– by Rhonda Fleming
I’ve been meditating on the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand lately (Matthew 14:13-21 NIV) . . . and it is rich.
The topic that speaks to me the most right now is expectations.
For anyone not familiar with the story, Jesus got in a boat with plans to get away and have some alone time. But crowds followed him on foot and were waiting for Him when he landed.
Jesus had compassion for the people and healed the ones who were sick.
As the day started fading, the disciples came to Jesus and reminded Him they were in a remote place and it was getting late. They told Him to send the crowds away so the people could go into the villages and get something to eat.
Jesus’s response was not what the disciples expected.
Jesus told them the people didn’t need to be sent away. In fact, He told the disciples they needed to give the people something to eat.
The crowd was huge . . . 5,000 men plus women and children. And there was no grocery store or fast food restaurant close by and it was going to be dark soon.
The expected, logical, next step was to dismiss the crowd so they could walk to the nearby villages before dark and get something to eat.
But sometimes Jesus doesn’t want us to do the expected thing. Or the logical thing.
The disciples were a little confused about what Jesus was expecting them to do at this point. So they brought a little more logic to Jesus’s attention. They showed Him exactly how much food they had.
In verse 17, the disciples say to Jesus, “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish.” And Jesus responds, “Bring them here to me.” (Image via Pixabay)
Five loaves, which were more like dinner rolls, and two small fish. That should have given Jesus a jolt of reality and helped Him see the logic in their plan.
But Jesus wasn’t swayed. All He said was, “Bring them here to me.”
Has Jesus ever asked you to do something that didn’t make sense?
Have you ever gone to Jesus with a huge need expecting Him to do the logical thing?
That’s how I pray a lot of times. I see a need, or I have a need, and the answer seems so simple, so logical. And since Jesus is all powerful, I ask Him to just fix it.
But sometimes Jesus doesn’t want to just fix it.
Sometimes He wants me to be part of the solution.
When I realize Jesus expects me to help solve a problem, my first thought usually falls in line with the disciples. I look at what I have . . . or, more accurately, at what I don’t have . . . and I remind Jesus of my lack.
The disciples weren’t sure what Jesus expected them to do with the little they had.
They didn’t realize they already had all they needed.
When they brought their lack of enough resources to Jesus’s attention, I think they probably expected Him to change His mind and send the crowd away.
I know that’s what I usually do.
I expect him to look for someone else . . . someone who has more resources than me.
Or someone who is more spiritually mature than me.
I tend to believe that Jesus is expecting me to already have all the resources I need for whatever problem He wants me to solve.
And when He asks me to do something I don’t feel equipped for . . . .
It’s easy to feel like Jesus is expecting me to be more than I am.
To have more than I have.
To know more than I know.
To be further along than I’ve progressed.
And that is Just. Not. True.
Jesus knows exactly who we are, where we are, what we have, how much progress we’ve made in our walk with Him. And when He asks us to do something, He knows exactly who He’s asking.
He knows we cannot provide the solution alone. But He knows we have everything we need to live the life He asks us to live . . . to do the things He asks us to do.
Jesus is looking for people to partner with Him today in bringing Kingdom answers to earthly problems.
He’s looking for people with only five loaves and two fish who will bring them to Jesus . . . with an expectancy that He will multiply the little they have in order to meet the need in front of them.
What do you expect Jesus would do if we surrendered the little we have and agreed to partner with Him in meeting the needs He brings to our attention?
I believe we would be as amazed as the disciples were with the end result. Because they didn’t just ‘meet’ the needs of that huge crowd. Each disciple took home a basket full of leftovers!
What are you partnering with Jesus to do today?
What are you expecting Jesus to do through you today?
He wants us to be part of a miracle.
Are you willing?
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This blog post was written by Rhonda Fleming, Founder of Anchoring Hope.
Rhonda is the author of Treasure Seeker Bible Study Workbook.