Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a coat of many colors.
This coat, given by Jacob, gave evidence to Joseph's brothers that he was loved more than they were. For that reason, they hated Joseph:
His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, and they hated him, and couldn't speak peaceably to him.
Now, while in most Bible's it calls this coat a coat of many colors, the Hebrew word 'pas' literally means 'extremity.' What this tells us is that this garment was actually one that reached to the hands and feet. This holds a significant lesson for us, a reality that should set our often worried minds at ease.
You see, back in those days, those who worked for a living typically wore sleeveless garments, which freed the arms to be able to perform various tasks in work. To put it another way, the clothes that were worn by the typical man representing toil and labor.
Only the rich, those of royalty, would wear garments that went all the way to the sleeves. They did this because, unlike the people around them, they didn't have to labor for a living.
Jacob, in giving Joseph this coat, was, in effect saying that Joseph would be royalty. He would not have to toil. It was a robe of distinction, which his brothers understood and so hated him for it.
Jesus came as the greater Joseph to teach us that we, being in him, have on that same spiritual garment that extends to our hands and feet. In Christ, we have been declared royalty. The spiritual toiling for righteousness and God's favor is over. We are distinguished from those who continue to toil along in life, not knowing God because of the ignorance in them.
You see, Jesus is that garment. That is why we have been told that we have put on Christ.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
That garment is also spoken of in Revelation, where John describes it this way:
It was given to her that she would array herself in bright, pure, fine linen: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
This is no ordinary garment. It had to be made of fine linen because other materials would cause sweat, which represents the toil and labor of self-effort. These righteous acts are the fruit of our righteousness, who is Jesus Christ. Priests wore these types of garments:
They shall have linen tires on their heads, and shall have linen breeches on their waists; they shall not gird themselves with anything that causes sweat.
See the connection? They could not sweat. They represent us today, who have been made to be in rest, even while we labor. Our labor is a fruit out of a completed work, not a labor in sweat out of an incomplete work. Think on that, for it makes such a difference in life.
Rest in the completed work of Christ, knowing you are wearing robes of righteousness, which distinguishes you from the world which hates you, laboring in sweat as they do.