At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. (NRSV)
The people invited by Jesus to follow him were working class guys who were good at fishing but were not exactly intellectual giants. This statement of Jesus reinforces this fact: the good news he brought to humankind was not to be lapped up by the intelligentsia, absorbed only by those who had tertiary qualifications. God reveals himself to those who make themselves helplessly vulnerable to him, not to those who have reached a certain literary standard.
How things have changed in our part of the world! Innumerable books are published wanting to help us come to Jesus and grow to be like him. But many of these writings are quite beyond the reading abilities of many adults. We believe we have simplified and improved our church services, but we still don’t grasp the enormous chasm that exists between our church gatherings and unchurched people. What we think is simplification might not be simple for others outside our particular circle.
Well educated pastors and teachers encourage those who are likewise well educated to get involved in ministry. They in turn reach their peer groups, which is right and proper. But meanwhile, there might be a mass of people who we overlook because they are not part of our world. Not part of the culture we mix with in our Christian bubbles.
How sad it would be if the gospel can only be shared with those who have a tertiary degree, or who can listen to earnest but dense sermons each week, or who can master the scholarly material we present.
We need to ask the question, is our faith for people like us, or is it for all?