The story is told of a Persian king who loved his people very much. To know and understand them better, he would mingle with his subjects in various disguises. One day he went as a poor man to a public baths and in a tiny cellar sat beside the fireman who tended the furnace. When it was mealtime the king shared his course food and talked to the lonely subject as a friend. Again and again he visited the lonely man and grew to love him. One day the he told him he was a king, expecting the man to ask a gift from him. But the fireman sat gazing at his ruler with love and wonder and at last spoke, “ You left your palace and your glory to sit with me in this dark place, to eat course food, to care whether my heart is glad or sorry. On others you may bestow rich presents, but to me you have given yourself, and it only remains for me to pray that you never withdraw the gift of your friendship .”
The beautiful story reminds us that Christ, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, left the glories of heaven in order to share himself with us. The gift of his love and friendship will never be withdrawn from us. He chose to be your friend and mine forever.
The gospel isn’t good advice but its good news. Its not as recommendation but its good news . It isn’t a good story but it’s good news.
1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Seems like Paul is talking about spiritual immaturity. 1 Cor 3:1 “1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.”
You are infants in Christ.
But this passage is saying before a minor comes to age he has no legal rights at all.
You have a tutor you have a guardian someone to hold you accountable until you are of age.
Its referring to legal incompetence and dispossession.
A minor is not legally competent to make decisions that are positively beneficial.
The law is like a tutor. You see the possession but you can’t access it. You only can get to it when the Father makes the decision to allow you to have possession of it.
The minor doesn’t determine when the child is ready to his inherence the Father does. The Father determines when the minors ready to receive the inheritance.
Heir- figuratively it means we who share in Christ inheritance .
This inheritance isn’t something we merit or work for but its a gift
Israel didn’t didn’t get the promise land by conquest it was a gift of God.
In the fullness of time the gift of God came to us.
vs 2 the time appointed by the Father.
vs 3 the state of the world before Christ came.
Enslaved to the world.
The world held ownership rights over us.
What did the first Christmas look like
Sherwood Wirt captured the mood of the first Christmas in this description, which he wrote in a Christmas card:
The people at that time where being heavily taxed, and faced every prospect of sharp increase to cover military expenses. The threat of world domination by a cruel, ungodly, power intoxicated band of men was ever just below the threshold of consciousness. Moral deterioration had corrupted the upper levels of society and was moving rapidly into the broad base of the populace. Intense nationalistic feeling was clashing openly with new and sinister forms of imperialism. Conformity was the spirit of the age. Government handouts were being used with increasing lavishness to keep the population from rising up and throwing out the leaders. Interest rates were spiraling upward in the midst of an inflated economy. External religious observances were considered a political asset, and abnormal emphasis was being placed upon sports and athletic competition. Racial tensions were at the breaking point. In such a time, and amid such a people, a child was born to a migrant couple who had just signed up for a fresh round of taxation, and who were soon to become political exiles. And the child who was born was called, among other things, Immanuel, God with us.
This sounds like 2022 America
This is what the first Christmas looked like. In the fullness of time.
Timothy George The Bible commentator said - God is the primary actor in the drama of salvation. He alone determined the appropriate time for sending of Christ.
How you respond to an interruption is really who you are CS LEWIS
This was the most opportune time for Christ to come to humanity .
three major factors , that make the arrival of Jesus upon the earth perfect .
1. there was a revival of Messianic hope , and a passionate longing for it . Everybody was looking for it. There was great persecution amoungst Jewish people. So because of the great persecution there was great longing . ( with alexander the great , Syrian King , and Herod the king ) Its interesting how persecution can bring us closer to God . Just like now if you mention Jesus in the schools in different circles at work you could be fired .
2. The dissemination ( the act of spreading ) of the greek language culture and commercial activity .
3. The greek language was everywhere . Being close to world wide language . Easier to translate The unifying influences of Rome .THe greco roman period where there was great peace . Roads where built by the Romans . meaning you can preach the gospel anywhere and traffic the gospel. Transit of the gospel was easier.