“But when the time had fully come,
God sent his Son”
It was some 2000 years after God called Abraham and promised to bless all the families of the world through him. Now, Paul tells us, this was the right time. We do not know the full answer but there are certain factors that made this time suitable from a human perspective.
Firstly, there was a general peace in the Roman empire. The legions were everywhere keeping law and order and protecting travellers both on land and at sea.
Secondly, the common language of the empire was Greek – and the Old Testament in Greek, the Septuagint, was available.
Thirdly, there was an increasing spiritual hunger. The Roman gods had lost their appeal and the so-called mystery religions had a more personal appeal.
Fourthly, there were those who were attracted to the idea of the Jewish God and the high ethical standards that were a part of their faith.
Finally, Caesar had called for a census, and Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem where Jesus was born – just as had been prophesied.
Within this context Paul also was able to minister effectively and during a short period of ten years saw the church established in the four Roman provinces of Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia.
Certainly God had chosen a good time – and may well have been influential in bringing it about! And how blessed we are that some 2000 years later we can look back on it and enjoy the fullness of its meaning. We are about to celebrate Christmas – not the Christmas of the tubby man in a red suit and a white beard, with too much to eat and drink and expensive present that don’t last. Our celebration is of the appearance amongst us of a Saviour – a baby who grew to be a man, who died upon a cross and brought us the gift of eternal life in the light and love of Almighty God, our Father in Heaven. This was not Father Christmas but the reality of the Son of God Himself.
Don’t miss it!
“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Lord Jesus, enter more fully into my life to rule and reign there in the fullness of your light, life and love. Amen.