There are many things that can be taken from this passage – Joseph is “strikingly handsome” (Msge), Potiphers’ wife lustful – there is justice and injustice. The main thing that has struck me is the 2 men – Potipher & the chief jailer – they have both seen in Joseph things that are more than skin deep. They have seen in this young man the qualities of integrity, diligence, honesty, trust, faithfulness & God’s favour on him, so much so that neither had to worry about anything that they put into his care. The contrast is Potiphers’ wife, she only saw the outward appearance of Joseph as he became the object of her lust.
I think this is the only place where we are told that Joseph was “handsome and good looking” (NRSV) yet that is not what Joseph is remembered for, at least 12 chapters in Genesis are devoted to him, yet only half of 1 verse to his looks! This has made me reflect on what qualities others will see in me, how will my actions, speech, attitudes be reflected? Oh that even some of the qualities that were seen in Joseph will be seen in me, and yet, the qualities of Jesus are our aim.
Lord, help me to be able to look at others with your eyes, the qualities you have placed in them and not just the visual appearance. Lord, continue to mold me to be more like Jesus that His qualities would be what I am remembered for, that His fragrance would be what others remember of me.
Written by Suzie Hodgson