Three Days After Delivering Her Baby A 30 Year Old Discover the Amazing Parallels Between Joseph and Jesus – Were They Just Coincidence?

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Discover the Amazing Parallels Between Joseph and Jesus – Were They Just Coincidence?

There are many spiritual parallels between Joseph and Jesus. Many of the things that Joseph did in the physical realm foreshadow what Jesus did or will do on a much larger scale in the spiritual realm. Let’s look at some of these. (If you don’t really know the story of Joseph, you might want to read an article titled Joseph and the Economy first).

Before we start looking at their lives, let’s look at their names. Joseph’s Hebrew name is Yowcep, which means “let him add”. Jesus full name was Yeshua ben Yowceph; Jesus, son of Joseph. Jesus purpose for His sinless life, crucifixion, burial and resurrection was to add souls to the kingdom of God, which he does every day.

The Early Years

When we consider the birth of the two men, they were both born by miracles. Rachel, Jacob’s wife, could not give birth. It was not until after Jacob already had ten sons from other wives that God opened Rachel’s barren womb and Joseph was born (Gen. 30:22-24). Likewise, the birth of Jesus was an even greater miracle, because he was brought into the world through the virgin Mary of the Holy Spirit.

In their youth both went to Egypt. After the magi came to visit Jesus, an angel appeared to Joseph (Jesus’ earthly father) in a dream and told him to take his family to Egypt. Herod, king of the Jews, came up with an evil plan to kill all the boys two years old and under according to the time he learned from the magi that Jesus might have been born. Joseph, on the other hand, was sold into slavery by his brothers and taken to Egypt when he was about seventeen.

Dreams were an important part in the lives of both Joseph and Jesus. Joseph had dreams in his youth showing God’s purpose for him. He also interpreted the dreams of the Cupbearer, Baker and Pharaoh, which caused a change in the entire lifestyle of the nation of Egypt. The interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams resulted in the sparing of misery and death for many people. Jesus’ earthly father had a dream in which he was told to get his family out of Israel so that their lives would be saved. Jesus also had visions of the future as recorded in Matthew 24. Through His life, the course of all mankind will be changed and a great number of people’s lives are saved from misery and suffering.

When Joseph was about seventeen, he was told to go look for his brothers, who were tending sheep, and to see if everything was all right. Jesus is looking for all who want to accept Him and receive salvation.

Joseph’s own brothers conspired to kill him. In Gen 37:18-34 we read how they threw him into a cistern and said that a wild animal had devoured him. In the same way the religious leaders hated Jesus. Jesus’ statements such as “before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58) caused hatred and envy beyond compare. Fellow Jews, Jesus’ own relative, conspired to kill him as well.

Their Works, Their Ministry

God sent both Joseph and Jesus to save people. Joseph saved the Egyptians and his own family from starvation – physical life. Jesus offers eternal life to people of all genealogies. They both became servants. Joseph became a servant for Potiphar and in a sense a servant for all of Egypt and Israel later in his life. Jesus did nothing to himself. The very God and Creator became human and took the nature of a servant. Jesus told us that the greatest among us will be our servant.

Both Joseph and Jesus began their intensive ministry or life’s work at the age of thirty. They were both despised for their righteousness. Joseph’s brothers responded very harshly when he told them his dreams about the sheaves and the stars. When Jesus came to his hometown, the people’s response to him was not kind either:

“Then they mocked: He is only the son of carpenters, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers – James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all this? And they deeply offended and refused to believe him. Then Jesus said to them: A prophet is honored everywhere, except in his native city and among his family. And therefore he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief” (Mat 13:55-57) .

Joseph, with his wise advice saved multitudes from hunger and suffering. Jesus miraculously fed five thousand people. Joseph stored grain that is used to make bread products. Jesus told the crowd that it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven, but His Father who gives the true bread of life. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never hunger” (John 6:35). They both remained humble and unaffected by the glamor and wealth that could have been theirs. They showed love and mercy to Jew and Gentile alike.

Both Joseph and Jesus were persecuted by false witnesses and overcame great temptations. Potiphar’s wife, who laid an interesting trap of adultery before Joseph, was denied without question. She also made malicious false accusations against him which resulted in his imprisonment. This was all part of God’s plan for Joseph, Egypt and Israel and worked out for the best. After fasting for forty days, when Jesus was at his weakest point physically, He had the strength to resist and overcome the wiles and temptations of the devil. Jesus was falsely accused by the chief priests and the elders. Both, though persecuted and hated by some, returned evil with good.

If the ministry and works of Joseph and Jesus could be summed up in two words, they could be forgiveness and reconciliation. When the eleven brothers stood before Joseph in Egypt, fearing for their lives, Joseph told them not to worry or be angry with themselves. He forgave them with the realization that everything was according to God’s purpose. Regardless of the suffering he had to go through, he forgave. Jesus, as he hung on the cross near death, cried “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Joseph married an Egyptian wife. The bride of Jesus is His church, which consists mostly of Gentiles.

Jesus and Joseph both prophesied freedom. Joseph told his brothers that God would come to their aid and lead their descendants out of Egypt to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jesus likewise prophesied freedom for His people. In John 8:32 He told them “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (NIV) and “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever” (John). 14:16 NIV). Jesus also prophesied that His followers would be taken to a better land.

While they were being persecuted, Jesus and Joseph were both stripped of their clothes. Joseph’s beautiful coat of many colors, made by his father, was torn from him by his brothers. The governor’s soldiers stripped Jesus, put a scarlet robe on him and twisted a crown of thorns to put on his head. They were both placed in a pit for three days. Joseph was thrown into an empty cistern and Jesus was placed in a tomb. Joseph’s brothers smeared his robe with the blood of a goat to blame Joseph’s death on wild animals. Jesus death was on Easter day. A goat is sacrificed for the atonement at Passover.

During Joseph’s period of imprisonment he was placed in close proximity with two other prisoners, the Butler and the Baker. The life of the Cupbearer was spared and the life of the Baker was lost (Gen 40:1-18). When Jesus hung on the cross, there were two criminals with him, one on the right and the other on the left. One of the criminals shouted insults at Jesus while the other repented. Jesus said that he who repented was forgiven and would live with Him in paradise.

Although both were mocked and criticized, in the end both Joseph and Jesus attained great positions of power and majesty. They both inspired faith in those around them and in those who read about them. They both became sir (Sir). Joseph became the deputy leader and sat on the right hand of Pharaoh. Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father.

The Last Days

Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. Joseph was sold for twenty. Both were given up for a slave price. The lives of Joseph and Jesus are both examples of a “rags to riches” story. Joseph was brought out of the well, the empty well; sold into slavery and demoted to prison. Yet God the Father brought him through it all to one of the highest positions on earth. Jesus was certainly not born into wealth. He was shuffled to Egypt as a baby to stay alive. He was admired by some and hated by others. At the end of His physical life He was scourged, beaten, cursed, spat upon and crucified. The lowest form of death. However, God “raised him to the highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is. Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9-11).

When Joseph’s brothers told Jacob that he was still alive, Jacob was astonished and did not believe it. Joseph was as if dead for Jacob. When Mary announced the resurrection of Jesus to the disciples, they did not believe it either, “they [the apostles] did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them nonsense” (Luke 24:11).

Both Joseph and Jesus were not recognized by their own family and friends. Joseph, after he was promoted in Egypt and Jesus, after he was resurrected. After everything was done, from the punishment and mockery to the joy of saving people’s lives to the personal relationships with God, they both became people of royalty.

Conclusion

Joseph lived the life of a servant. Servant of Potiphar, the citizens of Egypt, his family and God. He preserved the Hebrew nation and the family tree of Jesus. There are really many amazing parallels between the lives of Joseph and Jesus. Joseph foreshadowed Jesus Christ. Many of the things that Joseph did for Egypt and Israel in the physical typify what Jesus did or will do on a much larger scale, in the spiritual, for all mankind.

The parallels in the lives of Joseph and Jesus are not a matter of coincidence just for speculative purposes. God the Father has a plan for humanity that He works out with intricate and precise detail. The Tanakh (Old Testament) points directly to Jesus Christ and the life of Joseph is a prime example. Joseph was a true servant of God.

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