The man [Joseph] said to us, “You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.” Genesis 43:5
Simeon had been detained in Egypt, and the price of his freedom was that the brothers would return home and bring back their youngest brother, Benjamin, with them.
So the brothers go back to Canaan and report all that has happened to Jacob: “Simeon has been detained, and the price of his release is that we go back to Egypt, and we must take Benjamin with us.” But Jacob says, “No way is that going to happen.” And their father said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin. All this has come against me” (42:36).
Then Jacob says, “My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he is the only one left” (42:38). So Simeon languishes in prison. His only hope is that Benjamin, the dearly loved son, should be sent. But Jacob cannot spare his dearly loved son. He is the only one left!
God has one Son who is dearly loved and highly favored. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (Jn. 3:16 NIV). But in the Old Testament there are many figures who point to Him. Isaac points to Jesus and so does Joseph. And here Benjamin also plays the role of the loved and favored son on whom the hope of all his brothers will depend.
Aren’t you glad that God is a better Father than Jacob? “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all…” (Rom. 8:32). It is easy to understand Jacob’s reluctance, but let that be a window for us into what it actually meant for God to send His one and only Son into this world, knowing what we would do to Him when He came.
What insight does Jacob’s predicament give you into God the Father sending His one and only Son, Jesus, into the world?