Summary: We must trust God with our life. This sermon used to support our church moving forward into a new building due to God given growth.
Title: Joseph-Fullness of Time
Text: Galatians 4.4
CT: We must trust God with our life.
FAS: Here is a story about a married woman who decided to go on her own private vacation to Europe. She went from the Midwest to London and then she was planning to go to Paris, Rome, and Vienna. When she got to London she called her husband back home in the Midwest and said, "How are you doing?" Her husband said, "I'm doing fine but our cat Lucy died." So his wife starts bawling her eyes out on the phone. But when she regains her composure, she says, "You insensitive brute of a man, why did I ever marry someone like you? You just have no concern about my feelings."
The husband said, "Well, what was I supposed to have said?"
The wife thinks for a moment and she says, "Well, when I got to London and I called you as I just did, you could have said, 'Lucy, our cat is on the roof.' When I got to Paris you could have said, 'Lucy, our cat fell down from the roof.' When I got to Rome you could have said, 'Lucy's not doing so well.' When I got to Vienna you could have said, 'Lucy died.'" Then the wife said, "By the way, how is mother?" The husband responded, "She's on the roof." That wife thought her husband had bad timing insofar as delivering news.
LS: Have you ever been in a situation in your life where you felt the timing of
something was bad?
In a debate with the atheist (and now deceased) Christopher Hitchens, William Lane Craig noted how Christ's arrival on earth occurred at the perfect time. Craig said:
Human beings have existed for thousands of years on this planet before Christ's coming. But what's really crucial here is not the time involved; rather, it's the population of the world. The Population Reference Bureau estimates that the number of people who have ever lived on this planet is about 105 billion people. Only two percent of them were born prior to the advent of Christ. Erik Kreps of the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research says, "God's timing couldn't have been more perfect. Christ showed up just before the exponential explosion in the world's population."
The Bible says in the fullness of time God sent forth his Son, and when Christ came, the nation of Israel had been prepared. The Roman peace dominated the Mediterranean world; it was an age of literacy and learning. The stage was set for the advent of God's Son into the world. And I think in God's providential plan for human history, we see the wisdom of God in orchestrating the development of human life and then in bringing Christ into the world in the fullness of time.
William Lane Craig, "Does God Exist," Reasonable Faith (4-9-09); source: Erik Kreps quoted in Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great About Christianity? (Tyndale, 2007), p. 64.
I wonder how Jesus' mother Mary felt when the angel Gabriel approached her when she was about 14 or 15 years old and told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her. Mary would be impregnated supernaturally and be the mother of the Savior of the world. At the time, Mary was not married, was betrothed to be married, and lived in a much more conservative culture than our own. For Mary to become pregnant out of wedlock would have ushered her into scandal. To make matters worse, in her ninth month of pregnancy Mary had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem with her fiancé Joseph because Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the Roman world.
The timing of Mary's pregnancy, if we focus the camera just on her, seems really bad. She doesn't complain, but things seem really bad. From God's perspective, the timing was perfect. [Screen 3]
(Read Galatians 4:4) But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman.
'Fullness of time'
What does this expression mean, "When the fullness of time was come God sent forth his Son"? Well, the expression of "fullness of time" means when the time was ripe, and when the time was perfect, God sent forth his Son to be the Savior of the world.
Throughout history, God had been whispering, promising, and suggesting that he would send a Savior. In the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned and fell away from God, they experienced a sense of alienation between themselves and God, and between each other and with their own hearts. God promised that he would send a Savior for them and for all humanity.