“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.” Mathew 14:7
There are many things that I admire about Jesus, but on the top of my list is his ability to do fractions. Just think, the disciples gave him 5 loaves of bread and 2 measly fish and then Jesus went to work teaching the best math lesson I’ve ever heard. He divided up the food and fed 5000 hungry and the tired new believers and even had some left over.
When I first heard this story in Sunday school, many years ago I should have listened closer or at least taken notes. It is definitely a math lesson, with a little faith thrown in, that I could have applied as I sat around our kitchen table with my dad redoing my algebra homework. You see I was usually on the honor roll, all A’s except for that pesky grade that floated from a strong B- to a C each nine weeks in algebra. Give me a verb to conjugate and I was all in, but don’t even think about one of those crazy algebraic equations that involved 3x squared and 2y and then if you dare to throw in rational numbers and irrational numbers you might as well be speaking another language. I told dad many times that he was being totally irrational to even assume I could grasp this class.
Dad hung in there with me and I worked really hard, and that C/B- became a steady B. Nothing flashy but steady, steady, steady. Kind of like the disciples. They questioned Jesus and his mathematical equations, but they kept on passing those baskets around.
After many nights around the kitchen table redoing algebra, Dad had to know I couldn’t do fractions, yet when he passed away, I joined the disciples and their questioning mode. He made me executrix of his estate. A lot of ciphering came my way. He owned cows and if any of you have “cow experience” you know what goes along with that. It was stuff that was to be divided between my brothers and myself and my step mom. Have you ever had to divide a cow in half and then divide that half into thirds? I thought I was going to “half” to call a butcher until a brilliant lawyer informed me I could just sell all the cows and divide the profits. I guess I didn’t have enough nights around that table. I was lamenting this problem to my brothers, and finally in my exasperation I used my “sister” squeal of the past and asked, “Don’t you know Sister don’t do fractions?” We shared a sibling laugh, of late nights around the kitchen table, and dad trying to help me understand Algebra.
But you know what my dad understood? He knew I would get the job done no matter what. After He was gone, Jesus’ disciples probably had laughs around their table, of the day they just couldn’t figure out the formula of how five loaves and 2 fish could feed the 5000. With their amazement came the understanding that, once again, He was the supreme teacher of us all. Jesus could count on the disciples. They might have questioned Him and His math skills, but they trusted and followed through with the Savior’s plan.
The nights around our kitchen table were good practice for my math needs of the future, even though I still can’t do fractions. But steady, steady, steady with faith is a good practice for walking a life with Jesus, our supreme teacher. Won’t you join me?
Points to Ponder
- Do you have kitchen table memories?
- Has your faith in Jesus increased throughout the years? In what way?
- Who is your supreme teacher? How did they get that title?
Pray with Me:
Dear Lord of all,
You give me memories of faith and blessings. May you always be in the middle of those cherished times and those yet to come.
Sitting at Your table.
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I hope you’ll be my walking partner as I navigate my way through a life of whimsy, grace, and a lot of love for our Savior. You can read about my adventures on this blog, Wandering the Path, or if you’d rather, join me on my podcast Wandering the Path with Debi.
And remember, as my Auntie used to say, “No matter how bumpy the journey, your path has already been cleared.”