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Are You Living with a Kingdom Expectation?

August 09, 2023

Are You Living with a Kingdom Expectation?

Are You Living with a Kingdom Expectation?

By Brooke Holt

"Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, 'This is a desolate place, and the day is now over, send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.' But Jesus said, 'They need not go away; you give them something to eat.' They said to him, 'We have only five loaves here and two fish.'" Matthew 14:15-17

Would people describe you as an optimist or a pessimist, or maybe a better question is do you see the glass as half full or half empty? At this point in Jesus’ ministry, the disciples tended to be pessimists or the half empty glass people - a baffling perspective considering everything they had seen Jesus do up to this point. Jesus, on the other hand, the optimist, saw the glass as half full. He saw every person and circumstance through a kingdom lens. For Jesus, every challenge or problem offered a divine opportunity.

Before criticizing these disciples, we must first consider the day they experienced. Earlier in the day, they received the news of John the Baptist’s beheading. They thought they were headed to a desolate place with Jesus only to find massive crowds awaiting them on the shore. Then, they had been doing ministry alongside Jesus all day long. They were tired, hungry, and probably quite spent.

On the other hand, the crowds experienced the most amazing day! People were healed, taught, and well loved. They had no desire to leave Jesus; instead, they wanted more of his teaching and ministry. They weren’t thinking of the long walk ahead of them or the fact that they had not eaten. Being with Jesus was consuming and invigorating.

The disciples thought quite differently than the people gathered. They talked among themselves and came up with a good, common-sense plan for Jesus: “send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves” (v. 15). This would provide the break they had waited for – surely Jesus would appreciate their logic and thoughtfulness.

Typical of Jesus, he had another plan: “you give them something to eat” (v.16). Here, you see the disciples half-empty thinking: “We only have five loaves here and two fish” (v. 17). The disciples saw their lack while Jesus envisioned a great miracle. He took the loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke them, and distributed food until all had eaten to their full. Jesus took their “only” and created an abundant provision.

The Kingdom of God is one in which the Savior works miracles for his people. No obstacle is too big for him, and he has no limits to what he can do. The disciples struggled to see with kingdom eyes. They saw limitations. Jesus expanded their thinking that day and allowed them to participate in his miraculous provision.

Throughout his ministry, Jesus would continue to challenge the pessimistic/half empty thinking of the disciples by defying human expectations and limitations. Maybe he would like to do the same for you today!


How might the Lord want to expand your thinking today? How is he inviting you into his miraculous provision? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Recommended Resource:

Pilgrim's Path

Follow the ancient way of the Psalms and find the life God has for you. A model for vibrant worship, the Psalms provide practical wisdom to traverse the circuitous path of life with trust and hope. Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms traces our spiritual walk with God—from discovery and delight, through doubt and disappointment, into joyful confidence. Whether used for individual or group study, Pilgrim’s Path is for everyone who seeks to know and love God more and find life in him.


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