Did you know Jesus was a math whiz?
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up,"Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"
Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
Of the miracles recounted in the Gospels, this is the one I most wish I'd witnessed (except for the resurrection). Jesus took something tangible yet meager, and provided for the needs of those around Him. I imagine it was a sight to behold!
Jesus has quite a crowd following Him. He sees they were hungry, and presents the problem to Philip. Practical Philip, who immediately looks at the situation from a logical standpoint and determines they don't have enough money to solve the problem. He doesn't consider that the One who created food is standing right beside him.
Andrew looks for a solution, but what he's able to find is insufficient.
And then there's the boy. He gives everything he has with him. He knows exactly what was in his basket...a paltry lunch for such a large crowd. Yet he watches as Jesus uses it to solve a seemingly unsolvable problem.
Food. Time. Money. Patience. Forgiveness. Whenever there's not enough, Jesus will provide. But only if we give Him what we do have first.
Perhaps, like Philip, we look at our checkbooks or calendars and we don't see how to solve the problem. We're focused on what we see, and we lose sight of the fact that the One who governs time and economics is right by our side.
Maybe, like Andrew, we go out looking for solutions but come up short. What we find is woefully insufficient to address the need before us.
When we take the little we have and place it into Jesus' hands, He multiplies it to cover the need. When I give my day to Him, I'm able to accomplish more. When I hand Him the bills and the checkbook, He makes sure there's enough (and often some left over). When I don't feel I can swallow one more dose of pre-teen attitude, He makes it go down a little smoother.
It's the Rule of Multiplication.
Maybe math is my favorite subject after all!