Joseph and Jesus Compared

On August 8, 2010 · 0 Comments

Is there powerful evidence the Bible is true?

Since the Bible says that Christ is the only way to Heaven, is this an absolute truth? The Bible makes this claim in John 3:16 and Acts 4:12, etc. Scriptures show incredible consistency throughout the Bible and verifies themselves with overwhelming detail. Therefore to discount the truth of one scripture is to foolishly gamble with your place in eternity. There is no other religion that meets this test. This goes back all the way to the beginning of time. The lives of Joseph and Jesus are a powerful example we should consider. Could their lives be so perfectly paralleled if it were not by the hand of God Himself?

Consider the life of Joseph. Pastors today often tell the wonderful stories of his life and trust in God. Is that all that we should gain from the huge Genesis account of his life? Why would there be such great detail given and over 13 chapters in Genesis dedicated to his story? What was God’s purpose? One answer is that the account prophetically “shadows” the life of Jesus Christ, with simply unbelievably specific detail, verifying the claim that scripture is truth. If the Bible shows itself to speak detailed truth, then when it says Christ is the only way, this must be considered true. It is true, despite today’s political correctness and our uncomfortable malignment as people who ‘hate’ exactly those people we want to save from a terrible place in eternity. How could that be hate?

In the following pages, take a look at the following comparisons between the lives of Joseph and Jesus. Ask yourself, could these similarities possibly be strictly by chance? Could anyone else be the Messiah, in the past or future, even if we ignore all the numerous other prophecies regarding the Messiah in the Old Testament? Who else in all of history could fit this detailed description thousands of years before Jesus? Isn’t it amazing that the very first book of the Bible predicted the way to salvation through Christ in incredible detail, long before His life on earth?

Let us begin by seeing that the root names of each men were the same, the Hebrew word for Joseph is Yoseph, meaning “he will add” (Genesis 30:24). Jesus’ full name was Yeshua ben Yoseph. Jesus Christ’s whole purpose for birth and death was to ‘add’ our souls to God’s kingdom. In addition, Jesus and Joseph were both born through miracles. Jesus – virgin birth; Joseph- Rachel’s barren womb was opened by God (Genesis 30).

These pages will more completely unfold the unbelievable parallels between their lives and God’s plan of salvation. This is amazing and something only God can do. Some parallels are overwhelming and others are more subtle. This requires careful comparing to fully appreciate.

Joseph and Jesus (based on Genesis 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50 and the life of the Jewish Jesus as recorded in the Gospels)

  • Both loved by their fathers
  • Both shepherds of their father’s sheep
  • Both prophets foretelling the future and both had God bring it to pass
  • Both born through miracles: Rachel’s ‘womb was opened’, Christ born of the Virgin (Isa. 7:14)
  • Both sent by fathers to their brothers
  • Both hated by their brothers
  • Both had their brothers refuse to receive them
  • Both had brothers conspire to kill them
  • Both had their brothers reject their claim to preeminence
  • Both were bowed down to in the end by their brothers in fear
  • Both left their fathers’ home of comfort to go to their brothers
  • Both found their brothers were not what/where their Father called them to be
  • Both had their Fathers clothe them
  • Both had personal robes taken from them (stripped), causing their Father to grieve
  • Both sent to Egypt in their youth (Hosea 11:1- think of the Exodus!) both for God to uphold their survival
  • Both had an Exodus out of Egypt
  • Both were sold for the price of a slave (Joseph- 20 shekels, Jesus- 30 pieces- Exodus 21:32; if you kill a slave adds 50% to the price! Zechariah 11:12)
  • Both subjected to temptation, both refused to yield (Hebrews 4:15)
  • Both falsely accused and suffered due to the lies of those in authority
  • Both were delivered to the Gentiles (Gen 37:28)
  • Both placed with 2 other criminals/prisoners, one saved/the other was lost (the one killed was hung on a tree like the robber who died with Christ)
  • Both began their life’s work at the age of 30 (Gen 41:46; Matthew 3:23)
  • Both experienced unjust humiliation/suffering which worked out for world’s salvation
  • Both were exalted by God to worldwide dominion and thus were instruments of saving Gentiles and Jews (Gen 41:41-43, Phil 2:9-11)
  • Both forgave those who injured them, believing God had a larger, gracious purpose in their sufferings
  • Both were sent by God (even into deep suffering) to save their people (Acts 2:22-24)
  • Both returned good for evil
  • Both men’s destinies were set up in a way to demonstrate God’s awesome sovereignty
  • Both sat at the right hand of the most powerful ruler when exalted
  • Both came from humble beginnings
  • Both had their brothers come to them 3 times – Joseph, Israelites came 3 times to the promised land
  • Both cared for the fellow prisoners
  • Both pointed the fellow prisoners to God (Joseph- interpretations come only from God, Christ- salvation); both foretell the future of the nations and both oversee its supervision
  • Both were abandoned – (Joseph- after correctly interpreting dream still imprisoned 2 years. Jesus- abandoned by the Father & disciples at the cross)
  • Both trusted in God and not man
  • Both ‘brothers’ covered their sin of selling their Brother by the blood of an animal: Joseph’s brothers smeared his coat with goat’s blood to cover their guilt; a sin offering at Passover as thought to cover Israel’s sins even while they took Christ’s life (Numbers 28:22, Romans 8:3; )
  • Both treated their brothers harshly for a time and then later reveal themselves to them to save them
  • Both weep with intense anguish and emotion as in love they overcome their brother’s rejection of them (Luke 21; Zech. 13-14)
  • Both had “the elder” in charge at their demise emotionally rent when upon perception of their death: Reuben tore his clothes; Mark 15:39 centurion said: ‘surely this was the son of God”
  • Both Fathers refused to be comforted/satisfied until the entire affair was resolved
  • Both were hated because of envy by the Pharisees and brothers
  • Both the Jewish brothers of Joseph and Jesus hurt themselves by their sinful treatment of their Brothers than anyone else; the sinner ends up suffering in impenitence
  • Both of them used all the authority they had over the nations only for good
  • Both were in the pit for 3 days
  • Both had their Father’s accept their Gentile sons as their own sons (became part of Israel)
  • Both did the right thing when situational ethics would have said to do otherwise
  • Both have no record of sin in their lives (when other famous characters did great evil)
  • Both when being punished, were serving, and trusted God through the trials
  • Both married foreigners: Joseph a despised Gentile/Egyptian woman, Jesus many Gentiles
  • Both gave the brothers provisions, cash and counsel
  • Both restrained wrath toward brothers (before reconciling), preserving brothers’ lives whom they rightly could have accused, sentenced, executed
  • Both eventually weep on and kiss their brothers with great affection once brothers agree to requirements of: a) repentance; b) agreement to live in peace; c) reconciliation with the Father whom they had lied to for all those years
  • Both were conscious of God throughout their lives
  • Both experienced God’s grace and favor so that they prospered despite great hardships
  • Both wept over their brothers and talked to all their brothers
  • Both, through their faith despite affliction, redeemed their entire family/nation
  • Both had bones “laid to rest” in faith, one for the promised land on earth, the Other for the new heavens and new earth/the ultimate promised land
  • Both reported to their Fathers when their brothers were up to their tricks
  • Both were sold for money and both were given money
  • Both ask for all of our possessions for their service and kingdom
  • Both were brought to utter humiliation (servanthood, the pit/Cross-grave) but God exalted both, vindicating their former claims to their brothers

Used by permission from

So, what will your response be?  These and so many other Scriptures all attest to the fact that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world!

God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed Heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” – Hebrews 1:1-2

God commands you to bow down to Jesus and His authority (Psalm 2:10-12), to put faith in Him (Ex. 14:31; Deut. 32:20) repent of your breaking His commandments and to rest your entire hope for salvation in His Son, whom He has appointed “heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:1-3).  Trust, depend, rely upon Jesus to be all your salvation for time and eternity.  He will enable you by His Spirit to keep God’s commandments and surrender all you have and are to His kingdom’s service.  He will be to You all the Savior you need.  Do not neglect to do these things, lest, because of your greater knowledge of the truth, you suffer greater judgments and estrangement from God the Father than Joseph’s brothers did their father.  But God’s wonderful love is so great that His “well-beloved” Son told: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16) Read the Bible (Old and New Covenants) in order to learn more about Him and to enjoy your new life with and through Him!

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