Joseph #1



Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Scripture Reference: Genesis 37. The story line here is very simple and the teens probably know it. Read it briefly. We meet here the sons of Israel. While their names may seem unimportant, actually we’ll meet them again and again as the tribes of Israel. Try 20 questions with Joseph, Reuben, Judah, and Benjamin (and add Potiphar for some spice, and Rachel, Leah, and Israel if there are lots of students). Add the sons to the family tree, being sure to note sons of Rachel (and her servants) vs. sons of Leah (and her servants).


  1. Service References: The services are full of references to the descendants of “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” and the genealogies show Jesus to be descended from Judah, older brother of Joseph, son of Leah. In the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, sung during the first week of Great Lent, St. Andrew laments: “I confess my sins to You, O Christ my King, like Joseph's brothers have I sold into slavery him who was chaste and pure.As an image of our Lord was that righteous soul cast out by his brothers and sold into slavery, while you, my soul, have sold yourself into your own evil hands.O suffering and hopeless soul, imitate the purity of mind in righteous Joseph, and do not sin by being led astray by irrational desires. Joseph's being placed in a pit formed an image of Your burial and resurrection, O Lord and Master. Will I ever be able to endure such things for Your sake?” – a question we can still ponder today. Am I more like the brothers, or becoming more like Joseph? In what way is the pit like the burial of our Lord?


  1. Discussion: Talk about dysfunctional families! This one is phenomenal! Be careful in this discussion since many of your students may be from families with divorces, splits, etc., also. Have the students describe their favorite memory of family life. Their least favorite? How would Joseph and his brothers have answered this same question? Do our families have a great influence over our future? A little? How important is the family? How has your family influenced you?

Joseph was a teenager when the events of this chapter occurred. Do teens have an obligation to their families? Brainstorm for particulars here. Families to their teens? Again, be specific. What sort of relationship should there be between brothers? Between parents and children? What is the reality in the family of Joseph? What is the reality in your family? Are you getting as much out of family life as you can? Are you giving as much as you can?

                        Whose “fault” was the events of the story? What part did Jacob play? Joseph? The brothers? How could each of them have changed their own behavior in such a way that the disastrous events of the end of the chapter could have been avoided? Looking back to each student’s least favorite family event (not necessarily out loud): Who played a role? How could things have been different? Is there a particular person or situation who seems to be the focus of the family’s problems?

                        We have Joseph’s family tree. What about doing a family tree for each student. Start in class with what the student knows – parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Take it home to work on with the parents for earlier generations.


  1. Close with prayer: Pray specifically for the person or situation the student has identified as a problem focus in his family.