He was wandering in the field … “I seek my brethren.” Genesis 37:15,16 KJV
He was wandering in the field … “I am looking for my brothers.” Genesis 37:15-16 NASB
Two stark contrasts present themselves to us in this short expression. Joseph was wandering, searching, and not knowing where his brothers were. Second, he came to his brothers, a relationship he had no part in establishing. It was thrust upon him at birth.
Wandering, searching, and seeking were not faults on the part of Joseph. It marked the limits of his knowledge and ability. The brothers had departed from the assigned field (were they afraid to be near Shechem after the events of Genesis 34?), and Joseph had to find them. He did not know where they were and needed help and guidance from another to locate them.
The Lord Jesus came to “seek and to save” (Luke 19:10), but He never wandered without clear direction in this world. He needed no guidance or help in locating us. In the imagery of the parable of the Samaritan, He came to where we were (Luke 10:33). His journey had direction and purpose. There was never a sense of being “lost” on His part. We were lost; He came to seek … the lost (Luke 19:10).
But it is especially the issue of the contrast in relationship which is significant. As mentioned, Joseph’s link with his brethren was involuntary. They were linked by birth. But the Lord Jesus made a conscious choice. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself, likewise took part of the same” (Heb 2:14). His link with us was totally voluntary. He chose incarnation and humanity. He chose to become flesh (John 1:14). He did not have to come. In His solitary majesty and glory within the Godhead, His link with us was as Creator. No outward constraint was placed upon Him. No inward need compelled Him. He chose to visit us in matchless grace.
With the fall in Eden, we were marked as ruined. When the law was given, man proved himself to be a rebel and disobedient. But the coming of Christ, His voluntary link with us, revealed that we rejected the light God was giving; we rejected the grace displayed in His incarnation. He came knowing what our response would be; He linked Himself with humanity, knowing that humanity would not appreciate or value Him apart from the work of the Holy Spirit.
More amazing still is that the link He has forged with us will be eternal. He chose Manhood with the knowledge that it would be eternal. And He will have joy when He presents us to His Father: “Behold I and the children which God hath give Me” (Heb 2:13).
Verily God, yet become truly human;
Lower than angels to die in our stead.
Think of different times the Scripture speaks of Christ moving in a certain direction with a purpose, goal, or destination in view.
Read Hebrews 2 and note the different reasons for the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ.