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Joseph is the youngest son of Jacob born to him in old age and as we saw previously, often it is those ‘unexpected’ children who are born for a special mission. He happens to be the favourite son and is given a magnificent coat by his father. This is the inspiration for the many stage productions of Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Sadly his brothers are jealous and plot first to kill him and later decide to sell him as a slave to some passing merchants on their way to Egypt. Bur Joseph has had a number of dreams which suggest one day his family will bow down and honour him.

Jealously is a sin (see St Paul’s letter to the Galatians 5:20) and one which Satan uses to tempt us. Think of the story of the prodigal son, the youngest sinned in the flesh, greed, drunkenness and promiscuity, but he was welcomed back into his father’s house. At this, the eldest son sinned in the spirit – he was jealous at the welcome his father gave him – and he was cast out.

The Pharisees were jealous of Jesus and whilst they knew he was the Messiah, they asked for yet more miracles. Jesus knew what was in their hearts and declined, reminding them of the people of Nineveh who repented at the preaching of Jonah after he had spent three days in the belly of a whale.

This is the first point at which Jesus foretells his own death and resurrection, which as we now know, was proof that he was indeed the Messiah.

Scripture: Genesis 37:1 – 38:30; Matthew 12:22-45; Psalm 16:1-11; Proverbs 3:27-32