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By Lois Parker Edstrom
Objects suggested: Small chalk board or poster board and marker, apples and oranges or other items you have on hand to demonstrate addition and subtraction.
When you begin to study mathematics you soon realize that you must be able to prove your answer. Some of you may be just beginning to think about math and others, who are older, are further along.
Let’s start with simple mathematics. Here we have apples. Let’s count them. Yes, one, two. Now if I take one apple away, how many are left? Yes, one. How do I know this answer is correct? If I place the apple I took away, back with the first apple, I now have two, the number we started with. I have added one apple to the other apple to make two and if I subtract (take away) one apple from the other apple I have one. (Demonstrate the numbers on a chalk board or poster board.)
Let’s try the exercise again with oranges. Here we have five oranges. If I take away two oranges how many are left? Yes, three. Let’s count them. How can we prove that this is correct? Yes, by adding back the two oranges we took away. Now we have five and have proven that our solution to the problem is correct.
Before Jesus went to be with God he appeared to his disciples and he taught them how they could prove their love for him. Three times he asked Simon Peter,“…do you love me?” (21:15, 16, and 17). Each time Simon Peter replied, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you” (21:15, 16, and 17).
Each time Simon Peter replied that he did indeed love Jesus, Jesus said,“Feed my lambs” (21:15).“Tend my sheep” (21:16).“Feed my sheep” (21:17).
This may sound like an unusual answer, but what Jesus meant was that if you love me there is a way you can prove it. Jesus compared how one would take care of sheep with how we care for each other. We feed and care for each other with God’s love. So, the way we can prove our love for God is by giving backhis love to others. When we accept God’s love and add it to our lives, then give it away to others, we prove our love for him.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2008, Richard Niell Donovan