About 125 years ago, most scholars thought the Bible was filled with extraordinary words. The Greek New Testament has about five thousand different words, and about five hundred of them were believed to be extraordinarily unique. They didn’t appear in any other ancient Greek literature besides the Bible. It was almost as if, the scholars suggested, that there was a special language for this special book. But then one day in the late 1800s, two archaeologists were digging in an ancient garbage heap near the Nile River in Egypt. As they sifted through scraps of old papyrus—receipts, shopping lists, personal letters, etc.—they started to recognize a few words, the ones they thought were unique to the New Testament. First one, then two, then dozens, then hundreds! It turns out that the language of the Bible was ordinary language, that God was communicating with the words of the marketplace and the fishing dock. Because ordinary is how God ordinarily works.
That snippet of history reminds me of Jesus’ words: “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children” (Matthew 11:25). Apparently, you don’t need a PhD to read your name in the book of life. Just simple trust. Just the faith of a child.
That’s the extraordinary grace that you can find in your ordinary Bible.