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  #1  
Old Aug 26, '10, 10:49 pm
Bataar Bataar is offline
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Default Why did Jesus come when he did?

I imagine that someone has done research or looked into reasons on what was special or what was going on to determine why Jesus came when he did. It's something I've always kind of wondered about. Why then? What was so special about that time period. Why not 1000 years earlier or later?
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  #2  
Old Aug 27, '10, 5:24 am
Prodigal_Son Prodigal_Son is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus come when he did?

Because Mary said yes. Before that, no one had said yes.
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  #3  
Old Aug 27, '10, 6:41 am
vz71 vz71 is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus come when he did?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodigal_Son View Post
Because Mary said yes. Before that, no one had said yes.
But no one was asked previous to then.
Nor was there any other immaculate conception at any other time.

Saying that, I will hazard a guess.

Because God knew that at that time and that place it was right.
Nebulous copout, perhaps. But that is what we get when we try to figure out what is going on in the mind of God.

Of course, it could not have happened 1000 years earlier. There were prophecies yet to be fulfilled that needed to happen first.
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Old Aug 27, '10, 7:09 am
Prodigal_Son Prodigal_Son is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus come when he did?

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Originally Posted by vz71 View Post
But no one was asked previous to then.
Perhaps. But this is speculation, I believe. The Church clearly teaches that she was the first to say yes.

If no one was asked before Mary, this would presumably be because God knew that they would say no. Why else would God delay salvation?

Quote:
Nor was there any other immaculate conception at any other time.
I too am speculating here, but I would expect that Mary was immaculately conceived because God foresaw that she would say yes. If she would have said no, she would never have been immaculately conceived. (The original sin IS saying no, and Mary said yes).

Quote:
Nebulous copout, perhaps. But that is what we get when we try to figure out what is going on in the mind of God.
Agreed.

Quote:
Of course, it could not have happened 1000 years earlier. There were prophecies yet to be fulfilled that needed to happen first.
But the prophesies would have been different, if the "future" had been different.
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  #5  
Old Aug 27, '10, 7:47 am
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Marc Anthony Marc Anthony is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus come when he did?

I don't pretend to know the answer to this question, but whatever th reason I think God made the right call. Here we are, 2000 years later, still asking these questions.
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Old Aug 27, '10, 8:37 am
vz71 vz71 is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus come when he did?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodigal_Son View Post
But the prophesies would have been different, if the "future" had been different.
I would prefer to operate under the assumption that the same biblical history was in place BC.
So these same prophesies would have the same fulfillment.

Otherwise we would have to concede that prophesy fulfillment is nothing more a subjective interpratation of history. And the entire evidence of prophesy fulfilment is nothing. Or worse, wrong.
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Old Aug 27, '10, 8:41 am
vz71 vz71 is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus come when he did?

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Originally Posted by Marc Anthony View Post
I don't pretend to know the answer to this question, but whatever th reason I think God made the right call. Here we are, 2000 years later, still asking these questions.
Is there really anyone here that would be bold enough to say that they think it was botched?
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Old Aug 27, '10, 9:12 am
Prodigal_Son Prodigal_Son is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus come when he did?

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Originally Posted by vz71 View Post
I would prefer to operate under the assumption that the same biblical history was in place BC.
So these same prophesies would have the same fulfillment.

Otherwise we would have to concede that prophesy fulfillment is nothing more a subjective interpratation of history. And the entire evidence of prophesy fulfilment is nothing. Or worse, wrong.
No, no, no. You're missing the point.

God doesn't work in time. God knew that Mary, at a certain time and in a certain town, would freely receive the Son into the world. Thus, God had the prophets say what they did. If another woman, say "Sally", at an earlier time, would have accepted the same burden, then God would have had the prophets proclaim differently.

Either way, the prophesies would be objectively correct, and evidence for belief in Christianity.
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  #9  
Old Aug 27, '10, 10:36 am
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Moontown_Rabbit Moontown_Rabbit is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus come when he did?

It is the height of audacity to second guess God, but I think God enjoys our attempts to understand Him, so here goes:

1. It makes sense that the Father would send His Son into the world as soon as we were ready. Our readiness would require (a) the capability of understanding Him (b) the capability of accurately recording his life for posterity. I suggest that both of these conditions were satisfied by developments in Greek culture that culminated a few centuries before Christ. In particular the integrity of Greek historians and the tremendous conceptual advances embodied by men like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle helped to set the stage.

2. Christ was a decendant of King David, and it is thus fitting that He would appear within a unified Jewish culture. This creates a rather narrow window. He wants to wait until humanity has matured enough to comprehend Him and at the same time is expected to arrive in the land of His people. The Romans sacked Jerusalem in 70 A.D., so to fulfill this He would have had to appear before then.

I can see human reasons for the timing both backwards and forwards. However I try to keep in mind that the wisdom of men is foolishness to God.

God bless,
Tim
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  #10  
Old Aug 27, '10, 11:17 pm
fhansen fhansen is online now
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Default Re: Why did Jesus come when he did?

I think humankind was ready. By the time Jesus arrived, mankind (via Greek philosophers) had come by reason alone to suggest that an uncaused cause, a creator-god, had to exist.

Also, mankind (via the Jews) had had centuries to struggle with sin-and trying to live a sinless life -under their own power (and failing) after receiving revelation from God early in human history.

IOW, mankind by then had the experience of being a Prodigal Son corporately-and could, with the help of Gods grace, come to see their need for Him, and turn back after hearing the Shepard's voice after so many years of being lost, in exile from Him.

I think we not only grow and mature individually, but also as a world, with struggle and grace, hopefully until His will is done on earth as in heaven.
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  #11  
Old Aug 28, '10, 2:01 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus come when he did?

Jesus needn't have come into the world at all. Surely God could have enlightened and redeemed us from the moment we were created! Even if He chose to become a man why did He have to wait thousands of years? Why couldn't He have been born with our first ancestors and shown them how to love others? He could have worked miracles to overcome all obstacles. After all nothing is impossible for God!

That is true but then we would be forced to believe and lose our freedom. We are here to decide what to believe and how to live. Jesus worked miracles primarily out of compassion and not to demonstrate His power. Even the empty tomb was witnessed by only a few of His followers. He chose to share our life in all ways except sin so that we could model ourselves on Him - even to the point of facing hatred, suffering and death.

As others have pointed out, Jesus was realistic and chose the most opportune time to be born. He did not rely on miracles to fulfil His mission but on His example and teaching. He attracted people by the nobility of His character and His message of forgiveness and love. In a patriarchal society dominated by legalistic interpretations of the Law He gave hope to the poor and the outcasts of society. He demonstrated the power of prayer but His revolutionary teaching aroused such hostility that His public ministry lasted only three years. If He had been born into a more primitive society He would have been executed and remained unknown to the world.

The relative stability and communications established by the Romans were an important factor in the rapid growth of Christianity. There was a ferment of beliefs and ideas which made the gentiles more receptive to the truth - as we can see by the number of converts made by St Paul in his journeys. Even so he was mocked by the intellectuals when he spoke of the Resurrection. It is easy to underestimate the magnitude of the task of taking the Good News from an obscure village in a remote province of the Empire to the entire world. Pilate's cynical response "What is truth?" reveals the prevailing mentality of the educated person beyond Judaea. Even there the Sadducees rejected belief in the resurrection of the body.

The very success of the Church - in spite of corruption from within and persecution from without - demonstrates that the claims of Jesus are authentic. The subsequent collapse of the Roman empire made travelling far more hazardous and His mission likely to end in failure. We can speculate but it is not necessary. Even fifteen hundred years ago - when the known world was far smaller - St Augustine remarked that if Jesus had not risen from the dead the survival and growth of a Jewish carpenter's tiny community to every corner of the earth would be an even greater miracle...
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Old Aug 28, '10, 5:33 am
Bob Crowley Bob Crowley is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus come when he did?

The first reason is that God judged it the right time.

From a human socio-political framework, the Roman Empire was the first empire to establish a real parliament, it had well defined laws, a system of engineering and roads far ahead of any other previous empire, which meant missionaries could travel relatively easily. It endured for a thousand years from rise to fall (that's five times our Australian history in the European sense and nearly four times US history). It had religious freedom with the exception of compulsory homage to the emperor.

Peter and Paul did not go to Rome for no reason. Paul was able to appeal to cast iron laws, as a Roman citizen, to go to Rome to appeal to the Emperor himself. He couldn't have done that under the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, or Alexander. Likewise Paul wasn't chosen by accident either. His personal Roman citizenship was an integral part of his ministry.

There was peace of a sort which allowed Christianity to spread within its empire. There were Jews all over the place, not only due to trade but previous dispersions, thus providing a reference point for the new religion.

There was a lingua fraca, the Greek language, due as much to Alexander as anything else.

There was a high level of philosophical and moral thought in Greek and Roman literature.

It was well administered. Some women had influence in high places. It was not a tribal society, as some Middle Eastern nations are even today.

In short, the Roman Empire and the political world of the time suited the spread of Christianity as no other empire had up to that time.

We might argue that God can do anything, which is true. But in practice He usually delegates as much as possible. If He was to delegate the job of spreading Christianity to humans (and He only spent 3 years in direct human ministry Himself before handing the responsibility over), then He would have to do so when conditions would allow them to spread the message with some sort of realistic timetable.

WIth hindsight, the Roman Empire was possibly the first time that it was feasible, given human constraints.
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Old Aug 28, '10, 7:50 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: Why did Jesus come when he did?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Crowley View Post
The first reason is that God judged it the right time.

From a human socio-political framework, the Roman Empire was the first empire to establish a real parliament, it had well defined laws, a system of engineering and roads far ahead of any other previous empire, which meant missionaries could travel relatively easily. It endured for a thousand years from rise to fall (that's five times our Australian history in the European sense and nearly four times US history). It had religious freedom with the exception of compulsory homage to the emperor.

Peter and Paul did not go to Rome for no reason. Paul was able to appeal to cast iron laws, as a Roman citizen, to go to Rome to appeal to the Emperor himself. He couldn't have done that under the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, or Alexander. Likewise Paul wasn't chosen by accident either. His personal Roman citizenship was an integral part of his ministry.

There was peace of a sort which allowed Christianity to spread within its empire. There were Jews all over the place, not only due to trade but previous dispersions, thus providing a reference point for the new religion.

There was a lingua fraca, the Greek language, due as much to Alexander as anything else.

There was a high level of philosophical and moral thought in Greek and Roman literature.

It was well administered. Some women had influence in high places. It was not a tribal society, as some Middle Eastern nations are even today.

In short, the Roman Empire and the political world of the time suited the spread of Christianity as no other empire had up to that time.

We might argue that God can do anything, which is true. But in practice He usually delegates as much as possible. If He was to delegate the job of spreading Christianity to humans (and He only spent 3 years in direct human ministry Himself before handing the responsibility over), then He would have to do so when conditions would allow them to spread the message with some sort of realistic timetable.

WIth hindsight, the Roman Empire was possibly the first time that it was feasible, given human constraints.
An excellent analysis. After the collapse of the Roman Empire it would have needed a powerful army to evangelise the world!
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