The Reveal

Day 16

Prayer for the day

Love the LORD, all you who worship him; the LORD protects the faithful, but repays to the full those who act haughtily.

Scripture for the day

Genesis 39-40, Matthew 11

You’ve seen the shows. A frumpy housewife is made over into a drop-dead gorgeous model-type. A ramshackle house is turned into a dream house. A shabby restaurant is transformed into the height of haute cuisine in three days. Each of these builds to the moment we all wait for: the reveal. We’ve seen the slow and steady transformation, but the final product is hidden from us (and the rest of the participants in the show) until after that last excruciatingly long commercial break. Then the program returns and the curtains are drawn back from the transformed figure. We gasp. We stare. We applaud. Something new has been done, some deep inner quality brought to the fore, and we’re entranced.

The story of Joseph mirrors in some ways the story of Jesus. Both don’t always have it so easy, both are betrayed by the ones they’re supposed to be able to trust, and both, in different ways, reveal the character and care of God.

For Joseph, God is revealed in the way he waits, in the way he works, and in the way he serves. The scriptures regularly speak of Joseph being favoured by God, blessed by God, and gifted by God, even in the midst of circumstances that would lead us to believe the opposite. Everyone he encounters who is any sort of authority (save Potiphar’s wife) recognizes the blessing of God on him, and treats him accordingly. They see in him a reflection of the character of God.

Jesus’ claim to reveal the very character of the Father was radical and disturbing to those around him, and rightly so. He claimed like no other to fully represent who God the Father truly was. He lived his life in accordance with the law of God, not only the letter of the law, but the Spirit of the law. He is called the full revelation of the image of the invisible God. And he gives to his people an amazing gift: the inheritance of that image. He calls his people to imitate him as he images the Father. He calls us to be like Joseph, to be like Jesus, who reveal the character of God in their lives, in their actions, in the manner of their interactions. They bless those around them through the gift of the image of God.

Our job is similar. In giving ourselves to God, we receive the charge to be more than we were. We are to be the image that leads people to the very character of God. What a charge!

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