Chuck Swindoll, in Steve Farrar’s book Finishing Strong shares his thoughts on why Joseph gets so much attention in the book of Genesis. His thoughts are helpful and challenging.
No one who does a serious study of Joseph’s life would deny that he was a great man. And yet he never accomplished any of the things we normally associate with biblical greatness. He never slew a giant. He never wrote a line of Scripture or made any vast prophetic predictions like Daniel. Come to think of it, Joseph never even performed a single miracle. He was just your typical boy next door, who grew up in a very troubled family.
So what made Joseph great? Why does God devote more space in Genesis to his story than to any other individual’s? Because of Joseph’s attitude, how he responded to difficult circumstances. That was the most remarkable thing about him.
American author Elbert Hubbard once wrote, ‘The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure (contemptuous treatment) without resentment.’ Joseph spent a good deal of his life enduring harsh, hateful treatment, and his attitude during those years offers indisputable proof of his greatness.
Farrar compares Joseph to Jesus and says…
- Joseph was rejected by his brothers. So was Jesus.
- Joseph was loved by his father. So was Jesus.
- Joseph was victorious over temptation. So was Jesus.
- Joseph was taken into custody because of a false witness. So was Jesus.
- Joseph suffered for doing what was right. So did Jesus. Joseph was promoted from prison to rule the nation. Jesus was promoted from the prison of death to rule the nations.
Joseph finished strong. Jesus finished strong. Jesus was the author and perfector of our faith, and because of the joy set before Him, endured through the excruciatingly painful and humiliating event of the cross and has now sat down at the right hand of God (Hebrews 12:1-2).