No matter how many times I read these scripture passages, I still can’t find it in either one; self defense. I was looking for it in Joseph’s story, a little line someplace where it would say, “It wasn’t me. I would never do that to my master!” But it’s not there. There was no evidence in the text that suggests Joseph ever protested and made his case known to Potiphar that the words his wife spoke were really a lie. I wonder why. And then, of course, when Jesus is taken before Pilate, surely he would have come forth with the truth and set his accusers straight! But it’s not there, either.
“And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.” Mark 15: 1-5
When you read this, don’t you want to stand up and scream, “Stop! Nonsense! Injustice!” I know I do. Throughout both of these stories, over and over, my flesh screams those words. In my human and short sighted flesh, I cannot see the big picture when I read line by line of the journey the Lord called both Joseph and Jesus to. Both were highly favored sons who deserved so much more than what they received. Both were persecuted and tried unfairly. Both remained obedient and faithful throughout their entire journey on earth.
It’s amazing to me that God uses both the human and divine to show the faithfulness of his followers. Joseph, a human from start to finish, was on a similar path as Jesus. Reading their stories helps remind me that I can completely trust that “my thoughts are not his thoughts nor my ways are his ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are the Lord’s thoughts higher than my own. (Isaiah 55:8-9). His plans are bigger than anything I could ever think or imagine. When I step back and read the entire journey of Joseph or the entire story of Jesus, I can see the purpose, the silver linings, and the victories that are not seen in simply reading a line or section of scripture here or there. These examples are there to remind us that our stories may not be completed in any particular season of our lives or even in our lifetime. God’s plans are bigger than any one of us and affect others around us. There will come a day when we are able to look back and see the story that God has been writing in our lives. Will we remain faithful in the trials? Will we protest and stand up for ourselves just for our own sake or will we trust that the Lord has a greater plan? There will be times when we are called to speak up and other times, remain silent so that others “are amazed!”
I must remember that I am a favored daughter. I will experience many trials throughout my life and be called to walk difficult journeys and remain obedient. But just like Joseph and just like Jesus, “the Lord will be with me and show me steadfast love” (Gen 39:21).
Lord, thank you for your unfailing love and your plans that you have prepared in advance for me to do. Thank you for never leaving or forsaking me even when I don’t fully trust you. Lord, help me to trust the Holy Spirit’s whispers to be silent or to speak up with the injustices in my life and others around me. Amen.