When we left Joseph at the end of chapter 40, he was alone, forsaken, forgotten in the depths of the prison. Remember how he got there. He was the favoured son, a young man in-home his father delighted, and upon whom God’s favour rested. His visions of supremacy over his brothers, supposedly given him from God, enraged them to the point at which they despised and rejected him. Although they initially planned to kill him themselves, Judah sold him for the price of a slave, delivering him over to a group of Gentiles. Although God was with him and no guilt was found in him, he was falsely accused of sin, and unjustly sentenced to prison where he was forsaken and forgotten.
When we pick up the story in Genesis 41, we find that Joseph has been languishing in prison for over two years. Thus, in the third year of his imprisonment, the circumstances of chapter 41 can be fairly described as a miraculous resurrection. More than that - a miraculous resurrection and ascension, orchestrated by God for the deliverance of the world.
Did Jesus Really Claim to be God? This question flows out of the question we asked last week, because some people will grant that Jesus the man really lived, but that he perhaps lived as a itinerant teacher or a social trouble-maker, but that was it, and only decades after his death the myth of Jesus’ deity grew. It is sometimes claimed that Jesus would roll over in his grave if he found out that people were worshipping him as God. And so that is the next important question - did Jesus himself, really claim to be God? This is important, as one New Testament and ancient Judaism scholar, Brant Pitre, suggests:
The answer to this question has enormous historical and theological implications. If Jesus did not think he was God, then one of the central claims of Christianity, indeed, argueably the central claim - that the one true God became man in Jesus of Nazareth - comes crashing to the ground. But if Jesus did speak and act as if he were the one God, then we are forced to make a decision. Either he was a liar who knew he was just a man but spoke as if he were divine; or he was a lunatic who thought he was God but was grossly mistaken; or he was who he claimed to be - the one true God come in person. (“Case for Jesus: the Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ”, Pitre, 119)