Why did God choose the time and place He did for the Incarnation?


#1

So, why do you guys think He chose the time and place He did? I mean, there’s a reason He chose there and then instead of here and now. There’s probably no roght answer, I just thought I’d get your thoughts :tiphat: .


#2

Gen,

Perhaps. . . because He was waiting for someone like Mary?

What do you think?


#3

[quote=Verbum Caro]Gen,

Perhaps. . . because He was waiting for someone like Mary?

What do you think?
[/quote]

Well, of course. But in His big plan of things could He not have had Mary exist at some other time or place?


#4

[quote=Genesis315]So, why do you guys think He chose the time and place He did? I mean, there’s a reason He chose there and then instead of here and now. There’s probably no roght answer, I just thought I’d get your thoughts :tiphat: .
[/quote]

For reasons known only to Him.

Also, it is very dangerous to say He was waiting for someone like Mary. That gives credence to the Protestant belief that we worship Mary or view her as something great independant from God. He chose the time and the place and then chose to make a woman, whom happened to be Mary, into what she is. It is through God alone that she is who and how she is. God created the goodness in her, He did not wait for somebody to come around who was good enough, because NOBODY in and of themselves would have been good enough, Mary or otherwise. :slight_smile:


#5

[quote=Lazerlike42]For reasons known only to Him.
[/quote]

Well duh…but can’t we speculate? I mean, for example, is it because Crucifixion was a popular method of death, a way He could truly suffer. I mean, death by lethal injection just woun’t have the same effect.


#6

I’ve read a few articles on this topic, but that was a while ago, so I can’t remember who wrote them or what publication, but they were orthodox and reliable, I do remember that. I’ll begin the thread by putting forward a couple of the ideas I’ve read from these sources.

First of all, the time in which Jesus was born there was a general believe in the supernatural that the vast majority of people never questioned. So, Jesus’ message would be more readily accepted. Those who opposed the new Christianity didn’t do so on the grounds that it couldn’t be true but for other reasons having to do with existing religious constructs. Only the Greek skeptics pooh-poohed the idea of the Resurrection.

Secondly, the Romans had unified, in general terms, much of the world, building roads and keeping sea lanes open for commerce, so it was easier for Jesus’ followers to spread his Gospel.

And the Jewish people were eagerly anticipating the Messiah and a new world order. We know this from Jesus’ disciples assuming he would claim the kingship and begin a new state. Jesus did establish the Kingdom of God, but just not in the way the Jews had been expecting. So, the prophecies about his people rejecting him came true, except for the few who believed.

That’s about all that comes to mind at the moment.


#7

Yes, I suppose He could have.

I was just speculating, like you asked!

God definitely prepared His Chosen People for the incarnation. . .so perhaps it just took that long to prepare them? God’s Revelation of Himself was progressive, culiminating in Christ.

I think that those who have thought about this question (from your original post) have referred to this as the “Scandal of Particularity”. Why there? Why now?
**
Ultimately, only God knows. He chooses whom He will.

So – why Bethlehem, least of the cities!? Perhaps there is message there for us. Ultimately, we can roll it back to Abraham. Why did God choose him out of all the wandering nomads? It really is humbling to think on such things.

Incidently, this is part of the reason why I speculate that we are the only intelligent lifeforms in the whole gigantic universe. Well, sort of a negative proof, in a way. I think the idea that He chose this little ball of mud in an obscure corner of the universe to be similar to Him chosing Abraham, Israel, and ultimately Mary.

Thoughts?


#8

[quote=Lazerlike42]For reasons known only to Him.

Also, it is very dangerous to say He was waiting for someone like Mary. That gives credence to the Protestant belief that we worship Mary or view her as something great independant from God. He chose the time and the place and then chose to make a woman, whom happened to be Mary, into what she is. It is through God alone that she is who and how she is. God created the goodness in her, He did not wait for somebody to come around who was good enough, because NOBODY in and of themselves would have been good enough, Mary or otherwise. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I too would not put it that way–that God was waiting for Mary. Rather, I’d say that God knew when Mary would be born and that was just one factor in why we are told by Paul that “in the fullness of time Christ was born of a woman, born under the law…”


#9

[quote=Genesis315]Well duh…but can’t we speculate? I mean, for example, is it because Crucifixion was a popular method of death, a way He could truly suffer. I mean, death by lethal injection just woun’t have the same effect.
[/quote]

Well, that actually gets into something very, very, very, very interesting lol…

You see, death came into the world through a tree.

Life came into the world through a tree, too.

ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/dload1.asp?rafile=iq_2024.ra&source=seriessearchprog.asp&seriesID=-306548622&T1=

Listen to the first 15 minutes of that or so and it will make you light up with joy at the knowledge it presents about this topic.

So yes, the answer to your question is probably! :slight_smile:

If you want to really just be amazed, go here and listen to all the segments in order. This taught me some incredible and deep understandings of things that just completely blew me away. It is completely and utterly amazing. I can’t say how incredible they are.

ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=-306548622&T1=


#10

Della,

Yes, we can think of some other reasons like the Pax Romani – the Roman peace that made the distribution of the Gospel possible. Not to mention the Roman roads!


#11

Perhaps St. Paul can answer this for you:

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

Since the Fall of man in the Garden, God had been preparing the world for it’s redemption. He chose a people, the Jews, to show them (and us) though their Law his power and goodness (we non-Jews were under our own type of law–see Romans 2:11-16). He spoke to them (and us) through his prophets to prepare them for a Messiah, a Saviour, who would fulfill all that he had shown them and bring not only them, but the whole world, to salvation. This is salvation history: completed in God’s own way and his own time.

For a much better overview of this, I’d recommend the book “A Father Who Keeps His Promise” by Scott Hahn. If you really want to go in depth, get his video study series “Our Father’s Plan.” You won’t be sorry.


#12

[quote=Fidelis]Perhaps St. Paul can answer this for you:

Since the Fall of man in the Garden, God had been preparing the world for it’s redemption. He chose a people, the Jews, to show them (and us) though their Law his power and goodness. He spoke to them (and us) through his prophets to prepare them for a Messiah, a Saviour, who would fulfill all that he had shown them and bring not only them, but the whole world, to salvation. This is salvation history: completed in God’s own way and his own time.

For a much better overview of this, I’d recommend the book “A Father Who Keeps His Promise” by Scott Hahn. If you really want to go in depth, get his video study series “Our Father’s Plan.” You won’t be sorry.
[/quote]

“Our Father’s Plan” is what I linked to below. It is simply amazing.


#13

Kudos for Our Father’s Plan :clapping:

Folks, when I speculated (note: just speculation!) that God was waiting for Mary. . .I was thinking of an idea that I have only recently become familiar with.

But Della, I think your phrasing would be better: “Rather, I’d say that God knew when Mary would be born.” and so He chose that time (among other reasons).

Here is an article entitled “Did Mary merit the Incarnation?” catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Homiletic/May97/merit.html

I found it *fascinating. *But fair warning! I know that we are all have different relationships to the Mother of God. . .and that, as the article states at the beginning, we must be very careful not to elevate Mary’s role or dignity beyond what is proper to her. I understand that Laserlike was expressing that concern, and I share it. So, for those of you who may enjoy reading this article, click the link above.

Any comments on it, if it would not derail this thread, would be appreciated too!
VC


#14

[quote=Lazerlike42]For reasons known only to Him.

Also, it is very dangerous to say He was waiting for someone like Mary. That gives credence to the Protestant belief that we worship Mary or view her as something great independant from God. He chose the time and the place and then chose to make a woman, whom happened to be Mary, into what she is. It is through God alone that she is who and how she is. God created the goodness in her, He did not wait for somebody to come around who was good enough, because NOBODY in and of themselves would have been good enough, Mary or otherwise. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Actually, this doesn’t give credence to the misconception employed by many Protestants that Catholics worship Mary; neither is it dangerous. God predestined Mary to be the mother of His Son, and therefore, He sent His Son at this precise time to this precise place in all history when the Virgin was to conceive. This doesn’t to assert the idea of worship of Mary, nor does it subordinate God; He found it most fitting for his Son to come into this world through Mary, born of woman. God allowed Mary to choose whether or not to bear the Christ, and in her free-will, could have freely rejected if it were not for the fullness of grace given to her by the Most High and her complete cooperation with God’s divine plan.


#15

[quote=youthcrusader]Actually, this doesn’t give credence to the misconception employed by many Protestants that Catholics worship Mary; neither is it dangerous. God predestined Mary to be the mother of His Son, and therefore, He sent His Son at this precise time to this precise place in all history when the Virgin was to conceive. This doesn’t to assert the idea of worship of Mary, nor does it subordinate God; He found it most fitting for his Son to come into this world through Mary, born of woman. God allowed Mary to choose whether or not to bear the Christ, and in her free-will, could have freely rejected if it were not for the fullness of grace given to her by the Most High and her complete cooperation with God’s divine plan.
[/quote]

Yes, He did predestine her, but my point was He was not waiting for someone like her. That is problematic because it implies that she on her own was pure and ready for Christ, whereas the truth is God made her that way.


#16

Just a few thoughts.

Jesus came as the Jewish Messiah to fulfill and complete the old covenant. He was known as a rabbi and prophet, but more.

In spite of the corruption among some of the leaders, he came into the midst of a thriving Jewish religion who were eagerly anticipating the Messiah.

Adherence to the pagan gods in the Roman Empire was waning. Among the Jews outside of Palestine, nearly every Jewish congregation had attached to it a number of gentiles who followed the teachings of Judaism in most things except formal membership and circumcision. Many of these were quite responsive to Paul’s preaching.

God knew, of course, that the Judaic unity would soon be destroyed (in 70AD) by the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. That would likely have happened whether or not Jesus had come when He did. But had He come after that, it would have been much more difficult to preach his message to a people who would then have been dispersed from their pre-eminent religious focal point and homeland.

The Roman Empire covered most of the known world at the time, making evangelization to all the known world possible.


#17

[quote=Lazerlike42]Yes, He did predestine her, but my point was He was not waiting for someone like her. That is problematic because it implies that she on her own was pure and ready for Christ, whereas the truth is God made her that way.
[/quote]

Yep, that makes sense to me, Laserlike.

But I think that the article I linked to above is focusing on Mary’s unique cooperation with that grace. It seems that each individual cooperates (or does not cooperate) in different ways. Since each individual has a unique personality (Moses, Abraham, Mary, etc) it would seem that Mary qua Mary is not simply interchangable with another person who would have theoretically received the exact same grace.

In other words, is it possible that if another young Jewish woman was given the exact same grace as Mary was (preservative redemption) would this hypothetical woman have behaved the same way? (The same fiat? – The same faithfullness? – the same support of her Son?)

Interesting to ponder.


#18

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