We probably all know people who say, “I wish I’d lived during Bible times and could have seen Jesus in the flesh.” Really? As the old adage says, “Be careful what you wish for!” Does the person who wishes for such a fantasy totally understand the hardships, dangers, and deprivations of that time period?
A day’s journey back then was an average of 24 miles. Usually this meant about 8 hours because no one could dare travel at night. Of course, one had to allow for the unexpected in the form of sandstorms, heat, sickness, thieves and many other obstacles. Would we really want that kind of inconvenience for the 3 and ½ years of Jesus’ ministry?
The fantasy is most often voiced from the convenience of a well-heated or air conditioned home or auto. We are used to pushing a button on a machine and letting a machine do the work for us. Many have already transitioned to voice-activated gismos to provide even more ease of life.
Even with all the comforts and pleasures we enjoy in the 21st Century, there are still many mental, physical and emotional heartaches. So, it is understandable to hear, “I’d like to go back to simpler days when things were carefree and peaceful.” This statement should be accompanied by the addendum – “Oh, and I’ll want to take all the knowledge I’ve learned and the “toys” I enjoy now.”
Having lived in nine decades, I have very little nostalgia for the “good old days.” I enjoy my creature comforts and modern health care. If each generation could interview the previous one they would all probably find that each believed the former times were better. If that process continued uninterrupted until the beginning of human existence, it would finally be true only in the Garden of Eden before the sin of Adam and Eve. They actually walked and talked with God (Gen 3:8).
Jesus’ plan is for us to have a balance in our lives. He promises Christians the abundant life (Jo 10:10) (That does not mean we lie in a hammock and eat chocolate 24-7). God has created us in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He has prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10). Paul by inspiration of the Holy Spirit says, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2 Th 3:10)
These are the “good NEW days” and we can enjoy peace (Php 4:17) and the intercession of Jesus in our prayers to God (Rom 8:34). We are called Priests (1 Pe 2:5,9), Saints (Eph1:15), and Heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17). We can claim the promises of wisdom, knowledge and salvation by trusting and obeying (Rom 6:3-6) (Acts 22:16). Why would anyone trade all that for ease and convenience?