Summary: In "the fullness of time" God sent His Son, Jesus to the earth as a babe in a manger. This devotional (before a Communion Service) explores HOW God prepared the world for Jesus.
“What If There Were No Christmas?”
INTRODUCTION: Read Galatians 4:4-5
Christmas is this Thursday. We have waited 361 days for it. It seemed like it would never get here … and NOW … it’s coming too fast!
It’s not easy to forget Christmas … VISA keeps reminding you … for months to come! One man received his Visa bill from last Christmas. There was a not attached: “This bill is now 1 year old!” He sent it back with a note: “Happy Birthday, Bill!”.
BUT … what if there hadn’t been that FIRST Christmas? Have you ever thought about that? What if there had never been a Christmas? What if Jesus had never been born? What if God was still waiting to send His only begotten Son to the earth?
Aren’t you glad we’ve had 2000 Christmas’? Maybe this evening, we can get a new appreciation of what God did 2000 years ago on the very FIRST Christmas.
Read Galatians 4:4 again.
BUT … What if the “fullness of time” hadn’t come yet? There are 2 POINTS I want us to look at this morning:
o The Time Was Ready
o Jesus Was Ready
I. THE TIME WAS READY – “In the fullness of time”
There was 400 years of silence between the Old Testament and the New Testament … between Malachi & Matthew. There were no Prophets … no Scripture was written … Heaven seemed silent. God was preparing the earth for the coming of His Son, Jesus.
God was preparing the earth so that WHEN Jesus came, the Gospel could be spread throughout the whole world. God spent the “silent” 400 years preparing HISTORY for the birth of Jesus.
How did God prepare the world for the birth of His Son, Jesus?
1.- God Used The Greeks
Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, thus ruling over the Jews in 333 BC. God said: “I want a UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE, so when Jesus is born, everybody can hear about My Son’s birth.”
When the Greeks conquered the world, the Greek language became the universal language. Everybody knew a little Greek. They read and wrote Greek. All legal documents were in Greek. I studied Greek in Bible College. WHY? Because the New Testament is written in Greek.
Pilate wrote an inscription over the cross of Jesus: “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” … written in GREEK, Hebrew & Latin. Everybody knew a little Greek (like English today).
The Disciples could take the message of Jesus to the whole world … BECAUSE … there was a UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE.
2.- God Used The Romans
In 63 BC, the Romans conquered the Greeks. God said: “I want a UNIVERSAL PEACE so the news of My Son Jesus can be spread easily throughout the world.”
When the Romans took power, there was 1 government over the entire world. No need for Passports … no fear of going into enemy territory … no fear of wars to avoid. The Disciples were free to travel the world with the Gospel … because there was only 1 Government.
“in the fullness of time” God sent forth His Son, Jesus … when God had it all planned out.
God said: “I want a good ROAD SYSTEM, so people can travel easily to spread the Gospel.” Everyone has heard about the Roman road system … “All roads lead to Rome.” Roman roads were everywhere … led everywhere.
God said: “I want the world to know that there is only ONE GOD.” SO … God had used the Jews for 4000 years to spread the idea that there was only 1 GOD. At the time of Jesus’ birth, the world was a Pagan world. The GREEKS had their many gods & goddesses. The ROMANS had their many gods & goddesses. The ROMANS even brought to the world the idea of worshipping a MAN. Caesar said that he should be worshipped as a god.
In the midst of 1000’s of petty gods, for 4000 years God had been preparing the world … through the Jews … that there was only ONE God … Jehovah. The Jews proclaimed to the world that the MESSIAH would come, to save the world from their sins.
God had spent 4000 years planning the birth of His Son, Jesus. That’s why, when Jesus was born, the blueprint had already been drawn. A universal LANGUAGE … a universal PEACE … a universal ROAD SYSTEM … the concept of ONE GOD …the MESSIAH. The world was ready for Jesus!
II. JESUS WAS READY.
Jesus was ready to come to earth! Do you know what it’s like to move? I’ve moved 12 times since I’ve been married. The packing … leaving your old home … getting your new home ready. Turing on the electricity, phone … the mail. Changes have to be made … new schools … new job … new friends. It’s quite an ordeal … a BIG CHANGE!