Brothers

In Genesis 30:23-24 the writer tells of the birth of Joseph. Joseph was a special child of Rachel and Jacob. He had only one brother and ten half-brothers that were born to Leah, Jacobs first wife.

These were the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 1 Chronicles 2(NIV)

Joseph was a very special child to his father Jacob. However, to his brothers he was a ‘daddy’s boy’. He was also a dreamer and was having dreams that indicated he would be rulers over his brothers. In fact Jacob had a special, colorful robe made for Joseph. Of course, this made his brothers jealous.

The brothers obviously didn’t believe Joseph. In fact, Genesis 37 tells of  how the brothers treated Joseph. As you recall, Jacob sent his son Joseph to check on his older brothers who were herding the family sheep.

When the brothers saw Joseph coming, they decided this would be a good time to get rid of this dreamer for good. The plan was to throw him into a pit to die. But then some Midianite merchants came by and they decided to make some money on the deal and sold Joseph.

They needed a story to tell Jacob, so they took Joseph’s coat of many colors and dipped it in blood. They could show Jacob the blood and tell him that a wild animal must have killed him. For several years this seemed to have done the trick.

Well the Midianite merchants sold Joseph to one of Pharaoh’s officials. However, after a series of successes and upsetting trials along the way, Joseph was made governor of the land. (Genesis 42)

Jacob was faced with a drought and sent his older sons to Egypt to buy grain. What the brothers didn’t know was that Joseph was the person they were to buy grain from. However, Joseph recognized his brothers and asked about Benjamin and he wanted to see Benjamin.

After Joseph worked out a scheme to get all the brothers together, he told them who he was. He forgave his brothers and was united with his family again. He then invited his family to come live in Egypt until the drought had passed. Joseph was indeed ruling over his family.

There was another family that had a special son with four half-brothers. But this family had sons that were conceived by Joseph and a special son, who’s name was Jesus that was conceived by the Holy Spirit. (See Matthew 1:16)

We don’t hear a lot about these brothers but Matthew 13:55 indicates that Jesus had four half-brothers, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas.

These brothers were no different than Joseph’s brothers. We read in John7:2-5(NIV):

But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.John7:2-5(NIV)

There came a day when Jesus sent his son into the world to check on his children. They didn’t believe who he was. The wanted to get rid of him because he claimed to be the Messiah. They crucified him on a cross. Jesus was put into a grave, just as Joseph was thrown into a pit. But God raised Jesus from the dead and put him in a place of leadership, in the same way that Joseph was taken from the pit and placed into leadership.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8(NIV)

You see, Jesus appear to his brother James after his resurrection and James realized who Jesus really was. As a result of James believing who Jesus was, he became a pillar in the church, and wrote the book of James. This small book of James talks about temptations, warning the world of sin, and telling them to follow Christ. In fact, James was martyred in AD 62, because of his faith in Christ.

We can be born and raised in a Christian home, but that doesn’t guarantee we will believe. Everyone must come to a point in their life where they see Jesus for who he is and what he has done. We can be brothers but until we accept Christ personally, we are blind to the truth just like the brothers of Joseph and Jesus were blind to the truth.

Are you suffering from a ‘drought’ in your life? Perhaps now is the time that you need to turn to Christ and accept the gift that he has for you? God’s desire for you is to restore you to a place of fellowship with Him. He wants to give you love, peace, and hope. Are you ready?

Note: All scriptures used in this article have been downloaded from http://www.biblegateway.com/?version=NIVunless otherwise noted.

 

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