Genesis 49:22-26 “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed supple, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb. Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers.”

Of the twelve sons of Jacob it is Joseph who is the most fascinating, and unforgettable figure by far. I am ready to say that though he was a sinner – for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God – yet, like others in the Bible such as Deborah, Hannah, Isaiah, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah – no sins of theirs are recorded in Scripture. Today’s biographers are not enthusiastic about such chronicles. They want to dish the dirt on every figure in history. One recent criticism of Iain Murray’s life of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is that it is ‘hagiography’, in other words, it only praises its subject. It fails to criticize things Dr. Lloyd-Jones did and said. I don’t believe that that is true . . . whatever . . . If God permits the lives of many of his people in the Old and New Testaments to be recorded without referring to their sins then that is an example to us. Love covers a multitude of sins. It does not draw attention to them. A mark of a godly man – even if he is a writer – is that he is slow to speak and swift to hear.

We all love the history of Joseph, not just when we are young. So it is not surprising that here he receives more attention from his father Jacob than even Judah had. Five times in this passage the word ‘blessing’ is used. You must remember that Joseph has already received his father’s blessing in the previous chapter in the fifteenth verse. So he is doubly blessed.


Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall” (v.22). You see this picture of fruitfulness, how its existence is emphasized by the direct opening statement and simple repetition, “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine . . .” The other brothers are compared to animals – lion, donkey, serpent, deer and wolf – but Joseph to a plant. No other son is praised for fruitfulness as he is. Of course it is spiritual fruit that makes Joseph so refreshing a character. Consider the fruit of the Spirit in him. Love – for his father Jacob, his ten older brothers and for his kid brother Benjamin. Joy – at his father’s gift of a splendid coat, at his deliverance from prison and elevated to the right hand of Pharaoh, and at the sight of his father again when the old man travels south to Egypt. Peace – given to troubled Pharaoh who had been deeply perplexed over the vivid dreams he’d had, and given to starving Egypt as the seven years of famine began to bite, and to his brothers when they were scared stiff that he would punish them for their treatment of him. Longsuffering – during his time as a slave in Potiphar’s house and during his years in prison. How unprovoked he was by the injustice he had received, and how faithfully he worked in the prison. Gentleness – towards the butler and the baker, towards his persecuting brothers, and to the hungry people of Israel. Goodness – magnificently displayed in his purity when tempted by Potiphar’s wife and his total integrity considering his master Potiphar when a slave in his house. Faith – confessed in prison, in the palace and finally in his last days as death drew near. His last words to his brother were, all about what God would do; “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised” (Gen. 50:24). That was Joseph’s faith. Then, the fruit of meekness – when his father called to send him on an errand which would result in his not seeing his son for thirty years. Joseph’s response to his father was, “Here am I.” How meek he was in Potiphar’s house and in the jail. The final fruit of the Holy Spirit is self control and how Joseph was paramount in displaying that virtue when meeting temptation in Egypt or when controlling his emotions as his brothers talked together in Hebrew saying that they were being judged for what they had done in selling him. Joseph was so restrained then and all through the years he administered the affairs of Egypt. Joseph was a branch weighed down with delicious fruit. And what of your life? If you have illimitable access to the indwelling Spirit of God is there fruit that only he can produce in your life?

You see how the actual source of Joseph’s virtues is shown here in this verse? It was in something totally outside of himself. It was not that Joseph dug deep and produced these graces from his own resources. Jacob told his son that he was a fruitful vine “near a spring” (v.22). His roots went down deep into an artesian well so that in the driest of days the roots never withered and the fruit was always there. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God! That’s a picture of the Holy Spirit irrigating and refreshing the people of God. You know how that picture of the resources of the Spirit is used in different ways in the New Testament, that we are exhorted to walk through life in the power that the Spirit of God gives us. We are urged to abide in God as God abides in us and that then we will bear much fruit. Without him we can do nothing. Joseph always lived close to God with his roots going deep into God and that explains his conversations and influence. Joseph is like the blessed man of psalm one, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psa.1:3).

That is the only source of lasting fruit – the Holy Ghost! You must never grieve him or quench him. Do you remember the great indictment that God made through the prophet Jeremiah about his people? He said, “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jer.2:13). Joseph did not even think of such an action, and as a result of his roots going into the water do you see what healthy, vigorous growth resulted? Joseph’s &ld
quo;branches climbed over a wall” (v.22) – the wall that had been erected to protect the vine from animals. When Joseph was a boy in the promised land he was fruitful serving his father, but then his branches reached out beyond home. They reached as far as Potiphar’s house, and they reached the royal prison of Egypt and then into all the middle east as the nations came for food to the land of the Nile and took it back home telling everyone of the brilliant Prime Minister of Egypt, a worshipper of Jehovah. Our ministries by the power of the Spirit reach over the walls of this beloved building, they reach to the Christian Book Shop, and to all our homes, and on to the home of people with learning difficulties, and out to Kenya, and into Latvia, and the branches go to Carcassonne, and to Japan, and to Ecuador, out and out they go. By the world wide web these sermons are heard in every part of the world. There has to be this great movement of the church from Jerusalem, to Judea and to the uttermost ends of the earth. Every healthy church today is sending out people through the world. Walls are erected against the gospel by Islam, and Hinduism, and humanism, and atheism, and the cults, but by God’s power we climb over every wall. We branch out into the world. Joseph is the great example to us of fruitfulness and growth.


Joseph is also an example to us all of how those who live blameless lives, depending on the Holy Spirit day by day, display remarkably fruitful and godlike characters, and for that reason become the target of the world’s hatred. You see it here in the next verses: “With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed supple, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob” (vv.23&24). Joseph was a man on whom God’s favour rested. God could say of him, “This is my beloved Joseph in whom I am well pleased,” and yet that did not mean that everything was coming up roses in his life. Don’t think it strange that you become the target of the archers if you live a blameless life. When the hunters go out with their bows and arrows do they shoot at scrawny, dying, limping animals? Of course they don’t. They try to bring down the healthiest, most tender of the beasts. Insects don’t invade a barren tree. Robbers don’t steal from the tramp sleeping in a shop doorway. It is the Queen who needs a bodyguard, not the Big Issue sellers. It is the godly who suffer persecution. Fruitful holy preachers, full of God, will be criticized, while the pleasant inoffensive men and women occupying the pulpits will be ignored by those who shoot fiery darts.

Joseph walked up to his older brothers one day and when they saw him approaching them they decided that they’d kill him! With what bitterness did they attack him. What had he done? What great crime against them was he guilty of to deserve to be murdered? Nothing at all, just that he was particularly loved by his father as his dear Rachel’s son. “They shot at him with hostility,” the Bible says. The brothers eventually sold him into slavery. He is even sold cheaper than my Lord. He is sold for twenty pieces of silver in order that he may be deposited in Egypt, so that he never bothers them again in his fine coat and with his accounts of his dreams. Joseph ended up in Potiphar’s house and God blessed everything that he did there and what happened? Potiphar’s wife told her husband that Joseph had tried to rape her. Every day she was shooting her arrows of enticement at this young slave, with no one in the house to see what was going on. God could have prevented this but he did not! What fiery darts smote Joseph! This is the kind of temptation to which the great majority would have succumbed, but Joseph cried out, “How can I do this great evil and sin against God?” and thus he extinguished the fire of the blazing arrows. Joseph upholds the honour of the Lord. The enemy of our souls is no novice. He has had 5000 years of experience since our mother Eve and father Adam fell into sin of successfully tempting fruitful Christian men and women. Have we not groaned this year hearing of the falls of some fine preachers?

The newspapers have been full of the fall of a famous French political figure who had been expected to have become the next president of France. But he was accused this year by a New York hotel maid of assaulting her. “It was mutual,” was his plea. His biography has just been written by a friend and he says, “Rarely in his life has he refused the possibility of a moment of pleasure.” Joseph continued to refuse it and by refusing he eventually became president of Egypt. This Frenchman said yes to each temptation and the presidency of France has vanished. Remember the words Paul used to describe such men? “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more” (Ephs. 4:19).

What happened to Joseph because of his integrity? He resisted the advances of a man’s wife and what happened to him? The health and wealth preachers would say that immediately he ended up as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Egypt. He did not. Immediately he was put in a dungeon for long years. He did not know what was going to happen to him, any more than Nelson Mandela on his prison island for long years had any assurance that he was going to end up as president of the Republic of South Africa. He submitted to what Providence brought into his life. Then what arrows hit Joseph in prison, the arrows of loneliness and the lack of freedom! Even the cupbearer of the king, though he had so much for which to thank Joseph, nevertheless forgets about him completely. Wouldn’t there be plenty of reasons for Joseph to cry out to God and say, “Lord, how long . . . how long shall it be until you enter in and se things straight?” There he lived, year after year, unjustly accused, and living in a dungeon, a forgotten man, forgotten by Potiphar, forgotten by the cupbearer and forgotten by his own father who believed Joseph was long dead.

I suppose that the problem of evil is as clearly portrayed in the life of Joseph as anywhere in the Bible, even in the book of Job. The problem is this, that a righteous and blameless person is allowed by God to go on, step after step, down into persecution and shame and imprisonment, until you’d be tempted to say, there can be no return, until you’d almost say that there is now no possibility of his ever getting out of the difficulty into which he’d come. Then the Lord Christ stirs, and acts. He is the one who takes the book of their lives from the hands of the one who sits on the throne. No one else can take it. It is sealed with seven seals and no one else can open it. He takes it and he breaks the seals and he has their lives with all their details open before him, even all the evil details are contained in that book, and he opens it. So it was with Joseph; the arrows of wickedness were shot into this holy man for many years until God said “Enough!”


‘Fortitude’ is not an N.I.V. word. ‘Fortified’ most definitely is, and so is ‘fortification.’ So what fortified Joseph during these years? We are told here of his fortifications, “But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed supple, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father’s God, who helps you” (vv.24&25). Though under attacked in battle for so long, Joseph was not overcome. He fought back gallantly and victoriously, and in the end he was the victor and not the victim. See how he fortified himself.

Joseph’s bow remained steady, day after day in the long prison years, he remained steady. He did not allow himself to become a victim of depression or despair. He was not always on the defensive. The best weapons of defence are the weapons of attack. We are told always to be ready to give a reason for our hope, always to pray and not faint, every day to bless God. Joseph’s bow remained steady. Anyone can pick up a hunting bow and be coached into pulling the string towards one’s nose and keeping one arm steady and training the arrow on the target. To do that once under a coach may not be impossible, but every day, under all circumstances to be steady, “his strong arms stayed supple” – what a challenge! “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – that is the only source of fortitude. Joseph was not unarmed for battle.

Today there are Christians who pre­pare in advance for about everything imaginable in the physical and material areas of life, but they are often very delinquent in spiritual preparation. Jesus said to his disciples, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Mark 14:38). Paul said, “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephs. 6:11). Let’s not fail to be present at the means of grace, or fail to talk to one another about the Christian warfare and our own needs, and crying to God. Then we’ll remain steady, and our arms strong and supple.

See how Joseph was personally prepared, for it was “his” bow. Our faith has to be personal, not just our parents’ or our church’s or our pastor’s faith. If it is not our own faith, we are unarmed. At Agincourt, with the French knights thundering towards the archers, you could not rely any longer on your father’s skills as an archer. You were on your own with your own bow and arrows. How you comported yourself was a matter of life and death. Joseph was prepared constantly, for his bow “remained steady” Not one trial caught him unprepared. He was not just a Sunday saint but was a saint all the week through. His arms were strong. He was a man of convictions, not just opinions. His resolution was vigorous; he refused tempta­tions that came to him to despair of God’s love for him.

Where did his fortitude come from? It is clear in our text. From God, “because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob.” Joseph was not only strong physically, but he was also made strong spiritually – which is where it counted the most. He was strong in trusting God, so that at the end of the day when the dungeon door clanged shut and the key was turned and darkness filled the room for twelve hours as he lay on the floor Joseph said to himself, “So today was not the day of my deliverance. Even so Father for so it seemed good in thy sight. But maybe tomorrow the doors will opened by the hand of the Mighty God of my father Jacob, and I will be freed. When he opens no man may close it.” That was his hope day by day. Did he not know that his great-uncle Lot was delivered from Sodom by messengers of God, and that his great-grandmother Sarah was delivered from being in a king’s harem both by God’s intervention? God’s arm was not shortened that it couldn’t reach as far as Joseph in Egypt, and deliver him! The right time, the set time, simply had not yet come; but God’s time might be tomorrow. “I must trust in him;” Joseph lived in hope. His father Jacob had been a far more immoral man than he had been, and yet God had delivered Jacob from the hands of his angry father-in-law Laban and his vengeance-seeking brother Esau. Then God’s mighty hand could reach down and deliver him. Joseph could stay himself each night upon the name and character of God. That was Joseph’s pillow in prison. So Jacob tells Joseph of the God who would watch over him in the future. He says three things:

i] He is the Shepherd (v.24). Joseph knew that in prison he was dependent and helpless. There was no escape. He had no armour, no bodyguard to protect him, but David had much more than that, he had a Shepherd, and what a Shepherd! He could never be in want while this Shepherd was with him. Christians are compared to sheep, and so we are without speed, or armour plating, or climbing skills, or strength, or fangs, or claws. All our hopes lie in a Shepherd who loves us and will protect us from all our foes. He will lay down his life to save us.

ii] He is the Rock of Israel (v.24). First the Shepherd, a personal caring picture, and then immediately the Rock for our foundation, for our protection and for our shade. He is unchangeably and impregnably all of that. So what strength did this give to Joseph? Surely he could say as he looked out of the window of his cell, what a future lyricist could write, on “a winter’s day, in a deep and dark December, ‘I am alone, gazing from my window to the streets below, on a freshly silent shroud of snow, I am a rock . . .’” He knew that nothing could separate him from God’s love because God was his Rock. He had been his father, Israel’s rock, and the Lord was also his, and he is our Rock. Rock of Ages. Cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.

iii] He is your father’s God who helps you (v.25). He is a very present help in trouble. No one ever cried for help to him and went unheard. The verb is put in the present tense. Joseph had been helped with the slave traders, helped in the household of Potiphar, helped in prison, helped in the place of power in Egypt. Whatever his condition, God helped him. Little wonder Joseph was fortified by such a God!


God his Shepherd and Rock, who had turned Joseph’s trials into blessings in the past, would continue to favour him abundantly in the future, so his father Jacob assures him in the most extravagant language. There would be no area of life on which God’s blessings would not fall “because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb. Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers” (vv.
25&26). There would be the blessings of sunshine and rain, the blessings of streams and lakes in abundance, and blessings of child-bearing and raising. The very mountains surrounding the place where Joseph’s descendants lived would not harbour fierce animals, outlaws and criminals, but be yet another rich supply of bounty coming to rest on the head of Joseph. Jacob’s words to his favoured son describe exceptional blessings, abundant blessings, indescribably rich blessings flowing from heaven on the once despised but now richly blessed man, Joseph – the ‘prince among his brothers.’ What Joseph had dreamed has finally been realised. He is the prince among his brothers. They all bow to him.

So the possibility of a wonderfully blessed life in God is declared to us in this penultimate blessing on the sons of Jacob. This is the privilege of every believer. What was promised to Joseph in the type of the kiss of the sun and the soft refreshing rain and the land flowing with milk and honey, is now present fulfilled reality for us! All Christians are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Jesus Christ, the blessing of pardon for sin, and the blessing of justification, the blessing of the imputed righteousness of Christ, and the blessing of adoption, the blessing of union with Christ and the blessings of glory. No blessing refused to any of the children of God. When God gives us his Son he freely with him gives us all things, holding back nothing. When God gives out of his fulness then that fulness that is in Christ never shrinks or decays. God has given, God does give, and God continues to give, and he shall do so for ever and ever.

There is just one way to receive these blessings from God, and that is that you go to him absolutely conscious of your own emptiness. Blessed are the poor in spirit. You cannot fill what isn’t empty. You can only add to what is there, but when we come to Christ we don’t want to bring anything else with us. Just as I am without one plea! We want to leave the rest behind and assure God, “Nothing in my hand I bring.” We come conscious that if we bring something with us then it is bound to be affected by our sin. Our very righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we fear bringing anything like that with us. We need to be immersed in the laver of regeneration and washed thoroughly of our sins. So we come to God’s fulness as empty people. We hope we’ve not brought even a little bit of ourselves somewhere in the darkness at the very bottom of our lives, because we know that if there is anything of self remaining in us as we present ourselves for mercy to God then sin is bound to be in it. “Strip it all away from me, Lord” we cry. When anyone comes to the Cross of Jesus Christ for forgiveness he doesn’t come to bargain, he has to go as an empty vessel, absolutely emptied of self, and righteousness, and his own good works.

Look at the matter in this way. When we are unwell we visit the doctor. There are one or two things wrong with us, but the rest of our bodies and minds is functioning perfectly well. Our nervous system is working OK, and our lungs are good, and our skin is fine, and our eyes are giving us no trouble, and our digestive system is admirable, and our sense of balance is not a problem, and we have no headaches, and so on. But there is something that is troubling us; it is giving us some discomfort and pain, and we explain to the doctor how we feel. Nobody, I say, goes to a doctor when finally everything that can possibly go wrong with his body seems to have gone wrong.

But supposing there was a doctor who would never examine anyone until everything had gone wrong with that person. He specialized in total physical and mental disintegration and dissolution. Perhaps you can hardly imagine that kind of condition, in which everything that could go wrong with a person’s body and mind has gone wrong, and that there exists a doctor who specializes in healing such totally ill people. Now I can’t imagine such cases and such a physician, but this fantasy which I have invented is providing for us the model by which we sinners come to the Great Physician the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no part of any man or woman that is not in some way, great or small, sick, somewhere between the crown of their heads to the sole of their feet. We are not as sick as we might be or as we shall be, but there is no part of us that is totally and completely healthy. In other words, every organ and dimension of us, body and soul and spirit, has been touched by the sickness of sin. We are sick and dying people, and we have no help in ourselves to recover ourselves. So we have gone to this incredible Physician who specializes in cases of total disintegration. He has been recommended to us, and he actually wants us to come to him. He assures us he can assist us; he can give us total recovery. Others have come in such a state as we are – many, many of them – and they have all been transformed by this wonderful Doctor. The Bible says that Jesus did not come into the world in order to help men and women who needed no help for they are in a state of rude vigorous health. Why would they need to bother with a humbling acknowledgment of their need of the Great Physician? They did not need him. Jesus came for those sick through sin, blind through sin, deaf through sin, lame through sin, and out of his fulness of wisdom, power and mercy they receive eternal life. It is a wonderful thing to feel your emptiness if it sends you to the right place to be helped. It is not a sign of the soul’s health for people to say one week that they are empty, and then, when you go to see them the next week, you find they are just as empty as they were earlier; and then they are just as empty the next month also, and so on. Go to the Great Physician. Go and be filled out of the Lord’s fulness. This is the blessing that he gives. Jesus Christ, by God, is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.

You know how we talk to one another about a vague sense of ill health that we have. There are certain troubling symptoms which we talk about, and the person listening to us is concerned and will ask us this wise and commonplace question, “Have you gone to the Doctor?” That is what I am asking you today. Have you gone to Jesus Christ to receive healing and every spiritual blessing that he gives to all who go to him. You must go to him. When he was in the world he never collared men and women and told them that he knew that they were sick and that he was going to cure them whether they liked it or not. Never! They had to come to him. They had to put themselves into his orbit, aware of their great need and his power and his love. Don’t misunderstand me. There is no conflict involved here. When you receive his blessings out of his fulness you receive them with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. You receive them because you see their sufficiency, their glory, their fulness and their freeness. You see their wonder and their suitableness for you, and this makes you take them into your heart; “Blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb.” You say, “God’s blessing is the very thing for me; it is enough for me.” It is given to sinners for nothing, and if you receive this, you receive all that your Lord can give you.

Sometimes you may receive them with a trembling hand; the hand that takes them may be weak. I compare
it to the case of people who have Parkinson’s; they get a little shaky if you give them a cup of tea; you can only fill the cup three quarters full, because otherwise they will spill it. Similarly, there are some so weak in faith that the hand that reaches out to take Jesus trembles. But even with a trembling hand, although faith is rather weak and they can take only one mouthful of the fulness of his blessing, they will take him and his blessing. They will be strengthened more and more to drink richly this tonic – the divine cordial – to their eternal blessedness.

Oh what satisfaction, what marvelous satisfaction, when you receive God’s blessing. Remember Saul of Tarsus going on his way, his blindness, prejudice and cruelty all gone. Remember the Ethiopian eunuch who received it and went on his way invigorated and rejoicing! You must take of the Lord’s blessing frequently – daily, hourly, moment by moment it ought to be. Why don’t you receive it more often? When did you last drink out of the fulness of the blessing of Christ Jesus? The question applies to me too. Don’t think that I am putting the question to you alone. When did I stoop down low enough to visit this great Physician and be blessed by him? When did I stoop down and drink from this river of water of life that flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb? There are two things that I want to press upon you, as I conclude.

i] I want to say to every believer here listening to me: Trust the Lord Jesus Christ, trust in the blessings he can impart, trust in their fulness; they are there for you. And they are richer than anything I can describe. Trust him then. Never fail in your faith. Trust him, and although you do not receive his blessings as much as you would like, you will always receive as much as you need. And in a day to come you will receive far more than you receive now. There is another world to which we are going.

The streams on earth I’ve tasted, More deep I’ll drink above.

            There, to an ocean fulness, His mercy doth expand,

And glory, glory dwelleth In Immanuel’s land.

And one day we shall be saturated and soaked, for ever immersed in the fulness of blessing that is in Christ Jesus. But that is reserved for heaven; it is not for this world. You will never receive as much as you would like in this world, but you will always get, as I said, as much as you require.

ii] To the unconverted I say simply this: “Have you been to the Doctor?” Don’t refuse the fulness of blessing that is in Christ Jesus for your soul. Don’t allow the devil to say to you, “This is too good to be true.” Go to the Doctor from heaven. Taste his medicine, hear his words of healing. See how good he is.” There is nowhere else you can obtain such blessings that can save you. Though you might go to the best doctor in the whole world, whoever he might be, you know that one day you are still going to die. You know that even though you could get all the gold and silver in the world, it would not take away the guilt of the least of your sins. Whatever you do, don’t reject Christ’s full blessings. Are you refusing them? Why are you refusing them? If you continue to refuse them, you will go to the place where there is no cure for sin, and you will have just your sinful self for ever and ever, and whatever else there is there, there is not a taste of God’s blessing, not a drop! Be blessed today with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies by receiving Jesus Christ into your heart. When you have him you have everything that heaven can give you. Won’t you take him now while he is being offered to you without money and without price?

4th December 2011 GEOFF THOMAS