When I think of a prophet, I think of that young man from the desert named Amos.
He appeared in public preaching against disobedience and corruption of the people and government. Amaziah, who was the priest of the most important sanctuary in the country, learned of the preaching of Amos and send a message to the king: “Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel. Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words. For this is what Amos is saying: Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land. Then Amaziah said to Amos: Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom. Amos answered Amaziah: I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees.”
Amos was a prophet; however, this was not his profession. He was not a visionary or a puppet of formal religion and lifeless, of Amaziah the priest.
You know what? Today, there are “prophets” by profession, seers who make fortunes and amaze people with their “supernatural powers”. There are “prophets” by conceit, a kind of spiritual conceit. These “prophets” are trying to convince us that they speak on behalf of the Lord. When the Lord speaks to us today he speaks through the Son, Jesus the Prophet. (Hebrews 1: 2) The message of Jesus comes from God and it may be uncomfortable: “Leave your life of sin!”