“But when the fullness of the time has come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, so that he might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Gal. 4:4-5)
What does the Apostle Paul mean when he says that Christ would be born when the “fullness of time had come?” Perhaps he could have stated it in another way, “When the time was right.” This leads us to ask, “How did God set the stage on Earth for the birth of His Son?”
We have often heard it said, “Timing is everything!” This is not only true of the things that happen in our present age, but it was true in the days leading up to the birth of Messiah Jesus. What specific events took place that made the birth of Jesus the right time?
In order for the birth of Jesus Christ is be effective and reach the maximum number of people, there had to be a universal language. God used the Roman Empire to make this possible. We need look no further than the inscription placed on the cross which said, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” We are told in John 19:20, “Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, (some translation say Aramaic) Latin and in Greek.” What does this tell us?
Latin was the legal language of the Roman Empire while the Greek (Koine) was the international language that most people used. The Hebrew or Aramaic was the local language that both Jews and Gentiles could read and understand. This reveals that God was working behind the scenes preparing the world for the intrusion of the gospel through the birth of Jesus Christ and his ultimate death on the Cross.
Another factor involved in the phrase “fullness of times” was the explosion of the population. At the time of Christ’s birth an estimated 300 million people lived in the known world. About 1 percent (3 million) of them were Jews, with about 50,000 living in Jerusalem.
Yes, “timing is everything!” God saw to it that “when the time was right” a Savior would be born who was and is the “King of the Jews!”