The Fullness Of Time
There is a debate on the precise date of the nativity. Almost every scholar agrees that December 25 certainly was not the day that the angels announced the birth of the Redeemer to the shepherds “abiding in the field.” Whatever the date was, we do know that God sent His only begotten Son in the fullness of time.
The Old Testament Scriptures ended with the prophet Malachi’s prophecy, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD” (Mal. 4:5). For the next 400 years, God ceased to communicate through His prophets. During that time God was preparing the world for the advent of Christ. Jesus came in the fullness of time.
By the end of the silent years, the Greek language was for the most part the universal language. From one side of the Roman Empire to the other side, Koine Greek had become the language of the people. This meant that Paul could travel from Galatia to Macedonia and onto Rome preaching the gospel of grace, and the people would understand his words. It was the fullness of time.
Pax Romana, the peace of Rome, brought a political stability which made traveling through the vast Roman Empire easier for the disciples. The enormity of the Roman Empire necessitated a means of transporting troops quickly in order to address the slightest hint of insurrections. These highways needed to have Roman garrisons strategically located to help secure safe travel. This also assisted the evangelists of the first century. It was the fullness of time.
The Romans had perfected the methods of producing roads necessary for the movement of commerce, soldiers, and travelers. These highways were often stone-paved and cambered. Our roads today are cambered in the middle. Gravity forces the water to drain to the outside making our roads last longer. The Roman style of roads made worldwide evangelism easier. It was the fullness of time.
Nowhere is the proof that Jesus came in the fullness of time so evident as when we look at the spiritual condition of the world at that time. Through the influence of the Pharisees, scribes, Essenes, Zealots, Herodians, and Sadducees, we see that Judaism had wandered far from what was first established at Mount Sinai. So great was the difference that Jesus often referred to the Jewish feasts as “the feast of the Jews.” Added to backslidden Judaism, was the introduction of philosophy, Greek mythology, Gnosticism, and of course idol worship. Of the time of the advent of Christ, Isaiah the prophet wrote, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined” (Isa. 9:2). The word walked in the Scriptures is synonymous with the way a person lives his life. When God sent His only begotten Son, the world lived in great spiritual darkness. Then God sent the Light. It was the fullness of time.
We celebrate the birth of Christ only because of the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The first is a moot point if Jesus had not fulfilled the mission He came to do. “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal 4:4-5). It was the fullness of time.