Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence. (Genesis 45:1-3 ESV)
Question: After your brothers had sold you into slavery, what your reaction be if you saw them like this?
Talking Points: Not only did Joseph survive everything, but he is now in a place of great power. He holds the key to life in his hands because he is in charge of the food being spread. For you, would there be unresolved anger? Bitterness? Maybe you would have a case of the “look at me now” fever.
In the preceding verses, Joseph put his brothers through a lot of trouble to get food. He wanted them to bring Benjamin (the youngest brother), but Jacob would not allow it. When Joseph saw his brothers love for young Benjamin, Joseph knew they were different than when they sold him into slavery. He greeted them with open arms.
Joseph had every right to be bitter towards his brothers for their actions that happened years before. But he wasn’t.
Question: What does Scripture tells us about holding a grudge?
Talking Points: Scripture plainly states that holding a grudge is unacceptable. If someone has wronged us and they are apologetic, we are to forgive them. When someone has wronged us and they aren’t apologetic, we are to forgive them.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15 ESV)
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:12-13 ESV)
Scripture tells us that we are to love one another with brotherly love. That kind of love is a covenantal love. A covenant says that even when you let me down, I will still love you. When I let you down, I trust that you will love me as well.
This week, let’s find ways to treat each other with brotherly love. Here are a few starting points:
- Listen to one another’s burdens.
- Enjoy fellowship with each other.
- Go out of your way to know someone deeper.
These are a few examples. We will begin there.
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10 ESV)