“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:38–40

Time travel has been the theme of many science fiction stories. It has also been a boyish fantasy of mine ever since The Time Tunnel television show. Wouldn’t it be the greatest thing to visit a different time in history and see first-hand heroics, a pivotal moment in history, or meet bigger-than-life legends? Better yet, to be on hand to actually hear our Lord deliver His Sermon on the Mount or see His resurrection from the tomb? Who among us has not wondered what it would be like to travel forward in time to discover the cure to some dread disease or back in time to utilize today’s common knowledge and be hailed for some great discovery?

To my thinking, there is no greater proof that time travel is not possible for us mere mortals than the fact that there has never been someone from the future coming back to our day and bettering our lives. There is no record of it ever happening in history. You better believe that if it were possible, human nature being what it is, there would be more than a few notorious (in both the good and bad sense) time travelers by now! Wouldn’t you expect people traveling back in time in order to escape the Great Tribulation of the last days? But there is no indication of such in Scripture or in experience.

There is only one form of time travel and that is forward, one day at a time. The only One who could even remotely be considered a time traveler is the Son of God. He engaged our world as the rest of us do, one day at a time. How He engaged it is instructive for us.

Did it ever occur to you that since we know our Lord is eternal (co-existent with the Father from eternity past), omniscient, omnipotent, and omnisapient, why did He not, while He was with us, give us cures for diseases, teach us about antibiotics and farming, and show us how to banish poverty? Should His penchant for only curing individual needs make us question whether He really is who He says He is, the Creator and all wise? Would not we give away some current scientific knowledge unknown to our forebears if we could time travel as He did?

If the incarnation had not occurred just as the Scriptures say, then He would have inherited the fallen nature that we all have. The story of redemption would have met an untimely end and our lives would be far different (and not in a good way). Thankfully, God’s superintendence of His Son’s arrival among us was such that, through the Virgin Birth, our Savior was given a human body arriving just at the juncture in time God had orchestrated for salvation to be wrought. Galatians 4:4f reads, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who are under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

There was a very narrow purpose to the coming of the Son of God. His purpose was to do the will of the Father. His purpose in His first advent was not to put band-aids on poverty, to banish hideous diseases, or even to cause tyranny to vanish from the earth. Those blessings await His Second Coming and Millennial Kingdom.

His purpose was to fulfill only His Father’s will. He says, in John 5:30, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” Over in John 14:31 He states, “As the Father gave Me commandment, so I do.” Even His prayer in Gethsemane reflects this same principle: “Not My will, but Thine be done.” Psalm 40:6–8 and Hebrews 10:5–10 reiterate the salvific purpose of Christ’s coming.

A lesser man would have succumbed to the temptation of taking advantage of his “super-knowledge” and made a name for himself, but our Lord had one object in mind, to obey and fulfill His Father’s will—expressly and only His Father’s will. Interestingly, the same object is the goal for every born-again child of God: obey and follow the Father’s will (Romans 12:1–2).

Our Lord did not cease to be God when He took on human flesh. The Kenosis passage found in Philippians 2:5–10 teaches us that He voluntarily chose not to exercise His attributes but submitted the use of His attributes to the will of the Father. In effect, He humbled Himself so that His divinity was veiled off from human view. He humbled Himself in taking on the form common to mankind, took on the form of a bondservant, and humbled Himself to the point of death for one purpose. The purpose of redeeming and raising up those who through faith trust in Him. He will lose none! Salvation has been wrought through His obedience.

Just as He started pursuing His Father’s work early on (Luke 2:49), so we must pursue the will of the Father every day (Ephesians 5:17; Colossians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 5:18; 1 John 2:17). Your object is to do the will of the Father, just as was your Savior’s. Trust and obey.