Are you an expert at math? Recently, someone on Twitter confounded the worldwide ciphering community by asking them to answer this math question: 8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ?
Do you know the answer?
To find the answer, most of you will revert to your high school math teacher's order of operations. Sal Khan explains that the order of operations is a rule that tells the correct sequence of steps for evaluating a math expression. We can remember the order by using PEMDAS: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division (from left to right), Addition and Subtraction (from left to right).
To answer this question according to PEMDAS, you must deal with whatever is in parentheses first, right? Do you have the answer now? I’ll wait while you Google it. But you will discover that even the experts solve 8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ? with two different answers! Math can be confusing.
Some have said that mathematics is a “closed” system where deduction is the fundamental method of reasoning. Math is cumbered with axioms and their implications, and includes multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.
All of this sounds so perfect until Jesus steps into the calculations. Christ has the authority to turn axioms and PEMDAS upside down! He can open any “closed” system with His Word. We call it a miracle when the Lord does the impossible.
Here are three miraculous illustrations of God breaking mathematical orders of operation. First, 2 Kings 4:42-44 presents an awesome account of multiplication that breaks all mathematical rules. The prophet Elisha takes a small amount of food and with the help of our miracle working God, he feeds 100 men. That makes 8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ? look easy!
Second, Matthew 14:13-21 recounts the miracle of Jesus feeding 5,000 men plus women and children with five loaves and two fish. And they had 12 baskets full of leftovers! Twitter would collapse trying to figure this miracle out.
Third, Matthew 15:32-39 re-emphasizes the truth that Christ can open “closed” systems when He fed 4,000 men plus women and children with just seven loaves and a few fish. And they even had seven baskets full of leftovers!
God created math and He can defy PEMDAS if He chooses. Sir Isaac Newton, one of the world’s greatest mathematicians, stated, “God created everything by number, weight, and measure.” And Galileo Galilei, known as the father of modern science, wrote, “The laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics.”
Indeed, Christ is the Master mathematician. As it says in Colossians 1:17 NLT, “He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.” And that supersedes man’s order of operations.
Zig Ziglar captured my thoughts when he said: “I will handle my problems as opportunities in a different, more effective manner, based on the power of advanced mathematics: You + God = Enough!”