“Come, and I will send thee unto them.” And he said to him, “Here am I.” Genesis 37:13 KJV
“Come, and I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “I will go.” Genesis 37:13 NASB
To begin a five-part series of meditations contrasting our Lord Jesus Christ with Joseph may cause some to think that I am trying to find flaws in the character and conduct of Joseph. But a lesson gleaned from the writer of the Hebrew epistle, is that Christ is greater than the greatest of men at their best moments.
Hebrews 11 recounts the worthies of faith; but chapter 12 turns our eyes away from them, as great as they are, to the perfect example of faith (12:2). Similarly, as great as Joseph was, there is one greater than he.
Joseph was hated by his brothers. Jacob sent him to inquire of their welfare. His movement to the field of Shechem and then on to Dothan, reminds us of the down-stooping of the Lord Jesus, coming into the world.
Joseph’s journey took him to a distant land. His brothers had departed from the place where they were sent by their father. How reminiscent of humanity which had departed from the place assigned by God.
But despite the links and similarities, there is this one significant contrast: Joseph went to seek his brethren with little thought of what lay ahead. The Lord Jesus came into the world knowing all things that awaited Him. Yet He came.
It is John, in His Gospel record, who emphasizes, time and again, the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. He knew all men and knew the hearts of men (John 2:24, 25). He knew who would betray Him (John 6:64, 71; 12:4; 13:11, 21). But John reminds us that, in the shadow of Calvary, He knew all that awaited Him (13:3; 18:4). He came into the world knowing all that would transpire. He rose from Gethsemane and went forth to meet the motley armed company, knowing all that would befall Him.
And lest any should think that foreknowledge lessens the blow and makes the suffering more bearable, consider what it must have been like to move in the company of Judas for three years knowing what was in his heart. Or to serve and travel in Jerusalem and Judea looking into the faces of men who would in a soon-coming day cry out for Him to be crucified. What must it have been to His sensitive and tender heart to travel yearly to Jerusalem and allow His eyes to scan the horizon and rest on a spot outside the city wall – Golgotha!
Joseph went to see his brethren not knowing what awaited him. We need not speculate on what his actions would have been had he known. The purpose of the Spirit of God is to show us the majesty and dignity of the One Who knew all things and yet willingly came to redeem us.
No unforeseen event
E’er took Him by surprise;
Toward the cross with fixed intent
He moved with open eyes.
From Remembrance Hymns
Look up those who traveled to seek the welfare of their brethren and notice how they always faced opposition in one form or another.
There is a contrast as well in Jacob who commissioned Joseph to travel to see his brothers. Jacob did not know what awaited Joseph; but the Father knew all that would transpire in the journey of His Son to this small part of His universe.