Has anyone ever mistaken you for someone else or told you, "You remind me of somebody"? That's the impression we get as we look at the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis: he reminds us of Jesus. Over the next few weeks we'll look at Joseph's life in depth, but first I want to show you some ways in which he resembled Jesus:
1. Joseph was uniquely loved by his father, who gave him a special tunic thought to be a symbol of authority (see Genesis 37:3). Jesus also is beloved by His Father (see Matthew 3:17) and has been given "all authority…in heaven and on earth" (Matthew 28:18).
2. Joseph was maliciously hated by his brothers (see Genesis 37:4). In the same way, Jesus "came to His own, and His own did not receive Him" (John 1:11). The common people heard Jesus gladly (see Mark 12:37), but that fomented in the religious leaders a jealousy that eventually led to His crucifixion.
3. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers for twenty pieces of silver (see Genesis 37:28). Jesus was also betrayed by someone close to Him--Judas Iscariot, one of His twelve disciples, who sold Him into the hands of the Romans for thirty pieces of silver (see Matthew 26:14-15).
4. Joseph was falsely accused of crimes he did not commit and was thrown in prison (see Genesis 39:7-20). Jesus was also falsely accused of crimes He did not commit; the Sanhedrin came up with witnesses who brought false accusations against Him (see Mark 14:55-59).
5. Joseph was providentially placed next to two criminals in prison: the chief butler and chief baker of Egypt (see Genesis 40:1-4). On the cross, Jesus was crucified between two criminals (see Luke 23:33).
6. Joseph was seemingly dead to his father for a period of time and then revealed to be alive (see Genesis 45:25-28). Jesus actually died on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead.
7. Joseph was rightfully in charge of everything when he became the prime minister of Egypt (see Genesis 41:39-44). Jesus said, "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father" (Matthew 11:27), thus He is rightfully in charge of everything as well.
8. Joseph's family humbly bowed down to him in fulfillment of the two dreams he had as a young man (see Genesis 37:5-10; 42:6; 43:26). Philippians 2:10-11 says that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Those are just a few of the ways Joseph's life gives us a better understanding of Jesus. While you probably haven't experienced what Joseph did, does your life do the same for those around you? As we dive into Joseph's life in the coming weeks, think about this: How much do you resemble Jesus? Can people tell you're a child of God? Jesus said He was the Light of the World (see John 9:5), but then He also said that we are the light of the world (see Matthew 5:14). So wherever you work, whatever your family situation is, whatever school you go to, whatever neighborhood you live in, turn on the light from time to time and let people know the glory of the living Christ.