Scripture: Galatians 4:4
When the fullness of time came, God sent out His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.
During the silent era, things may seemingly look the bleakest.
However, if we examine closely, we can see God’s invisible and invincible hands moving behind the scenes, preparing the people and shaping different events to bring forth the fullness of time for the arrival of the Messiah, the new-born King.
I. GOD PREPARING THE WORLD
God worked through different ones, believers, and pagans, to prepare the world…
- Alexandra the Great unified the Mediterranean world.
- People started using common language, Koine Greek
- Caesar came into power and unified all provinces
- Pax Romana: “Roman peace”
- Built networks of roads & set up courier services
- Advanced the spread of gospel
- Severe oppression from the cruellest Romans
- Powerless and empty religions
- Increase in spiritual appetite for God
II. FAST FORWARD TO THE TIME LEADING TO BIRTH OF CHRIST
A. Angel Gabriel Appearing to Mary & Joseph
30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” (Lk 1:30-33)
Most would probably be stunned by such proclamation or fiercely challenged what was said. But Mary did not protest, not even murmur!
How will this be, since I am a virgin? (Lk 1:34)
I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.” (Lk 1:38)
Would we respond as readily as Mary when God reveal His plans and purpose for our life?
Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant and planned to send her away secretly. Then the Angel appeared to Joseph:
20 But when he had thought this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a Son; and you shall name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: 23 “Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they shall name Him Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Mt 1: 20-23)
In the Hebrew culture, couples were considered as husband and wife during their engagement. However, they were not permitted to have physical intimacy until after their wedding ceremony. But God intervened—the angel Gabriel appeared to Joseph in a dream.
Joseph’s response: He went straight away to receive Mary as His wife with no questions asked.
Joseph put his faith in God into action, “God said so, I believed it and that settles it!” Joseph obeyed God!
Remember that God is never surprised by our circumstances.
As the old hymn lyrics goes… “Trust and obey the Lord for there’s no other way! To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
B. Augustus’ Worldwide Taxation
1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all the people were on their way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Now Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David (Lk 2:1-4)
Caesar issued a decree to conduct a census throughout the Roman Empire
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. (Mic 5:2)
The Saviour of the world was born in Bethlehem:
While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Lk 2:6-7)
What was prophesied and promised through the ages was fulfilled! The Saviour and King is here!
He gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being (Php 2:7, NLT)
Let us reciprocate God’s love by loving Him with all our heart, mind, and soul.
Fix our eyes heavenward!
C. Announcement Made To The Shepherds
10 And so the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army of angels praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased.” 15 When the angels had departed from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem, then, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen Him, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. (Lk 2:10-17)
God desires us to spread the good news of His Son to everyone in our circles of influence.
D. The Discovery of The Wise Men
9 After hearing the king, they (the wise men) went on their way; and behold, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on ahead of them until it came to a stop over the place where the Child was to be found. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And after they came into the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary; and they fell down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And after being warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. (Mt 2:9-12)
The gifts that the wise men brought revealed 3 aspects of Christ’s identity: His Nobility, His Divinity and His Death
God has made everything beautiful for its own time. (Eccl 3:11)