our brother in disguise

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 42
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:40) Jesus explain that on judgment day, we will be judged by how we responded to Him as He was invisibly among us – in disguise, as the poor, needy, hungry, lonely, imprisoned, etc. Apparently the king of the universe is with us, everywhere, and yet we often do not recognize Him.

This story reminds me of that reality: Joseph the ruler is their brother among them, yet they do not know him. This is a recurring pattern: both Joseph and Moses in Pharoah’s palace, David in Saul’s palace, Jesus in Pilate’s palace, Paul in Caesar’s palace. In Jesus, we have the King of the Universe, among us, in a way that we do not expect.

Joseph’s brothers are humbled, they come to see how their sin has come back to haunt them. They are now at the mercy of the King who is their brother. Fortunately, the king is their brother. And so it is for us… we are fortunate that the King is our brother. He is not looking to trick or snag us, He is giving us every opportunity to respond in humility and grace.

In many ways, this test reveals the hearts of his brothers to Joseph. As the story unfolds, their humility and honesty is revealed. The same is true for us. The King of the Universe is among us, testing our hearts, seeing what lives in us. What does He learn about us as He watches us respond to the least of these, His brothers and sisters?

There is a day coming when the King will reveal Himself. What will He tell us He learned about our hearts in the time of testing, when He was hidden among us?

Lord, I can think of a number of times when I saw You, yet passed You by. I need to be more intentional about looking for You in the people around me. Thank You that You are my brother, and You are prepared to help me.


  1. In verse 4 we see favourtism by Jacob once again – did he not learn with Joseph?

    Joseph recognizes his brothers but they do not recognize him. Joseph could have taken immediate revenge for his brothers actions of long ago. He certainly had the power to do so. We see that he decides to ‘test’ his family.

    Joseph remembers the dream from his youth – a source of great aggrevation for his brothers at that time. Joseph has matured since those days of youth, recognizing his visioning/dreams as a ‘gifting’ from the LORD. His brothers are bowing just as the dream revealed yet Joseph does not reveal this to his brothers.

    Jospeh’s brothers are still living with and feeling the guilt of what they did. This is the reason for their fear, their uncertainty. Until we deal with our sin, satan will hold us in captivity every chance he can. We must deal with our sin, confess and repent so that it cannot grip our lives.

    Joseph sends his brothers home with grain and their money. This only increases their fear and concern. God is at work in and through this, behind the scenes but they are blind to it. Fear keeps them from trusting God. LORD, how many times are we blind to Your work in our hearts and our lives? Open our eyes LORD, we need to see Jesus!

    LORD, again we are reminded of the many ways (often unknown to us because we are not looking / seeking) that You are at work in and through all circumstances and situations in our lives. We are often distracted, taking our eyes off You, forgetting how greatly You have provided in the past, or how You have protected and carried us through difficult times. LORD, these days are difficult days for so many as they face uncertainty of jobs, financial security, health issues, spiritual issues, broken relationships, fear of the past etc….. It seems so easy for satan to distract and deceive.

    Help us to pray with all of our heart the prayer of PSALM 57 “Have mercy on us Oh God, have mercy! We look to You for protection. We will hide beneath the shadow of Your wings until the danger passes by. We cry out to You God Most High, to You God who will fulfill Your purposes for us. You will send help from heaven to rescue us, disgracing those who hound us. You God will send forth Your unfailing love and faithfulness…. Our heart is confident in You, O God; My heart is confident. No wonder we can sing Your praises….. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May Your glory shine over all the earth.

    Thank You LORD for the many, many ways that You are at work in my life….

  2. Our help is in the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth. We must come to Him and be fed by Him for Christ is the bread of Life.

    The brothers came for corn and corn they did receive and more. They also received their money back. Joseph here is like Christ who gives without money and without price as described in Isaiah:

    1 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
    and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
    Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
    2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
    Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

    3 Give ear and come to me;
    hear me, that your soul may live.
    I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.

    Jacob thinks all things are working against him when in fact all things were working for his good – his life, his well-being, but he as well as I need to be able to see what the Lord God is doing in our lives. I too need to give ear and come. I need to seek His ways. I need to see Jesus in all things. I need to live each day standing on His promises and see Jesus and not my selfish desires. Open my eyes Lord so I do see You always and Your plan in my life.

    Search me, O God, my heart discern,
    Try me, my inmost thought to learn;
    And lead me, if in sin I stray,
    To choose the everlasting way.

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