Joseph Makes Himself Known
Genesis 45:1-3
Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me…

I. THE ENDURING STRENGTH AND WORTH OF FAMILY AFFECTION. Nothing more beautiful in man than this. Age does not congeal it, nor death destroy it. A holy, perennial fire. It begets gentleness, patience, long suffering, forgiveness of injury, oblivion of wrong.

II. THE CONSTANT FEAR WROUGHT BY CONSCIOUS GUILT. The tender emotion of Joseph was not shared by his brethren. His declaration, "I am Joseph," drew from them no glad expressions of joy. They were silent from dismay. "His brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence." Conscious guilt filled them with alarm and anxious questioning. Could he ever forgive them? Since he had them now in his power, and he had become so great, would he not take vengeance upon them? Their sense of guilt had not perished or weakened with time. It was as enduring as Joseph's love.

III. GOD CHOOSES THE WICKED TO ACCOMPLISH HIS DIVINE PURPOSES. Joseph had been sold, from malice, by his brethren into Egypt. And yet God had sent him there. It seems like an irreconcilable contradiction of facts, and yet the thing alleged was true. And our view of the world's events is inadequate unless we believe that God in a similar way always takes a controlling part in the affairs of men. Did this fact lessen the guilt of the sons of Jacob? Did Joseph mean that they were excused on account of it? Certainly not. Their guilt was according to their intention.

IV. THE INVITED FIND GRACE BECAUSE OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO THE GOOD, For his father's sake and for Benjamin's sake, Joseph forgave them all they had done to him. What magnanimity of spirit! It was as if he had blotted out their sin and remembered it no more. And his efforts to allay and banish their fears assured them that from him they had nothing to dread. It was a beautiful fore-gleam of the grace of the Gospel. So Christ has sought to assuage our guilty fears by speaking to us of His Father and our Father, and by owning us as His brethren. Well is it for us that we are connected in this way by ties of relationship with the good of earth and sky. If we stood alone, unconnected with others whose prayers and merit move heaven's favour in our behalf to give us further opportunity to repent, or which win for us undeserved consideration from our fellow-men — who show us kindness for the sake of a father, or a mother, or a sister, or some other — it would be far worse with us. But their merit, like charity, covers a multitude of sins in us. We are clad in a borrowed grace, derived from them, and our faults are excused and borne with, and our meagre virtues rated far above their real value.

V. THE GROUND OF PEACE FOR WRONG-DOERS. When Joseph had fallen upon Benjamin's neck and wept, and had kissed all his brethren and wept upon them, "after that his brethren talked with him." The speechless terror exhibited by them at first then vanished away. What cured their trouble of heart? It was the assurance they had that Joseph looked upon them graciously for their father's and brother's sake, and that he entirely forgave their sin. This assurance had been wrought in them by the words and acts of Joseph. The kiss he had given them, and his tears of joy, formed an indubitable token of pardon and reconciliation. In his treatment of them we have, therefore, a hint of God's treatment of men for their sin, and of the way a guilty soul may find peace. Two things are required:

1. A worthy Mediator to whom we are so related that His merit will procure us Divine favour.

2. Indubitable evidence of acceptance and pardon through Him. The Christ was such a Mediator. He was "holy, harmless, undefiled,... higher than the heavens," and "not ashamed to call us brethren." Through our relationship with Him as brethren, we are invested with His righteousness.

(A. H. Currier.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.

WEB: Then Joseph couldn't control himself before all those who stood before him, and he cried, "Cause everyone to go out from me!" No one else stood with him, while Joseph made himself known to his brothers.

Joseph Made Known to His Brethren
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