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Joseph: Christ-like Faithfulness

Genesis 37

The second in a series on the life of Joseph. Joseph displays Christ-like faithfulness in the face of trials. He shows obedience to his father and concern for his brothers as he accepts an assignment from Israel.

Joseph’s Task

It’s no small thing that Israel asks Joseph to go to Shechem to check on his brothers.  Shechem is the place where their sister Dinah had been raped.  It is also the place where Joseph’s brothers had taken their revenge and massacred the Schechemites (Genesis 34). Israel acknowledged that what had happened make it unsafe for his family.

But Joseph readily accepted. He demonstrated his obedience to his father.  He demonstrated his concern for his brothers.  He showed his faithfulness as he set off for Shechem to see if “it is well with your brothers.”

Faithfulness Above and Beyond

When Joseph arrived at Shechem, his brothers were no where to be found.  Joseph had fulfilled his obligation to his father.  No one would have faulted Joseph if he had return home and reported to his father that he had not found his brothers.

But Joseph continued on.  After learning from a man where his brothers had gone, Joseph when on and found them. He desired to do more than just obey the letter of his fathers instruction. He wanted to accomplish what his father desired, and he was faithful to do so.

The Plot Against Joseph

When his brothers saw Joseph from a distance, they plotted to kill him.  They were motivated by jealousy over the honor their father had given him and the dreams God had given him.  Eventually, they sold him as a slave instead of killing him.

Much like Christ, Joseph became a servant through his faithfulness.  He acts of obedience and love led to his brothers treachery.  But he never complained or cried out.  Joseph displayed the mind of Christ.

The Mind of Christ

The Apostle Paul tell us in Philippians 2 that we should have “this mind among you, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”  Jesus did not look out for his own interests.  Instead he emptied himself.  He became a servant.  He became a man.  He submitted to death, even death on a cross.  And Paul presents this as an example to us.