So Yeshua said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
The Torah teaches us as much by Its narratives of the patriarchs as by Its legislative Code of Law. Jacob had been unjustly treated by his brother Esau, but at the end of the story, Jacob bites the bitter end and organizes a repentance party where all make peace (Genesis 32). They may not live together but at least enmity is put behind. Joseph follows the pattern of his father Jacob. Having been unjustly treated by his brothers, he also organizes for them a way to properly repent of their misdeeds so the past can be left behind. All this needed to happen before God was ready to make Israel a great nation and fulfill the promises made to Abraham. The pattern of concealed identities, lying, vengeance, and measure for measure retribution needed to stop and by revealing himself and forgiving his brothers Joseph put an end to it all. This story becomes then the contextual cradle where the torah will be given in the next few chapters.
Is there a lesson for us in this? Relationships in this world are often born of ulterior personal selfish motives and interests. As a result, we often live lives of pretence hiding our true self under a façade of 'social correctness'. This may be good and well for the unbeliever 'worldlings', but it is certainly wrong for the Children of the Most-High and disciples of the Master.
Can the Father of Truth and Lights bless us when we play social games with each other? Sad to say, but this sort of hypocrisy has become a hallmark of religiosity and spirituality. This is often the reason why our teenagers reject the notion of God altogether because they see through the hypocrisy of their 'socially correct' religious parents.
And why do people do that? Because they cannot look at themselves in a mirror. They are afraid of admitting to themselves that they are not as good as they claim to be. They think that because they are 'redeemed', they are now sinless but the reality of their true sinful selves still confronts them every wake moment. A a result, they hide behind a veneer of spiritual religiosity made up of cliché statements, clothing, adversarial loud opposition to 'sin', and pious attitudes and platitudes. But this self-righteous veneer is thin, brittle, and cracks easily. When faced with the awful truth about himself, one has two choices: to remain in the bondage of deception by lying to himself in order to sustain a false image, or liberate himself by being honest, ask for forgiveness, and do works meet for repentance.
Thankfully, in the case of the patriarchs, the lessons were learned, everybody repents and unites in the days of Joseph which causes Israel to grow as a mighty people who conquered the Promised Land where Messiah would be born.
May it be the same with us! May we in our days stop playing 'religion' and learn to worship God as the Master taught us to: in Spirit and truth (John 4:23).