I want you to imagine the following:
And please, this is only hypothetical.
Suppose you have been in heaven from the very beginning.
At one stage God summoned you and requested you to be on the committee whose job it was to decide what the right time should be for Jesus to come to earth as the redeemer of the human race.
You have been given access to time itself and therefore you are able to look through all of time in order for you to make the appropriate decision.
You also have access to all the facts pertaining to each timeline you are investigating.
Any information you need are readily available to you.
What decision would you have made to determine when the best timing would be for Jesus to be born as the redeemer?
Would you have chosen the time Jesus came to earth to be the right time?
What time would you have chosen?
What about the time of David
Wouldn’t that have been a good time?
David was King and ruler.
He followed God to the end.
He would have had the ability to place Jesus on the throne and to give Him the rule.
Or maybe when Joseph was King.
Why not in this Century?
We have Television, Radio, Internet, Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook and many more ways that could have been used to introduce and market Jesus.
This would have been an appropriate timing for Jesus to come to earth as the redeemer, some might argue.
What time would you have chosen?
But Jesus did not come at the time when many might have thought would have been the appropriate timing.
And I can almost guarantee that not many, if any, would have chosen Jesus to come as the Redeemer at the time when He did come.
So why did God chose Jesus to come to earth at the time He did?
What is the significance of the TIMING of Jesus’ Birth?
This morning I am starting with the first part of our three part series on
“The significance of the Jesus’ Birth.”
Today I will be speaking on:
“The Significance of the TIMING of Jesus’ Birth.”
Next week and the week after that I will be speaking on:
“The Significance of the PLACE of Jesus’ Birth” and
“The Significance of the PURPOSE of Jesus’ Birth” respectively.
But let’s start with scripture first.
I will first read the scripture for our series and then the scripture for the sermon this morning.
Our scripture for this series can be found in:
Luke 2:1-7 KJV
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Our scripture for this Sermon can be found in
Galatians 4:4-5 KJV
(4) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
(5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
DEFINITION OF TIMING
Before we talk about the significance of the timing of Jesus’ birth, let’s first look at the definition of “Timing”.
Now according to the merriam-webster dictionary, timing is defined as:
“The ability to choose the best moment for some action, movement, etc.”
“The ability to select the precise moment for doing something for optimum effect”
So, when we speak about Jesus’ Birth, we would like to determine if there is any significance with regards to the timing of Jesus’ Birth.
Was it the “best moment” for the birth?
Did the timing of the birth have an “optimal effect”?
What was the significance thereof?
Our scripture this morning in Galatians speaks about the fullness of time.
What is the fullness of time as it relates to Jesus’ birth?
The Fullness of time
The fullness of time implies that God is in control of history.
It also implies that Jesus came in God’s timing.
In Mark 1:15 GW Jesus Himself said
"The time has come, and the kingdom of God is near. Change the way you think and act, and believe the Good News."
And in Ephesians 1:10 GW Paul writes
“He planned to bring all of history to its goal in Christ.”
The question, however, still remains:
Why did God send Jesus as the redeemer at the time He send Him?
Why did God send Jesus at the time He send Him?
Well, if you look at the historical background you would see that this was the optimal time for Jesus to have come to earth as the redeemer.
Here is some reasons:
• There was political piece on earth which was called the Pax Romana
• That meant that there was freedom of movement
• There was also Freedom of Religion.
• In fact, the Roman Empire was very lenient towards all religions.
• Greek was the universal language and most people on the then known earth could speak and understand the language.
• Because of the military influence there was roads and other infrastructure that was developed, which made travel so much easier and faster.
• This also included more developed sea travel.
• It was also the introduction of a postal service, which meant that communication was so much easier.
• And there was a religious and moral searching of the Mediterranean word for the true God and for fellowship with Him.
This was in God’s time when the new era was established by Christ’s coming.
This was the new covenant that came into being, meaning that the old covenant as a means of salvation, had ended in Christ.
God had timed this to perfection from the very beginning.
In the Beginning
Christ’s coming as the redeemer has been predicted in Genesis already:
Genesis 3:15 KJV
(15) And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
This was a prediction that Christ will one day be victorious over Satan.
And from the very beginning the coming of the Messiah was expected.
We see that, even with Eve’s first son, Cain, she thought that this son was the Messiah promised by God.
We read the following in Genesis 4:1 GW
Adam made love to his wife Eve. She became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "I have gotten the man that the LORD promised."
Eve thought that Cain was the Messiah, the Redeemer, the one who would crush the head of the serpent.
But, of course, he wasn’t.
And so, for thousands of years people were waiting for the coming of the Messiah.
But God was waiting for the “Fullness of Time”
He was only going to send His Son to earth when it would have the optimal effect.
He would only send His Son to earth when the timing was right.
And, as we all know today, God’s timing was spot-on.
Christianity grew to be the biggest religion on this earth.
Because of this timing the prediction that the Gospel would be spread to the ends of the earth, could be accomplished.
There needs to be a Waiting
Before God send Jesus to earth He waited for the best suitable time for Him to become the Messiah.
And, I belief that that it was, indeed, the optimal time for Jesus to have come to earth.
After all, God’s timing is always perfect.
We look at Joseph.
His brother’s sold him as a slave.
He was imprisoned.
He was humiliated and he suffered a great deal.
But in the end he became the second most powerful person in the world.
God’s timing was perfect when he allowed Joseph to be sold as a slave, because he had a bigger plan.
He needed one of His own on the throne.
We look at Esther.
God made sure that she was in the palace.
He made sure that she had favour with the king.
And when the enemy came to destroy God’s people, who was in the palace.
None other than Esther.
And the enemies’ plan backfired.
Haman wanted to destroy God’s people and he even erected a 75 foot pole that he wanted to hang Mordecai’s body on for all to see.
But in the end he himself was hung on that pole as a sign that God is victorious.
As a sign that God’s timing is always perfect.
She had to wait for the right time.
There needed to be a waiting period.
But in the end, after the waiting period was over, God’s timing was perfect.
We can look at Nehemiah
He heard that it wasn’t going well with the Jews who returned to Jerusalem.
He heard that they were living a very bad life because of the people surrounding them and the main reason was that there have not been a wall surrounding, protecting Jerusalem in a very long time.
At that stage Nehemiah was the cup bearer of the king.
He waited for the correct time before he went to the king to ask if he could go to Jerusalem to help in the erecting of the wall.
And because of the correct timing, he was able to get not only permission, but also assistance, form the king, in order for him to erect the wall around Jerusalem.
His timing was spot-on.
But we also see something very important in Nehemiah’s approach.
Before he went to ask the king for assistance, he first prayed about it.
That is the important thing to remember this morning.
Pray before you make a decision
In today’s world we live on fast everything.
We want fast food.
We want speed mail.
We want overnight delivery.
Everything in the shops are instant.
Instant coffee, instant mash, instant veggies.
It makes me think about this one guy who lived in a very poor country.
He had no idea what instant was all about.
He did not know about instant veggies as they had to grow and harvest and clean their own veggies.
He had no idea about a meat market where you can go and choose what meat you wanted.
He had to slaughter his own animals, clean them and cut them in pieces if they wanted to have meat.
Nothing in his country was instant.
So, one day, he got the opportunity to go to America.
Someone sponsored him.
You can imagine his surprise.
No longer was there a need to grow, harvest and clean your own veggies.
Everything was in a tin.
And when he entered the butchery he was amazed by all the different types of meat, just lying there to be bought, without any effort.
He was really amazed by everything instant, but there was one thing that really took his mind.
He said that everything was fantastic.
All these instant coffee, instant cool drink, instant veggies, instant meat, was fantastic.
But when he came to the packet that said instant Baby formula he thought to himself that this is where he draws the line when it comes to instant.
We do not want to wait for anything.
No one likes to wait in a line.
But sometimes we have to wait for God’s perfect timing.
Sometimes we have to sit back and say
“God, not my will, but Your will be done”
Only then can God’s perfect timing be realised in your life.
What does it mean to us today?
The message this morning is that God is concerned about every detail and aspect of your life.
His timing was not just relevant in Jesus’ birth.
It is relevant to you today as well.
In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount He said that no hair can fall from your head unless it is the will of the Father.
So, for those men who have become or are becoming bold, take solace in the fact that it is God’s will that you be bold.
That is how concerned He is about you and your life.
He wants to be a part of every aspect of your life.
That includes your time.
You know, it's an irony that sometimes the very time that you need to believe most that God is involved in the timing of your life is the time when it's hardest to believe that He's involved in the timing of your life.
And so the very surprising nature of the timing of the coming of the Christ ought to remind us to trust God with that.
There is a saying among the African American Christians that I particularly like:
“He may not come when you want Him, but He's always on time.” (We think about Lazarus being brought back to life)
When you go through troubled times you might think to yourself that God is not there.
He is late.
But let me tell you this morning, God is always on time.
His timing is perfect.
God was involved in every detail of Jesus’ birth.
And in that same way He is involved in every detail of your life.
And you know what’s strange.
Sometimes God will use your enemy to ensure that His timing is perfect.
He used the Roman Emperor to ensure that a census are held in order for the prophesies to be fulfilled.
He used the persecution of the Christians in Acts to ensure that the Gospel are spread to the ends of the earth.
In order for His timing to be perfect.
Today He uses your enemies in order for His timing in your life to be perfect.
So if you are going through troubled times, remember that God’s timing is always perfect.
Just as much care as God placed upon timing of the birth of Jesus, that same amount of care God places in the timing of your life.
You just need to submit to His timing.
You just need to ensure that you give Him all of your time.
But I know from first-hand experience, that it is hard sometimes.
There may be things, details in your life right now that are challenging you in terms of trusting God.
But I have some very good news for you this morning.
All of God’s people in all the ages could stand with you this morning and say,
We get it. It was the same with us.
But one thing not one of the people of God in all ages would ever tell you is this:
“I trusted God and He let me down.”
They might have wished that it was done in a different manner.
Even when Jesus was on earth He knew what He needed to go through and He even asked God to let the cup pass Him,
But only if it was God’s will.
And in the end, even if we go through those troubled times, if we trusted God with our time, we can stand back and say it was the perfect timing.
God’s timing is perfect.
He is faithful.
He is trustworthy.
I have previously shared my story with you of how my friend was shot dead next to me in Tembisa Township whiles I was a Policeman.
I often thought why God would allow me to go through those times.
Why would God let me experience the horror of seeing my friend bleed to death next to me?
Why would God take me through the valley of the shadow of death?
Because it was the right time.
His timing was perfect.
Today I can stand back and I can see where God moulded me into becoming His voice to others.
Before that incident I was reluctant to speak in front of other people, but because of that incident I was recruited to give training.
After all I had first line experience.
And I was sent on courses where I was taught how to speak to groups of people and how to give training to groups of people.
That formed me into what I am today.
I am still being formed every day.
And God’s timing in my life often times does not seem as if it is something I would have chosen for myself.
But I can always stand back and say that God’s timing is always perfect, no matter what you are going through.
The second coming of Christ
The Jews were waiting for the Messiah to come.
They tried to keep it to themselves that a redeemer would one day come to save them.
That was not the message that God wanted to be spread.
He wanted the world to know that a redeemer was coming to save all of mankind.
And the redeemer came.
Today we are waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
And it seems that the church have fallen back on their old ways in thinking that He is only coming for them.
They keep it to themselves.
They don’t spread it to the world.
We should tell people that Jesus is coming and when he comes it will be at the most optimal time.
His timing, as always, will be spot-on.
• Are you spreading the Good news to others?
• Are you telling them that Jesus is coming again?
• Are you telling them that God’s timing is perfect but that ours are not?
• Are you telling them that God’s time is forever, but we do not have forever to make a decision whether or not we will accept Christ as our saviour?
• And are you telling them that, depending on their decision, they will spent eternity in heaven or hell?
This morning I do not know what you are going through.
I don’t know in what situation you are in.
But what I know is this:
If you trust in God.
If you give Him your time.
Then everything will be perfect because God’s timing is perfect.
Therefore, when we look back at the timing of Jesus’ birth, we see that it was perfect.
Maybe this morning you feel that God has abandoned you in your life.
Maybe you feel that you have given Him everything, but your time.
I you feel that you what to give all your time to Him this morning.
If you say to Him this morning:
God, I give all of my time to you this morning, I want you to stand up and then proceed to the front.
In fact, if you are serious about your relationship with God, I would think that you would be the first in front.
But that is a personal decision that you need to make this morning.
I give all my time to You God
And I believe that your timing in my life would be perfect.