The Lord’s Math: It is Different From Mine

by Joe Plemon on October 2, 2009

Creative Commons License photo credit: mackz

John 6:8-13

One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley and two fish, but what are they for so many?”

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”

Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.”

So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.”

Five thousand hungry people. The needs were overwhelming and the resources were few. But a boy who probably didn’t know math offered what he had, and, in the hands of Jesus, it was more than enough. After everyone was full, twelve baskets were left over.

As an engineer, I think that all too often my problem is that I DO know math. Had I been the one with the five loaves and two fish, I would have said, “Hmmm. Five loaves divided by five thousand. That comes to one thousandth of a loave each. Not enough to help anyone.” I fail to consider the Lord’s math: while I divide, he multiplies.

Does this make sense? Not to me, but I don’t claim to understand how faith works. I need to learn from this Hebrew boy…it could be that when I offer my time, my talents or my money to the Lord, he will use his math and multiply it. The Kingdom principle is that God will take my humble gift, use it and have plenty left over. There are no shortfalls in God’s economics.

Have you ever held back a gift because you thought it was inconsequential? Could you, like me, learn from this boy? No matter how small the gift, why not try offering it to our Lord. My hunch is that you will see some great multiplication take place.


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