The Butler, The Baker, And The Beloved Son

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, November 16, 2003, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                                        Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                                        Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Gen. 40:1-23

Text: Genesis 40:23

Genesis 40:23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.

Introduction: One of the blessed aspects of digging into the word of God is studying what are known as “types” in the Bible. These types are
prophetic pictures, usually found in the Old Testament, of some New Testament person, place or thing. As I’ve said before, probably the
greatest PERSONAL type, or prophetic picture, of our Lord, in that so MANY of the events and characteristics of his life were prophetically
similar to those of our own Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, was Joseph, the son of Jacob. In today’s scripture reading we find Joseph in prison,
having been falsely accused of attempted rape of Potiphar’s wife. The story of Gen. 40 is very interesting, but I think there are some
additional things to the basic narrative that we should not neglect in our reading, for there are things that I believe point to JESUS in the
passage. Remember that He commanded:

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

and again in that chapter:

John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

It may be that the Lord spoke of Joseph in the prison when He met with two of His disciples after the resurrection,

Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

This morning I invite you to look with me in the story of


as we once again look in the writings of Moses to see what was written concerning JESUS!

First notice,


Genesis 40:1-3 And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of
Egypt. 2 And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. 3 And he put
them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.

There were THREE noted prisoners, even as there were THREE condemned men at Calvary, hanging on crosses.

 A. Their place was one of disdain
       1. Even as was the cross of Calvary
       2. The Bible says that Jesus despised the SHAME (Heb. 12:2)

B. Their prospect was dismal
       1. Even as it was at the cross of Calvary.
       2. Jesus was mocked by many of those who watched.
       3. His disciples fled

Do you see Jesus yet?

Second, please observe:


Genesis 40:15 For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into
the dungeon.

Of the three, one was not guilty of a crime! Remember:

Luke 23:40-41 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

A. He was the innocent favored son
       1. Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons.
       2. Matthew 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my         beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

B. He was the innocent future savior
       1. God was going to use Joseph to save the world from famine
       2. Likewise,
       3. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
       4. Matthew 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
       5. See also 1 Peter 1:18-19

Third, I hope that you can see in this passage, particularly the dream of the butler:


Genesis 40:9-11 And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; 10 And in the vine
were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: 11 And
Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.

A. The branches
       1. The BRANCH, as well as the vine (John 15:5), is a name for JESUS (Zechariah 3:8; Isaiah 11:1)

B. The bud
       1. A promise of LIFE (Jn. 14:6; 10:10)

C. The blood – grape juice

We also have in this passage:


Genesis 40:12-13 And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: 13 Yet within three days shall
Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when
thou wast his butler.

Jesus did this for one of the thieves on the cross:

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

The release was to be THREE days after the dream of the shedding of the blood of the grape. This reminds us of the Lord being THREE days and
nights in the heart of the earth to bring freedom! (Matthew 12:40)

A. He was freed from the shackles of the prison

B. He was freed for service in the palace!
       1. He was released and restored!
       2. “I am happy in the service of the king!”

In this case, it’s probably true that “the butler did it” (Romans 3:23) but he was forgiven, freed, and he faithfully served the king!


Genesis 40:14 But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:

3 things in this verse point to Jesus:

A. Remember – “But think on me”
       1. Communion

B. Repeat – “make mention of me”
       1. Conversation in soul-winning

C. Release – “bring me out of this house”
       1. The conversion of others
       2. Bring Jesus out of your house and into the world


Genesis 40:22 But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.

There were three crosses at Calvary:

A. The cross of reception

B. The cross of redemption

C. The cross of rejection


Genesis 40:23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.

Many who have been freed have forgotten:

A. The person of Christ

B. The pardon they received from Him

C. The purpose of their redemption – service

Luke 17:17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

In closing, let’s look at this:

1. Joseph asked to be remembered, but he was forgotten.
2. The dying thief asked to be remembered, and Jesus took him to Paradise.
3. The rich man in hell would like to forget, but he will remember forever. (Luke 16:25)

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