The Emmaus Experience Study
If you’ve ever experienced disappointment, then the Joseph story will certainly soothe your sorrow. We want to be your companions on this journey. As you read the story of Joseph we want to see, and even respond to what you are learning from this journey.
We invite you to post on our Facebook page the lessons you are learning along the way. Share your thoughts or visual inspirations via Twitter and Instagram by hash-tagging them #MessageMag. We look forward to seeing each step you take with Jesus.
READ GENESIS 37:3-5.
Do you have a dream or a gift that you want to use for making the world more positive, but this gift has attracted negative responses? Tell us or show us your dream or gift by way of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Whatever you do, do it to the glory of God.
READ GENESIS 37:6-11. Have you been seeking support and affirmation for the dreams and gifts you have? Have the people closest to you been an obstacle or a stepping-stone? It may not be easy, but we would love to see or hear what that was like for you. Read 2 Corinthians 10:7: “Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s.”
READ GENESIS 37:15-22.
Notice that Reuben hears the plan to kill Joseph and devises a way of escape. I doubt that Joseph would have seen the pit as his deliverance. Has someone that you thought was against you ever ended up being one of your greatest supporters? Have you been through something that wasn’t pleasant at the time, but it taught you more than years of life? If someone comes to mind, call and thank them or even pray with them. Let us know how it goes.
Is there a pit experience that you can share? Or a picture or scripture that expresses how you felt and what you learned about Jesus during it? We’d love to hear or see it.
Hebrews 12:5-11: “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Though it is not explicit, Joseph traveled the journey to Egypt. Can you imagine the thoughts and emotions he experienced? Read Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
READ GENESIS 39:1-6.
In the midst of disappointment, have you ever actually accomplished some of your most impressive feats? Perseverance is a possible sign that Jesus is in you. Tell us about a time you pushed through insurmountable odds, or show us a picture or quote that inspired you not to give up.
Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-10.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
READ GENESIS 39:7-20.
There is something amazing happening in these passages of Scripture. Joseph’s father Jacob, grandfather Isaac, and great-grandfather Abraham all fell into the temptation of trying to bring to fruition by their own efforts what God said He would do. Most obvious of these was Abraham having a baby through Hagar and not Sarah his wife. Then there was Jacob who stole his brother’s birthright. Have you ever tried to fast-track what you thought you deserved, only to find out it would have been better to be patient? Tell us about it. Send us a picture that represents your experience.
Read Isaiah 55.
READ GENESIS 39:21-23.
Joseph finds himself in a place that is usually seen as a place of restraint and confinement. The blessing that God put on his life was not limited by location. Have you been in a place that was supposed to contain and constrain you, but the gifts you have refused to lay dormant? Tell us about it. Show us some pictures or some quotes that remind you of that time.
READ GENESIS 40:1-19.
Has your gift ever taken you to a place of favor only to put you in a position that you had to make a decision that would not be favorable for someone? Tell us about a time that you had to make a hard decision. Show us something that reminds you that pressing forward sometimes means delivering an unpopular decision.
READ GENESIS 40:20-23.
Sometimes the people to whom we’ve given hope leave us in a seemingly hopeless place. Has anyone you have helped lift been the one who let you down? Tell us about it. Show us a picture that depicts how you felt or a quote that expresses the emotions you were experiencing.
READ GENESIS 41:1-16.
Sometimes we see and experience situations that seem not to be the most positive or favorable. From the standpoint of Pharaoh, this was a disturbing happening. His disturbance ended up being the deliverance of Joseph. Has someone else’s hard situation been a testimony to you? Tell us about it. Show us what it was like for you.
READ GENESIS 41:16.
Joseph’s words are of note in this verse. I’ve been on this journey with you, and when I read this verse, I see a stark contrast between it and Joseph’s words from the beginning of the story. I see him at the beginning not even mentioning God in his dream. I see him in prison asking the cupbearer to remember him. But now I see him saying it is all in the hands of God. Have you seen God slowly but surely show you that your life is not about you? Tell us about your experience and journey. Show us a picture that represents your transformation.
READ GENESIS 45:2; 50:1, 15-17.
Even when God brings us through, He doesn’t necessarily promise to shield us from the emotional effects. Joseph is still obviously affected by the fallout with his family. Can you remember a time God was blessing you but you were still dealing with the residual effects of the past? Tell us about it.
READ GENESIS 50:20.
We must know that all that we go through is meant for good. Joseph is a different person because of what God allowed him to go through. Review the responses you have made throughout this activity and see how God has been there for you.
Know that the Old Testament is also a revelation of Jesus Christ. See if you can compare how Joseph’s experience mirrored or foreshadowed the life of Jesus.