In the ancient world of Paul there was always ceremonies to announce a boy's transition into adulthood. For the Jews it was at the age of twelve, for the Greeks it was eighteen and for the Romans, the ritual was held between ages fourteen and seventeen. These ceremonies brought a lot of responsibilities to the teenage boy, but they also could bring great privileges and one of these was inheritance. The Galatians had been under the tyranny of the Law, as are everyone without Christ, Jew or Gentile. But now, through Christ, men and women have become sons and daughters of God and have entered into their inheritance. What is the proof of this? It is that from our hearts we can cry out, ''Abba, Father''. The audacity and also the joy! Now here Paul writes about the perfect timing of the birth of Jesus. We can read in passages such as Hebrews 11 about those who lived and died before Christ came and how they had to wait to receive what God had for them- 11 v 39, 40. Why was it perfect timing? There are many answers to that, but just a few are: The Roman Empire is in full swing, there is peace in many countries and easy travelling; The Jewish people are desperate-they have tried unsuccessfully to revolt against the Romans-they are hungry to receive Good News; the coming of Jesus Christ proved the last hope for the Jewish nation-their calling upon themselves the responsibility for His crucifixion-Matthew 27 v 25-brought the wrath of God upon them and the destruction of the Temple and the country just thirty or so years after. There are other things too, such as fulfillment of prophecies, the obedience of Mary in carrying the Son of God, the extraordinary amount of demon-possessed, as Satan ran amok, and the bringing of the year of Jubilee-announced by Jesus in His first sermon, Luke 4 v 18-21, read Leviticus 25 for God's plan for the year of Jubilee. I think there are things we can take from this: God is in control, the world may appear on the edge of chaos due to the pandemic, but He is working His plans out, just as He was in poor, downtrodden, occupied Israel in 3BC. There is so much more depth in the Bible and the story of Christ's ministry then we can ever fathom. And, you in your little part in the world and me in my little part; we are loved as children of the living God and we can come to Him confidently as His sons and daughters.
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