Justin frowned as he tried to adjust the Bunsen burner underneath the beaker of chemicals in the chemistry lab. “Tino, the burner just isn’t high enough. We’ll never get these chemicals hot enough. Let me use one of your books to prop it up and get it closer to the beaker. That one is just about the right size.” Justin grabbed for Tino’s Bible which was sitting on top of his stack of textbooks.
Tino’s eyes widened in astonishment. He grabbed the Bible out of Justin’s grasp just as he was about to place it under the burner. “You can’t use the Bible for that!” As he pulled his arm back his elbow hit the beaker. CRASH! Hot glass and chemicals splattered everywhere!
“Look what you’ve done,” Justin lashed out. “Boy are we going to get it now!”
“I’m sorry. It was an accident. But you can’t use the Bible as a prop.”
“I don’t see why not. What difference does it make?”
“Shhh, I’ll tell you later. Here comes Mr. Budgett.”
That afternoon Justin boarded the bus and scanned the seats for Tino. Spotting Tino three rows from the back, he plopped down in the seat Tino had saved for him.
“Now will you tell me what all that was about in Chemistry this morning? I just wanted to use one of your books to prop up the burner and the next thing I knew you had knocked the entire experiment on the floor. Now we’ve got extra cleanup duty every night after school for a week.”
“Hey, I’m really sorry, Justin, but that was the Bible! Don’t you realize that you don’t use God’s Holy Word that way?”
“The Bible is just a book, so what’s all the fuss?” Justin replied.
“The Bible isn’t ‘just a book,’ it’s the most important Book in the world! It’s not like any other,” said Tino.
“Well, what makes it so special?” Justin questioned.
“The many writers of the Bible were directed to write it by God himself. The Bible says that ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God.’ That’s how God has given us the instructions for living the way He wants us to in this world, and how to get ready for Heaven.”
Justin looked doubtful. “My dad says that parts of the Bible contradict other parts. So how can you believe it?”
“Justin, have you ever read the Bible for yourself?”
“You should, and it would change your opinion. In fact the Bible is perfect. The four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—give four different views of the life of Christ. Each point of view complements the other and gives an accurate picture of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.”
Justin shook his head. “I don’t think I could believe the Bible the way you do. My dad says it’s just Jewish history.”
“Do you believe in the Christmas story—the birth of Jesus in the stable?”
“Of course. It’s just all that other stuff I don’t believe.”
Tino picked up his chemistry book. “Justin, when you read the chapters that Mr. Budgett assigns, do you go through each chapter and say, ‘I am going to believe what it says on this page but not the next’?”
“That’s silly. You know I don’t.”
“Then how can anyone just pick out parts of the Bible to believe? You have to believe all of it or you may as well believe none of it.”
“Okay, you have a point, but I have one more question for you. If the Bible is the great Book you say it is, how come I hear about so many different versions of it?”
Tino replied, “That’s man’s doing, not God’s. God says if any man takes away part of the Bible, God will take his name out of the Book of Life.” Justin sat with a thoughtful expression.
At the boys’ bus stop, they got off and silently walked toward their homes. When they reached Justin’s driveway, Tino stopped and looked at him. “Justin, why don’t you come to Sunday school with me next Sunday? We’ll give you a Bible. Then when you read it, you’ll see that it’s not just any book.”