Uneducated and untrained

Observing the boldness of Peter and John
and perceiving them to be uneducated and untrained men,
they [the Sanhedrin] were amazed…
Acts 4: 13

Praying this reading for the Saturday after Easter this morning, I too was amazed – and heartened – to see again how scripture, especially the New Testament, highlights the wisdom of the poor and simple.

I find myself, at many times, defending the poor against those who think that because many don’t have formal education they don’t have much to offer the world and they are easily manipulated. Some think that the way to solve the problems of the poor is to educate them so that they can become middle class citizens. Formal education is important, but insufficient.

But the scriptures tell us that God has revealed his wisdom to the simple, not to the wise and the learned (Matthew 11: 25).

And so God asks us to listen to the poor – not just their cries of distress, but the wisdom that they bring us – their resilience, their hospitality, their trust in God.

They may be uneducated – αγραμματοι, in Greek – and unlearned – ιδιωται, but God works through them to confound the powerful and arrogant.


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