The Faithfulness of Joseph
As I read through the book of Genesis, I am reminded of how the life and ministry of Jesus Christ is not only the central theme of the entire Scripture, but also how His life and ministry is integrated, from cover to cover. It is also fascinating to see how the life of Joseph parallels Jesus Christ’s life in many ways and how Joseph was a type of Christ. In a lot of ways, his life was a foreshadow of the life of Jesus Christ. Here are many of the parallels.
Joseph Parallel Jesus
Gen 37:2 Shepherds of father’s flock & family John 10:11
Gen 37:3 Loved above all others by their father Matt 3:17
Gen 37:4 Hated and despised by his brothers Mark 6:2-4
Gen 37:13, 14 Sent by his father to his brothers Heb 2:11
Gen 37:20 Plots devised to harm them John 11:49-53
Gen 37:23 They were stripped of their robes John 19:23,24
Gen 37:28 Taken to Egypt Matt 2:14, 15
Gen 37:28 Sold for the price of a slave Matt 26:15
Gen 39:7 Both tempted Matt 4:1-11
Gen 39:16-18 Falsely accused Matt 26:59,60
Gen 38:20 Bound up Matt 27:2
Gen 40:2, 3 Placed among 2 other prisoners; Luke 23:32,
1 saved, 1 lost 33, 39-43
Gen 41:41-44 Exalted after their suffering Phil 2:9-11
Gen 41:46 Age 30 at their public recognition Luke 3:23
Gen 45:1-15 Forgave those who wronged them Luke 23:34
Gen 45:7 Saved their nation Matt 1:21
Gen 50:20 God used what men did to 1 Cor 2:7-9
hurt them, for good
It is remarkable to see the faithfulness of Joseph in spite of how he was treated, what he had to endure and yet, he always did what was right in the sight of the Lord. When I look at that, I can’t help but think of how much I lack in comparison to Joseph. How I would have responded in all of his circumstances compared to how he did. When you consider how long he had been away from his father, his brother Benjamin, and the rest of his family, how many of us would have requested a leave of absence from our duties in Egypt to visit our family? And what would motivate us to do so? To confront our brothers or perhaps just to puff out our chest to show everyone what became of us. But not Joseph. He just wanted to serve God right where God placed him. As I read through the account of his life in Egypt, I see how he did everything with integrity and how he was blessed by God. God blessed everything that he did, and in fact everyone who had oversight of him was blessed. How many of us, when appointed as the 2nd most important person in Egypt with all authority that came with it would have perhaps sought after Potiphar’s wife to bring her to justice? Joseph stayed focused on the tasks given to him and didn’t waste any time or energy on anything else.
While many of us may not measure up to Joseph’s work ethic and faithfulness, we need to recognize and ask ourselves, how am I doing right where I am with what God has place in front of me? We may not be able to accomplish the huge tasks or receive the notoriety that Joseph received, but we need to recognize that God provided everything for Joseph to help him accomplish was was required of him. In the same way, God can use us in many amazing ways if we choose to follow him, regardless of the monumental obstacle that may be in front of us. Seek first the Kingdom of God, meaning, seek the things that have eternal value, invest our time and energy in those things and watch how God can work in our lives.
May we all be the effective and useful ambassadors for Christ that we have been appointed to.