The Fruit of Grace (Reflections on Genesis 41)

Hey everyone. Here's another reflection for today:

GENESIS 41. Leku el Yosep, aser yonan lakem ta’asu. “Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do” (v.55). This calls to mind the first miracle of Christ, when His mother Mary said to the servants at Cana, “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5).

  • Both stories provide an evident shift in power—Joseph, the prisoner, has now become a czar, and Jesus, the perfect son, now addresses His own mother as “Woman” (v.4), signifying that His ministry has begun and they now share a different relationship.
  • Both stories testify to provision in a time of scarcity – Joseph provides bread in a time of famine and Christ provides wine when the wedding feast has run dry.
  • Thirdly, both stories serve as testament to faith – Pharaoh, the man in charges, places his trust in Joseph, and Mary, who seems to be the wedding planner or of at least some authority at the wedding, places her trust in her firstborn son.

I find it no coincidence that Jesus’ earthly father’s name was Joseph – chronologically speaking, the wedding at Cana is the first suggestion of his passing, hence why Mary asks her eldest son, and not her husband, to fix the problem – s we see that just as Christ succeeds His earthly father Joseph in authority and provision, so He also surpasses even the authority and provision of the Joseph we now read of. Where Joseph had to plan ahead in order to provide, Christ immediately provides in the stead of those who failed to plan ahead. Where his act of provision sets up the culmination of Joseph’s tale, it is but the beginning of Christ’s. Where Joseph by natural means produced bread to provide during a time of famine, Jesus by supernatural means produced the finest win to provide, even though the need was more out of luxury than true necessity. So we see that Jesus’ provision, though of less immediate need (in this instance), is a greater than anything man could ever provide. Joseph, while great, is a mere shadow of the greatness that would come in Christ Jesus.

Hanimsa kazeh, is aser ruah Elohim bow? “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” (Gen 41:38) While this statement is a great testament to the Lord’s work through Joseph – we should each want to be spoken of in this way – I find it significant that this is the first time we encounter the term ruah Elohim (the Spirit of God) since Genesis 1:2, as best I can tell, and it shows that the Spirit’s presence ie best demonstrated in our weakness by our love – in other words, in meekness that is laced by grace. (Weakness and meekness are not the same, but they both point to humility, one forced upon us and one recognized by us.) Joseph was but a young prisoner, yet the love he showed Pharaoh in proclaiming the truth – and even more than this, pointing to the fact that it was God, not he, who had made the truth known – served as evidence in proving that the Spirit was with him. I do not fully understand the relationship that the pre-Pentecost characters/figures shared with the Spirit – I have heard it described as, perhaps, the Spirit coming upon them rather than dwelling in them – but the point is true that humility and grace, meekness and love, serve as testaments to our intimate connection with the Lord, for in our weakness He is still strong. To bear good witness is to walk in meekness and in grace, testifying to the truth and helping men understand the messages of God.

Grace having been a prevalent theme popping up in my life lately, I came upon the realization that every fruit of the Spirit is hinged upon grace…love is grace expressed; joy is grace accepted; peace is grace comprehended; patience is grace practiced; kindness is grace administered; goodness is grace manifested; faithfulness is grace repeated; gentleness is grace embodied; self-control is grace remembered.

NOW LET’S BE HONEST…the thing that separates Christians from the rest of the world is grace in its full expression. Let us allow our lives to be governed by that saving grace, living by faith in the hope of Christ’s return and administering that same grace that we have received out to all people and nations unto the ends of the earth, giving God the power to provide during times of scarcity, all of which serves as a testament to true faith. Amen.