1. Judah’s appeal made an impact on Joseph. It is not known whether or not Joseph made any plans to reveal himself to his brother, but on this occasion, planned or not, he did. I am always touched by the scene of the first part of the chapter; I try to imagine how it played out, and I can well appreciate the “motionless” (or dumbfounded) response of the sons of Jacob (45:3). For such a long time, it is likely, they wondered at what had happened to Joseph. Though they attributed to him that he was dead, they had no way of knowing that, and now that he declares to them who he is, probably a range of fearful emotions come over them. Joseph knew as much, thus he reassures them (45:4, 7-8, 24).
2. Word spreads throughout the “palace” and when Pharaoh learns he sends for the family of the “savior” of Egypt. If Joseph was such a great man to receive from the Lord God the ability of interpreting dreams, one can only image something, anything about the remainder of his family! Jacob, though, is hard pressed to believe this; in time, however, he comes to a point of belief and whatever sadness there was about him with respect to Simeon and Benjamin, his sorrow over the years is now overturned (45:28).
3. Application: The joy of reunion is beyond descriptive words. The joy of reunion for Joseph was that whatever bitterness he might have had, it was now gone. He could look upon the future as one that needed nurture, not just repaired. The joy for Jacob was that he could now reclaim joy in knowing that each of his sons was alive. He could also rejoice over the fact that near youngest son had attained to a station in life where he “saw” the Lord’s protective care – more than that he was over Egypt. Reunion is always better when wrong is made into right.