Today’s morning sermon dealt with the similarities of Joseph to Jesus. It was not a full look at these similarities but there are so many that one could preach several lessons on such a topic.
Just look at a few of the things that Jesus had happen in his life. He was with his father before coming to his people. His father sent him on His mission. His people did not receive him, sold him for a small amount of money. He was condemned for something and yet he was innocent of the charges. The condemnation might have been the end of the story except that God had other plans and raised him up and exalted him to sit on his throne. Jesus also suffered temptations that would have thrown him off his path.
If you are familiar with the story of Joseph you will easily pick out the similarities to Jesus. Joseph suffering his own family problems and being sold and condemned, though innocent, and yet, in the end, God was with him and raised him up to sit on his throne and rule.
It is interesting to me that the book of Genesis, is in a way, a summary of the world and the whole Bible message. You start in the beginning and end with someone on the throne and by that person, many lives are saved. The whole Bible, of course starts with Creation and ends with Jesus on the throne with many lives saved.
Today’s lesson focused on the temptation of Joseph however, because such temptations are common even today. We may think of people in the “olden days” as being more moral but it is apparent when you read passages like this that not everyone was a moral person. Potiphar’s wife tempted Joseph, pestered him, hounded him, and finally framed him. Joseph, on the other hand did everything he could to avoid her. Look at the passage and a couple thoughts I shared.
And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. (Gen 39:7-10)
I have emphasized some interesting phrasing in these verses. I admit that it may not have been in the intent of the text but it does fit a common problem today when someone is in a predatory mode.
The first request of Potiphar’s wife was to “lie with her” which is a clear invitation to commit adultery and violate the marriage covenant that she had with Potiphar. Many implications of this relationship could be made by such an invitation but Joseph was much more concerned about avoided a great wickedness and not sinning against God.
But she was not finished. She kept at it. Notice verse 10 and see what else Joseph was avoiding. He also did not listen to her to “lie by her” OR to “be with her”. I have to admit that this sounds an awful lot like “oh, let’s just lay here on the bed, nothing will happen” or “well, let’s just spend a little private time alone, just talk with me”. Now, I grant you that “spending time with someone” is a good way to get to know a person better, but you have no business “getting to know” someone else’s wife in such a setting much less either of the other two options.
Jesus provides us a perfect example of doing the Lord’s Will. Joseph, being human, undoubtedly was not perfect but his story is still an example for us to follow and serves as a mold or type/anti-type of Christ. I would encourage all of us to strive to do the best we can to follow the footsteps of the author of our Faith and those, like Joseph, who followed those same steps even before they were made.
The sermon, if you would like to listen, is here.