Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday, January 16th: Genesis 39-40; Matthew 11 ~ Tammy

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 39-40; Matthew 11

I've always loved the story of Joseph.  Despite his youthful foolishness (telling your brothers about the dream you had where you were their ruler is probably not the best idea), he is one of the few biblical characters who lived his life with consistent integrity.

But what a life it was!

First he was the favored son, then he thought he would be murdered by his brothers.
He realized he would escape death, but only to be sold into slavery.
He worked hard and ended up with a great position for a slave, only to be falsely accused and thrown in prison.
He worked hard in prison and ended up with some seniority there, but just when he thought he might have a hope of getting out through the testimony of the cupbearer, he realized he was forgotten again.

This went on for years! Injustice and betrayal, over and over again.  And yet, Joseph's faith never wavered.  And God remained faithful to him.  During everything, God was with him.  And it was enough.

In our NT passage, the story of John the Baptist always reminds me of a Ray Vanderlaan explanation I heard once which is fascinating (from his Follow the Rabbi lectures).  John was wondering whether Jesus was truly the Messiah, and if he was, why was John still in prison, and could Jesus maybe do something about that sometime soon.  Jesus replied to John's question in the form of a remez.  Generally, a remez is a way of quoting a bible passage (or in this case a combination of multiple messianic prophecies) in such a way that the point you're trying to make is in the portion you leave unquoted.  In this case, Jesus quotes from numerous passages in Isaiah and Psalms which prophecy that the Messiah would make the blind see, the lame walk, lepers clean, deaf healed, and the prisoners set free.  Except Jesus did not quote the portion about the release of the prisoners.  Essentially, he was telling John that even though Jesus was indeed the Messiah, John would not be released as he anticipated and would die in prison, but that he should not let this be a stumbling block to his faith.

A reminder for us that just because we worship and follow Jesus as our Messiah, that doesn't mean all our problems in this world will be set right.  Jesus does promise justice, but He promises it eternally.  We must continue to remain faithful, no matter our circumstances - like Joseph and like John.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year PassageGenesis 41-42; Matthew 12:1-23


Nathan said...

Genesis 40:8
They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”

Joseph immediately gave credit to God for interpreting dreams, he didn't make it sound like he could do it. Joseph could help these men, but only through the help of God. A good example for us to follow daily, we can't do much without the help of God.

kjad said...

Great post! I had never heard about the importance behind what Jesus had said to John, so neat!

Jody said...

Great point Nathan! Joseph never takes credit. Oh that I would remember that more often!!!

Miriam said...

Great post. I have always loved the story of Joseph too. Definitely one of my favourites.