January 16, 2015

Genesis 40-41 - As time went by, it happened that the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt crossed their master, the king of Egypt and put them in custody in the same jail where Joseph was held. 

 The captain of the guard assigned Joseph to see to their needs...They both had a dream on the same night, each dream having its own meaning.  When Joseph arrived in the morning, he noticed that they were feeling low...So he asked them what was wrong and they told him their dreams...

 First, the head cupbearer…. following which Joseph told him that within 3 days, the king would pull him out of jail and put him back in his job...”only remember me when things go well for you again...since I have done nothing to deserve being put in this hole.”  The baker then shared his dream to Joseph following which Joseph told him that within 3 days the king will take off his head, impale it on a post and the birds will pick off his bones...On the king’s birthday, 3 days later, he threw a feast and carried out what Joseph had predicted...But the cupbearer never gave Joseph another thought, he forgot all about him.

 Two years passed and the King had a dream...he went back to sleep and had another dream...When morning came, he was upset.  He sent for all of the wise men in Egypt to tell him about his dreams , but they couldn’t interpret them to him.  The head cupbearer then spoke up and informed the king about Joseph... Pharaoh at once sent for Joseph and asked if he could interpret his dreams. 

 Joseph answered, “Not I, but God, God will set Pharaoh’s mind at ease.”  Pharaoh told Joseph his dreams then he told him that the two dreams mean the same thing with God telling the king what God is going to do - 7 years of plenty before 7 years of famine.  So the king needs to look for a wise and experienced man and put him in charge of the country to store up food/supplies for the future.  This seemed like a good idea to the king and his officials. 

Then the King said to his officials, “Isn’t this the man we need?  Are we going to find anyone else who has God’s spirit in him like this?”  So the King said to Joseph, “You’re the man for us.  God has given you the inside story - no one is as qualified as you in experience and wisdom.  From now on you are in charge of my affairs...only as the king will I be over you.  So the King commissioned Joseph....Joseph was in charge of the entire country...Then Pharaoh gave Joseph an Egyptian name: Zaphenath-Paneah (God Speaks and He Lives).  He also gave him an Egyptian wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. 

 Joseph was 30 years old when he went to work for Pharaoh...Joseph had two sons with Asenath before the years of famine came...he named his firstborn Manasseh (Forget) saying, “God made me forget all my hardships and my parental home.”  He named his second son Ephraim (Double Prosperity), saying, “God has prospered me in the land of my sorrow.”  ...when the famine spread throughout Egypt, the people called out in distress to Pharaoh...As the famine got worse all over the country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold emergency supplies to Egyptians...  The famine was very bad all over

 John 10  - “Let me set this before you as plainly as I can.  If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he is up to no good ...The shepherd walks right up to the gate...When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice...”

Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about, so he tried again...I am the Gate for the sheep...I am the Gate.  Anyone who goes through me will be cared for....I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of...The Good Shepherd put the sheep before Himself, sacrifices himself if necessary...I am the Good Shepherd.  I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me...You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen.  I need to gather and bring them, too.  They’ll also recognize my voice.  Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd.  This is why the Father loves me; because I freely lay down my life.  And so I am free to take it up again.  No one takes it from me.  I lay it down of my own free will....”

 This kind of talk caused another split in the Jewish ranks...A lot of them were saying, “He’s crazy, a maniac...”  But others weren’t so sure:  “These aren’t the words of a crazy man.  Can a ‘maniac‘ open blind eyes?” 

They were celebrating Hanukkah just then in Jerusalem.  It was winter.  Jesus was strolling through the Temple.  The crowd said “If you are the Messiah, tell us straight out.”  Jesus answered, “ I told you, but you don’t believe.  Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father....” 

Again the Jews picked up rocks to throw at him...The Jews said, “We’re not stoning you for anything good you did, but for what you said, this blasphemy of calling yourself God.” 

Jesus said, “I am only quoting your inspired Scriptures, where God said, ‘I tell you--you are gods‘ If God called your ancestors ‘gods’--and Scripture doesn’t lie-- why do you yell, ‘Blasphemer! Blasphemer! at the unique One the Father consecrated and sent into the world...put aside for a moment what you hear me say about myself and just take the evidence of the actions that are right before your eyes. Then perhaps things will come together for you, and you’ll see that not only are we doing the same thing, we are the same -- Father and Son.  He is in me; I am in him.”  

They tried again to arrest him but he slipped through their fingers.  He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized and stayed there...many believed in him then and there.