When explaining the relationship between Jesus’ disciples and the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote, “Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak spiritual truth, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit, explaining spiritual wisdom to spiritual people” (1 Corinthians 2:12-13). Jesus told his disciples that he had to leave earth after his death and resurrection, because only by leaving could he send the Holy Spirit, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all spiritual truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears from me, and he will also declare to you what is to come” (John 16:13).
With these convictions, Joseph was able to fearlessly declare in this story, “Do not all dream interpretations belong to God?” In the master icon, Father Yahweh is pouring out spiritual gifts of dream interpretation and wisdom upon Joseph. The seraphim (worship angel) next to God represents Joseph’s faithfulness to worship the Lord even as a slave in prison for several years. The fire and dove represent the Holy Spirit anointing upon Joseph to be able to interpret the spiritual meaning of dreams and visions. Joseph is chained to the two sleeping men representing their shared experience of being condemned and imprisoned.
Pharaoh’s cupbearer is having the dream of being restored in the future to honor and royal service, and the fruit-bearing tree on the hill and shining sun represent the favor and redemptive love of God. Pharaoh’s baker is having a dream of being beheaded and impaled in the future, and the dead tree and dark skies represent judgement and death. This story foreshadows the Lord’s supper; the wine represents Jesus’ blood covering our sins and giving us life, and the bread represents Jesus being tortured and crushed to death on the cross.
Joseph Interprets Dreams story sketches:
Sketch #1: Cloud & chains – This sketch is the story logo. This sketch illustrates Joseph interpreting dreams and visions while chained in Pharaoh’s prison.
Sketch #2: Prison bars – This sketch illustrates the first part of the story where Joseph meets Pharaoh’s servants in jail and takes care of them.
Sketch #3: Cup & bread – This sketch illustrates the second part of the story where Joseph listens to and interprets the two dreams about the future.
Sketch #4: Open eye – This sketch illustrates the third part of the story where the cupbearer and baker’s dreams come true, and they personally witness the future.
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