“But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. On the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family was disclosed to Pharaoh” (Acts 7:12-13).
Stephen’s sermon comes in response to the accusation that he was speaking against Moses/the Law (Acts 6:11, 13). Stephen’s defense for the Messiahship of Jesus comes directly from a prophetic paradigm within the Torah itself! The stories of Joseph and Moses tell us that those whom God sends to rescue Israel are always rejected the first time they show up (Acts 7:9, 27-29). Within this context, therefore, Stephen’s reference to Joseph revealing himself to his brothers on the “second visit” offers a subtle, yet incredibly hopeful hint that Israel will one day recognize Jesus when he comes again the second time! Just as the Torah serves as Stephen’s key witness that Jesus is the Messiah, so the Torah also serves as a key witness against a theology which insists that Israel has been set aside for rejecting the Messiah the first time he came! “Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried,
“Have everyone go out from me.” So there was no man with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers” (Gen 45:1).
Stephen’s defense for the Messiahship of Jesus comes directly from a prophetic paradigm within the Torah itself!