Friday, December 18, 2020
An Appointment with Planet Earth
“But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law” (Galatians 4:4 nlt).
When you open your Christmas presents, most likely you’ll get something you’re excited about. But that which is new today can become old in two or three weeks.
Someone has said that familiarity breeds contempt, but I think more often it breeds indifference.
We can become like that toward the message of Christmas. Let’s try to put ourselves in Bethlehem two thousand years ago and imagine the impact of this message. From Genesis on, we read about angels, prophets, and messages from God that came in rapid succession. But prior to the arrival of Jesus, there were four hundred years of silence from Heaven.
But then angels broke that silence when the angel Gabriel came to tell Zacharias that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would be the parents of John the Baptist. Later, the angels announced the birth of Jesus Himself. This was a significant event that changed world history and all of humanity.
Luke’s gospel is very specific in pointing out certain facts, so we’ll have a historical basis to understand when this actually happened. Luke mentions the emperor Caesar Augustus and Quirinius, the governor of Syria.
He wants us to know this was a real event that happened in history rather than a fairy tale that he invented. Luke is telling us that this is a historical event that happened in real time.
Interestingly, the story of Jesus is not a rags-to-riches story; it’s a riches-to-rags story. He gave up everything to come to us.
Galatians 4 tells us, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children” (verses 4–5 nlt).
The message of Christ’s birth is that He came to bring hope, healing, and salvation to us.
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