Then Judah approached Joseph and said, “Please, my lord! Let your servant say something to you privately; and don’t be angry with your servant, for you are like Pharaoh himself.” – Genesis 44:18
One of the most mind-boggling concepts presented to us in the Scriptures is Yeshua’s relationship to God the Father.
All manner of terminology and phrases are used in an attempt to properly explain this mysterious relationship.
Yeshua is called the “Messiah” (which just means “the anointed one” by the way).
He is also called the “Son of God“.
Some explain Yeshua’s identity by saying “He was YHVH Himself in human flesh“.
Between seminary professors, expressions like “the incarnate deity of Christ” are bantered back and forth.
Furious debates are held even in Messianic circles regarding Yeshua’s true nature.
“Was He really God?”
“Or was He just a representative of God?”
“How could He simultaneously be both 100% God and 100% man?”
The questions go on and on and this side of heaven we may never know the answer.
However, an examination of the relationship between Joseph and Pharaoh can help us to better come to grips with this nebulous idea.
Notice Judah says to Joseph that he is EQUAL to Pharaoh.
Joseph was given His power and authority by Pharaoh Himself to act on his behalf.
So in this sense, he was the equal of Pharaoh Himself.
However, and here’s the key question, was he the same person as Pharaoh himself?
The answer is a thunderous and resounding NO!
The Pharaoh still existed separate from Joseph and was the highest of the high in the land of Egypt.
Joseph was the Prime Minister and Pharaoh was still Pharaoh.
Joseph never took over Pharaoh’s position.
Here we have the key to understanding the relationship between Yeshua and Yahweh.
Just as Joseph exercised the full authority of Pharaoh in Egypt so did Yeshua exercise the full authority of the Father in heaven.
Yet Joseph was NOT Pharaoh and Yeshua was NOT the Father.
I believe we make a mistake when we literally interpret Yeshua’s statement “I and the Father are one and the same.“
This is simply a statement reflecting the equality, oneness and unity that Yeshua had with His Father.
It doesn’t mean literally that He was the Father Himself.
Just as Joseph was subservient to Pharaoh, so was Yeshua subservient to the Father.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m not denying the divinity of Yeshua.
If I was to attempt to put this in words, I guess I would say “Yeshua is God the Son“, but definitely not “God the Father“.
But I’m just using earthly language to describe a spiritual idea that I doubt any human being on the planet really understands.
The objective here is to show that the relationship between Joseph and Pharaoh is the physical picture of the spiritual relationship that Yeshua had with His Father in heaven.
One final point and I think this is more of a Christian than a Jewish problem.
We are NOT supposed to pray to “Jesus”.
Jesus is the vehicle, the doorway (the only doorway) to get to the Father.
We are to pray to the Father in the name of Yeshua.
This is an important difference.
Note that the Lord’s Prayer as taught by Yeshua starts with the words “Our Father who art in heaven…“
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“And Yeshua came and spake unto them, saying,
All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
“For as the Father has life in Himself,
so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.”
“The Son can do nothing by himself;
he can do only what he sees the Father doing,
because whatever the Father does,
the Son does also.”
“The Father is greater than I.”
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN GENESIS CHAPTER 45