MIRACLES AND MATH
By Carolyn Dale Newell
Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
John 6:5-7 NKJV
In school, we learned facts before we were tested. Not so as Christians, who learn from our tests.
Are you in a difficult season? Perhaps, a health crisis, and the doctors say no other treatments are available. Despite your prayers that prodigal or lost loved one appears more distant from God than ever. Defeat overwhelms you. We have all faced times of financial crunches.
Let’s unpack John’s account about feeding the five thousand and gain some understanding about Christ. If the Apostle Phillip was alive today, he might be a Wall Street mogul. Judas was the treasurer for the group, but Phillip might have been the man in charge of operating expenses. He was a man of reason, studying the facts, and drawing conclusions solely based on his figures. Miracles don’t add up on a calculator.
“No, Jesus, I have run the numbers, and there is absolutely no way we can purchase food for this multitude.” Phillip reasoned.
He did not realize what Jesus could do. Phillip had witnessed miracles. He watched Jesus turn water into wine. Weak faith fails to put God into the accounting process.
Ready to blow a hole in Phillip’s logic, Jesus questioned him. Jesus had not revealed His plan. Jesus already knew what Phillip would say, but this pop quiz taught Phillip something. It teaches us too.
Andrew arrives announcing there is food on the premises, but it is only five barley loaves and two fish. Jesus takes the miniscule portions, blesses and breaks them. The disciples distributed food to everyone in attendance with twelve baskets of leftovers remaining.
Phillip’s faith grew. He discovered all his figures and results were meaningless with Jesus.
Our faith grows when we read about this miracle. Faith increases when Jesus shows up in our tests.
When the doctors are shocked. When the prodigal returns. When that lost loved one is saved after years of prayer.
When facts fail, factor in Jesus.
Heavenly Father, You are still saving, still healing, still providing and still doing the impossible. Forgive us when we listen to man. Help us remember all things are possible with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Read John 6:5-14.
HIKING THE TRAIL
Believe and expect. Do you believe God can? If not, prayerfully consider what causes your doubts. Read Mark 11:24 and expect your miracle.
Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell