Who's Your One? The Importance of Numbers

Numbers - we use them ever day. Some are scared of them. Others embrace them with joy. Numbers can be multiplied, divided, added, and subtracted. They can be held up to cheer a team or used to jeer at a team.  Numbers are often utilized to prove a point. Simply put, numbers are everywhere. 

Numbers are important to God, as well. As we talked about in the first “Who’s you One?” session, the Bible makes mention of numbers, too.  We hear of Peter struggling to make sense of everything that has happened now that his teacher has been crucified.  He has returned to his old way of life of fishing and having no success at all. Then a Man notices Peter’s struggles, and tells him to cast his nets on the other side of the boat to find success. Galilean fishing boats were not the size of even today’s fishing ships. Cast the nets on the other side? Only 15 feet away from where he has been fishing for some time? Peter, probably just to prove a point, obeyed. All of a sudden, Peter felt a tug and his boat move.  Peter pulled up his nets and shockingly saw a full load of fish.  Specifically, the load of fish numbered 153.      

From Genesis to Revelation, numbers are highlighted. The first notation of an individual number comes from Moses as he recounts the “first” day of creation. 6 days of creation followed, with the noticeable 7th day of rest. The building of the ark is described in great detail down to the very number of “cubits” needed. Exodus begins with the institution of the 10 commandments. The people of Israel are composed of 12 tribes. The disobedient people of Israel wander 40 years in the desert. Solomon painstakingly followed the instructions in the Law of the Old Testament down to the tiniest of details in the building of the Temple of God. Again, another number:  “The Lord our God is one.”

But the importance of numbers does not stop there. Jesus calls 12 disciples - not 11, not 13. 12 disciples. Jesus sent His disciples out “two by two”. Jesus also states the He will destroy the temple, but in “3 days” build it back. Probably the most recognizable passage of the importance of numbers is the passage where Jesus fed 5,000 men (not counting the women and children) from “5 loaves and 2 fish.” Now those are some big numbers. 

The idea of the importance of Numbers accumulates and reaches its climax as John describes a scene of heaven where the throne room was crowded with “a great multitude which no one could number of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” John could not even count the number of people in God’s throne room! 

God still cares about numbers.  God cares about every “single” man and woman, every “single” boy and girl. God is not primarily concerned with church attendance numbers (though that is important to Him), but with the number of people who obtain salvation through Him. 

Our current series entitled, “Who’s your One?” highlights the importance of One. Just One. I can just hear a small boy thinking, “I’ve got to share Christ with all 7 billion people on the face of the planet? I can never do that!” What this boy is instructed, however, is to tell his one friend at school. Just One. Now, that seems doable. 

As we continue with our study of “Who’s Your One,” I’ll be praying about my One. You pray about your One. Together, we will seek to win the world to Christ, one person at a time. Hopefully, our church will grow and flourish as a result of this study. Always remember that, at one time, we were somebody else’s “One.” Let us be faithful to God as He is always faithful to us. 

Dr. Jeff Johnson