Right on Time

The 260 Journey
The 260 Journey
Right on Time

Day 166

Today’s Reading: Galatians 4

In his autobiography, Buck O’Neil tells what it was like being a black man who played professional baseball before African-Americans were allowed to play in the all-white major leagues. By the time the color barrier was broken in 1947, O’Neil was considered too old to play in the big leagues, as were most of his teammates. Many of his friends grew bitter about their missed opportunities. O’Neil writes:

At a reunion of Negro league players in Ashland, Kentucky, a reporter from Sports Illustrated asked me if I had any regrets, coming along as I did before Jackie Robinson integrated the major leagues. And this is what I told him . . . “Waste no tears for me. I didn’t come along too early—I was right on time.”

That was the title of his autobiography, I Was Right on Time.

And that’s what today’s chapter is about, perfect timing. God’s timing couldn’t have been any better than when Jesus came to earth. The apostle Paul confirms that:

When the right time came, the time God decided on, He sent his Son, born of a woman, born as a Jew, to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law so that He could adopt us as His very own sons. (Galatians 4:4-5, TLB)

Here is where it gets really amazing. Why couldn’t God have timed it any better? Let’s answer the why by looking at history.

When we look at history, the coming of Jesus was perfect for two reasons. Centuries earlier, Alexander the Great had conquered most of the known world, which didn’t just bring Greek culture to the world, it also unified the planet with one language, Greek. That’s why the New Testament is written in Greek.

After the demise of the Greeks, the Roman Empire picked up where Alexander left off and the Romans started expanding but doing something that would make the Good News of Jesus expand also. The Romans opened the way for expansion over three continents through roads and safe sea travel. They brought order to intercountry travel. One language and a world that was able to be traveled in. That’s a good time for Jesus to come.

But it gets crazier. This is why God is right on time.

I was recently reading apologist Dinesh D’Souza’s book What’s So Great About God. In it he quotes statistician Erik Kreps. Think of Erik’s numbers and think of our Galatians verse for today: “When the right time came . . . He sent His Son.”

Now buckle your seat belts.

The Population Reference Bureau estimates that the number of people who have ever been born in human history is approximately 105 billion. Of this number, about 2 percent were born . . . before the birth of Christ. “So, in a sense,” Erik Kreps notes, “God’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect. If he’d come earlier in human history, how reliable would the records of his relationship with man be? But he showed up just before the exponential explosion in the world’s population . . . only 2 percent of humanity had previously been born, so 98 percent of us have walked the earth since the redemption.

God is so smart. His timing is impeccable. That is one, big, great reason that God knew the right time to send His Son. When most of the world would be born after Jesus died. Someone said, “Stress makes you believe that everything has to happen right now. Faith reassures you that everything will happen in God’s timing.”

God’s whole plan was the adoption of humanity. We see this in Galatians 4:5: “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” (NLT).

There is something special about being adopted as opposed to being born. Olympic skater Scott Hamilton was adopted as a child and often teased for it. “You aren’t the real son of your parents,” they’d said and laugh. Hamilton took their mocking as long as he could, until finally he told them, “My parents chose me, but your parents were stuck with you!”

He came at the right time to adopt everyone He could.