Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence.
Joseph eventually got to the point that he could not continue to hold in his emotions. He began weeping and finally revealed his identity: “I am Joseph.”
The brothers were shocked and speechless.
The brothers’ first reaction was fear—what would a powerful Joseph do to them? That fear was quickly abated by Joseph’s loving reassurance. Words probably cannot describe the actual scene of this tearful family reunion.
Joseph made his forgiveness clear, telling his brothers that they had nothing to fear. He even stated that he now understood it was actually God who directed the events in order to preserve life (verse 5). It was through Joseph’s being placed in Egypt that perhaps millions of human lives—including the family of Israel—were preserved from the famine.
This account shows an amazing example of what to do when we have been wronged by others: forgive, reconcile and restore. These brothers brutally threw Joseph in a pit and then sold him into slavery, which led to his being falsely accused of assault and thrown in jail for years. However, it was clear they had changed.
Christ stated that we must forgive if we want to be forgiven (Matthew 6:14-15). Even if someone sins against us repeatedly, we are to forgive them when they repent (Luke 17:4).
To learn more about the necessity and process of forgiving others, read our article “How to Forgive.”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “God Reigns Supreme.”