Ten Brothers Go to Egypt – Genesis 42:1-38
“Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.”
It happens to me all the time. Just the other day I was at the mall, and a clerk called out to me. “Jon Twitchell,” she said… as I stood there and stammered, trying to subtly catch a glimpse of her name tag in hopes that it would help me determine how I knew her. She identified that she had gone to one of our teen camps, and slowly I began to put her face together with her name and figure out who she was.
Not two hours later, I ran into someone in the grocery store. We each recognized the other and exchanged greetings… but I could tell from the expression on his face that he was as puzzled about my identity as I was puzzled about his! As I walked away, I realized that I had performed a funeral for someone in his family… I suspect he didn’t recognize me because I wasn’t in my clerical garb!
The wrong place… the wrong clothes… the wrong context… and it’s easy to fail to recognize someone.
But to not recognize your own brother?
I get it… they thought Joseph was long gone. They had probably told their father the lie about the wild animals so many times that they believed it themselves. And never in their wildest dreams did they imagine that Joseph might survive the slave auction and somehow become a powerful ruler in Egypt.
And yet, here they were, unable to recognize the brother that they had wronged.
Before we can experience reconciliation we have to not only recognize our brother, but the wrong that we have done. True reconciliation can only happen after confession and repentance.
Are there wrongs in your life that you have failed to recognize?
Try me, O Savior; know my thoughts I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from ev’ry sin, and set me free.