In Genesis 45, we see a vivid picture of grace when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers who had betrayed him. Grace is not simply forgiveness, though forgiveness is involved. Grace is forgiveness plus favor; forgiveness plus provision; forgiveness plus blessing and status. Grace is gentle—It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Grace is a refuge—Jesus doesn’t say do more, try harder; Jesus says it is finished, come and rest. Grace is power—grace does what the Law can’t; grace changes our hearts and makes us desire to obey. Grace is always costly to the giver. On the cross, Jesus paid the ultimate price to give us grace. Grace is always free to the receiver. To receive the grace of Jesus, all we need is need—all we need is nothing. It is free for us because it was infinitely costly for him. Have you experienced the grace of Jesus? Is your trust in Jesus? Have you celebrated grace by being baptized since trusting in Jesus? Is Jesus’ grace making you celebrate by following him and giving grace to others?
Genesis 45:1-15 Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.
4 So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you.13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.
1. Was there anything from the sermon or the big idea that stood out to you or challenged you? Was there anything new? Was there anything confusing?
2. What stands out to you in Genesis 45 and why?
Grace is gentle—It is the kindness of God that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4).
3. How have you seen it prove true that the kindness of God is what leads to repentance? In your own life, in other stories from the Bible, etc.?
Grace is a refuge—Jesus doesn’t say “do more, try harder.” Jesus says “it is finished, come and rest.”
4. Does the fact that “it is finished” lead us to sit back and do nothing? How do we live a life of mission in obeying and following Jesus and rest at the same time? Try and be specific.
Grace is power—grace does what the Law can’t. Grace changes our hearts and makes us desire to obey.
5. Why is it that the Law—do more try harder—doesn’t change us? How is the grace of Jesus changing the way you think? The way you act? Your deep desires?
6. Spend some time praying for one another, praying for the lost, praying for your city, and praying for God to provide for the future church plant in Checotah.
Joseph didn’t change simply by realizing he was sinful and had huge problems. Joseph changed when he experienced God’s grace—forgiveness and favor! Why? Because the Law—do more, try harder—reveals we need to change but is powerless to truly change us. No one is changed deeply by merely seeing their need to change. Only the gospel—the good news that it is finished—is powerful enough to change your heart.
Only when you realize you are more wicked than you ever feared and at the same time more loved in Jesus than you ever hoped, will we change.
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