Jesus Was Born “In The Fullness Of The Time”

As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
–Micah 5:2

In Galatians 4:4-5, Paul described the significance of Christ’s birth: “When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” In what way was it the right time for Christ to be born? There are four ways that it was the right time.

First, it was the right time politically for the birth of Christ. Rome was in control of the world. The Pax Romana, the Roman peace, ruled the world. The Romans built an intricate road system that would make the spreading of the gospel easy.

Second, it was the right time culturally for Christ’s birth. The world was becoming more unified. Most of the people in the world were speaking the same language, Koine Greek, which would make the telling of the gospel story and the writing of it in the New Testament much easier.

Third, it was the right time spiritually for the coming of Christ. The polytheism (worship of many gods) that was part of Roman and Greek cultures was giving way to a renewed interest in monotheism, the worship of one God. Not only that, after 400 years of spiritual drought among the Jewish people, there was a renewed interest in reading the Old Testament. That explains the ministry of John the Baptist. People were becoming interested in the Old Testament again.

Finally, it was the right time prophetically for the coming of Christ. The Old Testament contains over 300 prophecies about Christ’s coming into the world–prophecies about His birth, His life, His ministry, His death, and His resurrection. All the prophecies about the Messiah converged together that night in Bethlehem.

Let me point out one example of those amazing prophecies that were fulfilled. Micah 5:2 is a prophecy about the birth of Christ that was written 740 years before Jesus was born. That would be like somebody in the 1300s prophesying about where the next president of the United States would be born. “As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.” Bethlehem was an insignificant town, yet God pinpointed this small town as the place where Christ would be born.

Fast-forward 700 years. Half a continent away, the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, decided to conduct a census. The most powerful man in the world had no idea that his command would cause a man he had never met, Joseph, to travel to a village he had never heard of, Bethlehem, in order to fulfill a prophecy written 700 years earlier that the Savior of the world would be born.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Stable Theology” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2007.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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