(And he –Judah drew near…) Gen.44:18-47:27
Reading from the Prophets- Ezekiel 37:15-28
It is a good thing when people mature. In this week’s Torah portion we see how Judah was willing to risk his life for the sake of his younger brother Benjamin. Judah approached Joseph to intercede for Benjamin. For Judah to draw near to the leader of Egypt was a bold move that could have cost him his life. Judah didn’t care, because the reason he did so was to offer himself up instead of Benjamin. He did this out of his love for his father. Judah knew that if they (Judah and his brothers) returned home without Benjamin it would bring his father great grief. Judah had promised his father that all would be okay with Benjamin. Now, because Joseph intended to keep him in Egypt, Judah came forward and said,
“For your servant took responsibility for the youth from my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you then I will have sinned to my father for all time.'” Genesis 44:32
This is far different than the Judah who said earlier,
“What gain will there be if we kill our brother…Come let us sell him to the Ishmaelites…” Gen. 37:26-27
Judah had matured and was not thinking of financial profit or of self. He was thinking of his father’s pain, the future for Benjamin, and the fact he would be sinning. Thinking of others is a strong indication of spiritual growth. Thinking of things from G-d’s perspective is true spiritual maturity. Willing to suffer for the benefit of someone else, Messiah said that there is no greater love.
When Joseph heard this he could no longer restrain himself. He was moved by Judah’s love for Benjamin and now he wanted to reveal himself to his brothers and embrace them with his love for them. When we exercise our faith and display our faith we are actually manifesting Messiah to others. How? One needs to remember that Joseph in the Torah is a typology for the Messiah. It was Judah’s faithfulness that caused Joseph to reveal himself to his brothers. If you and I demonstrate this same type of love and faithfulness then others will see the Messiah in us.
It is not an accident that it was Judah who approached Joseph. One needs to remember that Messiah is from the tribe of Judah. In this week’s Parasha there are many things one can learn about Messiah—one of which is found in Genesis 45:7. In this verse Joseph does not scold his brothers for their sin against him. He has already forgiven them. The true Messiah is always ready to forgive, for this is why His Father sent Him into this world. Notice that Joseph says,
“G-d has sent me ahead of you to ensure your survival in the Land (Israel) and to sustain you for a great salvation.”
That is exactly what Messiah Yeshua offers to all who approach Him in faith, seeking forgiveness—entrance into the Kingdom of G-d through His Great Salvation!
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