Pastor’s Notes

Genesis 45:3-11, 15

3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.

4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10 You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there—since there are five more years of famine to come—so you and your household, and all you have, will not come to poverty.’

15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.

This story, on the surface, tells us about the treachery of Joseph’s brothers, their fear when faced with the power their brother, Joseph, attained in spite of their treachery, and the grace their brother Joseph bestows upon them knowing they betrayed him. As with much of our scripture, we cannot help but ask ourselves if we would be so kind to a family member if they “sold” us into slavery and, quite frankly, wanted us dead.

It is also important we see beyond the evil deeds of the brothers to see the basic teachings of Jesus. Do you see these teachings of Jesus in this story: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. And this: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; Joseph had the heart of Jesus. Do you?

Grace, Peace & Mercy to all,

Wes