“But think on me when it shall be well with thee … for indeed I have done nothing that they should put me in this dungeon”Genesis 40:14, 15 KJV
“Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you …and even here I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.” Genesis 40:14-15 NASB
One feels almost guilty of unholy criticism in pointing out any contrast seen with Joseph in the prison-house and with the Lord Jesus Christ. Joseph certainly manifested a sterling and consistent character, a humble and gracious manner, and was free of any rancor,bitterness, or questioning of God during his ordeal in prison. He served other prisoners – a position about as low as one could take. He did so with sensitivity and compassion as he saw their countenances. He faithfully interpreted their dreams. He receives high marks for his Christ-like bearing amidst the chains and irons of the prison-house. And yet there are a few small touches which highlight the moral beauty and superiority of the Savior.
He Proclaims His Innocence
We cannot impugn Joseph for mentioning that he was innocent. “I have done nothing” was an honest and true statement. All of us would have protested our innocence long before this. We would have to own that this is the natural thing to do.
Yet the Lord Jesus never protested His innocence. It was left to Pilate, “Nothing worthy of death is done unto Him”(Luke 23:15); to the thief: “This Man hath done nothing amiss” (v 41); and to the centurion: “Certainly, this was a righteous Man” (v 47). God extracted from some of the most unlikely sources, the declarations of the innocence of His Son.
He Protests His Imprisonment
Joseph said that he had done nothing worthy of being “in this dungeon.” If we understand the variant readings of Psalm 105,they had a shackle about his neck and his feet and hands were in irons (vv17-19). Another reading is that “the iron entered into is soul” (v 18 Newberry). His suffering was intense and crushing. We can never fault him for mentioning the injustice he was enduring.
But the Lord Jesus never protested the treatment He received. In the words of Isaiah, He was as a “sheep dumb before His shearers,” Who did not open His mouth. Neither a word of protest, nor a word of spite came from His lips.
He Petitions for Intervention
Joseph in need, bound between two prisoners,appeals to one for help. In contrast, the Lord Jesus was still the source of help for the thief on the cross. He did not ask the thief to remember Him; but the thief knew that the Man being crucified next to him, in apparent weakness and defeat, was still the fountainhead of all help.
Joseph sought intervention when the butler returned to his high position in the court of Pharaoh; Christ left all intervention to His Father.
The Lord Jesus never asked anyone to pray for Him, never asked a question to gain information, and never requested anything (even in John 4), for His own use.