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Bookmark and ShareLesson 4 – April 23Coat of Different Colors

Scripture Focus

Genesis 29:21-30; 24; 34; 37; 42:13; 1 Corinthians 9:24-26


The story of Joseph’s coat of different colors is about partiality, jealousy, hatred, and lies that lead to grief and regret. Yet God made sure that the story ended according to heaven’s plan.

Materials Needed

Paper, pencils, a multi-colored robe (borrow from a friend if necessary), treasured gifts given to group members by their parents (ask several group members in advance to bring the gifts to class)

Connecting with the Scripture Topic

  1. Several people in the group have been asked to bring something to class that was given to them by one or both of their parents and that made them feel special and loved. Listen for all the nuances in the stories, not only what the gifts meant when they were given but also what they mean today.
  2. When the multi-colored robe is placed on you, tell your story of privilege that led to your slavery. Then describe how God ended your bondage.

Sharing and Receiving Scripture

  1. Joseph’s story is more than a story of a boy who paid the price for being his father’s favorite. What can his brothers’ jealousy and the events that followed teach us about trusting God to lead our lives?
  2. Thought Questions

Read Genesis 37:1-10. If we’re not careful, how might we repeat the jealousy of Joseph’s brothers?

  1. We might become jealous if one of our parents appears to favor a sibling over us.
  2. We might become jealous if a coworker gets a raise or promotion and we don’t.
  3. We might become jealous if another church member is asked to hold an office we desire.
  4. We might become jealous if we’re not invited to a social event when other friends are.
  5. We might become jealous if someone has something that we believe we should have.
  6. Other…

Read Genesis 37:3, 4. When might we feel that God has given someone else a “coat of many colors” but has given us nothing?

  1. When we hear that someone else was healed, but God said “No” to our prayer for healing.
  2. When we pinch pennies month after month, while people we know are taking exotic vacations.
  3. When someone else in the family receives a large inheritance.
  4. When we do manual labor all day while a friend gets to sit behind a desk.
  5. When our children don’t get good grades or do well in music and sports like our friends’ kids do.
  6. Other…

Read Genesis 37:12-36. When we follow our emotions instead of God’s leading, vengeful and jealous hatred can set in. How could these affect others and us?

  1. We might become dissatisfied with what we have and want more.
  2. Envy might poison our relationships with family and friends, resulting in the loss of relationships.
  3. We might judge those who have more than we have, assuming that their motives are always selfish.
  4. We might become so obsessed with what others have that we don’t see our own blessings.
  5. We might begin to believe that God plays favorites—and we’re not one of the favored ones.
  6. Other…

Read Genesis 41:39-42. Although Joseph’s jealous and hateful brothers wanted to end his life, good came of it. What can we learn from the outcome of their betrayal?

  1. Jealousy and hatred have no place in our homes, churches, workplaces, or schools.
  2. We should rejoice with those whom God has blessed; if we look, we’re being blessed, too.
  3. Jealousy can lead to hatred, and hatred can lead to wishing another person was out of our lives.
  4. When God has a plan, nothing can stand in the way of that plan.
  5. If we are faithful, God won’t forget us, even in tough times.
  6. Other…

Applying the Message of Scripture

Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to the larger group when your facilitator says time is up.

  • Option 1: Sometimes we doubt God before we know the end of the story. But God knew the plans for Joseph. Rewrite Joseph’s story, telling what might have happened had he not been sold into slavery. Include the possible effects on future generations.
  • Option 2: Joseph has been called a type of Christ. Review his story and list ways you believe this statement is true.
  • Option 3: Do you know someone who people envy and judge because they appear “favored” with looks, money, employment, intelligence, talent, or social standing? Make the decision to become this person’s friend—no strings attached.

Valuing Scripture in Your Life

  1. Are you like Joseph’s brothers, feeling left out and unblessed by God? Make a list of all your blessings and decide today, with God’s help, to learn contentment.
  2. At this point in your life, do you feel like Joseph did when he was a slave? Do you wonder if God has forgotten you? Read the end of Joseph’s story in Genesis 41. Determine to hold on patiently until God finishes your own story.

Next Week’s Scripture Focus

Exodus 32:1-6; Leviticus 21:7-24; 22:1-8; Exodus 28; Revelation 21:12-14; Hebrews 4:14,15

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