Summary: Keys to reconciling with God and people
Joseph Brings Reconciliation to His Family – Gen. 43-50
Preparation for the Teacher
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand how to bring reconciliation in among their family, friends and neighbors.
2. Explanation of the Aim: Joseph teaches us how to get over any feelings of resentment by exhibiting a reconciling attitude toward his abusive brothers. The Lord is eager to help us bring reconciliation between opposing parties by the power of His love, grace and truth. Once we come to appreciate how much Christ has forgiven us then we are free to forgive others regardless of the severity of an offense. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit we are able to allow Christ’s forgiveness to penetrate to every layer of our mind, will and emotions. Being willing to forgive others frees us from the self-destructive tendency of being critical, angry and fearful of others.
3. The Bible Story: When Joseph’s brothers return to Egypt to face Joseph they feared that their younger brother might hold a grudge against them. They said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back fro all the wrongs we did to him?” (Gen. 50:15) People with a guilty conscience show their own inability to seek reconciliation by the leading and help of God. Whenever we think that someone has something against us Jesus said, “Before you present your offering at the altar, first go and be reconciled with your brother.” (Matt. 5:23,24)
Reconciliation is a priority for Godly people. Joseph not only forgives his brothers before they ask him, but he says, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your people. And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” (Gen. 50:19-21) Follow the fine example of Joseph in demonstrating a Christ like attitude in all kinds of reconciliation ministries.
4. Prepare to Teach: The INTRODUCTION gives the people an opportunity to consider some of the problems of failing to be reconciled with someone. Ask the people what are some of the dangers of failing to seek reconciliation with a school-mate, a brother or a sister? Discuss what is involved in seeking reconciliation with another person?
The BIBLE STORY explains how Joseph demonstrates a Christ like attitude of reconciliation on the human as well as spiritual dimensions of life. Joseph knew that God could even use the wrath of men for His greater praise, purpose and deliverance of millions of lives.
THE MEANING FOR OUR LIVES allows the people to make applications from the lesson to how they will seek reconciliation with other people. Ask the people if they know of someone who they have had a quarrel or fight with? Find out if the people can give a good definition of the word reconciliation (To make friends with someone who you have been estranged or separated from; to harmonize people who have opposing viewpoints) Ask the people what steps they need to take in order to be reconciled with those they hate or with people who have wronged them?