Advent Day 03 -The Fullness of Time Continued
Well it’s almost here! As December rolls around on our calendars, the official December countdown to Christmas has begun. There is an unusual expectancy in the air this year. My neighborhood has already gone “over the top” in decorations. The time is ripe… for something.
There was a constant sense of expectancy in Israel in the days and years before Jesus’ nativity. Messiah had to come soon. God had promised His arrival from days of old. The prophets had prophesied. The conditions were right. And, indeed, they were.
“When the fullness of time had come…” Paul writes in Galatians. Why was this time the right time? History gives us some important clues:
- The Romans had conquered and, for all intents and purposes, tamed the known world. The “Pax Romana” (peace of Rome) lay like a blanket over Europe and parts of Asia.
- A system of roadways called “the Roman road” (any one of which would literally take you to Rome) crisscrossed the previously treacherous countryside.
- Unemployed Roman soldiers, idle due to lack of war, were put to work keeping the peace and protecting travelers on the roads from thieves and hijacking of goods being transported.
- A common language was shared, uniting the Greco-Roman world with “common” Greek; the language in which our New Testament would ultimately be written.
- The Jews had now received favored religion status under the Roman Empire, and they began an aggressive program of building synagogues in every city.
While others could be added, these realities alone show that the stage was set for Jesus to come. The conditions of the world would allow the Gospel to begin to travel to “the uttermost parts of the earth.” Missionaries could journey safely, protected by elite Roman soldiers. The common language would allow the pages of the New Testament to be written and understood by multitudes. And the synagogues became the first places for evangelism as the first Christians entered cities unreached by the Gospel.
How wise of God! These are just a few physical things that made the timing of Christ’s birth to be, well…perfect. It is so important that we learn to trust God when He says “wait,” or when He says “go.”
He knows when the time is right. And His timing is never wrong!