It doesn't seem at all surprising to me that Jacob expressed favoritism to his children in a similar manner that he received favoritism from his mother. What is sad to me is how much Jacob's favoritism played into the ill feelings that Joseph's brothers felt toward him. Though Jacob had his family rid themselves of foreign gods, it doesn't seem like the majority of his children have much of a relationship with the true God (1 John 4:20 teaches that if you claim to love God but hate your brother then you don't truly love God). How tragic is it that the brothers were willing to sell Joseph for a mere 20 pieces of silver? They didn't even try to get a good deal for him; they just wanted Joseph off of their hands. One can't help but see the stupidity of their ridiculous question to their father: "is this your son's coat?" Did they not see the coat before? Did they not envy it from the moment Joseph received it as a gift? Dad should have recognized the foul play, but he was so consumed with his grief that he could barely think of anyone else.
As we look at the way we deal with conflict in our own lives, isn't it true that we are often quick to do whatever possible to get the conflict out of the way? Rather than handling a situation in a way that brings glory to God, we try to sweep it under the rug. Joseph's brothers thought they could remove their conflict with few ramifications for their actions, but we are about to find out that they were very wrong.