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Mike-regarding your question asking if Joseph was playing “mind games” with his brothers, no, I don’t think so and here is why.

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and asked him, "We are not blind too, are we?" Jesus replied, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin, but now because you claim that you can see, your guilt remains."
(John 9:40-41 NET.)

Joseph was trying to get them to admit they were blind; they had to confess to their sin(s). First of all one cannot come to God, to Christ, without first admitting one is sinful, Joseph could not bestow on his brothers the honor of being his brothers in Egypt, with all the honor that would entail, unless they faced their sin. There are two kids of sorrow, a worldly sorrow (a sorrow that says, I’m sorry because I got caught), and a godly sorrow (a sorrow that is truly repentant of one’s behavior. Without godly sorrow, the brothers would not be able to exist in Egypt without becoming a further stench in the nostrils of the Egyptians, who didn’t like Hebrews anyway.

It’s all about character. We can mentally assent and verbally confess we are something that our behavior shows we are not; but unless there is a character change our words will never match our behavior or vice versa. No mind games with Joseph, he was just trying to get his brothers to admit they were “blind.”

Now I rejoice, not because you were made sad, but because you were made sad to the point of repentance. For you were made sad as God intended, so that you were not harmed in any way by us. For sadness as intended by God produces a repentance that leads to salvation, leaving no regret, but worldly sadness brings about death.
(2 Corinthians 7:9-10 NET.)

Grace and peace,

Is God in control? Yes, but when bad things happen to us, do we acknowledge that fact? Intellectually we know moral evil is a result of God allowing us “free will”? But can we admit that sometime in the future (maybe decades) through God it will have worked out for the best.

Take Joseph from 17 to 30. Would he be in Egypt if his brother’s had not sold him (just killed him)? Would he have been in prison (where he met cup bearer and baker for Pharaoh) if Potipher’s wife had not tried to seduce Joseph? If he could not interpret the dreams would he have been called by Pharaoh? If pride had not been knocked out of him in prison where he acknowledged God multiple times in front of Pharaoh would God give him interpretation of dream? All this led to him being second in command in Egypt. Some good happened; a lot of bad - and in the end even Joseph knew this was God’s work! Gods plans and ways are very complex and higher than our plans and ways.

Jesus MADE the disciples get in boat - getting them away from the crowd who increasingly wanted to make him King. Why not? Jesus could provide food from nowhere and heal any injuries from battle. Do you blame the crowds?

So the disciples are dead sure Jesus is the Son of God? So where were they at the cross?

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