Language of Arithmetic: Multiplication

Mathematical symbols and formulas are ways of expressing relationships in the world. They serve to proffer solutions to human situations.

Curriculum January 18, 2021

Mathematical symbols and formulas are ways of expressing relationships in the world. The simple basic arithmetic logics of the elementary branch of mathematics that deals with division, addition, subtraction and multiplication provide powerful insights to human situations and relationships. Here we examine the branch of multiplication:


Multiplication deals with computing the sum of numbers to a specified number of times. It can also mean to increase, to grow or to propagate.

Kingdom principles are highly embedded in multiplication. First and foremost, computing the sum of a number to a specified number of times runs pari passu with Jesus’s guideline in His response to how many times a brother or a sister will offend and the offender will forgive. In his answer, He gave them a principle of multiplication, of computing the sum of seventy into seven times. The principle of computing the number of times one offends before forgiveness is withdrawn, teaches patience with one another. But this principle seems to have been trodden in the dust by the world, even the Christian world. There is a heightened level of impatience among God’s children; to the point that most of God’s children are not patient with their God any more.

One of the hardest things that humans have battled with and are still battling with today, whether in the home, workplace, school, church, mosque, or even within and among nations, is forgiveness. Society is fractured everywhere for lack of patience. Some struggle to forgive but at some point they give up and take the other route. Simply obeying Jesus’s computing principle of seventy times seven will help to let go and help one to live better and at peace with others. So long as there is life, there will be offenses and for those on a journey, the vehicle, the boat, the ship, or the plane can arrive on shore or land safely as those on the journey cooperate and overlook some of the unacceptable and unwanted situations they come in contact with. And so, the journey to heaven will have more success only as the principle of forgiveness: computing the sum of the number of offense, seventy times seven, is adhered to.

The multiplication principle of “to increase” corroborates with Paul’s admonition of add to faith, hope and to hope, and so on. With the happenings in the world today, men’s hearts are failing them. The faith of many is waxing cold and love is dying. The world has adopted the multiplication principle of “to increase”, but in hostility, wickedness and avarice. As God’s children, the direction of the increase should be on the reverse side of where the world is. Therefore, returning to the word of God helps us increase in the right direction so that righteousness or right doing may overtake the evil that diffuses today’s society.

The multiplication principle of “to propagate” falls in line with Mathew 28:19-20 where Jesus gave specific instruction to His followers on what to do. Go, make disciples, baptize and teach. This principle is a comprehensive guide to God’s children in a world where there are lots of distractions. Unfortunately, God’s people have left the injunction of their master to propagate His kingdom by going, making, and baptizing, and are teaching and propagating what the world propagates.  The social media of God’s children is filled with junk that dries up the spiritual vitality of the church or the people. So much so that interests in the things of God have waned, the hearts of the youth are misguided, their interest is gone, and they don’t feel the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of God.  How pertinent that God’s children will recognize the multiplication principle of  “to propagate” in the right sense of to go, make, baptize, and teach so that hearts are fed with the right kind of food, for the right kind of growth for the kingdom.

How can we, as educators, take these multiplication principles and not only follow the command to teach, but also to instill in our students and colleagues a sense of the importance of Jesus’s multiplication principle in the world today?


Ochulor Nwaugo

Dr. Nwaugo is a lecturer at the Department of Languages and Literary Studies at Babcock University, Ogun State, Nigeria.

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