And Joseph said, ‘Not so my father’. Genesis 48:18 KJV

Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father…” Genesis 48:18 NASB

The Occasion

The scene was charged with emotion. The aged patriarch, Jacob, is about to die. Joseph is summoned, and he brings with him his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, to receive a parting blessing from their grandfather. Jacob recounted the high-points of his life, as well as the nadir (Gen 48:7). The memory of Bethel was still vivid in his mind. And the sad memory of Rachel’s death still caused him grief, after more than 40 years.

The Objection

Joseph presented his sons to his father, careful to place the eldest, Manasseh on Jacob’s right hand to receive the double blessing of the firstborn; and Ephraim was placed on his left. To receive a patriarchal blessing was life’s greatest asset. But to Joseph’s surprise, Israel crossed his hand and was about to give the blessing to the firstborn, Ephraim, when Joseph objected. “Not so, my father” he interjected. Joseph tried to correct his father when he thought that the blessing was going astray. Joseph thought he had to control the blessing of God.

The Opposite

The opposite was seen in the Lord Jesus Christ. Look at the entire events of Matthew 11. John the Baptist, in an uncharacteristic weak moment, had sent messengers to question if Christ were the Messiah. “This generation” had failed to respond to either John’s message or Christ’s. They had turned a deaf ear, justifying their rejection with excuses. The cities, where His mighty deeds had been performed, had hardened themselves against Him (vv 20-24). His public ministry had apparently yielded little in the way of obvious positive results. The blessing, at this point, was minimal in the eyes of men.

How did the Lord Jesus respond? “At that time, Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent … Even so Father for so it seemed good in Thy sight” (vv 25, 26).

In contrast to Joseph’s “not so, father” when he tried to control the blessing, the Lord Jesus was marked by “Even so, Father.” He was totally content with the Father’s will – even if it meant the apparent lack of blessing since God had chosen to reveal His truth to babes and not to the wise and prudent. It was in light of this, that the Lord Jesus could speak of being “meek and lowly in heart” and promising “rest for your souls” (v 29). He was totally at home in the Father’s will. There was never a struggle or conflict. He owned His Father’s wisdom: “so it seemed good in Thy sight.” And He bowed to His Father’s will.

Meekness and majesty, lowliness and lordliness were all present in full measure in this unique Son.


  1. It is only recorded once that the Lord Jesus “rejoiced.” Find that occasion and see how it relates to what we have considered.
  2. At times, the Bible uses the expression “to know” as a sign of approval. Look at Matthew 11:27 and think of how that might fit with the contentment of the Lord Jesus in this chapter.