I nearly missed the birth of our 4th child. Before you are too critical, please know that the supervising nurse had advised me to slip out and get some lunch – she thought it would be a long time. It wasn’t. The fast-food service wasn’t all that fast, but my wife’s labor was, fortunately I got back just in time. Typically parents don’t have a lot to say about the day their child arrives.
I’m sure it was inconvenient for Joseph to head to Bethlehem in the final trimester of Mary’s pregnancy. But God had a specific time for the birth of Jesus. Paul recorded this truth for us in his letter to the Galatians,
3Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons (Galatians 4:3-5).
The word fullness is used elsewhere to describe the 12 baskets that were left over at the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:43). They were full baskets – they weren’t half empty. When describing time it means the “end of an appointed time.” That night in Bethlehem it was long enough and Jesus came. The word communicates that even in the timing God was in complete control.
Why was the sending forth of the Son so important? Because we were in bondage to the world (4:3). The Greek grammar communicates that our bondage was ongoing, thorough and complete. It further reveals that it is something that happened to us. One translator used the word “kidnapped.” We had been kidnapped by the world. So at “just the right time” Jesus came to buy us out of our bondage and to set us free.
So it was that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered (Luke 2:6).
So glad I didn’t miss the birth of my son.
Praying this season you don’t miss the reason for the birth of His (John 3:16-17).