“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law…”
But when the fullness of the time had come,
The word “fullness” means something that fills up anything. God allotted a certain amount of time before sending His Son. The phrase “the fullness of time” marks God’s incursion into time with His answer for people. God gave the Son at the momentous time, the auspicious time. God timed the redemption of people precisely.
The term “time” indicates the duration or length of time. After the elapse of a succession of time, God sent His Son. God had a precise time for Christ to be born (Daniel 9:24-27). Christ came at a pivotal moment in prophecy, when the period of the Mosaic law would elapse by His fulfillment of all its requirements.
The Roman Empire brought the Pax Romana (the peace of Rome) throughout the empire. There was remarkable political stability throughout the Roman world. Freedom to trade and travel throughout the realm was the greatest in the history of the empire. The Koine (common) Greek language was the domain language, making it a suitable time for spreading the gospel. Jesus did not come at some random time; He came precisely at the moment God designed from eternity. This juncture is when God put to an end the dispensation of the law by sending His Son to fulfill all the demands of the law.
A human father in the Roman Empire marked a specific time when his child became an adult son. God, the Father, also marked a time when He sent His Son into the world. This was a momentous moment for all people.
God sent forth
The Father dispatched the Son to earth for a purpose. “Sent forth” literally means to send out or away from for some purpose with authority. Jesus proceeded out from God Himself. God sent Jesus with full authority on the mission of redemption. God intervened in time by sending His Son so that we might become joint heirs with Him and free from the law.
Jesus existed eternally with the Father as God, and then the Father sent Him to earth. “Son” indicates the deity of Christ. God sent forth a “Son,” not a child. He was the “Son of God.” Jesus was already a Son when He came into the world.
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 ).
born of a woman,
The phrase “born of a woman” is an implied reference to the Virgin Birth. Having eternally existed as God, Jesus took on a human body by being born to a woman. The incarnation depicts the true humanity of Christ. The Greek term for “born” means “became;” Jesus came into a new state of being. He lived in the state of being as God, but now He takes on the state of being as a man. The birth of Christ is not a beginning for Him but a becoming.
born under the law
Jesus came to keep the law perfectly. It was in God’s timetable that He was born under the law to fulfill the law. Jesus took His place as a Jew born under the law. He perfectly obeyed the law in God’s perfect timing.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ, Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:2-4).
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5).
The most auspicious time in history was when the eternally pre-existent Son of God stepped into a human body.
The virgin birth of Christ is a vital teaching of the Bible. Jesus was born of a Jewish mother without a human father. He was born in an Israeli town. His parents circumcised Him just like any other Jewish boy when He was eight days old. He grew up in the Jewish village of Nazareth, attending a local synagogue. Jesus’ birth was under the law to fulfill the law. Since He fulfilled the law, that qualified Him to die for those under the law.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5: 17).
Jesus came at zero hour, the pivotal moment God wanted the eternally pre-existent Son of God to step foot on earth. He fulfilled God’s set time. That was the critical point of history. God does nothing prematurely. The first coming of Christ was not by chance. The full allotment of time designed for the law elapsed to prepare the world for His arrival, a momentous event of pivotal importance in salvation for people. The most critical point in history was the moment when the eternal Son of God stepped foot on earth. Previously, in eternity, Jesus was God; now, having stepped foot on earth, He is the God-man in time.
The birth of Christ was God incognito; God disguised Himself as the Lord Jesus. Jesus proceeded from the very presence of the Trinity. Jesus Christ is God made man.
“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15 ).
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16 ).
“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).