Monday, July 20, 2015

Loved By His Father


     "Now Israel Loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age and he made a richly onamented robe for him" (Genesis 37:3).
       "As soon as jesus was baptized,he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased'" (Matthew 3: 16 - 17).

          One the above verses is taken from the story of Joseph in the Old Testament of  the Bible; the other is taken from the New Testament. We will find that the storyof Joseph is a story of hatred and deception. When chapter 37 begins, Jacob (Israel) has already settled in Canaan where Abraham and Isaac had lived. Joseph, one of his two sons from Rachel is seventeen years old. Joseph was Rachel's first born son and  we recall that Rachel was Jacob's most favored wife. We read that Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he had been born to him in his old age. Jacob showed his love for Joseph by giving him a richly ornamented robe. He openly showed his favouritism toward Joseph and so laid rich ground for envy. Infact, the other brothers hated Joseph so much that they could not speak a kind word to him.
         I grew up in a family where there was intensive sibling rivalry, but thankfully it did not get to the level of envy like Joseph's family. All my siblings always rallied behind one another when things became tough in the family, or when one us needed the support of the others. For example: When  I got the rare chance of pursuing my education abroad after completing my high school education, all my siblings rallied behind me and mobilized their friends in raisng funds for me. Many of my relatives, especially from my mother side of the family refused to particpate. These were the same relatives who had separated us from one another, removing us from Ndothua village, where we were going to school, while we were young children, after our mother died.
      In the New Tastament, we read in mark 15:10, that envy was the reason why the Chief Priests "handed" Jesus over to be killed. Envy is one of the worst kinds of sins and most difficult to cure. Joseph's brother hated to see him wearing his special garment. It seems that  the distinctive garment that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph, was a an indication of his office among his brothers. Jesus, likewise wore a distinctive gown at his crucifixition, which represented his standimg in the sight of hiis father. His garment was so special that the soldiers cast lots for it.
    Twice God the father declared his love for his son, Jesus Christ. When Christ was baptized by John the the Baptist, the heavens were opened and a voice came from heaven saying, "You are my beloved son; in you I am well pleased" ( Luke 3:22; mark 1:11; Matthew 3:17).
       When Christ took the three of his disciples to a high moutain, two Prophets, Moses and Elijah appeared to  them": While he was still speaking , behold a bright cloud overshadowed the, and suddenly a voice came outof the cloud saying, "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"' (Matthew 17:15).
     As Jacob loved Joseph, God loved Jesus; so it is written of you: "The father loved you" (John 16:27). In John 3:16 we read: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
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