Jesus & Joseph Essay, Research Paper
Joseph and Jesus
Throughout the Bible, there are many stories that are corresponding to those of the life of Jesus, from Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt s captivity and Abraham almost sacrificing his son in the Old Testament, to the apostle Paul s spreading of Christianity in the New Testament. Even the story of Joseph studied in and out of class has its parallels. A close analysis of the story of Joseph in the Old Testament and the story of Jesus in the New Testament shows that both men and their stories shared many similarities.
Genesis 37 displays how Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver, and Matthew 26 shows how Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot and sold over to the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver.
After their betrayals, Joseph was required to go to Egypt where he became Potiphar s servant (Genesis 39) and Jesus was led away to Caiaphas, the high priest (Matthew 26 & 27). At first, Joseph found only favor in the eyes of Potiphar, but soon Potiphar s wife fabricated that Joseph had made a pass at her, when in fact it was her that wanted Joseph. Joseph was sent to the king s prison unjustly. Again, with Jesus, the high priest could not find anything wrong with Jesus even with false witnesses. It was not until two witnesses questioned whether Jesus was the Christ that he was found blasphemous (and the Jewish culture still to this day believes that Jesus was blasphemous). Jesus claimed that he was the Christ by stating: “nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” He was then given over to the governor, Pontius Pilate, and should have been a prisoner, but was unjustly condemned to death.
Joseph again found favor, this time in the eyes of the keeper of the prison, while Pilate washed his hands because he knew that he was putting to death an innocent man. Genesis 40 tells of two men that were with Joseph in the prison, one a butler and the other a baker. Joseph interpreted their dreams and both came to pass. The butler was reinstated and allowed to live, while the baker was beheaded and eaten by the birds. All three men would be released from prison. While Jesus was on the cross, two men were on each side of him (Matthew 27). Both were thieves, but one man Jesus said would spend eternity in paradise with him, while the other was presumably destined for hell. All three men would die.
Eventually Joseph was summoned by the pharaoh and he interpreted his dream being that the land of Egypt would endure seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine (Genesis 41). Because no one else could interpret both of the pharaoh s dreams, Joseph was made ruler over all of Egypt. When the famine struck, Joseph s family came from Canaan to receive food in the bountiful land of Egypt. Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not realize it was their long sold brother. Ultimately, Joseph confessed his true identity and he had forgiven his brother s sins. It is through Joseph s sufferings and his overcoming that God allowed him to become ruler. In Matthew 28, three days after Jesus death, he resurrected and fulfilled prophecy by destroying the temple and rebuilding it in three days. That is, that the relationship with God no longer required anymore sacrifices to pardon the sins of believers because Jesus became the ultimate sacrificial lamb by forgiving everyone s sins. It is through Jesus suffering on a cross, his overcoming of death by resurrection, and his ascension that God allowed him to become the Soon Coming King.
A precise study of the story of Joseph and the story of Jesus shows that many parallels existed between the two. One could even discuss the similarities between Joseph s brothers taking his coat of many colors to the soldiers gambling for Jesus cloak or the meal Joseph requested with his brothers in Egypt to that of Jesus last supper with his disciples. One could also address the name of the man who placed Jesus body in the tomb, which was Joseph, or the name of Jesus surrogate father, which was also Joseph. From betrayal, imprisonment, the people alongside them, to each their rulership, the stories of Joseph and Jesus contain many definitive religious themes, but the one main difference between Joseph and Jesus is that even though both men died, only one had the power to raise from the dead.