Read Genesis 45:1-15

How are forgiveness and reconciliation different? How does this help us make sense of why Joseph would test the brothers and put them through such a crisis?

Forgiveness is one-sided, meaning you don’t need someone else to ask for an apology or accept your forgiveness to do it. However, reconciliation requires two or more people. In reconciliation you experience repentance, making amends and have an opportunity to evaluate if someone has changed and relationship can safely be restored. What are some barriers to experiencing reconciliation with other people?

How does Joseph’s knowledge of God’s providence help him to forgive and reconcile with his brothers? Why is God so intent on restoring this family and bringing them down to Egypt?

The image of reconciliation is used to describe how God’s forgiveness of our sin leads to a restored relationship with him. Unlike human to human forgiveness, when God forgives it always leads to a restored relationship with God. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2. How are we reconciled to God (verse 21) and what is the calling on Christians as a result of this new relationship with God (verse 18)?

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