Museo dell'Opera del Duomo - Michelangelo's Pieta, detail. Self-portrait (as Nicodemus or Joseph of Arimathea), Christ, Mary (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Dave & Margie Hill / Kleerup

Joseph of Arimathea as a role model

Have you ever considered Joseph of Arimathea as a role model for your faith filled entrepreneurial life? I think he is a worthy choice, and here is why.

Joseph is mentioned in all four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) as the one who asked for the body of Jesus after his death on the cross. Each gospel account has some different information about Joseph, but if we consider them all together we get an image of him that, in my opinion, can inform our own entrepreneurial journeys.

Joseph was a member of the ruling council of the Jews. He did not vote with the council to have Jesus crucified. He was called a righteous man, and as one who looked toward the redemption of Israel. He was a disciple of Jesus. He was a rich man, and used his own expensive, rock hewn tomb for Jesus´s grave.

So, what do we make of Joseph, and what type of role model does he make for us?

  • Joseph was lifted up as a good, righteous man, who obviously had done well in business and life. That is what we aspire to in serving our clients. We became entrepreneurs so that we could make a positive, life giving impact on others.
  • It was rare to find a rich man seen in a positive light in the gospels. Tax Collectors gouged extra fees from the people. Soldiers extorted and terrorized the people for profits and power. Land ownership was where the people usually got their wealth, and so when one person bought another person´s land (because they fell into need), one became wealthy at the expense of the other. We are not told how, but Joseph was not that type of a rich man since he was remembered in such a positive way. We have a sense of wealth that was more like Joseph than the Tax Collectors and Soldiers. We see an abundance economy where we all can gain wealth together, especially when we give away much free content and over-deliver on our promises in the service of others.
  • Joseph served Jesus even in Jesus´ death. He gave his own tomb for his master and friend. We serve our clients with a passion to make the world a better place.

So, that´s my take on Joseph of Arimathea as a role model. What do you think? Leave a comment, and share this as you see fit. May God bless your faith filled serving.

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