Now [Jacob] loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him. … So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore; and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
A special son
Read: A selection from Genesis 37:1-36
Little brothers can be hard to get along with. In Joseph’s case, his father, Jacob, loved him more than all his brothers. Jacob gave Joseph a special coat, which made them jealous. And at the breakfast table in the mornings, Joseph liked to tell his family about his dreams. He often dreamed about being in charge of all his brothers. That made his brothers furious.
Big brothers can be tough to deal with, too. In this story, Joseph’s jealous brothers decided to kill him and his crazy dreams. They didn’t quite kill him, but they did take his special coat and sell him to some slave traders for twenty pieces of silver.
Joseph isn’t the only child to have been his father’s favorite and make his brothers want to kill him. The Bible says that Jesus is God’s beloved son, kind of like God’s favorite. And when Jesus started sharing his message with people, they got so mad they tried to kill him. They took his coat, too.
The good news is that the story about Joseph and his brothers ends well. Joseph does end up being in charge, but it helps save his family—just like in the story of Jesus. Jesus is sold for thirty pieces of silver and then killed. But he comes back to life and is king over the whole world. The people that hated Jesus are the same people that he came to save. And do you know who those people are? They are you and me.
How did Joseph’s brothers feel? How could Joseph still love his brothers when they hated him so much?
Wow, Jesus! I’m amazed that you and Joseph were willing to love the people who hated you. I’m also thankful because it means that you love me and have saved me. Amen.
This devotion is part of
Each devotion in this family Advent devotional invites you into the story of someone on Jesus’s family tree. These devotions will show young children how God was preparing for Jesus to be born across many generations. Each story pairs with a symbol you can hang on your own Jesse Tree.