“…saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” – Hebrews 6:14

Early in my education, I had to memorize the multiplication tables. It wasn’t all that hard and more importantly it was a necessity as you progressed in school. By learning multiplication and memorizing the times tables you provide yourself with essential building blocks to do higher learning math, like division, fractions and even algebra. Through multiplication, you can start with a small number and be at a big number pretty rapidly. One example is someone willing to pay you a penny for the first day’s work and double the amount every day for 30 days. On Day 30 you will receive $5,368,709.12 and have a cumulative total of $10,737,418.23.

Another compelling multiplication story is the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000 where Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fish into enough food to feed a multitude. And the number of 5,000 doesn’t give us the complete picture. In Jewish culture, the way they counted crowds is they counted men. There were about 5,000 families. So there were probably somewhere in between 15,000 to 20,000 people fed that day.

“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?” (John 6:5-6)  In a multiplication formula, the two items being multiplied are called factors and the result of their multiplication is called the product. When one of the factors is zero, the product will always be zero. Zero multiplied by one is zero. Zero multiplied by a million equals zero.

The disciples thought they had nothing or next to nothing. But in this story and others we learn what Jesus can do with something small.  Many of us feel like we don’t have much. But the  truth is, we have something. We have financial blessings, material blessing, talents, time, abilities, and gifts. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

God has blessed us with something with which He can start. And He does not ask for what you do not have. But He will ask for what you do have. In the story, bread and fish are multiplied into bread and fish. Granted, as creator, Jesus can change anything into anything He wants, like He did when he turned water into wine. But it is more common that things multiply after themselves.

If you exercise the muscles you have, the result is greater muscles. If you pour yourself into your studies, the result will be greater knowledge. If you exercise your voice in song, in time you will be a better singer. If you teach, your teachings skills will improve. There are many other examples. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” ( Luke 6:38)

Circle the word “it”. What is “it” in your life. What in your life can God multiply if you give it to Him? 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How can God’s multiplication manifest itself in our lives today?
  2. Jesus asked them another question, “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five–and two fish.” (Mark 6:38) What do we have? Are we willing to bring our resources, gifts, talents, and time to Him?
  3. The disciples might not have understood, what He was going to do? But they followed His orders nonetheless. Do you believe that God wants us to act in faith, even when we do not understand it.
  4. Jesus’ final assignment for His disciples was to, “gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” (John 6:12) Can we trust that God’s provision is more than adequate in our lives?
  5. Pray and ask God to bless and multiply what you have?