Amos was an unlikely prophet. Take a look at the first reading today and you’ll see what I mean. He was, like most all the prophets, quite unpopular, too. More in a moment. In our Gospel reading today from Matthew 9, Jesus heals a paralytic. But before He has him pick up his mat and walk away, He says to him, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” Jesus here was showing His authority over not only the physical, but the spiritual as well.
Amos’ message was not well received. He prophesied that Jeroboam, the king of Israel, would die by the sword and that Israel would surely go into exile. This was tantamount to treason. So Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, tells him to get out of his town. So Amos says, in essence, Hey, I never asked for this gig in the first place. But since God has told me to prophesy, here’s the deal! And he drops a nice little bombshell on them.
People never like to be told that they are doing wrong. But that was the message of the prophets. You’re doing wrong, and if you don’t change your ways, God is going to shake things up! Funny, isn’t it, how the more things change, the more they stay the same. People back then didn’t like that message. And people today still don’t like that message. But it is a message that still needs to be preached. Repent! God is ready and willing to take you back! Seems people always want to shoot the messenger. But we cannot let that stop us from being that messenger.
Father, help us to stop worrying so much about being popular. Help us to truly care about the spiritual well-being of others; to call them back to you. Amen.