Week 9, Day 2

Joseph & Jesus: Two Faithful Servants

One of the most significant examples of the character of Jesus is the story of Joseph, son of the patriarch Jacob, in the book of Genesis. In fact, like Jesus, if history did not record the phenomenal occurrences in the life of Joseph, the Jewish nation (and lineage of Jesus) would not have happened.

First, Joseph and Jesus were committed to lives of unblemished sacrifice and service. Jesus even remarked to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be the first must be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:27-28, NIV).

Repeatedly, He reminded His disciples that the kingdom of God is made up of those who are willing to serve (Luke 22;25-27), and He always demonstrated servant leadership and obedience to the Father. Likewise, as a faithful son, Joseph obeyed his father and went to check on his brothers as they were keeping the sheep (Genesis 37:12-22). Just as Jesus was betrayed and sold for thirty pieces of silver, Joseph’s brothers hated him and sold him into slavery in Egypt for twenty pieces of silver. Joseph also demonstrated his integrity and faithful service as he loyally followed the orders of Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s top officials, who bought him as a slave.

Once again, as a slave Joseph loyally followed the instructions of Potiphar, his owner, and found favor in Potiphar’s household (Genesis 39:1-3). Like Jesus, from all indications, Joseph was faultless and pure in every aspect of his life. In Isaiah 53:10 the prophet also describes the life of Jesus, “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the Lord makes His life an offering for sin, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” Joseph and Jesus were prosperous servants!

However, they were also both suffering servants. After being betrayed by his brothers and led to Egypt, Joseph soon found himself being accused by Potiphar’s wife of a crime that he didn’t commit and was thrown into prison (Genesis 39:17-20). Likewise, Jesus was accused and slandered in a series of one-sided trials (Mark 14:55-64). Like Joseph, He had done nothing wrong, but His accusers were determined to destroy Him.

In both cases, as faithful servants Joseph and Jesus ultimately overcame all adversities and were exalted to positions of power and authority. Even in prison, Joseph again rose to a position of responsibility and gained the respect of his rulers. Joseph gained prominence with the ruler of Egypt by being able to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams as well. Seeing Joseph’s God-given gift of explaining his dreams, Pharaoh elevated Joseph to second in command of the kingdom!

Similarly, Jesus overcame his adversaries through His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave. In Philippians 2:8-11 Paul says, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Reflection Questions

• What were two specific situations when Joseph and Jesus demonstrated faithfulness?

• What were two specific situations when Joseph and Jesus demonstrated servanthood?
David has been a member of Heritage for fifteen years. He has served as a small group leader, Small Group HUB Leader, mentor, Inner Healing Team member, Intercessory Prayer member, and leader of the Senior Adults Living Triumphantly (SALT) group. He is the author of five books, including Deep and Wide: The Launching of Heritage Church.
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