20 Questions

While married and still in college Judy and I did a nursing home ministry. I don’t remember how we came about to do it, but we did it every Sunday morning for a few years. While driving to the nursing home we would listen to a Bible game show that played on a local Christian radio station. It was called 20 Questions. We enjoyed listening to it because it was such that you felt engaged while it was in progress.

The game had a moderator and there were always the same three players. Two of the players were scholars/theologians that taught in the school we attended. They were very knowledgeable and both were considered Greek scholars. The third participant was a regular joe. He ran the local Christian radio station that played the game show. He had no letters after his name and he didn’t know Greek. As far as I knew he didn’t teach any religious classes at the school either.

The three participants had to come up with the answer to what the moderator was thinking within 20 questions. It always had something to do with the Bible. The only clue the moderator would give was that it was either animal, vegetable or mineral. From that they had to come up with whatever the moderator had picked out from the Bible. They could work as a team but they only had 20 questions to come up with the answer.

Many times they would come up with the answer. It always blew me away how they could do it. Some of the answers were very obscure and from very obscure passages. Needless to say I was somewhat in awe of their knowledge of the Bible.

As we listened to the program regularly there was one thing I noticed. Whenever the two scholars couldn’t figure it out the regular joe guy came up with the answer. That was the most amazing thing! He didn’t know Greek, wasn’t considered a “scholar” and didn’t teach Bible in a Bible college. It defied all logic, at least to me. More than anything I wondered how he did it.

One day as I was working at the local gas station this fellow pulled up to the pumps to get his car filled. That was back in the days when someone actually pumped the gas for the customer. We even checked the tire pressure along with all the fluids — plus, we even washed the windshield. All at no extra cost. It’s just how America was back when America was still America. Don't get me going …

He pulled up to the pumps one day and I thought this would be my opportunity to ask him how he did it. As I walked up to his car I noticed his KJV Bible on the front seat. Nope, not a study Bible. Nope, no fancy leather. I’m confused. How can this guy know the Bible better than the scholars. So, I got my courage up and decided to ask him how he did it. I explained that he always seemed to come up with the answers when the two Bible professors were stumped. How did he do it?

Here’s what he told me. (This was before I met Mrs. Inez Milford, mind you. I think this incident helped to prepare me for when I did finally meet her.) He said he just read the Bible over-and-over starting at the beginning and reading it to the end. Really?? That’s it?? That’s his great technique?? I expected something more. That he poured over commentaries. That he knew Greek. That he cheated!

But, that was it. He just read it over from cover-to-cover. Why did I go to Bible college? They never told me that. All I knew was I needed to learn Greek, buy Bible commentaries and sit under such luminaries like the professors in the game.

Why is it we don’t hear about people like him and Mrs. Inez Milford? Why is it that the people with all the letters after their names are the ones we automatically look to as the ones that should guide us?

There needs to be a resurgence back to a simpler mindset. Just read the Bible — over-and-over from start to finish. Have you done that yet? You know, Duke Ellington read the Bible twice. I dare say he read it more than a lot of Christians. And, he was far from being a born-again believer.

It really comes down to the heart. Not the mind, but the heart. I don’t know about you, but I want to be like that regular joe guy that came to the gas station with his KJV Bible on the front seat having more personal and practical knowledge about the Bible than the scholars.

Have we lost sight of 1 Corinthians 1:26-31:

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Let’s get reading. What do you say?