Math formula & the Good News


 I love math. I love algebra and geometry. There’s a formula. It is predictable. It is consistent. It is black or white, right or wrong. 1 + 1 = 2, always. Or, at least, that is what I thought until I picked up the gospels. Read the story in Matthew 14:14-21. Jesus feeds the five thousand and try to follow along… There was a crowd and everyone was hungry. No one packed a lunch except a small boy; he was probably in Boy Scouts and knew he was supposed to “be prepared.” Anyway, he has his lunchbox with him. In it, he packed five small loaves and two small fish (most likely fist-sized dense rolls and the sardine or similar fish). Jesus used this food to feed the crowd and ended up with twelve baskets of leftovers. So, based on this story here is my equation:

(5 + 2) – 5000 = 12   So much for consistency in math!?!?

            I have found in my Christian life that this is the way things go with God. The Bible says God is unchanging (Malachi 3:6). This means that His love (1 John 4:8), grace (Titus2:11), omnipotence (Jeremiah 32:17), omniscience (Psalm 147:5), and perfection (2 Samuel 22:31) will never change. It does not mean He’s predictable. You can’t put Him in a box. With God you end up building boats in the desert (Genesis 6), walking on top of the sea (Matthew 14:29) or walking on dry ground through the sea (Exodus 14:21-22). God makes walls come tumbling down using trumpets and a parade (Joshua 6). He can bring a cemetary back to life (Ezekiel 37), and even make donkeys talk (Numbers 22:28). God doesn’t change, but He is not predictable. God’s ways and thoughts are far greater and higher than ours could ever be (Isaiah 55:8-9). So what does this mean for you? What does it mean for me?

I believe the truth of this can be best seen in Jesus’ promise to us. In John 10:10, Jesus tells us that He came so we could “have life”. And not just any old kind of life—He promises us an “abundant life!” Just like in the math formula above, God gives you more. More everything. God is consistently, wonderfully, perfectly, lovingly unpredictable. When God gets a hold of math, you end up with a formula like the one above.

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