It was unspoken good manners among country people to
leave your front door key under the mat. If you were away for a day or a
week or a year and your neighbour, or a passing stranger, needed
anything from your home, the key was there.
Only bad-mannered people would take the key away so I was shattered to read that long ago, a key had been taken away. It wasn’t just the key to a house, it was the key to knowledge.
All our understanding, our deepest thoughts, come from accumulated knowledge so if we don’t have the key, neither do we have thoughtful and wise governance.
We get accumulated knowledge and thought from books and histories. Like the key under the front door mat, the key to any book is its first chapters. You don’t understand the book at all unless you understand where it is coming from and what it aims to teach.
So when Jesus said the teachers had taken away the key to knowledge, Luke 11:52, perhaps He was saying they had taken away the earliest chapters of the Bible. These are the key to the rest of the book because they tell what it aims to teach.
By the way, the word translated ‘knowledge’ can equally be translated ‘science’, so ‘they have taken away the key to science’ would be equally correct.
Then when Jesus said, at the end of the book, ‘I stand at the door and knock’, perhaps He was saying ‘the teachers have taken the key away but if you put it back, I will come in and open the Book to you.’ (Revelation 3:20).
Don’t let bad mannered people take the key away will you? Put it at the door so that Jesus can come in to be with us.