4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
The Greek word politely translated 'untrained' is actually 'idiotes'. I will let you figure out what English word we have as an equivalent. The word for 'uneducated' is actually 'unschooled'.
Please don't misunderstand what I am about to say. I have a college degree and plan to get a master's degree. I am thankful I have a level of competence in Greek and Hebrew. Education is a powerful privilege. However it is not everything. It is offensive to me that these religious leaders knowing that they were unschooled fishermen automatically called them idiots. We're they unrefined? Probably. We're they fantastic readers? Probably not. Were they idiots? Absolutely not. I know men who never finished high school that can build a boat. It wouldn't surprise me if Peter and John built their own boats. I also know men with university degrees who struggle to change a light bulb.
My point is that we are incredibly judgemental. Give a person a degree and suddenly they start looking down on those who don't have one as if book learning is the only kind of intelligence there is. Ironic that with all their religious education and training they failed to recognize their own Messiah to the point they had Him murdered yet these "unschooled idiots" recognized who Jesus was...
Now the idiots are speaking boldly, powerfully, and eloquently to these men of learning and they are in shock.
Over the past week a forest fire has raged here in Alberta that destroyed parts of a city and forced the entire city to evacuate. Nearly 90 000 people have been displaced and sleeping in gymnasiums, arenas, hotels, and even work camps. The city is a working town up north that has played a large role in the Alberta oil industry. It is a working town. Some have taken the opportunity to cowardly sit behind their computer screens in a home that is not on fire to say things like the city deserves to burn. Meanwhile oil products were involved in the making of pretty much everything they use everyday. Such harsh angry judging is hard to comprehend.
The religious who's who of Jerusalem that has arrested Peter and John were happy to eat the fish these "idiots" caught and sold in the market I am sure.
What is my point in all this?
The religious leaders concluded "these men have been with Jesus".
Here is my conclusion. Jesus has been with all men and women everywhere through all time. In each individual He has implanted gifts and talents. Even those with severe disabilities that we too often dismiss as "idiots" have incredible gifts. They may have a memory that you can't imagine, or a capacity to love that is unparalleled. They may have a gift for music or some other talent. I had a great uncle who was severely autistic to the point he never learned to speak. However you could throw any math equation at him that you wanted and he would write the answer down almost immediately.
Some of us are gifted to work with books, others with our hands. Some are highly structured and organized. Some are creative and can invent and imagine new possibilities. Some have degrees and some have none but God has infused gifts into all of us.
Don't underestimate the 'idiots' or overestimate yourself. You may end up looking like the 'idiot'.
Let's celebrate the genius in all of us.