Through the Bible in a Year – January 20

The Scheme for January and February can be found here

Genesis 41; John 16; Psalm 28-29

The strange and mysterious story of Joseph now takes a dramatic turn for the better. Now even Pharaoh is troubled by dreams. We note how often in the Scriptures, the powerful are threatened by their dreams whilst the weak are given strength. And, the cup bearer remembers that there is one who can tell dreams, but he is no magician – of the sort which will one day deceive in order to imitate the plagues – no, Joseph would not deceive, “It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favourable answer”. In Joseph’s continuing integrity and honesty, displayed in his faith in the one who alone lifts up the lowly, who exalts the humble and meek – is his story continued. Joseph throughout is one who sees. A prophet in the true tradition who is alert only to what God is about.  And in Joseph we see a foreshadowing of the one who will be exalted to the right hand of the majesty on high, precisely because he only does and speak of that which he sees his father doing.

The theme of Christ’s identification with his church continues and other themes are drawn in to the whole. We are reminded that the disciples are drawn into the closest association with their Lord. They, his sheep, know his voice – in contrast to the world which knows neither the Father, nor His Son. What is more, even though for a while they will weep and mourn – whilst the World rejoices – even though they will be scattered and leave Him to the way that they cannot now follow, they are to know that the Father is with him. Knowing he and the Father are one they may ask with confidence anything in his name, as he himself asked the Father to glorify his name, and the Father spoke to his request. It is asking in the knowledge that Jesus and his Father are one that is the source of the abundant Life and complete Joy which the disciples will know.

Here is no pale Christology. Here is Life and Hope. John would have us under no illusion about the relationship of Jesus of Nazareth to God. As the Prologue lays out the Cosmic dimensions of the relationship of the living Word to God, yet in intimate terms (It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known) – so over and over again Jesus speaks of the Father, His Father, and the Father of all those born from above. The intimacy of God and the only begotten is revealed in breathtaking detail, and as we read, and behold, we too are drawn into the joyous love of the Father for the Son

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