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Concerning what the Bible says, and what might be said in commentary from prominent church leaders, is there a particular reason Jesus came 2000 years ago and not at some other time. One would think the earlier, the better.

If the question seems too broad, then just give me biblical support.

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One reason was it was a perfect time for the spread of the gospel. The Pax Romana and great road system allowed for information to be passed quickly. – SSumner Mar 6 '13 at 5:45
...after all, Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication – Peter Turner Mar 6 '13 at 15:01
This is actually a duplicate of "Why didn't Jedus come at the time of the Flood" but I agree, it's not worthy of a Downvote. – Affable Geek May 15 '13 at 23:29
@affableGeek I would call it a near duplicate because that question asks specifically why God chose to destroy the antediluvian people instead of save them with Christ. My question asks more generally why Jesus came when he did and not earlier or later. However, your answer there would fit well here. I am inclined to ask you to post it here because it answers my question better then the current answers. – fredsbend May 16 '13 at 18:28
Agreed, near duplicate, not an actual duplicate! I like this question as a signpost, but don't want to 'copy and paste' and an answer, since SE frowns on that. As such, what I'll do is summarize and link, with the hope that any votes go back to the main question. Barring that, I could flag for mods to combine the two - but make yours the master. Or, we could just leave it be. Our mods are pretty good at this sort of thing... – Affable Geek May 16 '13 at 18:54

7 Answers 7

up vote 3 down vote accepted

My answer on a related question covers much the same ground. I like this question better, because it is more generic, but the specifics of that answer still hold true here.

Key points:

  1. God desires 1 sacrifice, and 1 sacrifice only, for all time (Heb 10)
  2. God chose to come "at the right time to die for the ungodly" (Gal 4)
  3. Too early, and people wouldn't have believed it - hopelessly mythological.
  4. Too late, and faith would have to be, as Heb 11 puts it, looking forward to a city, rather than living in it.
  5. Andrew Lloyd Webber is cool :) N.B. Key words around 0:58
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Though this answer is based primarily on the Bible itself, it comes from a perspective outlined in the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772).

Human spiritual ages start pristine, then fall, and finally end in corruption and destruction

In the Bible, various time periods or ages of human spiritual history are described in narrative fashion. The general pattern of these ages is that they start in a relatively pristine state, but then decline over time until they become completely corrupted and come to their end. A new period or age then begins, and it, too, goes through a similar cycle.

The earliest human spiritual era

The first such cycle starts with the creation of humankind in Genesis 1 and 2, begins its heavy decline with the Fall of Humankind in Genesis 3, and ends in destruction with the Flood in Genesis 6-9, when the state of the humans of this first period is described thus:

The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)

At its height, this era was characterized by a simple, innocent, heart-based dependence upon God.

Once corrupted, it fell into a state in which the human heart was wholly evil, and the people were unrestrained in their expression of that evil.

The second, clan-based era

The next general age or period is somewhat less sharply defined, but in general it starts after the Flood, as the earth is repopulated from Noah and his family (and the animal population from the animals in the ark). This initiates a time of clans and families.

Though this era does start with Noah and his sons, and the stage is set with the genealogies and the repopulation of the earth recorded in Genesis 10-11, the narrative of this period really gets underway with the stories of Abraham, the first of the three great "Patriarchs" of the Hebrew people. This is the pristine state of this era of clans, and it is often referred back to as such later on in the Bible story.

After Abraham, it goes through a general decline in his sons Isaac and Jacob, until it ends with captivity of Jacob's descendants in Egypt. The Egyptian captivity is the final judgment on this age of clans and families, and brings it to its end.

At its height, this era was characterized by the development of a structured life based on willingly following unwritten codes that prescribed how people were to live within their clans and families, and toward the other clans and families surrounding them. It was the responsibility of the heads of the clans and families to teach and guide family and clan members in observing these codes.

In its later corrupted state, those clan and family codes broke down and were no longer observed. This resulted in brother acting against brother, as in the story of the brothers selling Joseph into captivity, and finally led to the Egyptian captivity.

The third era, of kingdoms, and the kingdom of Israel

What emerges from Egypt is not a clan or family, but a nation. And this whole time period is characterized by nations and empires ruled by kings and emperors rather than by clans and families ruled by heads-of-household and tribal leaders.

In the Bible narrative, the exodus from Egypt begins the Israelite period, which has its pristine time in the desert wanderings and the early conquest of the Holy Land, in which the people follow God in simple (if oftentimes rebellious) fashion. Their worship centers on the Tabernacle, which was a mobile, tent-like sanctuary seen as the dwelling place of God. The Israelite period is often seen as reaching its peak under King David. However, its key figure was Moses, the law-giver of Israel, under whose leadership this period began.

The Israelite era started its heavy decline under David's son and heir, King Solomon. After Solomon's death the nation of Israel split into two competing nations, Israel in the north and Judah in the south. First Israel, then Judah become corrupt and were conquered and taken into captivity by foreign powers. According to the Bible narrative, this was God's judgment on the Israelite nation due to its disobedience and unfaithfulness to God.

Though there was a restoration of Judah and the temple after the Babylonian exile, in the Bible story there was never again a sovereign, independent Israelite kingdom. The Jews in the Holy Land entered a low-level holding pattern that was far from the former glory their nation had achieved under King David. In the Bible story, prophecy ceased for at least two centuries before the coming of Christ.

In short, the Israelite period had an early pristine period under its great lawgiver Moses, a peak under King David, and then declined to its final judgment in captivity and exile, never to re-establish itself as a true nation.

Only a shadow of that ancient Israelite nation existed by the time Christ came, functioning under Roman rule, and often collaborating with its Roman overseers. There was a Temple, and the Jews carried out their sacrificial worship and their religious laws, customs, and traditions. But it was a corrupted version, which Jesus denounced many times in the Gospels. And even this low-level revival of ancient Israelite religion and worship came to a permanent end not long after Jesus' life on earth when in 70 AD the Romans sacked Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and dispersed the Jews into many surrounding lands.

At its height, this era was characterized by behavioral obedience to a written code of laws, pronounced at its beginning by God from Mount Sinai, and written down by Moses.

In its later corrupted state, the people had so thoroughly violated those laws that God brought about the destruction of their nation, the captivity of the Israelites, and the disappearance of the ten tribes that had formed the northern kingdom of Israel.

Jesus Christ came when humanity had fallen to its lowest point

The overall picture of the Bible story, then, is one of a pristine beginning, in which the people represented by Adam and Eve lived simply and innocently with God in the Garden of Eden, followed a progressive fall and corruption of humanity through lower and lower spiritual eras, until the time just before the coming of Christ, when the earth was ruled by brutal empires and there was little or no genuine spiritual understanding and spiritual life left on earth.

If we look at the Old Testament narrative as a whole, we find that Jesus Christ came when humankind had reached its lowest ebb, having fallen completely away from its early spiritual state of innocent closeness to God, and successively moved to lower and lower spiritual states until the earth was completely corrupt and unspiritual in God's sight.

At that point, no priest or prophet sent by God could bring about the spiritual salvation and restoration of humankind. Only God himself, coming to earth in human form, had the power to turn the spiritual tide of human history, and begin the long, slow, and painful process of raising humanity back up to the spiritual life and closeness to God for which we were originally created.

Illustrative passages from the Bible

Here are just a few of many passages in the Bible that illustrate this picture. First from the Old Testament prophets:

Isaiah 63:1-6: I have trodden the winepress alone.

The low state to which humanity would fall by the time of Christ is described prophetically in Isaiah 63:1-6:

Who is this who comes from Edom,
    in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he who is splendid in his apparel,
    marching in the greatness of his strength?
"It is I, speaking in righteousness,
    mighty to save."
Why is your apparel red,
    and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?
"I have trodden the winepress alone,
    and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
    and trampled them in my wrath;
their lifeblood spattered on my garments,
    and stained all my apparel.
For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
    and my year of redemption had come.
I looked, but there was no one to help;
    I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
so my own arm brought me salvation,
    and my wrath upheld me.
I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
    I made them drunk in my wrath,
    and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth."

It says, "I looked, but there was no one to help . . . so my own arm brought me salvation." In plain language, there was no human being left on earth who could even help in bringing about the salvation of humanity. We had sunk too low. Our religion had become false and corrupt. So the time had come when only God himself could do the job. And he did so by coming as Jesus Christ, to turn the tide of human history, and bring salvation to the people of the earth.

Daniel 2: Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

The prophet Daniel provides two metaphors for this progression of humanity from an early, pristine state to an utterly corrupted and false state.

The first is the story of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a statue in Daniel 2. The dream itself is described in the words of Daniel himself in Daniel 2:31-35:

You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

Daniel then goes on to interpret the dream as a series of kingdoms, each inferior to the one before it, starting with Nebuchadnezzar's own kingdom, represented by the head of gold, and ending with a kingdom of mixed strength and weakness, represented by the feet partly of iron and partly of clay. Then he says:

And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever. (Daniel 2:44)

Though there have been various attempts to identify the succeeding kingdoms, there is one thing on which Christians agree: the final kingdom that God will set up, represented by the stone that grew into a mountain, represents the kingdom of Christ.

The vision and prophecy in Daniel 2, then, presents a picture of an early "golden age" of innocence and purity, succeeded by successively lower ages represented by silver, bronze, iron, and iron mixed with clay, leading to a final glorious and eternal kingdom, which Christians interpret as the reign of Christ.

Christians may debate the specific meaning of the various kingdoms described in Daniel's interpretation of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. But overall picture of a pristine beginning and a successive fall to humanity's lowest point, followed by a new, eternal kingdom set up by God himself, is clear.

This scheme of ages symbolized by greater and lesser metals is also reflected in the "Ages of Humankind" in ancient Greek literature. In the Bible, we can correlate the earliest age, represented by Adam and Eve, with the Golden Age, the next age begun with Noah and encompassing the Patriarchs as the Silver Age, and the Israelite era as encompassing the Bronze Age (in its height) and the Iron Age (in its decline), ending in Daniel's age of iron mixed with clay. The kingdom established by Jesus Christ goes beyond the classical Greek scheme of ages, but is reflected in Daniel's vision by the stone that grew into a mountain and filled the whole earth.

Daniel 7: Daniel's Vision of the Four Beasts

Another metaphor provided by Daniel for this succession of lower and lower ages of humankind is his vision of the four beasts in Daniel 7. It follows a pattern similar to Daniel 2, but instead of the imagery of a statue of successively lesser metals, it uses imagery of four progressively fiercer and more terrifying beasts:

  1. a lion with eagles' wings
  2. a bear that was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its teeth
  3. a leopard with four wings and four heads
  4. a terrifying, dreadful, exceedingly strong beast with great iron teeth and ten horns

In the end, it provides a similar prophecy of the destruction of all of the kingdoms represented by the four beasts, and the establishment of an eternal kingdom, which Christians also interpret as the reign of Christ. Here is how that kingdom and its king are described in Daniel 7:13-14, 27:

I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
    there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
    and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
    and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
    should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
    which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
    that shall not be destroyed. . . .
And the kingdom and the dominion
    and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
    shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
    and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Of course, Christians commonly interpret "one like a son of man" as a reference to Jesus Christ, who will rule all the kingdoms of the world in an eternal divine kingdom.

Once again, we see symbolic imagery depicting humans becoming progressively worse, and when the low point of utter corruption is reached, God breaks destroys those former kingdoms and establishes a new, eternal kingdom, which Christians see as the reign of Christ.

Jesus' assessment of the people of his day

In the Gospels, Jesus is fiercely critical of the reigning religious authorities and the spiritual state of humanity that existed in his time. For example, he commonly calls the people of his day "an adulterous generation" (see Matthew 12:39; 16:4; Mark 8:38). His denunciations of the scribes and Pharisees are biting and utterly condemnatory, as seen in Matthew 23, culminating in these words:

"Fill up, then, the measure of your ancestors. You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets, sages, and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, so that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come upon this generation.

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord'" (Matthew 23:32-39, italics added)

Here Jesus sees all of the wickedness of earlier generations culminating in the generation that was currently on earth during his time, and he says that they have reached the point of desolation. So Jesus saw himself as coming at the low point of human spiritual history, when the wickedness of humankind had reached its peak. At that point, only God himself was able to save humankind from total destruction, body and soul.

Emanuel Swedenborg summed it up in this way:

By the time the Lord came into the world the whole planet had completely alienated itself from God by worshiping idols and practicing sorcery; and the church that had existed among the children of Israel and later among the Jews had been utterly destroyed by their falsifying and contaminating the Word. (True Christianity #121:2)

By "the Lord" he means Jesus Christ (see Arcana Coelestia #14). By "the Word" he means the Scriptures, which, for the ancient Jews, would mean the Hebrew Bible.


As long as God could reach people on earth through angels, prophets, and priests, and give them some spiritual life and renewal by those intermediaries, that's precisely what God did, as we see throughout the Old Testament narrative.

But by the time in human history that humanity had fallen to its spiritual low point, having become utterly corrupt and violent, and having falsified all of the spiritual truth that God had provided through angels, priests, and prophets, it was necessary for God himself to come to earth as "the Word made flesh": Jesus Christ.

This was the fullness of time mentioned in the Epistles:

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son. (Galatians 4:4)

He has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Ephesians 1:9-10)

Christ came only in the fullness of time, when we humans had fallen so low spiritually that only "God's own arm," Jesus Christ, could save us from the complete destruction to whose brink we had brought ourselves through our long history of falling farther and farther away from God.

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Was there a reason Jesus came at the time he did?

The short answer is "yes" – there is nothing accidental about how the key events in the Bible timeline unfold. This is evident in Acts 41 for example:

27for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. ESV

I'm going to recast your question as "Explain how the timing of the incarnation fits with God's overall plan revealed as revealed in scripture"

Before answering I'm going to refute, or at least demote, some of the common answers to this question:

  1. "The Pax Romana and great road system allowed the Gospel to spread"

    The gospel spread predominently by sea, and sea travel wasn't new. The Gospel was competing with any number of other religions and ideologies and its successful spread as outlined in Acts is explained only by the miracles2 that accompanied the evangelists. The power of Rome was important however, as I will explain later.

  2. "The common Greek language allowed the Gospel to spread"

    Language was no barrier to the Holy Spirit3. In any event lingua francas have developed around the world throughout human history, Greek being just the current example in the 1st century.

God's overall plan, and how the timing of the incarnation fits in:

  1. What went wrong in the garden?

    Adam and Eve disobey God, yes, but more importantly they distrust God:

    17And to Adam he said,

    “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; ESV

    God's purpose in Bible history is not just to display his glorious forgiveness for this crime of failing to believe Him (which logically, He could have done straight away). It is also to prove that He is, in the final reckoning, right, and the lies are indeed false4. Everything that follows can be seen in this overarching context.

  2. The purpose of the curse

    The curse includes pain, sweat, conflict and especially death5. This is for a reason, and it is not just punishment: God will do all it takes to bring mankind back, never to doubt Him again. It has to be a long and difficult road, because every opportunity to blame God or to try and remake the world in our own image has to be exhausted before we will know forever and beyond doubt that He is 'the God of truth'.

  3. Fix the outside (1), the flood

    Left to their own devices, the wickedness of man increases6. God intervenes again and again – but each time a different lesson is learned. With the flood, God shows that the problem of wickedness cannot be addressed by washing it all away and starting again, because it is not a problem of society, culture or history. The problem is much deeper, in the heart7. As Noah steps onto the land that has been washed clean, he brings sin with him8.

  4. Fix the outside (2), the law

    The law brings another lesson: rules, however good and perfect, don't provoke an unrighteous man to righteousness. You simply cannot reach the human heart from the outside9.

    The history of Israel after the giving of the law is a litany of its failure to make the nation righteous, from the cesspool of Judges until the circle is complete and they return to exile. Only after the return from exile is there a spark of hope: the open idolatry of the past is banished and a religion that purports to worship God begins10, but this too is a lie that must be exposed.

  5. Twin Peaks: The Pharisees and Rome

    Rome is like Egypt and Babylon before it: a symbol of the heights of human power and authority. That this empire should be conquered by the Gospel, and more importantly the manner of this conquest, is highly significant. God has demonstrated his power to humble the most powerful human rulers before, by smashing them with raw force11, or driving them to eat grass 'like an ox', but it is Rome's heart that is broken, not her right arm.

    By contrast, the Pharisaic religion represent the pinnicle of human evil, in that it is the biggest lie. From the outside everything looks good, but nothing has changed within: worship is from the mouth not the heart12. Jesus' arrival is coincident with this peak of self-righteousness and he never holds back from denouncing it: he takes every opportunity to attack their hypocrisy13. What is inside the 'whitewashed tombs' must be revealed, and sure enough, the spitting hatred for God that lurks beneath the surface comes boiling out14 as these respectable religious folk conspire with their hated oppressors to kill the one who tells the truth in order to silence him.

So, Jesus came as just the right time: the events past were all that was needed to reveal the futility of every sort of lie and rebellion. The peak of both religious and idolatrous lie-worship had arrived and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus both exposed the lies, and laid open the way back to God for those who now choose truth.

1 See also Isaiah 46 and many other places in scripture.
2 For example, see how the great excitement of the crowds in Lystra in Acts 14 was a response to an extrodinary miricle. Paul elsewhere calls signs and wonders and mighty works evidence of apostleship.
3 See Acts 2:5-13.
4 The new man in the new creation will thus never fall again: he knows that God is to be trusted in a way that Adam could not: from the past. There is no form of rebellion that has not been tried already, and shown to be nothing but false promises and foolish vanity.
5 See Genesis 2:17, 3:3 and 3:19; the repetition imbues emphasis.
6 See Genesis 6:12
7 This is Peter's understanding of the flood: Baptism corresponds to the washing of the flood, but not at the level of removing dirt from the outside (i.e. the body) but acting on the inside where the conscience operates.
8 See Genesis 9:20-27
9 See Galatians 3:21
10 See 'let us make a covenant with our God' in Ezra:10. Ezra is unaware of the bitter irony of Israel re-committing itself to God and promising anew to keep His law. This verse is often read in a positive light but to do so is to completely miss the big picture of the Bible narrative; the seeds of the biggest and worst lie are being sown.
11 See Exodus 9:16
12 Isaiah forsaw this (Isaiah 29) and it was fulfilled in Jesus time (Mark 7:6): not a coincidence!
13 The list of examples is long. Jesus spoke of no other group like this: Gentiles, tax collectors and prostitutes were treated with gentleness. Though their sin was not condoned, they were not beyone the help of the 'physician'.
14 See the show-trial of Matthew 26:67-68.

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I've done a quick read though. +1 so far. After a more in depth look, you may get the selection. Thank you. – fredsbend Aug 9 at 15:47
Great answer. Glad you're back. – Mr. Bultitude Aug 9 at 20:48

Why did He come when He did? Jesus came at the time when God said He would come. He was alive during the year that God said He would be. So, Jesus’ coming at the time was fulfillment of God’s promise.

This prophecy is given in Daniel 9:25-26, in which 69 weeks of years (483 years) of time span from “the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince.” The “command” is noted in Nehemiah 2, which is dated 445 B.C.

There is much written about this prophecy on the web (including other perspectives that disagree with this view). One example with further information on this perspective is found at

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I like this answer because it assumes the least. – Paul Chernoch Oct 12 at 17:42

Jesus came during the time of the Romana Pax, which is a time when Rome was at peace. If he came during there was a lot of war, when people beg him to help with defense, what would he say?, because if he kills one man, even if he is evil, he will not be perfect anymore and dieing wouldn't do anything. If he didn't defend, either he wouldn't have died on the cross (someone else would have killed him in battle) or he would have to use his powers to destroy people. During this time was perfect to come, beause it was when he was needed most and the one time during when he's needed most that he can come.

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Welcome to the site! This doesn't really have much to do with your answer, but I find that sharing the following tends to help new visitors avoid mistaking the purpose of this site. I do hope to see more from you! When you get a chance, please see How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? – David Mar 12 '14 at 0:31

We do not know. We only know that He came at the appropriate time. Galatians 4:4-5:

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption.

From this we know the well-known facts that at the time of His coming:

  • His mother, Mary, born of Saint Anne, gave birth to Him,
  • there was the law that He was born under, and also
  • His coming should have been recognized, as perhaps due to signs, note Luke 19:44:

44 They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.

None of this requires that He would come at that time. He could have chosen any other time for there to be the signs, and law, and Mary. But He did not, and the time He did choose was appropriate.

It is not useful to speculate further, especially on the "strategic" advantages of Christ coming when He did. God has in mind not only that time, but all the future consequences of coming at that time, and all things that came before that moment. He knows what roads the apostles would walk, and also that this question would be asked. He did not come then for the Roman roads: He came then for our salvation.

Keep in mind that God would not need to "look through history" to choose a time that would be best. He may have made all of history to fit the moment of His Sacrifice, rather than His coming and Sacrifice to fit history. But even this way of thinking is too limited. We simply do not know:

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord
or who has been his counselor?” Romans 11:33

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I like this: "He did not come then for the Roman roads: He came then for our salvation." Yes. Who cares when He came. Rejoice that He has come and will come again. – fredsbend May 16 '13 at 19:12

Galatians 3 and 4 explains how God sought to lay a foundation for the coming of the Messiah, through the Jewish Law. The Law was to make people understand the depth of their sinfulness (in that they were incapable of keeping the Law) so that they might more readily accept the cure for that sin through Jesus the Messiah (Galatians 3:22-23; Romans 3:19-20).

So God was making His chosen people ready for the arrival of Messiah and we read in Galatians 4:4:

“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law”.

This verse declares that God the Father sent His Son when “the time had fully come.”

Finally, Christ came in fulfillment of specific prophecy. Daniel 9:24-27 speaks:

“Seventy weeks have been determined concerning your people and your holy city to put an end to rebellion, to bring sin to completion, to atone for iniquity, to bring in perpetual righteousness, to seal up the prophetic vision, and to anoint a most holy place. So know and understand: From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will again be built, with plaza and moat, but in distressful times. Now after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one will be cut off and have nothing. As for the city and the sanctuary, the people of the coming prince will destroy them. But his end will come speedily like a flood. Until the end of the war that has been decreed there will be destruction. He will confirm a covenant with many for one week. But in the middle of that week he will bring sacrifices and offerings to a halt. On the wing of abominations will come one who destroys, until the decreed end is poured out on the one who destroys.”

Whether anyone is able to decipher this timetable or not, but it is believed that this prophecy recorded by Daniel over five hundred years beforehand is for arrival of Christ.

Looking from men’s perspective, that particular point in history was a good time for Christ to come. There were many things occurring at the time of the first century. At least by human reasoning, the time seem to be ideal for Christ to come then.

  1. There was a great anticipation among the Jews of that time that the Messiah would come as the Roman rule over Israel had made the Jews hungry for the Messiah’s coming.

  2. Rome had unified much of the world under its government, giving a sense of unity to the various lands. The empire was relatively peaceful, travel was possible, allowing the early Christians to spread the gospel. Such freedom to travel would have been impossible in other eras.

  3. While Rome had conquered militarily, Greece had conquered culturally. A “common” form of the Greek language was the trade language and was spoken throughout the empire, making it possible to communicate the gospel to many different people groups through one common language.

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I +1 for the first part, but this answer really just pushes the question back a few levels: I might now ask "Why was the law not sent earlier?" Also, I might ask "Why did he not come later?" All the other points can easily have occurred differently. – fredsbend May 16 '13 at 19:09

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