He [Joseph] cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So, no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. Genesis 45:1
Joseph’s brothers sinned against him. But what happened was between them, and it had nothing to do with the Egyptians. So Joseph would not allow them to be brought into it.
We live in a culture where many people believe that if a sin has been committed, everyone should know about it. It is true that when a sin is public, it needs to be dealt with in a public way. And if a person is unrepentant, there are times when a sin should be told to the whole church (Matt. 18:17). But reconciliation is a gift of grace that is given to people who are directly involved in a particular offense. If you are seeking reconciliation, be careful not to expand that circle.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please” (Gen. 45:4). When Joseph made himself known, the brothers were terrified! “Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph!’ …but his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence” (45:3).
You find the same thing on the Day of Pentecost. Peter says, “This Jesus whom you crucified, God has made both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36 NIV). The response was not one of joy, but of terror. It was not, “Praise the Lord, now we are all going to be forgiven and reconciled!” It was, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (2:37).
Peter says, “Repent and be baptized” (2:38). There is forgiveness of sins. There is the gift of the Holy Spirit. And all this is foreshadowed when Joseph says to his brothers, “Come near to me.” Christ says to you today, “Come near to me.” The exalted person against whom you have sinned, loves you and wants you near to Him.
Why would you remain at a distance from Jesus today?