What are the odds?
Luke 2:1-35 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
21 And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
25 And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, 28 then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation, 31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 A Light of revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”
33 And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
Amos 3:7 says: Surely the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets. There are over three hundred and fifty prophecies of the Messiah which were revealed and fulfilled by Christ. When you consider the sheer number and the odds of one person fulfilling these prophecies it is mind boggling. By employing the science of the odds of probability, it has been calculated that the odds of one person fulfilling just eight of the Messianic prophecies would be an astronomical 1in 1017 or 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. That’s one in one hundred quadrillion!(Source: Peter Stoner-Science Speaks) When you factor in the remaining prophecies and everything that was involved in making them come to pass, it becomes almost ridiculous to consider that Jesus is not the Messiah. Today’s text reveals the intricasies behind the fulfillment of prophecy. It says: Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son. It was not by chance that Caesar Agustus decreed that there would be a census. Daniel 2:20-22 says: “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him.” Nothing was by chance. Many things had to happen over thousands of years for Caesar to be, and to be the ruler when Jesus was born. Mary and Joseph were not chosen at random. Everything was perfectly planned from the beginning when after the fall of man, God initiated His plan of redemption and restoration.
Think about how many things have had to happen since that time for each of us to be where we are. Nothing is or was by chance. In Jeremiah 1:5 God says: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” In Jeremiah 29:11 God says: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” How many lives throughout the ages have been altered or preserved to cause you to be who you are and right where you are? The odds are greater than one in one hundred quadrillion to one. In Psalm 139:16 the psalmist says: Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. Nothing is by chance. God has a plan for your good. Romans 8:28-30 says: And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. God does not cause all difficult things in our lives. Because we live in a fallen world affected by sin, there are things that happen which are not according to His will and His plan. 1 John 4:19 says: We love because He first loved us. If we will love God, He will cause all those things, every good and every bad thing that happens, to work together for good. He will cause us to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, His Son. We will know and fulfill His plan, His perfect plan for our lives; what He had in mind from the beginning. We will be restored to the image and likeness of God, the way we were created before sin, the way He knew us before we were born. We are justified by the cross, by the one in one hundred quadrillion Messiah, so that we could be glorified as His children. What are the odds? What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Thank You Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit, that it is neither by chance of by my works, but according to Your plan, because You love me and loved me from the foundation of the world, that You chose me, You saved me, You redeemed and restored me. Amen.