Read: Luke 2:1-7
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son. (Gal. 4:4)
The apostle Paul says that Jesus was born in “the fullness of time,” that is, at just the right time, when everything was perfectly ready for his advent into the world. Preachers often ask what made this the right time. Answers tend to include things like Roman law and power, which unified the Mediterranean world, or the Roman road network, which made travel easier for the early missionaries, or the widespread use of the Greek language, which enabled the apostles to preach and teach everywhere and facilitated the writing of the New Testament.
But thinking along those lines just raises more questions. Like, why didn’t he come sooner, when there were only a few people in the world, all living together and speaking just one language? Or if he was going to wait, why didn’t he wait until the 16th century when the invention of the printing press made Bibles more plentiful? Or what about the 20th century? If he had come then, Jesus could have gone on television!
The fullness of time doesn’t refer to our time or to any factors we might identify that would make it seem just right for the incarnation. Paul is talking about God’s time. It was when the time was ripe for God’s purposes that Caesar Augustus decided he needed a census of his empire, and unwittingly set that whole plan in motion.
We can’t understand the when of it. We can only rejoice at the wonder of his coming, and adore. —David Bast
As you pray, welcome the Christ.