Israel, or Jacob, loved Joseph more than all his other children. This love was manifested by Jacob making Joseph a coat of (many) colors. Genesis 37:4 says, “when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.”
This hatred by Joseph’s brothers, because of Joseph’s coat of many colors, is a basic reaction of the flesh. It was not the coat they hated; it was what the coat represented, the father’s love for Joseph above them. The coat of many colors was an outward sign to them of the inward love of their father for Joseph above them. The label placed on this reaction is called “jealousy.”
Any time that one in a group is elevated above the others in the group; there is envy and jealousy of the preeminence of the one above the rest. The flesh in man prompts him to be number one. The flesh wants to be admired, adored, and acclaimed in all areas of life above all others. This fundamental desire of the flesh is what drives men to seek power and rule over others at any cost. Therefore, when one among them is raised above all the others, hatred ensues, even lies and murder. Whatever it takes to discredit and destroy the elevated one.
In Joseph’s case the brothers conspired to kill him. Reuben spared him by having them put him in a pit; later the brothers sold him into slavery. But they dipped his coat in blood and returned it to their father; they lied to cover up their sinful deeds.
It was the same with Jesus as He was loved of the Father above all. “… This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11). Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh, the Son of God. He claimed to be the Lamb of God, the King of kings, etc. Consequently, He was hated (John 15:18-25).
Christ said His disciples would also be hated (John 15:18, 19, 20, 21a). Jesus said, if they hate me, they hate the Father also (John 15:23-24). Christ has robed His Seed with the Robe of Righteousness. He has reconciled, justified, and redeemed us from sin’s punishment, penalty, and preeminence. He has made us a New Creature; He has given us a New Nature, a new desire to please Him and not men. The testimony of God is upon the lives of His children. They walk in power, peace, and joy of the Holy Ghost. They not only have inward peace, but have outward blessings of God upon them. This fact is recognized by the world and it causes the world to be envious and jealous; for they can see the coat of many colors on His children. They see His stamp, His image of holiness and righteousness; they see the Father’s love above all others, as it was with Joseph. They see His Provision and Protection of them.
The Cost of the Coat is great. It was for Christ; and it is for all of His obedient children that follow Him completely in body, soul, and spirit. The Coat is a sign that God’s Sovereign Choice of you to be His, was and is all of grace. Christ told the Apostles, you have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you (John 15:16). Joseph did not ask Jacob for the coat that represented the Father’s love for him. He did not ask for the place of preeminence above his brethren, and neither did you.
Yes, the cost is great to the flesh, as it was to Joseph. But the end result was and is worth the cost. (See Philippians 3:7-14.)
Not once did Joseph say: I don’t want this coat. No, he assumed the responsibility of the coat and revealed his dreams to his brothers of his preeminent position (Genesis 37:5-11); and they hated him the more.
There is a Cost to the Coat. (See Luke 14:26-33.) Your flesh will be crucified; your goals of worldly gain will change to heavenly goals; you will be hated by wicked men of this world. But during this transformation, you will be conformed to His image and be made known the Riches of His Glory, which is your inheritance in Christ. The Prize will be worth it all as you rule and reign with Christ throughout all eternity.
Child of God, are you ashamed of the Coat of Righteousness that God has given you in grace and mercy? Is the Cost too great to wear this Coat? If not, then wear this Coat, fill your position, crucify the flesh. Don’t let the hatred of men hinder you. But walk in the Cost of the Coat in Power, Peace, and Praise that God has chosen you to be loved of the Father above all.
(This is a re-post from December 13, 2011, as Part 1 of The Joseph Collection Series.)