Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Wish I’d Been There?

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be standing near David as he squared off against the taunting Goliath?  To see that giant soldier humbled before those whom he had just mocked would have astonished any of us.

And that is only one incident in the Bible.  There are hundreds of others that inspire, instruct and amaze us.

Some time ago, the editorial of Confident Living thought about the hundreds of life-changing events in the Bible and decided to ask several Christian leaders, this question.  Apart from the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, what biblical event would you most have wanted to witness, and why?  Here are their responses:

The feeding of the 5000 (see Matt. 14:15-21; Mark 6: 32-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14) is the event I would have liked to have witnessed.  First, because of the 35 miracles ascribed to Christ, this is the only one recorded by all four Gospel writers, possibly because is the most important.  Second, this wonderful miracle offers much insight concerning both the Person and ministry of our blessed Lord.  It shows Him to be a sensitive shepherd.  He knew the needs of the Twelve, as revealed in His words.  “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).  It shows Him to be a systematic   shepherd, for He seated the crowd in groups of hundreds and fifties (see vv 39, 40).  It shows Him to be a sovereign shepherd, for He fed 5000 hungry men plus their families with five loaves and two fishes (vv.41, 42).

—Jerry Falwell, Preacher and Author

I wish I had been there when Jesus blessed the little children (see Luke 18:15-17).  The story fascinates me, because it reveals the heart of Jesus toward mothers and children.  How special it would have been to see the faces of the principal characters.

I picture that the disciples are deep in a theological lesson with Jesus.  Suddenly they are distracted by the sound of women’s excited voices and a crowd of children—some calling out, some laughing, some little ones crying!  The disciples are annoyed:  “Don’t bother the Master with these trivial matters.”  But Jesus looks up, and I think He smiles.  He sees the hearts of the mothers, yearning for Jesus to bless their children.  He holds out His arms and says, “Let the little ones come to me.”  And they come.  Some hesitate a bit, hiding behind mothers’ skirts, some run headlong to Jesus.   He takes them all and touches them—He holds a baby close puts His hand on the head of an older lad, stretches His palms to the shy ones.  They know He loves them, and they feel accepted.  It is a moment they will treasure all their lives. 

Why do I love this event in Jesus’ life?  I was just a little girl when I came to Him very simply, and He took me.  Now I am the mother of three sons and three daughters.  I have three little grandbabies.   I often recall that scene when my “little ones” (even the married ones) are struggling and need a touch from God, I pray, “Here are our children, Lord, Please put your hand on their lives.”  I’m so glad Jesus still says, “Let the little ones come to me.”
—Joy R Martin, Business Manager, Joyful Woman Magazine.
The mountain-covering, worldwide, year-long deluge described in Genesis 6-9; Psalm 29:10; 104:6-9; Isaiah 54: 9 and in the New Testament by our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostle Peter is the event I would have loved to have witnessed.

This is the greatest demonstration of the holiness of God in terms of physical response to human depravity the world has ever seen.  It was the supreme demonstration and vindication of God’s sovereignty in a world of open rebellion against Him.  “The Lord sitteth King for ever” (Ps. 29:10).  The second Coming of Christ will be like this (see Matt. 24:37; II Pet. 3:3-6).

—John C Whitcomb, Professor, Grace Theological Seminary

I wish I had been there when unbelieving Thomas, upon seeing the risen Saviour with the scars in His hands and the wound in His side, became a believer and affirmed.  “My Lord and my God” (John 20:24-29).

I wish I had been there because of the joy it would have been to witness Thomas with, I imagine, a relieved look on his face and a conviction in his voice, as he recognized and acknowledged his Lord, truly risen from the dead.  A similar thrill can be ours today, whenever we lead an unbeliever to faith in Christ—to “confess… the Lord Jesus and believe …. That God hath raised Him from the dead” (Rom.10:9).—Richard DeHaan, Chairman, Radio Bible Class

I wish I had been there when Joshua received his commissioning after the death of Moses as recorded in Joshua 1:1-9.

The content of the commission as it speaks of fear and discouragement (see v9).  Indicates that Moses had been the giant.  Joshua serving in his shadow—similar to the death of Franklin D Roosevelt and the beginning days of Harry Truman.  I believe he grasped the meaning of “observe to do” (v.8) which has become a guideline to my own life-finding precepts and promises, and then implementing by faith, obedience and initiative.  To me, this drama is a landmark in the role of the Scriptures in human conduct—assuredly for my own life.
—Ken Anderson, President, Ken Anderson Films

I wish I had seen God create the world (see Gen. 1 & 2); to be there when He alone existed and then to see the universe created out of nothing—the sun, the moon, the starts, the skies dotted with birds, the seas swarming with life, the land masses with herds of animals and then the creation of man and woman.  I cannot imagine a more awe-inspiring experience.  It certainly would cause to worship Him as I should.
—Robert Gromacki, Author and Professor

I wish I would have  witnessed John’s Patmos vision (see Rev. 1:9-18).
The weary John and two fellow disciples had awakened on the mountain in time to catch glimpse of their transfigured Lord.  But that glorious experience seems to have had little effect on them compared to that one on the isle of Patmos that the aged John experienced alone.  The glories of what he saw defies description in any language john was never the same after that, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be either.
—Don Hillis Author, Retired Asst. Director of TEAM

The event that I would most want to have witnessed is Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet, as recorded in John 13:3-17, for servant hood, consistent and sincere, is one of sanctification’s greatest hurdles.  To listen to the disciples’ discussing who would be the greatest among them in the kingdom and then to have the Creator of the universe stand don the towel of a servant, and wash their feet would have been a dramatic and life-changing moment for disciples who struggled to serve.
—Joseph Stowell, Former President, Moody Bible Institute

According to Luke 24:13-30, Jesus, on the road to Emmaus on the day of His resurrection, discussed with the disciples the Old Testament teachings on His death and resurrection.  This account of the fulfillment of prophecy relating to His death and resurrection must have given the hearers tremendous insight as to why Christ died and why He rose from the dead.
—John Walvoord, Chancellor, Dallas Theological Seminary

Act 2, the descent of the Holy Spirit, stands high among the events I wish I had witnessed.  When the disciples could no longer see Jesus after the resurrection.  Peter had decided he would go fishing.  Others wanted to go along.  When Jesus appeared to them again, hope revived.

But think of the traumatic effect the Ascension must have had on them.  Jesus was not longer with them.  HE had gone back to heaven.  What doubts for the future must have troubled their minds!

They had seen Him enter the clouds.  Would they ever see Him again?  When informing them of His soon return to His Father, He had said.  “I will ask the father, and He will Give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever!”

From the Mount of Olive, they had dutifully returned to Jerusalem to wait for the fulfillment of His promise, probably with some skepticism.

When the sound “like a violent rushing wind” filled the upper room where they waited, the effect must have been electric!

Had I been there, I think I might have cried out—“He’s arrived!  Jesus is back with His Father!  His Word is truth!  The full circle of His redemptive plan is complete.”

And I would have that neither Peter… nor I, would have considered, henceforth, spending much time fishing on Lake Galilee! 
—Rober Bowman, President, Far East Broadcating Company, Inc, La Mirada Cali.