God speaks through people the world deems insignificant. The Bible abounds with such examples. We’re going to look at one in this article. We will learn that we should not ignore people who speak prophetic words though they are unimportant by the world’s standards. The passage I would like to examine concerns an unknown man and the wonderful prophetic words he spoke to the parents of Jesus when they came to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. This is the only place in the New Testament where this man Simeon appears. He was not a renowned prophet.

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, ‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel’” (Luke 2:25–32).1  

One part of this word from the Lord would have stuck out like a sore thumb, I should think:

The child was to be “A light for revelation to the Gentiles.”

If the Jewish religious leaders had heard that, they would probably have tried to kill Simeon. They believed, as all Jews did, that the Messiah would be a Jew, and He was to come for God’s chosen people alone. When later in the same book, Jesus, whom the leaders considered to be an irritating, undistinguished son of a carpenter from the disreputable city of Nazareth, said that God’s prophets Elijah and Elisha had been sent to people who weren’t Jews, they wanted to kill Him (Luke 4:25–29). 

God has not changed His strategy. He still uses people of insignificance to speak His words. Christians should listen when an unknown person speaks a word from God that makes us uncomfortable or even angry. A word of caution: We should be discerning and check such utterances against Scripture. If Scripture isn’t relevant to what was spoken, we should put the information on the back burner. (A biblical example would be the prophet Agabus prophesying about a coming famine in Acts 11:28.) We should pray and ask the Lord if it’s true. I have found that it may take some time for some prophetic utterances to be proved true. Some have taken years. This is also true of Simeon’s prophecy. It would take thirty years for his prophecy to come to fruition.

Christians, though unknown and insignificant, should not be afraid to speak the truth of what God is saying. However, let us be certain it is Him speaking, not just ourselves.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy tenor.