Joseph, Jesus, and the God Who Saves

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English Service on July 16, 2017

Messenger: Pastor Jim Allison

Title: Joseph, Jesus, and the God Who Saves

Bible Passage: Genesis 50:20


Today let’s continue in our journey through the Old Testament, looking at key characters whose lives give us hints, signals, images, pictures of what is coming later in the life of Jesus.  Christ told people of Israel who knew the Bible, “The Scriptures you study give witness about me” (John 5:39).  Of course, at that point the New Testament had not yet been written, so He was talking about the Old Testament.  The light of God’s presence and truth shines on Jesus, and He casts a shadow that reaches back across the lives of certain key characters.  Through these “types of Christ,” God has chosen to show us not everything but certain important things.  They give us an idea that becomes slowly clearer and clearer about what is important to Him, what He loves, and what He sent Christ into this world to do.  


To uncover the parts of Joseph’s life that point forward to Christ, let’s just go through it, stopping at certain points along the way.  This is not going to be a typical “three points and a poem” sermon, and I don’t think we’ll finish in the time we have today seeing all the things worth look at carefully.  Joseph’s and Jesus’ stories are long ones with a variety of adventures and surprises.  But they all really point to one thing about the God who inspired and guided them: He saves.  God loved people so much that He sent His own special son to save us (John 3:16).  The great blessing for us will lie in finding how that happens and what it can mean in our lives and our world.   


1. One link between Joseph’s story and Jesus’ is Bethlehem.  Jacob, the father of the 12 sons in the Genesis 37-50 story, talks in 48:7 about Rachel, his favorite wife and Joseph’s mother.  He says she died while their family was traveling, and she was buried near Bethlehem.  As we remember at Christmas each year, Jesus was born in Bethlehem at the end of a journey His family was making.  


2. For whatever reason, God chooses to do part of His work in Joseph’s story through shepherds.  Genesis 46:33-34 tells us that Egyptians felt all shepherds were detestable.  In Jesus’ time, too, they were among the lowliest people in their society and looked down upon by others.  Yet God chooses to use them in His work of saving many people’s lives.  Late in the Joseph story (45:3), the shepherd brothers are terrified when they meet face-to-face their long lost brother, Joseph, the one that God has chosen and sent in His work of salvation.  They are much like the shepherds in the Luke 2 Christmas story, who are “terrified” (v. 9) when the angels come to announce Christ’s birth.


3. Clothes have a special place in these stories.  They are a motif the writers use in describing several key turning points in Joseph’s and Jesus’ lives.  Joseph’s clothes come into the story five times.  Can you remember them?  (a) In Genesis 37, “Israel made him a beautiful robe” (v. 3).  But when his jealous brothers decided to sell him as a slave, “They took it back to their father. They said, ‘We found this. Take a look at it. See if it's your son's robe’” (v. 32).  (b) Despite the trouble that had come into his life, God had not forgotten him.  He helped Joseph become head of the house of his master in Egypt, Potiphar.  This man’s wife tried to get Joseph to have sex with her and he said no.  “But he left his coat in her hand. And he ran out of the house” (Gen. 39:12).  Using that coat, she made a false claim that he had attacked her sexually, and Joseph was thrown in prison.  (c) Why did these things keep happening?  And why do they happen in our world and our lives today?  The writer does not give us neat, simple answers.  Yet the story describes a God who stays with His people in hard times.  God did not give Joseph a comfortable life.  But He used the bad things that came his way to train him and change them into blessings.  Through His help, Joseph not only got out of prison but the king made him a very powerful leader over all Egypt.  Genesis 41:42 says, “Then Pharaoh . . . dressed him in robes that were made out of fine linen. He put a gold chain around his neck.” (d) Eventually, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for food.  He forced them later to bring their younger brother, Benjamin, whose mother and father were the same as Joseph’s.  Though Joseph had spoken harshly to them before, in 45:22, he gave clothes to each of the brothers and five sets of clothes to Benjamin.  This was part of the process of forgiveness and rebuilding peace among family members.  (e) Later when Jacob had come to Egypt and the time came for him to die, Joseph told the doctors to prepare Jacob’s body in just the right way (50:2-3).  This process involved putting burial clothes on it.  A similar thing happened when Joseph reached the end of his life at age 110.  His body was prepared in burial clothes so that he would many years afterward be taken back to Israel (50:26).  More on that later.


When we get to the time of Jesus of Nazareth, the gospel writers note the clothes Jesus wore at key points of His life.  (a) Luke tells us that the baby Jesus’ mother, Mary, “wrapped him in large strips of cloth” (2:7).  (b) When the time for His death approached, Jesus was dressed in a robe, like a king’s, by soldiers who were making fun of Him (Luke 23:11, John 19:2).  (c) Later His own clothes were taken from Him and divided (John 19:23) before He was executed.  (d) Jesus’ body was wrapped in strips of cloth as it was prepared for burial (John 19:40).  John in his gospel describes (20:5-7) how these strips of cloth were still lying in the tomb after Jesus came to life again.  Joseph’s story and the Christmas story here come full circle.  (e) Then John in his Revelation (19:16) tells of a vision of Jesus riding a white horse at the end of time.  “Here is the name that is written on the rider's robe and on his thigh: THE GREATEST KING OF ALL AND THE MOST POWERFUL LORD OF ALL.”


In all these ups and downs, twists and turns, related to clothes, God is working in the lives of Joseph and Jesus to bring salvation to His people.  This salvation includes meeting the physical needs of people for food.  It goes to the spiritual needs for forgiveness of sin, growth from self-centered personalities to those guided by heart-felt care for others, and a hope for life that goes beyond the death of the body.  Through the things that happen in connection with these clothes, God is bringing life where there could be death, met needs where there could be lack, peace where there could be division, restoration where only broken relationships could remain.


  4. We began to see earlier how Jacob’s family went down to Egypt, and though they would be made slaves and suffer greatly, they would then set free to complete the journey from Israel (Canaan) to Egypt and back.  


God spoke to Israel in a vision at night. “Jacob! Jacob!” he said. 

“Here I am,” Jacob replied. 

“I am God. I am the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt. There I will make you into a great nation. I will go down to Egypt with you. You can be sure that I will bring you back again. And when you die, Joseph will close your eyes with his own hand.”


This spiritual journey down into the slavery of Egypt and back out into the Promised Land is repeated in a way in the Christmas story.  There, Jesus’ family must run away from King Herod, who is killing small boys in Bethlehem.  They escape into Egypt until it is safe and God leads them back to their home in Israel (Matthew 2:13-23).      


5. I mentioned just now the killing of the boys in Bethlehem.  Matthew writes about the deep grief of the people who lost those children when he quotes Jeremiah 31:5.  He describes “the sound of crying and deep sadness. Rachel is crying over her children. She refuses to be comforted, because they are gone.”  These words remind us vividly of Jacob’s grief when he learned that Joseph was gone and believed that wild animals had eaten him.  “Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted” (Genesis 37:34-35).


6. Another link between Joseph’s and Jesus’ stories is God’s speaking to people through dreams.  Genesis shows God giving His message through the dreams of 17-year-old Joseph (37:1-11, about sheaves of wheat, the sun, the moon, and the stars), Pharoah’s wine taster (40:1-13, the vine and grapes), Pharoah’s baker (40:16-22, the baskets and the birds), and Pharoah himself (41:1-32, about the cows and heads of grain).  In these unique ways, God tells what is coming, often in order to help people be ready for the things that will happen.


When we get to Jesus’ story, God again begins speaking through dreams at some important points.  He tells another Joseph, this one the head of Jesus’ human family in Nazareth, to marry Mary because God is sending through her the Messiah, who “will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).  Then in Matthew 2:13-15 God tells Joseph in a dream to get out of town quickly because the baby Jesus’ life is in danger.  After lying low in Egypt for some time, Joseph gets another message in a dream to return to Israel, then in another dream more specifically to Galilee (2:19-23).  


The point of these stories is not just that God can do cool things like talking through dreams.  It seems to be more that He does speak to His people when we are willing to listen.  He gets to choose the way He will speak because He is God and we are not.  We need to be open, ready, listening, prepared to respond however He decides to communicate with us.  When we do, we can take our places in God’s salvation story.


7. In both Joseph’s and Jesus’ stories, the one who is raised up by God to bring salvation to people is sold for pieces of silver.  As Joseph is sold into slavery in Genesis 37:28 “for 20 shekels of silver,” Jesus is likewise betrayed and put into His enemies hands by His disciple, Judas, for “30 silver coins” (Matthew 26:15).


What a shame!  A deeply dysfunctional family . . . human trafficking . . . tragic injustice!  Again, God’s word does not give us a clear, easy-to-understand explanation of why He lets disgraceful things like these happen.  Yet in the end both Joseph’s and Jesus’ stories are pictures of how even deep-rooted evil like this cannot overcome the self-giving, healing, restoring power of God’s love.  


8. And He doesn’t do this in the abstract.  He does it in real life, through real people.  In Joseph’s case, God puts him in a position of leadership over the land of Egypt at age 30 (Genesis 41:46).  God’s purpose is not only to meet Joseph’s needs.  Far beyond that, He wants to use Joseph to give life, including physical health and food security, to many people of various nations.  In Jesus’ case, too, Luke tells us (3:23a), “Jesus was about 30 years old when he began his special work for God and others.”  God’s dream for Him went far beyond meeting Jesus’ personal needs.  He let His own Son, whom He loved more deeply than words can say, face injustice, physical pain, and much more.  


That is something we can recall when our lives are not going as we think they should.  God often puts His people in very difficult situations because He has so many ways to use them for His good purposes.  When He allows bad things to come into our lives, let’s remember Joseph and Jesus.  Our troubles do not necessarily mean that God is punishing us or that He doesn’t care or isn’t there.  They often simply means that our lives are not mainly about us.  They are gifts of God, given for the benefit of other people, as well as our own, and of course most of all for His own glory.


Let’s pray that He will teach us always to view them in that way.


Protecting, providing, forgiving, restoring God, you have shown us in Joseph’s life and most of all in Jesus’, that you are the God who saves.  We live in a different time and place from those in the Bible, but we too are people with brokenness in our personal relationships, sometimes even with our own family members or others closest to us.  We live with the memories and effects of the immature and foolish things we have done in the past.  There are injustices in society, natural disasters, and other problems far too large for us to control.  So we are like the characters in the Bible stories in many ways. 


Because of this, Lord, we thank you for your wonderful promise, “. . . In all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28b).  We see how you did that so beautifully in the life of Joseph, and in Christ’s.  We ask you to do your good work in our lives, too—in all parts of them, even and especially those where we are broken, unable to save ourselves, in need of your help.  “In all things God works . . . .”  We know that things don’t just work out by themselves, and we know we don’t have all the answers or the ability to fix what is wrong with our world by ourselves.  Thank you, Lord, that we can place in your wise, loving, and all-powerful hands each part of our lives.  We do that now, in the name of Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.  




Ferguson, S. B. (n.d.) “God Meant It for Good.” Retrieved July 9, 2017 from

Rogers, A. (April 3, 2016). “Joseph: A Portrait of Jesus.” Retrieved July 9, 2017 from

Smith, W. (1863). Smith’s Bible Dictionary. Boston: John Murray. Retrieved July 12, 2017 from smiths-bible-dictionary/zaphnath-pa-aneah.html











 ヨセフとイエスの物語の多くは冒険と驚くべき事象にあふれた長いものです。しかし、その全てにおいて、ヨセフとイエスを励まし導いてくださった神様に対して1つのことを示しています。神様は救うお方です。「神は実にその一人子をお与えになったほど、この世を愛された。」(ヨハネ福音書3章16節) この偉大な祝福を見出すことは可能です。どのようにしてそれが起きたのか、私達の生活と世界に対して何の意味を持つのかを探ることによってです。


 1   ヨセフとイエスの物語を繋ぐものの一つはベツレヘムです。 創世記37章から50章は12人の息子(部族)と父ヤコブの物語です。48章7節で、ヤコブの最愛の妻、ヨセフの母のラケルについて、ヤコブの家族が旅に出ている間にラケルが亡くなりベツレヘムへ向かう道に埋葬されたと記されています。毎年クリスマスの度に、イエスが家族の行った旅行の終わりにベツレヘムでお生まれになったことを思い出しますね。


 2   理由はどうあれ、ヨセフの物語では神様は羊飼いを通して働かれることを選びます。創世記46章33、34節では、エジプト人が全ての羊飼いを嫌われ者と思っていると言っています。イエスの時代においても、同様に羊飼いは社会の下層に属し、他の人々から見下されている存在でした。にもかかわらず、神様は多くの人々の命を救うという神様の働きを担う者として羊飼いを用いる選択をします。ヨセフの物語の後半(45章3節)では、羊飼いであったヨセフの兄弟達が、長い間死んでいたと思っていた兄弟のヨセフ(神様が救いの計画のために選び遣わされたその人)と顔と顔を合わせて再会した時、大変恐れたとあります。これは新約聖書のルカ伝2章のクリスマスの話で、羊飼い達がキリストがお生まれになると天使から告げられて恐れたことと良く似ています。


 3   「衣服」もこの二つの物語では特別な位置にあります。ヨセフとイエスの生涯での分岐点について描写する時にモチーフ(主要な考え)として使われています。ヨセフの物語には衣服にまつわる話が5回出てきますが、思い出せますか?


 a  創世記37章3節には「イスラエルは彼に美しいローブを作り与えた」とあります。兄弟がそのことでヨセフに嫉妬し奴隷として売ろうと決めた時、兄弟達は ”父親にこのローブを返し、「私達が見つけました。見てください。これがあなたの息子のものとお分かりになりますね」と言った”とあります(32節)。


 b    ヨセフの人生に困難がやって来た時にも神様は彼を忘れることはありませんでした。ヨセフがエジプトで使えた主人ポティファの家の執事長になることを助けたのです。この主人の妻がヨセフに言い寄り自分と寝るように誘惑した時には、ヨセフは断ったのですが、「ヨセフ家から逃げ出したが、自分の上着は女が持ったままであった。」(創世記39章12節)、この上着を使って女はヨセフが自分を襲ったと偽証しヨセフは結局、監獄に入れられました。


 c   何故こうも酷いことが次々と起こるのでしょう? 今の私達の世界や生活においても、このような事は起きるのですが、どうしてでしょう?聖書はこれについて、すっきりとした簡単な答えはしませんが、困難な時に神様に信頼する人々と共にいてくださる神様について述べています。神様はヨセフに居心地の良い生涯を与えませんでした。ですが、彼の進む道にやって来た悪いことでさえ、それを訓練のために用いて祝福に変えられたのです。神様の助けにより、ヨセフは監獄から出ることができたばかりじゃなく、王によってエジプト全土に権勢を振るう非常に力強い指導者となったのです。創世記41章42節に「ファラオは 彼に素晴らしい生地のローブを着せ、首には金の首飾りを付けた。」とあります。


 d   その内、ヨセフの兄弟がエジプトに食料を求めてやって来ました。その後、ヨセフは、兄弟の一番下の弟ベンジャミンを連れてこさせます。かれはヨセフの父と母の子供でもあります。 初めは兄弟たちに辛く当たるヨセフですが(創世記45章22節)兄弟の一人ひとりに衣服を与えます。ベンジャミンには5着揃いもの衣服を与えます。*これらは赦しと家族の和解の過程として書かれています。


 e  エジプトに来たヤコブが死んだ時、ヨセフは医者達に命じてヤコブの遺体を正しいやり方で整えるように言いました(創世記50章2〜3節)。これは埋葬する時に着せる服についての決まりも含んでいました。ヨセフが110歳でその生涯を閉じようとする時、似たようなことが起こりました。彼の遺体は、埋葬後何年もの後にイスラエルに戻されることになっていたため、埋葬用の服で整えられました。(創世記50章26節) その事については後ほど詳しく述べます。




   a  ルカは、赤ん坊のイエスを母マリアが大きな布でくるんだと記しています。(ルカ2章7節)


 b  イエスに死が近づいた時には、イエスは王様のようなローブを、馬鹿にする兵士達から



 c  その後、イエスの着ていた衣は処刑される前に剥ぎ取られ分配されました(ヨハネ19章40



   d  イエスの身体は埋葬のため布でくるまれました(ヨハネ19章40節)ヨハネは福音書(20章5〜7節)では、これらの衣がイエスが復活された後にも墓石に掛けられていた様子を記しています。ヨハネの話とクリスマスの話はここに来て一致(一周回って)したのです。


 e  ヨハネの黙示録19章16節では、この世の終わりに白い馬に乗ったイエスの姿が書かれています。”その着物にも腿にも「王の王、主の主」という名が書かれていた。”




 4   私達は最初に、ヤコブの家族がどのようにエジプトに下って行ったかを見てきました。ヤコブの家族は奴隷となり大きな苦難を受けるところだったのですが自由になり、結局イスラエル(カ ナン)からエジプトへの旅行を全うし、そして帰還できたというものです。



       ”ヤコブ、ヤコブ” と。  












 5   今、ベツレヘムにおける男の子の虐殺について述べましたが、マタイは子供を殺された  失ってしまった人々の深い悲しみについて、エレミヤ書31章5節を引用し語っています。マタイは、”深く嘆き悲しむ声。ラケルは彼女の子供達のために泣いている。慰められることも拒否する。彼女の子供達は逝ってしまったからだ。” と書き表します。これらの言葉から私達は、ヨセフがいなくなり野生の動物に食べられたと知ったヤコブの悲しみを鮮明に思い出せます。”ヤコブは自分の着物を引き裂き荒布を腰にまとい、いく日もの間その子のために嘆き悲しんだ。彼の息子、娘達がみな来て父を慰めたが彼は慰められることを拒み「私は泣き悲しみながらよみにいるわが子のところに下っていきたい。」と言った。こうして父はその子のために泣いた。”(創世記37章34、35節)


  6   ヨセフとイエスの物語における別の結びつきは神様が夢を通して人々に語るという事で す。創世記では、神様は17歳のヨセフに夢を通して語りました。(37章1〜11節の一房の大

麦、 太陽と月と星の例え)。 ファラオのワイン品質管理者(40章1〜13節 葡萄の蔦とぶど












とです。神様は語る方法をご自分で選ぶことができます。なぜならば、神様は神様だからです。私達はそうではありません。私達に必要なのは、神様が、どのように語られるか決められたとも、 心を開き、聞く用意するという応答の準備なのです。私達がそうする時、神様の救いのご計画の中に私達の居場所ができるのです。 


 7  ヨセフとイエスの物語では、どちらも神様によって人々に救いをもたらすために育てられ、やがて 銀貨数枚で売られます。ヨセフは創世記37章28節にあるように、20シェケルの銀貨で奴隷として売られ、イエスも同じように裏切られ、30枚の銀貨で弟子ユダによって敵の手に渡されます(マタイ26章15節)。








 8  神様はこれらの事を抽象的に為すことはありません。かえって本物の人々を通して(使って)実際の生活上の事象として行われるのです。ヨセフの場合、神様はヨセフを30歳にしてエジプト全土を指導するリーダーの地位に据えるのです(創世記41章46節)神様の目的はただ単にヨセフの必要を満たすだけではありません。それをはるかに超えてヨセフを様々な国の多くの人に身体的な健康と食料保障を含めた生活を与え(保証する)ることでした。イエスの場合も同じです。ルカ3章23節では、”イエスは、神と人々のために特別な働きを始められた時、およそ30歳であった。”と記されています。神様のイエスへの願いは、イエスの個人的な必要を満たすことを大きく超えたところにありました。神様は、言葉で尽くせぬほど深く愛したその一人子に不正義に直面し身体的な苦痛を与え、またそれ以上のことをさせたのです。
















 このことを思い、あなたの素晴らしい約束の故にあなたに感謝致します。神様を愛する者には全てのことを神様が働かれて益としてくださる(ローマ8章28節)。私達は、神様あなたがこのことをヨセフとキリストの生涯において為されたことをしりました。どうぞ私達の生涯、その全てにおいて、特に私達が傷ついているところにおいて、 あなたの良き働きが為されますようにお願いします。 自分を救うことができない私達には神様あなたの助けが必要です。”神様は全てのことに働かれます。 ”  物事はその事だけで解決できないことを知っていますし、私達の世界において起こる悪い事が何故そうなるのか全ての答えを知りません。 また私達の能力だけでこれらを修復することもできないと知っています。神様あなたの聡明で、愛に満ち、全能の御手に私達の生涯の全ての部分をゆだねることができますから感謝します。私達は今こそ委ねます。私達の救い主主であるキリスト御名において。アーメン。




Ferguson, S. B. (n.d.) “God Meant It for Good.” Retrieved July 9, 2017 from https://www.

Rogers, A. (April 3, 2016). “Joseph: A Portrait of Jesus.” Retrieved July 9, 2017 from

Smith, W. (1863). Smith’s Bible Dictionary. Boston: John Murray. Retrieved July 12, 2017 from aneah.html



*(どれだけ好きなんだか!! 贔屓ですねーって 訳者の勝手なつぶやき)