The ability to type was once a very useful thing to
know. Being a good typist opened up many job opportunities. But today, it is not
even an option. We depend so much on computers that being able to use a
keyboard has become absolutely essential.
I learned to type back in the days before computers
and word processing. I sat in front of an old IBM Selectric and laboriously
pecked away without being allowed to look at the keyboard until the movements
The important thing is to start by putting your
fingers on what are called the “home keys” of the keyboard. These are A, S, D
and F on the left side, and J, K, L and semicolon on the right side. If you get
that right, with proper training, your fingers will naturally move to the other
keys correctly. With perseverance, these movements become instinctive and you will
find yourself typing quickly and accurately.
But sometimes, when I was learning to type, I didn’t
get my fingers on the right home keys. When
that happened, even though I made all the right moves with my fingers, what I
typed was absolute gibberish.
Guess what? That can also happen when you try to
understand the Bible. There are certain basic principles that act as starting
point. Once you get those principles right, the contents of this big book [hold up the Bible] begin to come
clear. But, if you get those biblical “home keys” wrong, your understanding
also gets distorted.
This is what
happened to some of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. Many were deeply
sincere and dedicated students of the Scriptures. They wanted to know what they
meant, and they wanted to do the right things to please God. But, because they
had gotten their fingers on the wrong home keys, so to speak, they ended up
rejecting the very One the Scriptures were about.
Jesus explains in John 5:39-40: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have
eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, but you refuse to come to me to have life.”
But even Christians can get the Scriptural message
all mixed up. Some see the Bible as the key to becoming healthy or wealthy. Some
think it’s their tool for predicting the immediate future. Some use it to
condemn people they don’t like or as justification of their oppression on
others. Some use the Bible to create a soul-strangling religion of rules rather
than listening to its proclamation of the good news, grace for lost sinners.
That’s the trouble with getting your fingers on the
wrong home keys. You can think you are making progress when all you are doing
is producing gibberish. With a keyboard, the home keys are non-negotiable. You
must use them if you want to type accurately. As the Second Epistle to Timothy
says, the Bible is there to “make us wise about salvation,” and it does that by
telling the good news of who Jesus Christ is for us, and who we are in him.
Get that right, and the rest will fall into
I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.