Math has never been my best subject.
But If I had to choose, my favorite types of problems are greater than, less than or equals questions.
5 > 1.
3 < 4.
2 + 2 = 4, nothing less, nothing more.
That’s my speed.
These problems have always made the most sense.
So I am fairly sure all the math lovers like me were completely confused when Jesus began His lesson on how one is greater than ninety-nine.
“Look at it this way. If someone has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders off, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine and go after the one? And if he finds it, doesn’t he make far more over it than over the ninety-nine who stay put?” Matthew 18: 12-13 MSG
One celebrated more than ninety-nine?
In a world that promotes more is better, how could this be correct?
It was almost as if Jesus was speaking in another language.
And He was.
Jesus spoke in the language of love.
The Great Teacher also included math when teaching lessons on the subjects of grace and forgiveness.
“ At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven? Hardly. Try seventy times seven.”
Matthew 18: 21-22 MSG
If this had been a multiple choice question, I probably would have thought the seventy times seven number seemed a little high.
It didn’t make sense.
But if we want to follow Him, than we need to recheck our math.
Jesus wants us to learn to forgive others as many times as He forgives us.
I don’t know about you, but I am sure the number of times He has forgiven me goes well beyond seventy times seven.
Jesus does not use the same textbooks or lessons that the world offers, but invites us to study His word so we may begin to understand His great love for each of us.
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should how high, how wide, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to fully understand .” Ephesians 3: 18-19 NLT
No formula will ever be able to compute His infinite love for us.
It is immeasurable.
We will never be able to fully understand it .
But as His children, may we never stop trying to learn about it and share it with others.
His love is too great not to share.