24 The steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys. 25 They prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon, because they had heard that they were to eat there.26 When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground. 27 He asked them how they were, and then he said, “How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?”28 They replied, “Your servant our father is still alive and well.” And they bowed down, prostrating themselves before him.29 As he looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there.31 After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself, said, “Serve the food.”32 They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians. 33 The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstborn to the youngest; and they looked at each other in astonishment. 34 When portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as anyone else’s. So they feasted and drank freely with him.”NIV

When portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as anyone else’s. So they feasted and drank freely with him” (34).

“A man can receive only what is given him from heaven” (John 3:27).

Everyone may come to Christ’s table and “freely” partake of the banquet He generously spreads before us. We are equal in the experience of salvation. But in another sense, we are not equal. Some are given greater resources, greater influence, greater opportunities than others. This is up to our heavenly ‘Joseph’. If, in His sovereignty, He chooses to give “five times” more to one of His ‘brothers’, He has His reasons, and we can trust Him. Peter is not to concern himself with the purposes of Jesus for John. Rather, Peter is to get on with walking his own appointed path of discipleship (see John 21:22).

When John the Baptist’s disciples pointed out to him that people were leaving his ‘church’ in large numbers to join Jesus’ ‘church’; when they told him of Jesus’ success, John gave the wonderfully insightful reply I’ve quoted above. He recognised that we have only what we have been given. It is not for us to envy anyone else, or to feel an injustice has been done because we have been entrusted with just the one ‘talent’. Whatever it is, we are to employ it in the power of Christ for the glory of Christ.

‘Observe the great respect Joseph’s brethren paid to him. Thus were Joseph’s dreams more and more fulfilled. Joseph showed great kindness to them. He treated them nobly; but see here the early distance between Jews and gentiles. In a day of famine, it is enough to be fed; but they were feasted. Their cares and fears were now over, and they ate their bread with joy, reckoning they were upon good terms with the lord of the land. If God accept our works, our present, we have reason to be cheerful. Joseph showed special regard for Benjamin, that he might try whether his brethren would envy him. It must be our rule, to be content with what we have, and not to grieve at what others have. Thus Jesus shows those whom he loves, more and more of their need. He makes them see that he is their only refuge from destruction. He overcomes their unwillingness, and brings them to himself. Then, as he sees good, he gives them some taste of his love, and welcomes them to the provisions of his house, as an earnest of what he further intends for them.’ Matthew Henry.

PRAYER: Lord God, help me not to spend my precious life feeling discontented over what I don’t have, but enable me to be grateful for all you have given me, and use it for your glory.