When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because… (Luke 7:4, 5 NIV)
It’s really no big secret that American culture has become one of entitlement. Somebody owes me. Somebody has to pay. The misfortunes of my life aren’t my fault. Somebody should have, could have and didn’t which is why I’m in the state I’m in. Never mind the choices I made that brought me to this state. I had to choose this because somebody….Yes, I think I’m entitled.
Spiritually this goes to a whole new level when we buy into the notion that paying our dues and doing everything right entitles us to receive something from God. Lord, I’ve served you all these years and gone to church, tithed, given in offerings, taught Sunday School, cleaned toilets, etc…. Surely I’m entitled to one blessing. I DESERVE one healing, one financial miracle, one answered prayer.
The context of this verse is a Roman Centurion who had a servant he greatly respected. The Jews in Capernaum gave their opinion of the Centurion’s entitlement to healing based on the fact that he loved Israel and financed the building of their synagogue. Based on this sheer goodness and faithfulness, he’s entitled to having Jesus heal his servant. But watch the Centurion’s attitude and posture toward Jesus:
“…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. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you…” (Luke 7:6, 7 NIV)
Contrast? Do ya think? “I don’t DESERVE anything. I’m not even worthy to come to you myself which is why I sent my friends.”
There’s something about genuine faith that just oozes with humility. The Centurion didn’t give Jesus his spiritual resume, nor did he come wielding the sword of state authority. He simply recognized the sovereign authority of Jesus and asked in humble faith on behalf of his servant. Guess what: The servant was healed.
Perhaps if we would humble ourselves, shake off our attitudes of entitlement, and recognize that God is God and we are not, we would experience more of His blessing and favor of upon our lives.