Joseph, The Dreamer
The term, dreamer, often carries a negative connotation. Lots of people try to squelch a dreamer’s grandiose ideas. They say their feet never touch the ground. Their heads are in the clouds. Those negative comments stem from jealousy. When Joseph shared his dreams with his brothers, he stirred up feelings of envy and murder. They resented his air of superiority. Who did he think he was to announce he would rule over them some day?
Have you ever been persecuted for sharing your dreams, or have you been discouraged by someone who thought you were crazy to think you could make a difference? Perhaps Joseph should have been wiser in how he shared his dreams with his family. Dreamers do change the world but not everyone is supportive of their ideas. Maybe you can identify with Joseph in this part of his story.
Read Genesis 37:12-23
1. What decision did his brothers make when they saw Joseph in the distance?
2. What did they call Joseph, and how did they plan to carry out their decision? What did they say about his dreams?
3. What was Rueben’s alternate plan?
4. What did the brothers end up doing to Joseph?
Read John 19:23-24
5. What similarities do you see in Joseph’s situation to that of Jesus?
Read John 7:1-5
6. How did the brothers of Jesus feel about him and his ministry?
It’s said that Joseph is a picture of Christ. Jesus, like Joseph, grew up in a home where his brothers did not believe in him. Both had their distinctive robes stripped from them. Both were rejected by their own and had attempts on their lives. We will look at more examples in future lessons on this parallel, but consider the two comparisons you have seen above. Perhaps you can identify even in a small way with the sufferings of Jesus that were also true of Joseph as you read this part of Joseph’s story. What matters most is not the circumstances of life but how we respond to them. Joseph’s example is one to follow.