Joseph Foreshadows Jesus
We have already spoken of several persons who foreshadowed Jesus in deeds and in the events that befell them. Mentioning some of these were Moses, Solomon, and Elisha. Today we will look into the life and deeds of Joseph in the signs of the Messiah.
I will not go into every little detail, but will show you the most important parts.
Joseph was in his young age when he was taken to Egypt, about 17 years old when he moved to Potiphar's house. Like Daniel, he did an impeccable job, but his beauty captivated Potiphar's wife. He must have been a truly beautiful young man, for in the book of Jasher we read that his brethren first sought Joseph in the brothels. But let us read the temptation of Joseph:
„From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph's charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, "Lie with me." But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her. But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, she called to the men of her household and said to them, "See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house." Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, and she told him the same story, saying, "The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house." As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, "This is the way your servant treated me," his anger was kindled. And Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.”
How many men would fail in this temptation? I think a lot of men! Joseph was tempted not once by Potiphar's wife but every day. Joseph did not fall into sin. Seeing no other solution, he ran away. Have you ever wondered why Joseph was not executed? Let us not think that the Egyptians were so humane that they would not have done so with a Jewish servant. Potiphar knew that his wife had lied, but to avoid shame he put Joseph in prison. Also in the book of Jasher we read that the judges examined Joseph's robe, which he left in the hands of Potiphar's wife. As the garment was torn at the front, it was known that Potiphar's wife had pulled Joseph toward her.
Let's start to begin the similarities between Joseph and Jesus with this prison story. Just as Jesus was innocently convicted, so was Joseph. In the previous verses, we read that God was with Joseph, and all that Joseph did was successful. So it was with Jesus. But we can say that we can see several examples of this in the Bible. That's right, in the Bible, not in today's world. Let us then turn to the more important similarities.
Joseph's calling began when he first appeared before Pharaoh and explained his dream:
„Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you."”
So Joseph was on the same level as Pharaoh. Pharaoh submitted all things to Joseph except himself. What does this remind us of?
„For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "all things are put in subjection," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.”
That was exactly the case with Joseph. Just as the Father submitted everything to Jesus except himself. Continue on:
„Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt.”
Joseph started all this at the age of 30, how old was Jesus when he started teaching others?
„Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,”
What was the same in the service of Joseph and Jesus? At first glance, we would think that their ministry is not in the slightest resemblance, since Jesus taught and Joseph reigning. Yet they have one thing in common, namely that they have saved humanity.
„So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.”
The whole earth came to Joseph for bread to live, just as the crowd came to Jesus spiritually. For He said:
„I am the bread of life.”
Jews, and non-Jews, were able to survive this way, physically in the case of Joseph, and spiritually through the ministry of Jesus.
When Joseph met his brothers again, he did not reveal himself. He wanted to see Benjamin at all costs, his only brother from his mother, because he wanted to know if he was treated the same way by his half-brothers as they treated Joseph! Let us see again the resemblance between Joseph and Jesus, for he did not embrace them immediately, but aroused repentance in them, and wanted to see if they truly repented of their sins (what they had done to Joseph). Jesus did not start with the embrace, but first asked people to forsake sin!
Then when this was done to Joseph's brothers, Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers:
„All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
We know the story, the whole house of Joseph moved to Egypt, where there was no shortage of bread. Joseph provided a good life for his relatives. But Joseph died and misery came, just as persecution, imprisonment, and execution came in the lives of the disciples.
As God delivered the people of Israel from Egypt, He will lead us to Canaan, which flows with milk and honey! Joseph was foreshadowing the first coming of Jesus, serving the people and feeding the people. Moses was foreshadowing the second coming of Jesus, who struck Egypt with many plagues (the book of Revelation) and guided his people to serve no more men but God. God will deliver only those who have the blood of the lamb, which we can take upon ourselves with our obedience (doorposts and lintel).
Author: Antal Farkas