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  • Jeff

Do you recognize?

This week's parsha takes us on a journey through the continuing story of Joseph. After betrayal by his brothers, this parsha shows us the boy elevated to second in command of all of Egypt, becoming the second most powerful man in the known world.

Imagine: A Jewish boy from a small, insignificant land; the eleventh of twelve sons born to a poor shepherding family; sold into slavery, imprisoned for a crime he did not commit -- made the second most powerful person on the planet! This is one of those stories that speaks of the miracles and majesty of G-d. Only G-d could do this.

We are reminded how another Jewish boy from an insignificant family in a small town in a small land also became powerful. In fact, this second Jewish boy still carries power over the planet to this very day.

The parsha reads: Genesis 42

6 Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. 7 Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” 8 And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. 9 And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. And he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.” 10 They said to him, “No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants have never been spies.”

His own brothers did not recognize him. He spoke a different language. He was dressed as a high ranking Egyptian official. He was some 20 years older than the last time they saw him. In every way they could not recognize him. However, one of the more powerful reasons they could not recognize him is because they could not see their brother in the context they met him in. Their brother was sold as a slave and in their minds was never going to be anything anyway. In their minds their brother was probably dead. When they came to Egypt the idea of their brother being in Egypt, much less a powerful official was not in their minds.

This is an interesting thought when we consider the following scripture:

John 1:9-13

9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own,] and his own people] did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Like Joseph, when Messiah Yeshua came, his own brothers could not recognize him. He looked differently from the imagined and long-awaited savior. He acted differently from what the expected warrior king. He was not taking over the Roman government and starting a military war. No, his peace was a different kind of peace. His peace was for the soul. His peace was for reconciliation between people and their G-d. His peace would be everlasting.

Today, we long to introduce people to Yeshua the Messiah. We even have a desire for his own brothers, the Jewish people, to know him and recognize him as the Messiah. But we present a Yeshua that is dressed up in foreign clothing and speaking a foreign language.


  1. Write out the ways you would describe Yeshua.

  2. Is this description how you would describe him to others?

  3. How do you know Yeshua? Write out your testimony of how you came to believe that he is the Messiah.

  4. How can people recognize that you have a relationship with your heavenly father through the messiah?

  5. In what ways can you show people G-d?

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