Why Did God Send His Son When He Did?

Why did Christ come when He did? Why was that God’s perfect timing for sending the Messiah? Why not a different time? What made the time of the Messiah so important? Is there a Biblical answer to these questions.

These are great questions asked by one of our subscribers.

These questions have two answers. Each is valid but they are very different.

First, God sent His Son at the time determined by the Father. In a larger context related to Sonship, Paul stated that . . .”when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:4-6).

This famous passage shows the foreknowledge and foresight of the Father. He sent Jesus at precisely the perfect time in history. The Gospel of Mark puts it this way: “After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!’ ” (Mark 1:14-15).

What about that particular time makes it so significant? As we would say today, the revealing of the Messiah was a perfect storm. Everything came together in just the right way.

First, the Romans had conquered the known earth and set about to establish their rule. Roman authority opened a number of doors for the preaching of the Gospel, not the least of which was one government with stable rules and decision making.

Second, Roman roads and the Roman postal system allowed missionaries to take the Gospel throughout the Mediterranean world. The Romans allowed a measure of religious freedom even for the Jews.

Third, the Greek Language, in which the New Testament is written, is extremely precise allowing for God’s Word to be meticulously written and preserved. The Greek language and culture dominated the world, bringing a semblance of unity.

Fourth, the dispersion of the Jews and the development of Jewish Synagogues allowed missionaries a way to reach both Jews and Gentiles.

Finally, the Greek and Roman gods were losing their sway over the people. The hearts and minds of the people hungered for a God who was real. Into that environment, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law.

On the day of Pentecost, people from all over the known world were in Jerusalem. They heard the Gospel and received the Holy Spirit. They returned to their homes and told those around them all the things they had seen and heard. Within 300 years, the Christian faith had become dominant in the Roman Empire. God chose the time “ripe with opportunity” for the preaching of the Gospel. It was indeed, “in the fullness of time.”

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  1. Ed Matthew
    Feb 19, 2012

    AMEN. A good question and a great answer. So many questions illustrate the difficulty God’s creation has in understanding His way, His time, His methodology. Relationship on His terms is another way of saying His Way. Many significant events happened in those three hundred years. Perhaps none more meaningful to take advantage of the infra structure of Rome and preserve Church History of the first Century than the rise to power of Constantine and the dedication of his mother to secure every tangible touch stone of Christianity. Perhaps you will address the many ways God used Constantine.

    To better understand why Christians and Jews have such a different perspective when it comes to the Messiah and what the Cross symbolizes I have read a publication authored by James Carroll. Mr. Carroll made answering this question, specifically the view of the Cross at Auschwitz, a quest. Thank you for derick illuminated. Psalms 119: 100-112.

  2. Cindy Tynes
    Feb 19, 2012

    My knowledge of world history during Jesus’s time and that of early Christianity is so limited. Can you suggest a book or website for a layman?

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, — Ephesians 5:25-26 (NIV)