Since mankind is lost and is headed for eternal punishment if it dies in that condition, then mankind needs a savior and a plan of salvation.
This is exactly what God provided for ever since the fall of man into sin in the Garden of Eden. Through history God has been working out the plan of salvation to save man from sin.
The apostle Paul wrote, “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
Do we realize all the things God did to send Jesus? To send a descendant of David in the tribe of Judah, God had to preserve Judah through hundreds of years. Although Israel was sent into Assyrian captivity and Judah was taken into Babylonian captivity lasting 70 years, God preserved Judah and David’s line all the way to the birth of his Son.
In order to give people the fullest opportunity to hear and obey the gospel, God gave the Romans control of the world. During its domination of the known world, the Romans provided roads throughout its territories. People were free to travel from one place to another. Not only was this beneficial for commerce, but also it was beneficial for the gospel and those who would preach it.
During Greek and Roman rule, Koine Greek was practically the universal language of the world. Almost everyone understood and spoke Greek during the days of Jesus and Paul. One of the advantages of this was that the average Alexandrian in Egypt could read the Old Testament in Greek and come to an understanding of the prophecies concerning the Son of God.
Having a language understood by almost everyone was handy in teaching the gospel, wasn’t it? With a common language, there would be few mistakes in translation and no misunderstandings over what something would mean. God did that; his providence brought the Greek language into existence and into general use.
Understanding all that God did to save mankind helps us appreciate Paul’s statement, “But when the fullness of time was come….” The birth, life and death of Jesus was not an ordinary occurrence. It was divinely planned and divinely executed at just the perfect moment. And all this was done by the Father so you and I might hear the gospel and obey it.
What a wonderful opportunity we have this week to tell others about Jesus and give them this opportunity to obey the gospel!