Joseph - A Type of Jesus ChristVolume 1, Number 19
Created Date: November 12, 2004
Posted Date: November 12, 2004
Vol 1 - No 19, November 12, 2004
The Faith of Joseph:
God answered the prayers of Jacob's wife Rachel and she bore a son named Joseph () but the Word of God does not introduce him until he was 17 years old and feeding his father's flocks ( .) The record of Joseph's life forms a remarkable type of Christ. As Joseph fed his father's flocks Christ fed His father's sheep, the multitudes. Joseph was loved by his father and clothed so as to show his equality with his father. The "coat of many colors" was said to be worn by Eastern chieftains and was given to the son for whom the birthright was designed. The equality of the father, Jacob, and son, Joseph, pictured God the Father and His son Jesus Christ.
Joseph testified of heavenly things to his brethren and repeated that testimony in spite of their opposition and hatred.
As Jacob's faithful servant he went with cheerful readiness, when sent, to seek his brethren in Shechem where they betrayed him. His brothers, as suggested by Judah, sold Joseph to the Gentiles for twenty pieces of silver (i.e., thirty shekels) -. So Christ was sent by His father and came with cheerful readiness to testify to His father's children in spite of their hatred. Christ was sold to the Gentiles by one of His own, Judas, for 30 pieces of silver - .
The Egyptian Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, bought Joseph from the Ishmeelites and soon placed him in charge of his household -. Joseph was a handsome man and Potiphar's wife took a liking to him and tried to seduce him - . But Joseph resisted, explaining to her "There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" - . All this a picture of Jesus of whom there is none greater, whose Father kept nothing back from Him and who refused to sin against God. Jesus was indeed tempted in all ways yet He was totally without sin - .
Potiphar's wife falsely accused Joseph and he went to prison but even there he was trusted by the head of the prison who put all under his authority. He accurately interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh's butler and baker, who had also been thrown into prison. The butler was restored to his position in Pharaoh's household but the baker was put to death - Genesis 40. This all pictures Jesus Christ who being unjustly accused was put to death by crucifixion. He foretold the future events of mankind, some to life and some to death, and being just He never the less suffered for the unjust.
Joseph was finally called upon to interpret Pharaoh's dreams and then taken out of prison and given charge of all of Egypt, answering only to Pharaoh - Genesis 41. As the story unfolds Joseph's brothers went to Egypt to get food and finally came to bow down to their brother Joseph where they were blessed with the best Egypt could offer - Genesis 42 - 46. As Joseph was cast into dungeons of darkness but brought out there from and exalted to Pharaoh's right hand; blessing the Gentiles; and finally, forgiving, and enriching his brethren with all blessings so was and will be the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ was cast into hell after His death on the cross but He rose victorious over sin and death. He was, and is now, exalted at the right hand of God.At some future day His brethren, the Children of Israel, will finally recognize and worship Him. The story of Joseph is a striking and prophetic picture of the Lord Jesus Christ who will someday be the Head of all and who will finally be recognized and worshipped by all and from whom all blessings will flow.
Not a negative thing can be found in the record about Joseph because he is presented as a type of Jesus Christ. But humanly speaking Joseph was like all other men in that he, in and of himself, was not perfect, as was Jesus Christ. We must turn to the book of Hebrews to find the point of Joseph's faith for which he was borne witness. Specifically, we find that he believed God's Word, that is, he had faith that he along with the children of Israel would receive the promises made to his great grandfather Abraham, his grandfather Isaac and his father Jacob. "By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones." -. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen - .
Joseph was used by God to live an exemplary life, which pointed to and pictured the Lord Jesus Christ, but he was saved because he had faith in God's Word.
(Note: a portion of the interpretation and description for this study was taken from George Williams' Student Commentary.)