Summary: When Joseph’s brothers saw him they said "Here comes the dreamer" They meant it as a slur but it is a great compliment.
Here Comes The Dreamer
Rev. D.V. Guptill
He was just a kid. A kid who had dreams A kid who was loved by his father and a kid who was loathed by his brothers. Perhaps you know of him? The clip we just saw was from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s referred to as “Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat”. If you are of the right age you might remember Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colours”. And if you went to Sunday School or Vacation Bible School you probably know his story.
Joseph’s father Jacob had settled with his family in Canaan which is now part of what we think of as Palestine. A part of that immense family was seventeen year old Joseph. Now to be real frank with you Joseph wasn’t the most popular member of that family, at least not among his siblings. And there is good reason for that listen to how the Bible describes the relationship between Joseph and his father Jacob, aka Israel Genesis 37:3 Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. Now sometimes we do that with our kids, now I know that we claim that we don’t play favourites but reality says that there are times that one or another of the kids is more lovable then the others. But listen to Genesis 37:4 But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.
You see that was the fatal mistake that Jacob made, it wasn’t that Jacob loved Joseph more then all the other sons. Unfortunately my friends that is a failing of the human condition, We may try to love all of our children equally but everyone knew that my parents didn’t. I know that my parents loved my sister more then me. It’s funny though because she knows that her parents loved me more then her. Oh well.
The fatal mistake here was made when Jacob let everyone else including his other children know that Joseph was the favourite. The coat of many colours may have been a neat idea for a story line but it was really dumb for fostering sibling unity. Now Joseph didn’t help the matter when he told his brothers about the dream where they were all subservient to him. Talk about how to win friends and influence people. I bet it was Joseph who wrote the sequel to that book, you know the one called “How to win back the friends I’ve already influenced” And so on that day as Joseph’s brothers saw him coming across the field toward them he was not the most popular person in their world. As a matter of fact he probably didn’t make the list of the top 100.
Now with that in mind how do you think they welcomed him. What tone of voice did they use. Excitement? Awe? Respect? Not. Dollars to donuts their words were dripping with sarcasm. But I like their words. It says something about young Joseph, with a different tone of voice I can’t think of a greater compliment. Genesis 37:19 “Here comes the dreamer!” they said.
If I could sum up the single most important difference between successful people and non-successful people it would have to be the ability to dream. The ability to see things the way they should be or could be. Often Robert Kennedy is quoted as saying “You see things: and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why Not?’” Actually it was his brother Ted Kennedy who remarked in the eulogy he delivered at Bobby’s funeral “Some saw things the way they were and asked ’why?” Bobby saw things the way they could be and asked ’why not?‘”
But it was actually first said by George Bernard Shaw who said almost fifty years earlier “There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
The sentiment is the same no matter who said it.
I have spent the past twenty-eight years pastoring local churches and I’ve become more and more convinced that the secret to the success of churches is to have a dream, to dream of where we can go, how high we can fly and what we can do. Over the past years I’ve been asked by different people to account for the growth of the churches that I pastored. In each instance I’ve searched my ministry for some indication of what I might have done to accomplish what had been accomplished. Was it my preaching? Hah, I could wish. Was it my visiting? Hah you could wish. But what was it? I think I nailed it down, if I was to be asked today to account for the numerical growth of Truro Wesleyan Church and North Point Wesleyan Methodist Church I would respond “A Dream”