Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Parallels Between Joseph and Christ

This never had occurred to me before doing this Bible study but talk about blowing my mind. Take a look at this for the obvious placement of Joseph as a forerunner of Christ.
Joseph is in many ways a forerunner of Christ, and the deeper you dig, the more parallels you may find between him and the Messiah. A few are offered here for your consideration. Pondering them can enrich both your study of Joseph and your understanding of Jesus' work on your behalf.

Joseph and Christ are alike in person and in character:
  1. Both Joseph and Jesus are greatly loved by their fathers and envied and hated by their brothers.
  2. They are alike in character: meek and humble, compassionate, faithful in the face of opposition; tempted yet without sin.
  3. They neither condemn those who wrong them nor seek vengeance or personal apologies, but leave judgment to God.
  4. They both forgive unconditionally. Their actions are motivated by love.
  5. Both Joseph and Christ set their eyes firmly on God and do not allow the way things appear to distract them or cause them to doubt.
... in suffering and in glory:
  1. Betrayed by those close to them, both are wrongly accused and given over to die.
  2. They are each sold for a few pieces of silver into the hands of gentiles.
  3. Joseph -- like Jesus -- loses all his rights and becomes a servant, from which position he is lifted by God to a place of sovereignty at the king's right hand, where every knee bows to him.
  4. Joseph is brought forth to life from the well and from prison; Jesus is brought forth to life from the tomb. After rising, neither is recognized by his brethren.
... and in their mission:
  1. God sent Joseph to bring forgiveness and reconciliation to his people; to save them and the nations from starvation; and to pave the way for the growth and establishment of the people of God. God sent Jesus to bring forgiveness and reconciliation to all people; to save them from death; and to bring in the kingdom of God.
  2. Both suffer that others can live.
  3. Joseph, like Jesus, is able to save those who come to him, and is the source of food that brings new life.
All quoted material is from Catholic Exchange's "Catholic Scripture Study." See the sidebar under "Bible Study: Genesis" for links to references used.

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