Job description. What is our job description as believers? When God brought Joseph down to Egypt, what was his job description? Sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph never doubts God, but works hard in every job he does, whether it is being steward of Potiphar’s house, or managing the prison for the warden, or interpreting dreams for Pharaoh’s ousted servants and then for Pharaoh himself, and finally becoming the steward of all Egypt. A more hellish set of circumstances is hard to imagine, but Joseph never loses his focus because He believes in God, and whatever job he’s doing, he considers himself: a steward of life. Pharoah’s prophetic dream foretells 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine – a worldwide crisis – and Joseph’s wisdom earns him the job of saving lives, not just for Egypt, but for everyone from all nations who will need food. And when Joseph’s brothers arrive to buy grain to keep their families alive, they go to Joseph, never recognizing him, yet Joseph knows them, and still he feeds them. He does test them, to see if they have repented for their jealous rage that enslaved him, but then he tells them:
. . . for God sent me before you to preserve life . . . And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors, so it was not you who sent me here, but God. Genesis 45:5b,7,8a
Preserving life, protecting life, promoting life. While Joseph had many jobs over the years, his main purpose was to preserve life. From slave to prisoner to high steward of all Egypt, the trajectory of his career was always driven by: keeping people alive.
Like Joseph, every job the Lord Jesus Christ did on earth – His teaching, His healings, casting out demons and calming storms – everything was for life. And not just life on earth, but eternal life. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10. “I am the bread of life” John 6:48. “. . . whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Christ’s ultimate work, dying on the cross for us and being raised from the dead, bought back for us our immortality, eternal life. Jesus said, “the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28.
We, too, are stewards of life. Wherever we go, God sends us there to as ambassadors for life. Every job we do over our lifetimes is driven by a career of life-giving faith. In seasons of learning, in seasons of working at hard menial jobs, in seasons of serving our families, in seasons of building and doing our careers, we are at all times: stewards of life. Our calling to be good stewards of the creation dates back to the Garden, but in this post-resurrection age it has become an eternal calling. We are not just feeding people to keep survivors alive on this side of Heaven, but working to connect them with the Son of God, Who feeds them with the bread of life, and keeps them alive for all eternity in Heaven.