One of the landmark attractions in the United States is the Library of Congress. Located in our nation’s capital, it sports the title of “the library with the most books in the world”—more than 36 million by some estimates. Imagine the undertaking it would be to read them all!
If you could devote eight hours a day to reading, at 250 words per minute, you could manage about 120,000 words a day. And there are roughly 2,304,000,000,000 words in the library of congress.
So, yeah…that’s about 2,190 years or nearly 2.2 millennia of reading.
It goes without saying that even the most avid reader of all time wouldn’t be able to cover the entire scope of material in the Library of Congress in her lifetime. The library itself is enormous, housing 838 miles of shelves within its walls. Some brilliant architects certainly had their hands in the mix to ensure that one library could house so many words—words of fiction and history, religion and science, in multiple languages with their origins spanning across thousands of years.
I’ll admit; I’m a bibliophile. I could talk about books and libraries like this all day. There was a pretty important historical figure who had something to say about books, too: the Apostle John. Referring to the Rabbi he followed, John had this to say as the parting word of his Gospel:
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
Take a moment to ponder this. Really consider its implications deeply.
We have four Gospels, many times covering the same events from different points of view, all painting the picture of the perfect Christ – the suffering servant and conquering king, the hero of all mankind. And yet what we see Jesus do—the infirm he mended, the sick he healed, the dead he raised, the demons he cast out, the restoration of mankind that he accomplished, all of it—is like looking through a keyhole into a small sliver of a life that was beyond our comprehension.
One infinitesimal library on a few city lots in the heart of Washington, D.C. houses more books than one person can read in their lifetime; and yet John was inspired by God to write that the things Jesus did could fill up more books than the entire world could contain.
Just think of the stories about Jesus that you haven’t heard—the miracles, the wonders, the life-altering acts he performed. And that same Jesus is still working powerfully behind the scenes on behalf of those he loves.
That includes YOU!
Two thousand years ago, Jesus had already done enough in this world that it couldn’t contain all the records of his actions. Now imagine the stories Jesus will have to tell when we see him face-to-face one day—the accounts of his powerful works, the spiritual warfare, the miracles and interventions taking place over thousands of years.
It’s almost incomprehensible, and I can only say one thing for certain: we’re definitely going to need a bigger library!