The Story of Jesus and Joseph

Hello Friends,

The life of Joseph resembles and parallels the life of Jesus in many ways. The events in Joseph’s life foreshadows the events in Jesus’ life. As there are over 100 direct comparisons between Jesus and Joseph, we will focus on the main parallels for this article, salvation. At the end, we will see a prophecy which has not been fulfilled as of today. The story of Joseph can be found in Genesis, chapters 37-50. The story of Jesus can be found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Both Loved By His Father

Joseph-Genesis 37:3, “Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than all his children.” 

Jesus-Matthew 3:17, “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

 

Both Were A Root of Dry Ground

Joseph-Genesis 37:3, “He was the son of Jacob’s old age.”

Jesus-Isaiah 53:2, “For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground.” 

 

Both Were Hated Without Cause

Joseph-Genesis 37:4, “But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.”

Jesus-John 15:25, “But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without cause.’ “

 

Both Were Sent by Their Father to Check on His Brethren

Joseph-Genesis 37:14, “Then he said to him, “Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me.” 

Jesus-Philippians 2:5-7, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

 

Both Knew of the Hatred Others Felt Against Them

Joseph-Genesis 37:2, “Joseph brought back a bad report of them (brothers) to his father.”

Jesus-John 15:18, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” 

 

Both Were Exalted to High Positions

Joseph-Genesis 37:5, “Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more.” 

Jesus-Matthew 24:30-31, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” 

 

Both Were Prophesied to Rule

Joseph-Genesis 37:5-7, “Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed:  There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.” Genesis 37:9, “Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” 

Joseph prophesied that the sun (nations), the moon (Israel), and the eleven stars (his brothers) would bow down to him. This came true when Pharaoh made Joseph ruler over all of Egypt, only answering to him. (Genesis 41:37-57). 

Jesus-Matthew 26:64, “Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

 

Brothers of Both Plotted to Kill Them

Joseph-Genesis 37:18, “Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him.”  

Jesus-Matthew 26:4, “They plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.” Matthew 26:15, “Judas said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” Luke 23:21, “But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

 

Both Were Stripped of Their Clothes

Joseph-Genesis 37:23, “So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him.”

Jesus-Matthew 27:28, “And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.” 

 

Both Were Sold by Their Brothers

Joseph-Genesis 37:26-27, “So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened. Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver.”     

Jesus-Zechariah 11:12-13, “Then I said to them, ‘If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.’ So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.” Matthew 26:15, “And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.”

 

Both Were Thrown into the “Pit”

Joseph-Genesis 37:24, “Then they took him and cast him into a pit.”

Jesus-Matthew 12:40, “The Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

 

Linen’s Were Found of Both

Joseph-Genesis 37:31-32, “So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, “We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?”

Jesus-John 20:5-7, “And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.”

 

Both Were Prosperous Through God

Joseph-Genesis 39:3, “And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand.”

Jesus-Isaiah 53:10, “And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” John 10:17-18, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

 

Both Were Tempted and Falsely Accused

Joseph-Genesis 39:10-18, “So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.” So she kept his garment with her until his master came home. Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me; so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.”

Jesus-Matthew 4:1, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Matthew 4:11, “Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.” Matthew 26:59-65, “Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’”And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66 What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.”

 

Both Promised Deliverance to a Condemned Man 

Joseph-Genesis 40:13, Joseph said to the chief butler, “Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler.”

Jesus-Luke 23:39-43, “Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

 

Both Were Forgotten By the People They Helped

Joseph-Genesis 40:23, “Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”

Jesus-Luke 17:11-19, “Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

 

Both Served Two Criminals-One Lived and One Died

Joseph-Genesis 40:20-22, “Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them.”

Jesus-Luke 23:39-43, “Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

 

Both Had The Spirit of the Lord

Joseph-Genesis 41:38, “And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”

Jesus-Isaiah 11:2, “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him.” Matthew 3:16, “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.” 

 

Both Were Exalted to Power

Joseph-Genesis 41:14, “Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh.” Genesis 41:39-41, “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.

Jesus-Ephesians 1:19-21, “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.”

 

Both Were Regarded as Counsellors

Joseph-Genesis 41:39, “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you.” 

Jesus-Isaiah 9:6, “And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  

 

Both Were Given Great Authority

Joseph-Genesis 41:42-44, “Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

Jesus-Matthew 28:18, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Isaiah 45:23, “I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow.” Romans 14:11, “For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me.” Philippians 2:10, “At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and of those on the earth, and of those under the earth.”

Joseph-Genesis 41:55, “So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all of the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.” 

Jesus-John 2:5, “His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you , do it.”

 

Both Were 30 Years of Age When He began His Work

Joseph-Genesis 41:46, “Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt.” 

Jesus-Luke 3:23, “Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age.”  

 

Joseph Saved People By Bread, Jesus Is the Bread of Life

Joseph-Genesis 41:53-57, “Then the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended, and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.” The famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands.”

Jesus-John 6:35, “And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger.” John 6:48-51, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

 

Both Were Unrecognizable to His Brethren

Joseph-Genesis 42:7-8, “Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he acted as a stranger to them and spoke roughly to them. Then he said to them, “Where do you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.” So Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.”

Jesus-Luke 24:15-16, “So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. Luke 24:36-43, “Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.”

Joseph-Genesis 42:8, “So Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.”

Jesus-Matthew 21:42, “Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? John 1:10-11, ” He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”

 

Joseph Saved the Lives of the Egyptians, Jesus Saves All of Mankind

Joseph-Genesis:47:25, “So they said, “You have saved our lives; let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.”

Jesus-Philippians 2:9-11, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Joseph-Genesis 47:24-26, “And it shall come to pass in the harvest that you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh. Four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and for your food, for those of your households and as food for your little ones. So they said, “You have saved our lives; let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.” And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt to this day, that Pharaoh should have one-fifth, except for the land of the priests only, which did not become Pharaoh’s.”

Jesus-1 Corinthians 15:24-28, ” Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”

 

We can see how Joseph’s life foreshadowed some of Jesus’ First Coming events. There is also a prophetic foreshadowing of an event that has not been fulfilled, as of today. As we discussed, Judah sold Joseph into slavery (Genesis 37:26-27) and he later repented (Genesis 44:18-34). How does this relate to Messiah? Let us remember what Jesus said before He was crucified. Matthew 23:39, “For I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The Lord was speaking to the children of Israel when He stated those famous words in the holy city of Jerusalem. Judah is another name for Jerusalem. Just as Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, the children of Israel, Jesus’ brothers, delivered him to be crucified. When Judah repented, Joseph forgave him and revealed himself, and when Judah (Jerusalem-children of Israel) repents and cries those famous words “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” Messiah will forgive them and return for His Second Coming! Joseph was not able to contain his emotions when Judah repented.

Genesis 45:1,5,7,8, “Then Joseph could not restrain himself before all those who stood by him. for God sent me before you to preserve life. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Just as Joseph, Messiah will not be able to contain Himself when the children of Israel (Judah) repents. The Lord will then come for His Second Coming! As God sent Joseph to preserve life for Egypt and the surrounding nations with bread, God sent Jesus to preserve eternal life and deliver us from eternal death.

John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” 

When the children of Israel came to Joseph the first time (first coming), Joseph used the Egyptian officials (Gentiles) to give bread to his brothers. However, when they came for the second time (Second Coming) Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. This is exactly how it has been with the children of Israel and Messiah, and how it will be until Messiah’s Second Coming.

2 Corinthians 3:12-18, “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech, unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 

Zechariah 12:10-14, “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.”

The children of Israel (Judah) will mourn for him like a son. Just as Joseph, the children of Israel didn’t recognize Messiah at His First Coming, but they will acknowledge and accept Him as the Messiah of the world during the 7 year tribulation period (Time of Jacob’s, “Israel’s,” trouble) and His Second Coming events (Revelation 7). Also, as with Joseph, they will weep and mourn as the veil will be lifted from their hearts and eyes, and will realize the One they have betrayed is the exalted One, Jesus Christ. When the children of Israel repent (Judah), Messiah will forgive them, just as He has forgiven you and me. The Lord is using Judeo-Christian Gentiles to give “the bread of life” to the children of Israel (Jews). Although Messiah was betrayed by His brethren, God has used this betrayal to save Gentiles, which will eventually save Israel! (Romans 11). God Almighty took this betrayal and turned it into salvation for ALL of mankind! God’s plan of salvation is perfect! Amen, Amen, and Amen.

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