Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Joseph and Jesus

Joseph and Jesus Parallels

1. Both Born Through Miracles

a. Joseph - Rachel couldn't get pregnant Gen 30:22-24

b. Jesus - Born of a Virgin - Matthew 1:18-23

2. Beloved of the Father

a. Joseph - Coat of Many Colors Gen 37:3

b. Jesus - Beloved of the Father, Glorious Light Robe

3. Sent by the Father

a. Joseph - Sent to Check on the Brothers. Gen 37:13

i. Jacob: Aren't your brothers in 'shechem.

ii. Response: I will go.

b. Jesus

i. Father: Isn't mankind in trouble?

ii. Response: I will go!

iii. Hebrews 10:5-7 - Lo I Come!

4. Both were Shepherds

a. Joseph Genesis 37:2

b. Jesus: The Great Shepherd of the Sheep of God

5. Both went to Egypt...in their youth...to avoid being killed.

a. Joseph - as a slave. - Travels

i. In Canaan

ii. Into Egypt

iii. Out of Egypt...to Caanan to bury father

iv. Back to Egypt

v. Bones out of Egypt

b. Jesus - as an infant....Went to Egypt

i. Came out of Egypt Again.

c. Jesus - Bigger Picture

i. In Heaven

ii. In Earth (Egypt) - Land of Slavery

iii. To Heaven...Resurrected...

iv. To Earth - Second Coming

v. To Heaven....with the Captives.

6. Both Began Life Work at 30 Years of Age

a. Joseph - Genesis 41:46

b. Jesus - Luke 3:23

7. Both Lives Affected by Dreams

a. Joseph

i. His Own Dreams

ii. The Butler/Baker Dreams

iii. Pharaoh’s Dreams

b. Jesus

i. Joseph's Dreams

1. Take Mary

2. Leave Bethlehem

3. Safe to Go Home

8. Both had visions about the future

a. Joseph: His Brother's Bowing to Him

b. Jesus: Matthew 24 - the future of his "brothers" - Israel/Church.

9. Both were hated/Despised by their brothers.

a. Joseph - Genesis 37:8

b. Jesus - Matthew 13:55-57

c. Jesus - hated by his countrymen.

10. Both were conspired against...to death

a. Joseph - Genesis 37:18-19

b. Jesus

11. Both motive for the sale... was for personal gain

a. Judah - What profit is it to kill him?

b. Judas - What will you give me to hand him over?

12. Both were sold for a slave's price

a. Joseph - 20 pieces of silver

b. Jesus - 30 pieces of silver.

13. Betrayed by Judah/Judas

a. Joseph - Judah...suggested the sale Gen 37:26

b. Jesus - Judas Iscariot

14. Both were tried to be freed by a weak leader

a. Joseph - Ruben Genesis 37:21, 29-30

b. Jesus - Pilate

15. Both had people tear their garments over them.

a. Joseph: Ruben - Genesis 37:29

b. Joseph: Jacob: Genesis 37:34

c. Jesus: Caiaphas, in the trial.

16. Both wore valuable garments

a. Joseph: Gen 37:3 Coat of Many Colors.

b. Jesus: Valuable...so it was gambled for.

17. Both were stripped of their garments

a. Joseph - Genesis 37:23

b. Jesus - prior to the cross.

18. Both have their garments bloodied...and given to another.

a. Joseph - Genesis 37:31, 32

b. Jesus - in Gethsemane...his own blood

c. Jesus - put his robes back on...after the floggings.

d. Then...another was presented with that robe.

19. The Goat Blood

a. Joseph: Coat Bloodied by Goat Blood

b. The Passover Lamb - from the sheep or goats Ex 12:5

c. Jesus: The Lord's Goat, Lev 16

d. Jesus: Blood of the Covenant on the Cross!

20. Both descended.....to a very low point

a. Joseph - slave, prisoner....

b. Jesus...human, death, cross death -

21. Both had dealings with two prisoners

a. Joseph...butler and the baker Genesis 40:4-5

b. Jesus Matthew 27:38

22. "Remember Me"

a. Joseph asks the Butler to remember him...and he finally did. Gen 40:14, 23

b. Thief asks Jesus to remember him...and he will.

23. One of those prisoners was bad and the other turned out friendly/good/saved.

a. Joseph - One convicted/executed, one helps him later.

b. Jesus - One: Curses Him. One: Remember me.

24. Both thrown into a Pit

a. Joseph: Genesis 37:24

b. Jesus - Into a Tomb.

25. Implication - 3 days and 3 Nights in the Pit.

a. Joseph: ? Jewish Legend

i. Passage of Time from Time Joseph left father....

ii. Until Brothers Return with Joe's bloody tunic....

b. Joseph: 3 Day Sequence for the Butler and Baker Genesis 40:12, 18, 20 "On the Third day..."

i. Restoration on the 3rd Day!

c. Joseph: Put Brothers in Prison for Three Days Genesis 42:17

d. Jesus: 3 days and 2 Nights.

e. One wonders if Jesus knew he'd be in the tomb three days and three nights...because of Joseph's Story. - Usually over looked.

f. Lots of Other 3 Day Events in the Bible

i. Jonah in the Fish

ii. Esther: Fasting for 3 days.

iii. Joshua 2 - Spies told to hid in the mountains 3 days.

26. Judah Disgraced for Not Doing Their Duty

a. Jesus - Genesis 38 - The Whole Story of Tamar -Judah Fails!

b. Jesus: Israel disgraced for the Rejection of Jesus Messiah. Judah Fails!

27. Both Were Victorious over Strong Temptations

a. Joseph - Potipher's Wife....several times - Gen 39

b. Jesus - Satan's Temptations Matthew

28. Persecuted by False Witnesses

a. Joseph - Potipher's Wife

b. Jesus - The False Witnesses of the Trial - We heard him say this.... Matthew 27:12-14

29. Both highly exalted

a. Joseph - Right Hand of the King of Egypt

b. Jesus - Right hand of the Father, Enthronement of Jesus!

30. Both Get a New Name

a. Joseph - Zathanathpeneah -

b. Jesus: Name No One Knows.... Rev 3:12

31. Both Get Married!

a. Joseph - Azanath - daughter of a pagan priest Gen 41:45

i. Children become Tribe - Manassah

b. Jesus - The Gentile Bride = The True Israel

i. Children: True Israel

32. The Son's Names

a. Manasseh - Forget

b. Ephraim - Fruitful

c. Jesus: Cause us to

i. forget the affliction of sin....

ii. and be fruitful in the Lord's work.

33. "Bow the Knee"

a. Joseph: This was the herald's command Gen. 41:43

b. Jesus: Every knee shall bow to him. Phil 2:9

34. "Do What Ever He Tells You."

a. Joseph: Genesis 41:55

b. Jesus: John 2:5

35. Both Miraculously Fed the World

a. Joseph through 7 years of planning in the plenty

b. Jesus...through 7 loaves and 2 fish

c. Jesus...through him being the bread of life.

36. Both are Wise and Capable

a. Joseph - The Tests were Brilliant

b. Jesus - Wise and Capable. Testing Humans Differently

37. Both Test their Brothers

a. Joseph - The Tests: Money, Brotherly Affection

b. Jesus - Tests the Heart Change.

i. Investigative Judgment!

38. There is only proper one response in the Judgment

a. Judah - Genesis 44:16 - There is nothing we can say...what can we speak? How can we justify ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants. We're all your slaves."

b. Us - We can plead nothing....other than our great sin. God has found out our iniquity. God has paid the penalty for our iniquity.

39. Judah - Internal Type of Jesus

a. Lion from the Tribe of Judah - Revelation 4/5

b. Judah: Genesis 44:18-34 - You'll be enslaving me!

c. Jesus - The Substitute - I'll take your place!

40. Both Weep as they Forgive those who Wronged Them

a. Joseph: Genesis 45:1,2

b. Jesus: Triumphal Entry

c. Jesus: in Gethsemane

41. The Reveal

a. Joseph: To His Brothers

b. Jesus: To Disciples, Resurrection Morning.

42. Both Offer Forgiveness to their Persecutors

a. Joseph: Genesis 45:1-14,

b. Jesus: Father Forgive them...they don't know what they do. Luke 23:34

43. Both...those who plotted his death...bowed before him.

a. Joseph: Brothers Bow...3 occasions

i. Visit 1 - Genesis 42:6

ii. Visit 2 - Genesis 43:26

iii. Confrontation: Genesis 44:14

b. Jesus - Every knee will bow

44. The Supper!

a. Joseph

i. Gen 43:16 - Slay and Make Ready

ii. Gen 43:24 - Foot Washing

iii. Gen 43:31 - Serve the Meal

iv. Gen 43:33 - Seating Arrangement

v. Gen 43:32-34 - feasted and drank freely

b. Jesus - Last Supper

i. Make Ready

ii. Foot Washing

iii. Serve the Meal - Bread and Wine

c. Jesus - Next Supper

i. He's making it Ready

ii. Foot Washing

iii. FEAST!

45. Both Say "I will provide for you."

a. Joseph: Genesis 45:11

b. Jesus: John 14:1-3 : I go to prepare a place for you.

46. Both made mention of their bodies after death.

a. Joseph: Don't leave me here. Take me with you. Genesis 50:25

b. Jesus: The son of man will rise again.

c. Jesus...rose and went to the heavenly Canaan.

d. We...ought to make mention of our bones...to Jesus.

e. When you it's time to go to heaven...please take my bones.

f. And Jesus shouts back... "I will not just take your bones...but your sinews, your muscles, your stomach, your heart, your teeth, your tongue, your brain. I'm taking all of you to glory...Alive!)

47. Both Accomplish a Great Deliverance

a. Joseph: Genesis 45:7

b. Jesus: Remnant Preserver on the Earth. Keep you alive...Salvation. Hebrews 2:3

48. Fitting Ending Words to the Great Controversy

a. Joseph - Genesis 50:19, 20

i. What was meant for evil...God meant for Good.

ii. To Bring about this result....

iii. Preserve many people alive.

iv. Don't be afraid. I'll provide for you.

b. Jesus

i. What Satan meant for evil...God has meant for Good.

ii. To bring about this result - you in heaven. Safe. Fed. Secure.

iii. To preserve many people alive!

iv. Don't be afraid.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Found on CNN

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is being confronted with what it's stance will be on the issue of homosexuality. The issue is coming or already here. The church I love is already split on so many issues: women in ministry, drums in church, religious drama, coffee, etc.

I found the following on CNN...and though I didn't read it all...it is a good overview of the issue for our day that is staring my little branch of the Christian church right in the face.

My Take: Why Christians are embracing their LGBT neighbors

Editor’s note: Ross Murray is director of religion, faith and values at GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

By Ross Murray, Special to CNN

America is embracing its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens. Don’t believe me? Just look at the progress being made in faith communities.

The Christian church was once considered the final holdout for those who oppose equality for LGBT people. Staunch believers could gather in worship with people who thought just like them to hear sermons affirming the anti-LGBT beliefs they held in common.

For those of us who identify as LGBT, church was a place of fear and secrets. We had to figure out how to hide ourselves or how to find a more welcoming community.

But that is changing.

Although there is still a variety of scriptural interpretations, an increasing number of Christians are reading scripture and understanding that God’s design for the world includes LGBT people. It follows, good Christians believe, that if God made them, then I am called to love and support them.

Whole Christian denominations have accepted and embraced the reality of LGBT believers within their ranks and in their leadership. Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, the United Church of Christ and Unitarians have formally accepted LGBT people within their denominations.

Even within denominations and faith groups whose policies don’t fully welcome LGBT people, there are growing numbers of people who have learned to love and accept their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters.

The Public Religion Research Institute found this year that as many as 71% of Catholics in America support lesbian and gay people, even up to the point of civil marriage, despite the Roman Catholic hierarchy telling them otherwise.

Of course, there still are Christian groups who work actively against equal protections for LGBT people and their families.

Indeed, as more Americans get to know and love their LGBT neighbors, the messages and vocal misinformation of anti-gay activists become even more shrill.

And yet more and more Christians are now living out the message of 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”

How did this happen? More Christians now know someone who is LGBT. They probably even know someone from their church. There are countless faithful Christians who identify as LGBT.

These are folks who have found their faith in God to be stronger than the opposition of vocal anti-gay activists.

These LGBT Christians have shared their lives and their stories that build up love and break down fear, leading to tangible progress, especially with young people.

According to the Public Religion Research Institute, there is at least a 20-point gap between those ages 18 to 29 and those ages 65 and older on every public policy measure in the survey concerning equality for gay and lesbian people, with younger Americans gravitating toward equality.

Even Christian-identified young people increasingly support protections for lesbian and gay people, the same survey found.

Those who oppose equality can call it what they like, but the reality is that we are living in a society that has learned how to value LGBT people as they would others.

That attitude doesn’t rely on fear or lies, but on caring relationships and trust. It lives out the apostle Paul’s wish for the Corinthians that someday we will know fully, even as we are fully known. It is a biblically informed reality that is helping to make the world a better place.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ross Murray.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oh, To Be Like Jesus

We all want to be like Jesus, and yet we so often fall short. Recently I saw a list, and thought I’d modify it and add to it…by reflecting on the many differences between Jesus’ ministry and my own.

Jesus of Nazareth * Pastor Kris Widmer

Born in Bethlehem * Born in Loma Linda

Son of the Everlasting Father * Son of my father, who died in 2007

Baptized in the Jordan * Baptized in a baptistery

Walked on Water * Often "skating on thin ice."

Rebuked the Wind * Wears a windbreaker

Changed Water to Wine * Changes Water into Lemonade

Welcomed Strangers * Is occasionally strange

Cursed a fig tree * Kills house plants

Fed 5,000 people * Attends potluck, dish in hand.

Saw Nathaniel under fig tree * Sees the world through CNN

Healed servant at a distance * Can use the remote control

Prayed, instead of sleeping * Sleeps, instead of praying.

Stomped the serpent’s head * Has a snake as a pet

Cast out the darkness * Relies on a night light

Gave sight to the blind * Worked at blind camp

Raised a man, dead for 4 days * Planned a funeral in 4 days.

Overturned the money tables * Sets up foyer tables.

Anointed with costly perfume * Wears cheap cologne

Cast demons into pigs * Believes pork is of the Devil

Friend of tax-collectors * Was audited in 2003

Cleansed lepers * Has changed dirty diapers

Stands at the door and knocks * Got locked out of own office

Observed the Widow’s mites * Picks up pennies in parking lots.

Was falsely arrested * Was “unfairly” ticketed for speeding

Preached a Sermon at Olivet * Preached a sermon, all of it!

Died on a cross * Is occasionally cross

Saved the World! Serious!* Watched the World Series

As you can see, I still have a long ways to go in my Christian life. I fail miserably at the goal of being like Jesus, in many more serious ways. That’s why I need to hang around other sinners in the church, so I can set a good example of being a poor example…and perhaps be an encouragement to others who are trying to muddle along through life too.

So…be gracious to yourself and those around you. Nobody’s perfect.

I can’t wait for the day when Jesus will come and change this flesh and blood into perfection.

Be Positive and Encouraging,

O. Kris Widmer


Monday, October 24, 2011

First Person Sermon

Last Sabbath, I had the joy of preaching in the "First Person, Dramatic Narrative Homiletic Form", which is just a technical term for "Role Play" Sermon or "Story" Sermon. For the brief moments of a sermon, instead of talking about the Bible...one gets to see the Bible come alive...hence my working title for these sermons as "Bible Alive."

For 27 years, I've had the joy (and sorrow) of working at the craft of writing and presenting these special forms of preaching. Rather than the usual "three points and a poem" type of sermon, these sermons draw in the listening into the Bible story through the verbal material that is story in content and from the perspective of the Bible Character.

The first sermon I can remember writing is one that I still do. Nicodemus, on the morning of the Sabbath, when Jesus lay in the tomb. It continues to be one of my favorites, one that I've preached many times to this day. At first, these sermons were delivered behind the pulpit in a suit and tie. Later, in 1993, through the encouragement of friends, I added the costume element to the sermon form.

To date, there are are over 50 first person dramatic narrative sermons that I've had the joy of presenting...at least once.

Last Sabbath, October 22, 2011, I had the joy of doing a "History Alive." For the first time, presenting a historical character, this time being Hiram Edson, a person from the early days of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was such a blessing reading, writing, figuring out the different scenes that suggested themselves, buying costume elements at Goodwill stores, selecting songs to sing during the presentation, and finding the props needed to tell the amazing story of "The Great Disappointment." The Morning After.

For this presentation, rather than working alone, I included 3 of the youth of my church as well: Robell Nyirendah, played the part of the Daniel 2 Image, Emil Samuel played the part of King Nebuchadnezzer, and Augustin Cordaba-Chang played the part of Daniel. They did a fantastic job being the "eye candy" illustration while "Hiram" preached his revival "sermon" within the sermon.

I praise God for the successful creation and presentation of this message, and for a wonderful facility to present such worship offerings to God and the church...and for a wonderful church family that values creative...out of the box...ministry.

Love to All

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stuck in the Mud

This morning when I drove up the driveway to the church, on of the large trailers, loaded with construction parts and tools, etc., was leaning over on it's right side toward the roadway. With all the recent rains, the front support had sunk down in the softened earth. The rear wheels too had caused a depression up to their axles. It was stuck in the mud, and the crew would spend most of the day getting it out.

Some people are like that. Stuck in the mud. They can't seem to get going in a productive direction. They are held fast by results of the storms of life, paralyzed into inactivity. Some are stuck in the past ways of doing things, and they can't seem find away to get up with the times of today. Some are stuck in their mire of seriousness, and they can't find time to smile and be friendly. Some are stuck in the muck of spiritual coldness, and they can't make it to the warmth of the Lord.

So next time you're at church, and someone looks at you funny or criticizes something you do or someone you love...remember. There are many people at church...yes church too...who are just stuck in the mud.

Pray that God's crew of angels will somehow and some way find the time to help them get unstuck...and make sure that you don't fall into the same pit.

God Bless You.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Regarding the Earthquake, Tsunami, etc.

Permit me a few words of theological reflection about the recent earthquake and tsunami destruction in Japan. We have all been shocked and amazed at the 9.0 quake, the resulting tsunami wave and even the nuclear plant crisis that are affecting our global economy and creating a sense of fear in the hearts of humans world-wide.

Some people say it’s a sign of the end of the world. Our Adventist heritage leads us to say such things about every world event – disasters that are natural or man-made. And indeed the earth is growing old, like a garment filled with holes (Isaiah 51:6). However, Jesus said in Matthew 24 that when we see natural disasters, and he specifically mentions earthquakes, we should not get too excited or finalize our end time chart…for “the end is not yet” and “it’s just the beginning of earth’s ‘birth pains.’” vs 6-8

In the same way, we can’t conclude that Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans is the judgment of God upon that city’s wanton sensuality and drunkenness or the Haiti Earthquake is God’s wrath visited upon a nation filled with voodoo. If these conclusions were accurate, then San Francisco should have certainly been hit with another city-destroying quake in the years since 1906…and the Loma Prieta doesn’t count!

I am certainly not a scoffing skeptic that says “Don’t get excited. All things are of natural processes. All things continue this way since the beginning of the world.” Such a sentiment is found in 2 Peter 3:4.

The Bible describes a time when God destroyed the world with THE flood (Noah), and mentions some times when God destroyed individual geographic locations (Sodom, Jericho), but these are few and far between.

It seems from 2 Peter 3:7…that the earth and even the surrounding heavens are “reserved” unto the destruction of fire. I’m not sure God’s intent is so much to destroy parts of the earth a little at a time…but to do it all at once…at the end.

If one concludes that this disaster is an intentional act of God’s wrath…than one must also conclude that all disasters, including 9/11 are acts of God’s wrath. And one must also conclude a destroying forest fire or a tornado are the same. One must even conclude that burst water pipe (while you are on vacation) or even an individual house fire are also acts of God’s wrath.

God can’t both be loving, having died for the sins of humanity and then delaying the end of all things and the coming of the Christ so that more people can be saved…and be the vengeful destroyer, vibrating islands here and there inflicting pain on humanity just to get there attention.

So what is the lesson in tragedy? I have found great comfort in Luke 13:1-5. Jesus draws a lesson from two horrible events - the man-made deaths of temple worshipers and the unfortunate victims of a tower collapse. His point: When you see disaster(s), remember that life is short…and you should repent and be right with God.

Don’t label it a sign of the end. Don’t add another item to your prophetic chart. Just repent. Don’t pray for God to rain his judgments on another wicked city…for perhaps someone are praying right then for God to rain down judgment on YOU…and in mercy God ignores their prayers!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

As Valentine Day Approaches


The concept wasn’t thought up by St. Valentine or by some mythical cupid with wings and arrows. It wasn’t even something that man though up, back in the distant past.

No. Love is a God idea. “For God so loved the world...”

For God so loved the world that God created it in the first place. God looked out over the billion of spaces in space and said “Here shall be this planet.” It shall be amazing. It was out of love that God made this world...and us on it.

For God so loved the world that God warned the first couple to stay away from the one spot they could be tempted by the leader of the rebellion. “Stay away from there and you’ll be fine. Trust me.” It was out of love that God sought to preserve the perfection God has made.

For God so loved the world that God came looking for the newly naked pair of sinners, and listened to them as they hurled accusations at each other. God loved them enough to go looking for them, when their sin separated themselves from God and each other. It was out of love that God looked in those bushes.

For God so loved the world that God shared shared an immediate promise of The Redeemer. “He shall bruise your head, Serpent.” It was out of love that the Lamb was as good as slain.

For God so loved the world that God choose Abraham and Sarah to be a special missionary people, to share God’s message and to be the tribe of the Messiah. It was out of love that God said “Leave Babylon...and come to the land I’ll show you.”

For God so loved the world that God gave The Son to come into our world...to show us what God’s love is like. Serving. Listening. Healing, Helping, Teaching, Confronting, Humbling, Dying. It was out of love that Jesus came.

Do you love God? Than you MUST love your fellow man. It’s required and not an option. “The one who says he loves God...and doesn’t love his fellow man, makes God to be a liar.”

And your love for others must be the same: Giving, Smiling, Forgiving,

Love. It’s a God thing.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year

Hope you have a great new year....but you probably won't.

Sorry to be a bit depressive...but that's the way it goes sometimes.

Take for instance the Bramham family. Accident 2 hours before 2011 started. A father killed. A wife and kids in mourning. Sad.

And my own mother. December was marked by blockages of her circulatory system. It's prime symptom is a toe that is in jeopardy of being amputated. January 2 found her in the operating room, getting 7 incisions on her right leg in a fem-pop procedure to bypass clogged tubing.

I hope you have a happy new year...but if you chances are it won't all be happy.

So just be aware of that face...and roll with the punches 2011 throws at you.

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