Joseph’s brothers finally return to Egypt to buy more grain. Joseph receives them warmly, which frightens the brothers. They want to make sure they aren’t being wrongly accused, but they are instead rewarded with a feast. It’s almost like Joseph is wondering if he can get them to realize who he is. Joseph seats the brothers in order from oldest to youngest, and they notice and marvel but don’t put two and two together.
Then comes the test. Why? Joseph wanted to know if they had repented of what they had done to him. How are they treating Joseph’s little brother Benjamin? Benjamin was Israel’s favorite. Would they take the opportunity to get rid of him as a slave, as they had done to him?
The brothers have learned their lesson and offer to sacrifice their freedom to save Benjamin. Joseph cries. He reveals himself to his brothers. They are scared, not relieved, but Joseph knows that God sent him to Egypt to provide for his people, to keep the remnant alive.
Pharaoh is pleased with the news and offers gifts and the best of Egypt to Joseph’s family.
Joseph wants to make sure his father knows how much honor he has in Egypt. After being a slave and in jail, his position and respect meant a lot to him. He wanted his dad to be proud of him.
Joseph’s dad can hardly believe the news. He can’t believe it, but he has to when he sees all the gifts and wagons from Egypt. For all the talk of Jacob dying if something happened to Benjamin, we see the reverse in effect here, and “the spirit of their father Jacob revived.” Joseph’s life brought life to his father.
Parents’ lives are wound up in the children. They are flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone. We are chemically wired to love our children and to care for them. But, we have a new and greater identity in Christ. It is first and only. Every other role is colored by who we are in Christ. We are not a follower of Christ and a parent. We are followers of Christ, and He has given us the job of a parent. It’s Christ first, Christ only.
Our children will leave home one day. They could die. They could, even worse, leave the faith. They will certainly sin; they are human. Our identity, our lives, don’t change when any of that happens. And it’s not our job to save our children. There is one Savior. Jesus will save them, just like He saved you. We seek Him first, Him only, and let Him take care of the rest.