaac we saw great faith and humility in action. While we’ve primarily looked at faith today, I see humility as being essential to faith. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us we can have the faith to move mountains without love. However, without a spirit of humility and meekness, I think we’d be hard-pressed to move the smallest of pebbles.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.