Jesus and Joseph
We have all seen things that remind us of something else. “Boy that reminds me of something”, we say. Usually this takes place through a person or event. “Gee that little Jimmy sure reminds me of Grandpa, he jokes around just like him” for instance. When we look at Joseph’s life, there are many things that remind us of Jesus’ life. There are many parallels. Theologians and students of the Bible call this Typology or Types. There are Types in the Old testament that reflect events in the New Testament like: Jesus' life and ministry, the rapture of the Church, the Tribulation period, the Church, baptism, redemption (sacrificial system) and the list goes on. In the character and events of Old Testament people, they foreshadow or depict things to come in the New Testament era. Again, as we have talked about, they reveal the Progressive Revelation (Progressive Unveiling) that God gives us in history and in the scriptures.
The following are just a few of the things that foreshadow the life and ministry of Jesus from Joseph’s life. They are not only fascinating and thought provoking, but also wonderfully encouraging as we think about what Jesus has done for us. I hope they encourage you this day.
Joseph was a shepherd (Gen 37:2); Jesus is the Great Shepherd (John 10).
Joseph was opposed to and exposed evil (Gen 37:2); Jesus did the same.
Joseph was loved by his father (Gen 37:3-4); Jesus was beloved by the Father. (Mat. 3:17; 17:5; John 10:17; Philippians 2:9)
Joseph was promised a remarkable future (Gen 37:7-12); Jesus looked past the cross to the joy set before Him (Isaiah 9:6, 7; Luke 1:31-33; Hebrews 12:2).
Joseph foretold of his future sovereignty (Gen 37:7-12); Jesus did the same. (Mat. 26:64)
Joseph seeks the welfare of his brothers (Gen 37:14); Jesus came not to condemn but that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:17)
Joseph was conspired against (Gen 37:18); Jesus was also conspired against. (Mat. 12:14)
Joseph was stripped of his coat (Gen 37:23); Jesus was stripped of His coat. (Mat. 27:27, 28; John 19:23)
Joseph was sold for the price of a slave (Gen 37:38); Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver (the price of a slave).
Judah suggested the idea of selling his brother (Gen 37:26-28); the Greek name for Judah is Judas (Mat. 1:2-3).
Joseph’s blood sprinkled coat (goat blood) is presented to his father (Gen 37:31); Jesus is our scapegoat and His blood was presented to the Father as offering for our sins. (Leviticus 16:8-10)
Joseph becomes a servant (Gen 39:1); Jesus became a servant (Philippians 2:6, 7)
Joseph’s master was well pleased with him (Gen 39:4); the Father was always pleased with what Jesus did (John 8:29).
Joseph, the servant, was made a blessing to others (Gen 39:5); Jesus was a blessing to the world.
There are, of course many, many more similarities as we read through the story of Joseph. These are just a few that bible expositors use. I think we have to be careful that we don’t read more into scripture than is there. Some use Typology as a vehicle to see Jesus or some other person or event in everything. They take it to the ridiculous. Hopefully this has been a chance to think again about the wonderful story of Joseph and the wonderful Saviour we serve!
God bless you and may you be encouraged – keep safe and keep in the love of Jesus
– Pastor Ralph