2/9 Reading Portions: Genesis 42; Mark 12; Job 8; Romans 12
And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. Genesis 42:8
When Joseph’s brothers went humbly down to Egypt to purchase grain during the famine in Canaan, they didn’t recognize Joseph. He dressed like an Egyptian. They didn’t understand his language because he spoke the Egyptian language rather than the language of the Hebrews. His facial features may have looked like those of the Egyptians in ancient times: eyes darkened and clean shaven. As we know, these were prophetic foreshadows of Jesus Christ, as John tells us,
He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. John 1:11
During Christ’s earthly ministry, His own half-brothers did not believe Him (John 7:5). When Jesus spoke the words of heaven, people misunderstood (Matt 13:10-15). Since Jesus had His entire beard plucked from His face (Isa 50:6), and because recognizing Christ is spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14), His disciples didn’t immediately recognize Christ Jesus after the resurrection (Luke 22:16; John 20:14-15; 21:12).
God’s amazing grace transformed Joseph from a poor younger brother sold into bondage by his jealous brothers into a prophet of God whose life foreshadowed Jesus Christ to come. Likewise, our lives are transformed by grace. When we are saved by God’s grace through faith, the faith to believe does not abide alone; it brings forth fruit, evidence we have truly been saved by God’s grace (Jas 2:17). The corruptions still remaining in our mortal flesh, however, will oppose the transforming work of grace in our lives (Gal 5:17). This is why we are encouraged in God’s Word to renew our minds, as it is written in another place of our reading portions today (Rom 12:2).
By God’s grace, we will be transformed, conformed to Christ’s image (Rom 8:29), and unbelievers will not recognize us.
God’s work of grace, it changes us,
Which sinners can’t quite see;
It’s spiritu’l truth and Jesus must
Reveal so they perceive.
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