Jottings

A Shortage
of Idiots

by | 9 February 2022

Peter and John were not
educated men, but people
could see that they had
been with Jesus

I have always appreciated Acts 4:13, which speaks of how the Sanhedrin reacted to the testimony of the apostles:

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.

Recently, however, when I looked at this verse, something new impressed me about it. That is, the Greek word for “untrained” here is actually idiotes; it is, of course, the source for our word, “idiot.”

The meaning of the Greek word is somewhat different from that of our English word, but it still indicates that the Jewish religious leaders thought of Peter and John as being “ignorant,” “unlearned,” and even “rude” in the sense of being uncultured. To them, the apostles really were nothing more than “a couple of idiots!”

Why is the church so weak in our time? Just because we are short of this kind of “idiot.”

What a marvelous testimony these brothers had! They themselves were nothing, even “idiots” in the eyes of the world, but their boldness and their speaking compelled others to realize they had been with Jesus.

We should all aspire to have such an impact on others for Christ. But, for this to happen, we must be willing to be seen as “idiots” ourselves. We need to follow Christ to such an extent that the world considers us as fools (cf. 1 Cor. 4:10). Moreover, we do not trust in our own knowledge, power, or eloquence, but in being with Jesus, and in His being with us as we stand with Him for the sake of His testimony, “holding forth the word of life” as “lights” in this dark age (Phil. 2:16). What a privilege is this!

Then it may be said of us as well:

They realized that they had been with Jesus.

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— 9 February 2022 —