Glory be to God, my Lord and savior Jesus Christ and welcome to Salt and Light Commission! I have quite a bit of favorite stories in the bible and the one I want to talk/write about today is the story of Joseph, and more to the point, how his life situations mirrored much of Jesus’ life events. You can find Joseph’s story in Genesis chapter 37 -50.
For a little of his backstory, His father Jacob had him at a very old age and he loved him more than his other older brothers. He got him a beautiful coat of many colors and the brothers got jealous. So much so, they decided to sell Joseph as a slave into Egypt and lied to their father that a wild animal killed Joseph.
While in Egypt Joseph was falsely accused of sexual assault, imprisoned and was later released because he had the power to interpret dreams, which the Pharaoh had need of this gift because he had nightmares that troubled him, and he did not know what they meant. Joseph told the king that his dream meant a seven year famine was coming in seven years and that they should store food while they had time.
The pharaoh decided to make Joseph the governor of Egypt and gave him the authority to collect the food. When the famine was great his brothers came to get good and after a short game of testing if their hearts were changed, Joseph revealed to his brothers that he was the brother they sold as a slave. Joseph forgave them and moved his family to Egypt to be near him.
It’s actually a very good story and you should read it. Obviously, I was giving the cliff notes version of the story, but if you want to read the detailed account, I highly recommend that you do. Anyway, as the title of this blog reads Joseph is a cool story, but what makes it even cooler is that fact that Joseph’s life mirrors Jesus’ live in many ways. Today we are going to look at 17 ways how Joseph lived parallel to Jesus. And I’m willing to bet you didn’t know all of them. Let’s dive into it.
1. Their fathers loved them deeply
Joseph: Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; (Genesis 37:3 NIV)
Jesus: And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17 NIV)
2. A Shepard to fathers’ sheep
Joseph: This is the account of Jacob’s family line. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, (Genesis 37:2 NIV)
Jesus: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11 NIV)
3. Sent by fathers to brothers
Joseph: and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.” “Very well,” he replied. (Genesis 37:13 NIV)
Jesus: Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. (Hebrews 2:11 NIV)
4. Hated by Brothers
Joseph: When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. (Genesis 37:4)
Jesus: For even his own brothers did not believe in him. (John 7:5)
5. Others plotted to harm them
Joseph: “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” (Genesis 37:20 NIV)
Jesus: So from that day on they plotted to take his life. (John 11:53 NIV)
Joseph: and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” (Genesis 39:7)
Jesus: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1)
7. Taken to Egypt
Joseph: As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt. Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. (Genesis 37:25-27 NIV)
Jesus: So he got up, took the Child and His mother by night, and withdrew to Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my Son.” (Matthew 2:14-15 NIV)
8. Robes taken from them
Joseph: So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe–the ornate robe he was wearing— (Genesis 37:23 NIV)
Jesus: When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. (John 19:23 NIV)
9. Sold for a price of a slave
Joseph: So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. (Genesis 37:28 NIV)
Jesus: and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. (Matthew 26:15 NIV)
Joseph: Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, (Genesis 39:20 NIV)
Jesus: So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor. (Matthew 27:2 NIV)
11. Falsely accused
Joseph: Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. (Genesis 39:17 NIV)
Jesus: The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. (Matthew 26:59 NIV)
12. Placed with two prisoners, one was saved and the other lost
Joseph: Pharaoh was furious with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. So he put them in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, in the jail, the same place where Joseph was imprisoned.…(Genesis 40:2-3 NAS)
Jesus: Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. (Luke 23:32 NIV)
13. Both 30 years old when was became publicly known
Joseph: Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. (Genesis 41:46 NIV)
Jesus: Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, (Luke 3:23 NIV)
14. Exalted after suffering
Joseph: So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” (Genesis 41:41 NIV)
Jesus: Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, (Philippians 2:9 NIV)
15. Forgave those who wronged them
Joseph: Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come closer to me.” And they came closer. And he said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. “Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. (Genesis 45:4-5 NAS)
Jesus: Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:34 NIV)
16. Saved their nations
Joseph: But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. (Genesis 45:7 NIV)
Jesus: She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21 NIV)
17. God changed evil towards them around for good.
Joseph: You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20 NIV)
Jesus: No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:7-8 NIV)
There is it is! Fascinating isn’t it? Now I want to hear from you, are there any other parallels between Jesus and Joseph that I missed or are there any other biblical characters that parallel Jesus? Write them in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
Also, if you or anyone you know needs prayer I would love to pray with you and for you. Write your pray request below and let’s join together in prayer. The scripture says, where 2 or 3 gather in Jesus name He will be in the middle. So be blessed and remember you are the salt and light of the world.