A Devine Turn of Events
Palm Sunday – Through Joseph’s Eyes
1. It is normal to look at the life of Christ during Holy Week.
2. Please put a finger in Genesis 39 and then turn over to Mark 11.
3. Mark 11 shows us Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. That is what we celebrate today. We remember that almost 2000 years ago, Jesus entered Jerusalem to proclaim His coming kingdom.
4. As far as His enemies were concerned, this was the last straw. This would be His end if it took all of their cunning and skill. As it was, it did almost take all of their criminal ability.
5. However, this entry into Jerusalem was the highest moment in Jesus’ earthly ministry. You can talk about miracles and the Sermon on the Mount. You can look at Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness and His call to the twelve. None of those moments compare with this one.
6. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on the back of a donkey, He was making a clear statement to all of His enemies, and anyone else that knew the Scriptures, that He was the one that they were looking for. He was the coming King.
7. None of Jesus’ followers was looking for Him to make such a bold statement right before the Passover. They were looking for Him to teach them something or help them to understand what was coming next. They also didn’t quite get that this was not as good as it was going to get for Jesus and to get there, He would have to endure crucifixion.
8. Thinking about Jesus and the events of this week, I’d like to look at Joseph and draw some parallels between the two. No, we aren’t going to call Joseph a type of Christ because I don’t believe that he is one. However, we can still look at his life and connect a few dots that run alongside of Jesus’ life.
9. Let’s turn over to our passage in Genesis 39.
10. You will notice that this is the point when Joseph becomes the servant to Potiphar. This is not the lowest point in his life, but it is a place where Joseph’s life takes an unexpected turn.
11. Like Jesus, Joseph is going to have to go down before he can go up. Joseph is sitting in a pretty good spot and we are going to learn that he continues to serve his lord and his God. Rather than looking at this new promotion as a place where he can slack off, he works hard for God.
12. Believers Should Produce Fruit in the Good Times.
I. Joseph’s Companion Produced Fruit
1. As we look at the first two verses, we see that someone was with Joseph all the time.
2. The Lord was with Joseph. This simple phrase was the key to his success.
3. Sometimes, we can get an inaccurate sense of the passing of time as we read things in the Bible.
4. Many times, Bible stories don’t give us a good sense of the passing of time. Here, there could be years passing as we read that the Lord was with him and he was a prosperous man.
5. Let’s consider that over a period of several months, Joseph begins to be noticed. His supervisor sees that anything that Joseph touches works out better than anyone hopes.
6. He is promoted from night maintenance man to first shift maintenance. A few months later, he is promoted to kitchen staff.
7. After a while, the kitchen supervisor makes Joseph the supply clerk.
8. The whole time, God is with Joseph and He is producing good fruit in Joseph’s life.
9. One Monday morning during the senior staff meeting, Potiphar asks the kitchen supervisor how he’s finally managed to come in under budget for the last six months.
10. Like Joseph, when the Lord is with us, He will make a way for us.
11. Think about the parallel between Joseph and Jesus. Both of them lived to please the Lord and both gained improved situation because of it.
12. Jesus, as His fame spread, He finally came to the place where it was possible to have Palm Sunday, where the people declared Him the King of Israel.
13. When the Lord is with us, people may not pick up on that, but they will notice that things get done and done well when we are involved.
14. Proverbs 18:16 (KJV) 16 A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.
15. As we walk with the Lord, He makes it possible to grow fruit for His glory. He brings us before those who can make changes in our lives.
16. We have to make Him our companion, someone that we lean on and trust.
17. When Joseph’s days were tough and when they were easy and he wanted to celebrate the latest promotion, he had no family to lean on, just the Lord.
18. In our lives, we have to learn to enjoy the company of the Lord even when there is no other company to be had.
19. Our companion will produce the fruit.
II. Joseph’s Consistency Produced Fruit
1. Look at verses 3-4.
2. Jesus told a parable of a man with a garden.
3. Luke 13:6-9 (KJV) 6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. 7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? 8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: 9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
4. The consistency of the gardener would hopefully help this tree produce something that the owner could enjoy.
5. Look at Joseph’s life. He lived a pattern of consistent behavior. You might think that we’re guessing from our text, but if we continue into the chapter, we find that he was consistent in what he did.
6. Genesis 39:7-10 (KJV) 7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. 8 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; 9 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? 10 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.
7. We see Joseph standing against a temptation that destroys many men. David wasn’t man enough to fight it. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all had multiple wives. They didn’t handle this temptation well. Joseph did.
8. How is this like Jesus?
9. Hebrews 4:15 (KJV) 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
10. Our great high priest was tempted just like Joseph was, but His consistency kept Him from the sins and was part of His ability to be that perfect sacrifice for sins.
11. The longer that we consistently walk in God’s Word, keeping ourselves on the right track, the more people will take notice.
12. This will produce fruit in our work for God.
13. Joseph didn’t see improvement immediately, he worked for months, and years before people began to move him up in the house.
14. In our lives, we may not see immediate fruit, but if we continue with a consistent walk, the fruit will come.
15. Remember the gardener that we talked about briefly? He knew that it would take another whole year of work before there was any chance of payoff working with that fig tree.
16. Why not give it another year.
17. Our consistency produces fruit.
III. Joseph’s Conversation Produced Fruit
1. Let’s look at the end of our passage.
2. By now, Joseph is the big man in Potiphar’s house. No one else had the same level of authority as he did. Potiphar didn’t even know what was in the house any more.
3. Joseph was running the Monday morning senior staff meetings now. One Monday morning, Joseph went to meet Potiphar for coffee before the meeting and Joseph noticed that he was pulling his golf clubs out of the closet.
4. Joseph, you run the meeting today. I have an early tee time. At first, this was a one off event. After a little while, Potiphar attended the meeting every other week. Joseph ran the meeting and Potiphar read the reports.
5. Eventually, Potiphar stopped coming to the meetings and he only read a copy of the weekly reports.
6. By verse six, he had even stopped reading the reports altogether. It was probably the realization that his savings and investment accounts had doubled under Joseph’s hand.
7. We’re talking about Joseph’s conversation. It’s not just the words that came out of his mouth, but the life that he lived as a follower of God.
8. Think about this insight from Hebrews.
9. Hebrews 13:5-7 (KJV) 5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. 7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
10. Joseph’s conversation was such that he didn’t need to have people check up on him. He lived daily following the Lord.
11. Did he make mistakes? Certainly he did.
12. The issue wasn’t the mistakes, but the overall life that he lived. He was the ultimate in stewards. He looked at everything under his authority as someone who had to give account of his time, energy, and efforts.
13. We know that this is like Jesus because He eventually gave an account to God as the sacrifice for man.
14. What about us? Joseph wasn’t promoted to head Potiphar’s house in a few days. It took time for him to attain that level of responsibility and fruit production.
15. It can take us a lifetime to reach some people. It can take a lifetime to make a measurable impact in some circles.
16. Remember that Joseph wasn’t looking to be put in charge of his master’s house he was only being faithful every day. His daily faithfulness made a way for the fruit of his future.