Week 9, Day 3

Joseph & Jesus: Betrayed & Persecuted

The personality and love of Jesus is like the largest and most beautiful diamond one could image with facets that are ever changing and ever increasing. It is impossible to fully grasp Who He is.

However, throughout the Old Testament the Father gave hints through the lives of various Jewish people as to the kind of person the Savior would be and what would happen to Him. One of these people was Joseph. Joseph was a young man favored by God, but as a teenager he had issues with self-importance and saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. God’s refining of Joseph’s character was for Joseph to endure thirteen years of suffering, including mistreatment by his brothers, slavery, wrongful conviction of a crime, and wrongful imprisonment. The man that emerged from all those trials was a great leader who was responsible for saving the Jewish nation from starvation in a time of extended famine. His suffering parallels and foreshadows the suffering of Jesus as Jesus suffered and died for our sins, and then rose triumphantly to give us life in this world and in eternity. The chart below illustrates the comparison of the suffering of Joseph and Jesus:
Joseph was hated by his brothers (37:4, 5, 8) because of: i) Jacob's special love for him; ii) his words Jesus was hated by His brothers (John 15:25; Luke 19:14) because: i) Jesus claimed God His Father (John 5:18); ii) His Words (John 7:7; 8:40
Joseph's brothers plotted to kill Joseph (37:18-20) The Jews also plotted to kill Christ. (Matthew 12:14; 26:4)
Joseph was stripped of his coat (37:23) Jesus was stripped of His coat, covered with a scarlet robe (Matthew. 27: 28)
Joseph was sold into Egypt at the proposal of Judah (37:26-27) Jesus was betrayed and handed over to the Jews by Judas (Matthew 27:3)
Joseph attempted no defense (39:19) Jesus gave no defense at His trials (Isaiah 53:7)
The cupbearer and the baker of the King were with him in prison. One would be spared, the other would not. (40:1-3) Jesus was crucified with two thieves - one was spared, the other was not. (Mark 15:28)
Joseph was cast into prison, though he was innocent (39:20) Jesus is sentenced to death though Pilate found no fault in Him (John 19:4, 6)
Suffering in our lives is almost always unanticipated. Illness, death of a loved one, divorce, wayward children, or financial issues all bring suffering to our lives, and the suffering is difficult and can be for an extended time.

Just as Joseph provided a foreshadowing of suffering by Jesus, Jesus’ suffering provides hope to each of us when we enter a time of suffering. Philippians 3:10 speaks of having the opportunity to “know...the fellowship of His sufferings.” 1 Peter 4:12-16 tells us not to think it strange when a fiery trial comes upon us, but to rejoice and glorify God in the midst of it.

None of us like suffering or even pray for it, but the Bible tells us in Romans 5:3-5 that suffering produces depth of character, a deeper love of God in us, and a clearer channel for the love of God to be expressed through us to others.

Reflection Questions

• Think of a time of suffering in your life. How did you draw closer to God during that time?

• What fruit did the time of suffering produce in your life? How are you better able to relate to others after your time of suffering ended?
Bill & Amy have been members of Heritage since the church began in July, 1995. They are longterm members of a small group and part of the leadership team for the 4th Quarter bible study group that meets every Sunday from 10:30 - 11:15 AM in the Encounter Building at South Campus. Amy also serves on the MOMs (Ministry of Meals) team.
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