Fathers and the Son



My Father

It had been at least 22 years since both Carlos and I had seen our father. We arrived in Spain, met new family, drove to a strange city, and staked out where we thought we might find our father. We waited for a day and a half, and finally, we saw our father drive by us. The shock of the moment cannot be expressed in a short blog post, but that moment was the convergence of many factors that could not have been mere coincidence. We were able to enjoy a short, all-be-it nice visit with our father and were able to speak with him about his soul and eternal destiny. 

While our Lord graciously provided me and my brother a wonderful grandfather who filled the role of a father in our lives, we still were raised in what may be considered a non-traditional way. A traditional, biblical home would have a father in whom the children could trust—a father who provided and was dependable.

A Patriarch Father

While mine and my brother’s story is interesting, believe it or not, there is a historical account of a father-son duo that is even more fascinating for several reasons. Jacob had fathered twelve boys, and one of them was a favored boy. Though Joseph was a favorite, he did not manifest any of the pompous, privileged, stuck-up maladies one would expect. Joseph trusted his father, and he showed this trust through obedience to his father’s request, on a given day, to journey and check on the other brothers. The brothers saw Joseph coming and out of hatred for him, the boys conspired against him, sold him into slavery, and lied to their father about what happened to him. The brothers led Jacob to believe that Joseph had been attacked and killed by a wild animal.

A Father’s Inevitable Reversal

It would be 20 plus years before Jacob would actually learn the truth about what happened to Joseph. After Joseph had been betrayed by his brethren, he spent the better part of 13 years in slavery and prison. After the 13 years in prison, there was a radical turn of events. Through a series of miraculous happenings, Joseph was actually promoted to Governor of the most successful country of the known world at that time. What made his country so appealing is that the world was having a shortage of food, and Joseph’s country—the one over which he was in charge—had plenty. Consequently, the very brothers who betrayed Joseph were forced to go and stand before him to request food for survival. Even though the brethren did not recognize Joseph at first, Joseph did reveal himself to them. You can imagine the shock of the moment. 

What ultimately took place is what I am calling an inevitable reversal. Though Joseph, as a boy, trusted in the will of his father Jacob, he was wrongly treated and disposed of by his brethren. By the end of the story, it is not Joseph who has confidence or trust in his father Jacob, but Jacob is actually dependent upon Joseph. Joseph would later provide food and lodging for all of his family. The family, including the father, had to trust that Joseph would sustain them. Do you see it? The reversal. It is not the son trusting in the father, but the father trusting in the son. You can read about this amazing story in Genesis 37-50.

Do you see it? The reversal. It is not the son trusting in the father, but the father trusting in the son.

A Call to All Fathers

So, this Father’s Day, I am calling all fathers to confront several realities. First, you are not invincible though your children may momentarily think that you are. I am not saying that Jacob feigned himself invincible, but that the dire circumstances forced him to look for and find help from his own son.

Second, don’t wait until life or circumstances force you to humble yourself. Fathers, please be careful that pride does not lead to your demise—especially an eternal demise.

Lastly, I am not calling you to place confidence in your biological son. Rather, consider carefully who the historical Joseph points us to—the Son Jesus Christ.

You see, the sin of Joseph’s brothers is a real reflection of our condition before a righteous God. Indeed, we are all sinners, but God has lovingly responded to our sin. God did NOT send Joseph for this purpose per se, but God sent Jesus Christ, who lived, was betrayed, beaten, crucified, raised, and exalted. All that Jesus endured was to call us to dependence, to trust, to faith in Jesus alone for eternal life.

What will you do with the Son?



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