Parallels between Joseph and Jesus

Like no one else in Genesis, Joseph's life points to Christ. Here is a survey of his likeness to Christ.
Our Goal Should Be to Be Like Jesus!

Joseph (Hebrew: "Yosef") Jesus (Hebrew: "Yeshua")
The birth of Joseph was miraculous in that it was by the intervention of God as an answer to prayer. The Lord Jesus is virgin born. His birth was certainly miraculous.
Joseph was loved by his father. The Lord Jesus was loved by His Father, who declared, "This is My beloved Son."
Joseph had the coat of many colors which set him apart. Christ was set apart in that He was "separate from sinners."
Joseph announced that he was to rule over his brethren. The Lord Jesus presented Himself as the Messiah. Just as they ridiculed Joseph's message, so they also ridiculed Jesus. In fact, nailed to His cross were the words: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Joseph was sent by his father to his brethren. Jesus was sent to His brethren--He came first to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Joseph's father had sent him to seek his brethren. We are told that the Lord Jesus Christ came to do the will of His Father when He came here to seek His brethren.
Joseph obeyed his father. The Lord Jesus obeyed His Father so that He could say that He always did the things which pleased His Father.
Joseph was hated by his brethren without a cause. The Lord Jesus has hated by His brethren without a cause.
Joseph was mocked by his brethren. When they saw him coming, they said, "Behold, this dreamer cometh." The Lord Jesus was mocked by his brethren. When He was on the cross, they said, "If He be the Christ, let Him come down now from the cross."
The brothers refused to receive Joseph. The brethren of the Lord Jesus, the Jews, refused to receive Him.
The brothers plotted to kill Joseph. The brethren plotted to kill the Lord Jesus--"He came unto His own, and His own received Him not."
They took counsel to kill Joseph. We are told they took counsel to plot the death of the Lord Jesus.
Joseph's coat dripping with blood was returned to his father. They took the coat of the Lord Jesus and gambled for it.
Joseph was hated by his brothers, and they delivered him to the Gentiles. He couldn't defend himself and was unjustly accused. The Lord Jesus was also delivered by His own to the religious rulers who in turn delivered Him to the Gentiles. He was innocent.
Joseph was sold by his own brothers. The Lord Jesus was sold by one of His own brethren.
Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver. The Lord Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver.
Joseph was put into the pit which was meant to be a place of death for him. The Lord Jesus was crucified.
Joseph was raised up out of that pit. The Lord Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day.
After Joseph was sold into Egypt, he was lost sight of for many years. Christ ascended up into heaven. He told His disciples that they should see Him no more until His return.
Joseph became a servant (Gen 39:1) Jesus became a servant (Phil 2:7)
Joseph was a blessing to others (Gen 39:5) Jesus was a blessing to others (Eph 1:3)
Joseph had to suffer although Potiphar probably knew that he was innocent. Potiphar had to keep up a front before Pharaoh. Pilate did not believe the accusation which was brought against the Lord Jesus. He found Him innocent, yet he scourged Him. Pilate had to keep up a front before Caesar.
Joseph found favor in the sight of the jailer. In the case of Jesus, the Roman centurion said of Him, "Truly, this was the Son of God."
Joseph was numbered with the transgressors. He was a blessing to the butler, and he was judgment for the baker. The Lord Jesus was crucified between two thieves. One was judged and the other was blessed.
Joseph was tempted by the world, the flesh, and the devil, and he resisted. The Lord Jesus was tempted by the world, the flesh, and the devil, and He won the victory.
Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh. Jesus was thirty years old when He began His ministry.
Joseph emerged from the prison to be exalted to the right hand of Pharaoh. Jesus Christ rose from the dead to be exalted to the right hand of the Father.
Joseph received a Gentile bride after being exalted. Jesus Christ will receive a predominantly Gentile bride, the church.
Joseph received his Gentile bride during the time of rejection by his brothers and before a great famine. Jesus Christ will get His bride while being rejected by Israel and before the great tribulation.
Joseph was a provider of bread. (Gen 41:48) Jesus was a provider of bread. (John 6:48)
Joseph was revealed to his brethren. (Gen 45:1-3) Jesus was revealed to His brethren. (Acts 1:3)
Joseph was understood to be dead for 21 years, and when Joseph's brothers went to Egypt looking for food, he was waiting for them. However, he was not waiting for vengeance, but in anticipation to give them food and deliver them from their famine. He was their savior after 21 years of being assumed dead. Jesus' own brothers, and members of the family of Israel recognized Him, after His resurrection from the dead. "They saw Him and worshipped Him." Two of His disciples recognized Him on the road to Emaus (Luke 24). Thomas emphatically declared that he would not believe in the resurrection until he saw Jesus with his own eyes, and put his hands into the nail prints and reached into His side. That very same Thomas stood in the physical presence of Jesus and exclaimed, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:24-31).
Joseph became the savior of the world during this period, in the physical sense--he saved them from starvation. God saved not only Egypt and Israel, but all the nations of the world from starvation during the seven year famine. The Lord Jesus Christ in every sense is the Savior of the whole world. He is the bread of life for a world which is hopelessly lost.

Portions from Thru the Bible with Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Volume 1: Genesis - Deuteronomy
©1997- 2001 Thru the Bible Radio Network , P.O. Box 7100, Pasadena, CA 91109

Last Updated on 11/12/2002
By Eric Arnold